Sunday November 5, 2023 Story of the Year brought their 20 years of Page Avenue tour to Brooklyn Bowl inside the Linq Promenade. Oh nostalgia galore! With them they brought along newcomers Youth Fountain, and a fan favorite in the pop punk scene, Four Year Strong.
The night started out slow. I will purely blame this on the current state of the roads in this area. With the F1 construction it was way more of a challenge to get to the Linq Promenade. (It took over an hour for me to get down here when it usually takes about 25 minutes, but I digress.) With all that in mind, I can’t help but feel bad for our first band, Youth Fountain. The time seemed to have been pushed back to allow more fans in before the start time, but the bulk of the crowd this night seemed to trickle in by the middle-end of their set.
These guys embody key elements from the early 2000’s of pop punk. According to their Pure Noise artist page, the project originated in 2017. With vibes similar to the likes of Yellowcard or New Found Glory, these guys are easy and simple to listen to, but also seem to pull on all the right heart strings. I thought they were a great intro to this tour lineup, so I hope the remainder of the dates on this tour that the crowd is able to enjoy them more completely than our Vegas date.
Filling the middle slot of the evening were pop punk veterans, Four Year Strong. Other than a slight off sounding mix of the instruments, Four Year Strong delivered an energy packed, fun set. The band could be seen jumping around while the erratic lights flashed across the venue. For me, this band is one of those easy to listen to fun bands that remind me of my carefree times of my youth. Their pop punk style blended with some harder elements from hardcore really just makes me happy. The fifth song of their set they played “Brain Stew” by Green Day, that was pretty cool to hear in their style.
Four Year Strong easily have one of the most consistent lineups through their 20+ year careers, and I feel like that’s something special to point out. It doesn’t seem like that’s much of a theme with some of these genres.
Throughout the entire set crowd surfers could be seen floating over the crowd, this is just one of those bands and if you know, then you know. They were on my bucket list when I last saw them at the final warped tour in 2018, and I was happy to see them again on one of my favorite stages here in Vegas.
Closing out the night for us, the band we all were waiting for, Story of the Year. The band did something different with this celebration of Page Avenue right off the bat. Most of these kinds of celebration tours you hear the band play the album in order- duh. But not Story of the Year. While they DID play the whole album, they did not play the songs all in order completely. They performed a mix of songs off their latest record in the middle of the album, which I have never seen anyone do before. And I’ve seen a lot of bands perform anniversary shows of 10, 15, 20+ years of landmark albums.
Opening with the first track of the album, “And the Hero Will Drown”, followed by “Dive Right In” (track 5) and then “Divide and Conquer” (track 10). This threw me off a little bit, but after thinking about it, it makes sense. Obviously they would save their biggest song, “Until the Day I Die” for last. It’s the second track on the album though, so I see why they would have to build up the show and surprise people this way. Huge props to them for doing this so differently than literally every other band out there celebrating time milestones with their big albums.
At one point early on, after my time in the photo pit, Dan Marsala caught a fan in the crowd with a ticket stub from 20 years ago. The band happily bantered and joked about having a sharpie on stage while gathering together and signing it for said fan. What a special moment for that person! I can only imagine how elated that must have made them.
A special performance of “Sidewalks” with phones lit all the way around the venue had the entire crowd singing the lyrics and swaying sweetly, and after a few more songs Story of the Year played a special medley of Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue”, Taking Back Sunday’s “Cute Without the E (cut from the team)”, My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”, and The Used’s “The Taste of Ink”. Personally, I love when bands do this kind of thing. I’ve seen Senses Fail do it numerous times and it always makes me smile. This time was no different.
As mentioned above, Story of the Year closed out their set with “Until the Day I Die.” The crowd roared with excitement, and again, the entire building could be heard singing the lyrics to this song as loud as they could. I can’t say how many people were in the crowd that night, I know Brooklyn Bowl caps at somewhere around 2000 people, but it was incredible to hear that many voices in unison over this.
Here’s to the next twenty years of Story of the Year!
Check out Story of the Year’s latest record below!
Live photos by Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine 2023, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.