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Live Review – Story Of The Year, Knotfest Sideshow. Brisbane 2023


Opening acts SunBleached and Headwrecked warmed up the Brightside stages in anticipation for SOTY tonight. With their emo/metalcore screaming and singing styles, they were great local openers coming off the back of Knotfest, welcoming in the eager crowd. Both bands played tight sets and performed confidently for our international guests, showcasing Brisbane’s
heavier music scene nicely.

Arrived & smiling ear to ear, legendary Story of the Year packed out Brisbane’s Brightside on Monday night, following the final leg of slipknots KNOTFEST. Having gone from a 25,500 crowd to a 200 one in the space of a day, vocalist Dan Marsala exclaimed; ‘you know what, I actually prefer this. Look at all these faces… and LOOK at these well-dressed people in the front!’ – The couple interjected and suddenly a bouquet and a peep of a wedding dress was seen – from ceremony to Story of the Year, these newly weds celebrated their nuptials amongst other dedicated fans, several of who, travelled from the Gold Coast to be present for the band’s sideshow.

Having definitely hit venue capacity – this intimate gig felt like a throwback, old school show – truly sharing a room together. The liveliness of being cramped into a small place with such a huge presence on stage felt almost like a secret show, an exclusive event – and in a way, it was.

The smaller venue gave us a chance to connect closer and engage with each member. It was obvious that their dedicated fans have maintained a strong relationship with the band over their 20-year run, and the barrier-less stage emphasized that closeness, respect, and the utter joy reflecting off everyone’s face. It was special to see so many excited people push past their usual ‘bedtime’ routine; I overheard a couple of ‘it’ll be worth being tired at work for tomorrow’ comments in between sets – and I agreed hard.

This Knotfest week has been a momentous one.

20 years strong, it’s clear that SOTY hold so much love for their music, each other and their fans. Their smiles and energy were seen & felt as they were manoeuvring around the pokey Brightside stage, and a real feeling of love was in the air. Seemingly happier than ever, filled with boundless energy, lustre, and a couple of rouge cucumbers (you had to be there) – SOTY Kickstarted their set with new lead track ‘Tear Me To Pieces’, and it was no lie! I was almost torn to pieces as I tried to mouse my way through the mass, camera in hand – but the crowd were here to MOVE…and I can’t blame them. 2003’s ‘In the Shadows’ was up next, and I had the pleasure of absorbing 200 people’s collective nostalgia. It was a trip; it took ME back to 2003 and I was 5 at the time!

The power of “WITH A CLOSED FIST” … Playing tracks across 6 different albums, SOTY provided a diverse, punchy, nostalgic -yet -fresh set for Brisbane attendees, and made 1 couples wedding night, a night to remember. Sharing shots, screams and stories, SOTY’s ‘encore’ was a sentimental tribute to bands who inspired a lot of their early work. Ending their Australian run with songs from My Chemical Romance and The Used, it was so evident, that even after several Knotfest performances and sideshows, that Story of the Year are seasoned professionals who so passionately love what they do. From their touring staff down to their performances, SOTY are like rays of sunshine, that fit so well into Brisbane’s music orbit. It was a pleasure to host these smiles at the Brightside.

In the wake of the Knotfest blues, fans get amongst the band’s new album “Tear Me To Pieces” Out now.

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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