Pop-punk and Its Many Variations Represented at Spring Fling III

Concert Review

Spring Fling III rocked the Agora yesterday with a day jam-packed with artists on three separate stages. Bands played for over eight hours, and The Story So Far served as the headliner. With no other band playing on another stage during their time slot, they had a packed crowd watching their amazing performance in the theater. It was a perfect way to end the day. Someone from backstage even kept running out and throwing pretzels and chips into the crowd, which was a funny and odd surprise.

With a new self-titled album coming out on May 19, The Story So Far showcased some of their new songs during their performance. Just from the soft opening guitar riff of "Nerve," the crowd started going crazy. Singer Parker Cannon showcased his melodic voice and was easy to sing along with, especially on the new songs. Every single one of the new songs played was catchy and sure to be stuck in your head for a couple days. Apart from the new songs, The Story So Far played the songs fans have grown to love — that included tracks like “Empty Space” and “Quicksand.” Cannon's voice sounded just as good as live as it does on the album. His raspy delivery is something unique.

Before The Story So Far went on, the Movielife, a band that recently reunited in 2014 after breaking up in 2003, performed in the ballroom. This performance had to be the highlight of the night. While it was evident by the size of the crowd that many of the people there didn't know who the band was, the group still killed it. Fans who never thought they would see this band live again were more than pumped for this show. Vocalist Vinnie Caruana paused between songs to tell the crowd this was the band’s first performance in Cleveland since 2003. It has been 12 years and this band didn't sound like it had missed a single step.

Performances of songs like “Walking on Glass,” “Hand Grenade” and “Hey” just showed how enthralling this band still is. “Walking on Glass” of course still had that early 2000s power-pop feel to it; it was easy to bob your head to and sing along. The vocals are still as ear grabbing and everything else still sounded exactly the same. It's a testament to the band’s talent and hopefully this is the start of another long run for them.

Four Year Strong played earlier in the night on the Pure Noise Stage. The big highlight of their set was “Bada Bing! Wit' a Pipe!” Since the band lost its keyboardist, it put keyboards on a backing track. However, during their performance, one of their buddies played the synth parts of the song on saxophone. It was something new for the band and it was awesome. It gave the song much more of a dance and party feel to it. The power-pop and pop-punk feel of Four Year Strong’s music mixed well with the little bit of ska taste from the sax. It would be awesome to see the band institute this as a regular part of the show.

Spring Fling was a great time for all fans of all types of music really. Whether it be pop-punk or hardcore, everything was represented. Here's to hoping next year's Spring Fling is just as good if not better. 
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