Story of the Year: Crowd wasn’t “Praying for Rain”, but what a night to remember

Story of the Year headed out on tour this August in Wichita, KS with special guests Hawthorne Heights and Escape the Fate. This was sure to be a standout tour and would likely sell out every date. As the days neared my tour date, I saw the internet flooding with praise posts and excitement for this upcoming tour with Story of the Year. Fans were posting left and right, dates are selling out act fast, and showing their enthusiasm to see these bands that many of us have grown up with. Talk about nostalgia. Guesses were circling the web about what songs the band would add to the setlist. From fan favorites, “Until the Day I Die“, “Anthem of Our Dying Day“, and “Sidewalks“, to newer songs like “Can Anybody Hear Me“, “Wolves“, and “I Swear I’m Okay“.

I was lucky enough to attend the Tampa, Florida date of this incredible tour. Story of the Year and special guests performed at The Orpheum on September 2nd. This would turn out to be The Orpheum’s first show due to late opening caused by relocating. The Orpheum Tampa has relocated from YBOR City, Tampa and is now located at 14802 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, Florida. This new location was the talk of the line as concertgoers anxiously awaited entrance to see the new venue. Upon arrival to the venue, we can see that the venue has an outdoor stage located across from their outdoor bar. The clouds were rolling in, anticipation rising, thunder starting to rumble. Talk of rain started to fill the line as we awaited security checking our ID’s and tickets. The first rain drops began to fall, very lightly. This wouldn’t be too bad for the guests; a little rain won’t hurt. Little did we all know that a little rain wasn’t in the forecast, try downpour instead.

Sound check could be heard from the line outside while the door time was approaching. A little more time went by, and sound check was coming to a close. It was time to head on in. As we entered The Orpheum rain started to fall a little heavier. The barricade began to fill up with guests awaiting the entrance of Escape the Fate to the stage. Within minutes it all changed, the rain took on a mind of its own and unleashed on the Orpheum’s stage and the fans. Stage crew were then forced to have to cover the sound equipment and instruments and delay the start of the show. The bar area began to quickly fill up as all of the crowd began to fill in under the roof to seek shelter from the rain. Drinks were pouring, fans were conversing with each other as we waited out this rain. Finally, it was time for the show to begin. Escape the Fate performed an incredible set to open the show, warming them up for Hawthorne Heights who followed Escape the Fate and equally put on an amazing show.

It was time for your headliners, Story of the Year. The crowd grew overly loud with excitement for the band to take the stage. The show was a sold-out show, and fans filled in tight, not much room on the venue floor. The band began to perform, and the crowd appeared to have forgotten about the heavy rainfall. Fans looked so happy, smiles from ear to ear on their faces. Shouting lyrics back at the band. Story of the Year expressed their gratitude for their fans for sticking out the rain and staying for their set. As I scanned the crowd, I could see a young boy on the shoulders of his father. The look of joy on this boy’s face was undeniable from across the venue. We would soon see that they had a sign that read, “This is my first concert”. That message who then gain the attention of the band. Lead singer, Dan Marsala jumped off stage and began to greet the fans against the barricade including that young boy, giving out high fives. Energy was rising. Cheers and laughter grew. The crowd was having the time of their lives and I was very fortunate enough to be able to capture so many moments of pure bliss on their faces.

Story of the Year played an array of older songs and newer songs. The crowd erupted when the band performed their iconic songs from Page Avenue. the setlist was as follows: “And the Hero Will Drown“, “The Antidote“, “Dive Right In“, “Anthem of Our Dying Day“, “Take Me Back“, “Razorblades“, “Real Life“, “Our Time Is Now“, “Bang Bang“, “In the Shadows“, “Is This My Fate?“. Marsala would then make an announcement that they were going to play a song dedicated to their good friends and that the crowd might know these songs. The band began to play “Ocean Avenue/Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team)/ “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)/ Taste of Ink”. Story of the Year encored with fan favorite, “Until the Day I Die“. The volume of the fans at The Orpheum was at an all-time high.

Story of the Year’s energy and stage presence is unmatched. They put on such an incredible show for everyone at the show leaving nothing left on the table. The electricity in the venue was just flowing from fan to fan. Everyone so supportive of one another in the rain and while crowd surfing to make sure everyone attending had a great time. As I’ve been to many shows before I can honestly say that I have never seen a crowd respond so positively to the heaviness of the rain during a performance. We were all determined to stick out the downpour and support the boys that we were there to see. Nothing was going to stop this crowd from getting this well-deserved memorable show. The show went off perfectly. Story of the Year did not disappoint. Everyone left The Orpheum having had the night of their lives. Thank you to Story of the Year and their team for having me out to photograph their Florida stop. If you are able to catch Story of the Year perform, do so, you will not be disappointed. The rest of the dates for this tour can be found here: