Story Of The Year / Letterkills / The Response

Story Of The Year / Letterkills / The Response: live in Milwaukeelive in Milwaukee (2004)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

Contributed by: blaubs21blaubs21
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ah the Rave. Four different venues inside one building, all with their own little niche. The Eagles Ballroom, playing host to huge bands like the Deftones and Staind, the Rave Bar which accommodates smaller bands like Motion City Soundtrack and Straylight Run, the Eagles Club which holds Taking Ba.

Ah the Rave. Four different venues inside one building, all with their own little niche. The Eagles Ballroom, playing host to huge bands like the Deftones and Staind, the Rave Bar which accommodates smaller bands like Motion City Soundtrack and Straylight Run, the Eagles Club which holds Taking Back Sunday and the Starting Line...and finally the Rave Underground. The dance floor basement of the Rave. The one place inside The Rave I had never been or seen a show at. However once Story Of The Year rolled into town, I have now officially hit the cycle.

The Rave Underground is really a dance floor, complete with trippy bar and constantly rotating disco balls. Not quite the place I was expecting them to put a punk rock show, but hey whatever works. After watching the disco lights play on the faces of the kids around me (I had come alone due to the fact about 5 of my friends pulled out of going before the show), and almost going insane from the anticipation, the lights finally dimmed and local Milwaukee boys The Response took the stage. You might remember my nice little review of the Response/Last Place Champs show from back in November (view here). Since then I had grown to appreciate the Response even more. And seeing as how the past 2 weeks had been a hell of a rollercoaster for me, I wanted to scream my lungs out to these songs. Unfortunately, when the mean age of the crowd is about 15 (i'm 17 and I felt old at this one), they really fail to see the amusement in local bands. It was no matter. The Response tore the stage up as they usually do, hitting everything perfect. If the band was intimidated at all by the size of the crowd or the headliners popularity, the only time it showed was during the between song banter. The band sounded a little lost and confused, but once they started the songs back in, they looked right at home. The faithful crew of about 10 kids that knew who the band was gathered about 2 rows back in the center, and gave the band the support they needed. I myself, screamed my heart out, visibly scared a few 15 year olds in front of me, and went to town. The crowd in general seemed fairly unresponsive, but I'm hoping the Response won over at least a few new fans. This band has yet to fail me musically or in their live show.

Next up, was Letterkills from Southern California. The guitarist came out with a belt of bullets (yes i kid you not, a belt made out of bullets), and got quite a few sarcastic responses from the crowd. This band (minus their awesome lead guitarist) looked nothing like the band I had seen back at Warped and preached about to so many about (including this very site). Once the band was ready, the lead singer came out wearing an almost cowboy looking shirt, a bandana around his neck, and some eyeliner I think. This drew a few more sarcastic responses. I think I was one of the few in the room who knew what was about to happen though. The band started playing full throttle, and the lead singer became more animated than anyone was expecting. Bouncing all over the stage, almost strangling his guitarist, nearly killing his drummer, gazing at people in the crowd just to freak them out...these guys came to put on a show. After tearing through a load of great sounding new songs, the band kicked in to material some recognized ("Don't Believe" which was on the Warped 2003 comp) and the crowd finally blew up. Many of the Story Of The Year fans were still not won over, but once again it didn't matter. The lead singer noticed me and a few other kids singing along, so without fail he jumped into the crowd for a hell of a sing along. Nothing better than having one of your favorite band's lead singers inches away from your face, both of you screaming in unison. The band closed with "Radio Up" (illicting more sing alongs and smiles from the lead singer that someone knew their music), and the "Hey Woah" song. I don't know the actual name, all I know is that the chorus is "Hey! Woaah!". Sound cheesy? Try resisting it. The entire crowd at this point had caught on, and the lead singer of Story Of The Year came out to help get the crowd hyped up and sing alone. By the time Letterkills was done, my throat hurt, my ass was kicked, and the night wasn't even over.

With the two bands I had actually gone to see out of the way, I was rather uninspired about seeing Story Of The Year. Having previously called these guys a "poor man's Used", I figured it was at least worth it to stick around. Plus I hate trying to fight my way out of the floor. Story Of The Year came out, the girls screamed, the place erupted...it was like someone had given the entire room of kids adrenaline. The thing about a SOTY live show is that the band is tight...there is no sloppy playing, off key screaming, or wrong notes. The band moves around precision like, jumping exactly at the right times, very calculated. The good thing is though, it's not as calculated as the band's highly overproduced album. The songs sounded much better without studio effects behind them, and in all reality SOTY was transformed into the band I wish they were. The band ran through "Until The Day I Die" to the screams of many. I was amazed that they had not saved their single for last. The band played through a lot of Page Avenue, before leaving the stage. Then came the encore. Metallica's "Enter Sandman". Yes that's right kids, Story Of The Year covered Metallica. I guess that arena tour with Linkin Park inspired them to play some arena sized songs. Amazingly enough, this was no half assed cover. The guitar solo was note for note, the singer sounded just much higher pitched than James Hetfield, but as bad as it could've been, it wasn't. And that was it. Story Of The Year left the stage to a great reception, and in all actuality, the band wasn't as bad as I was anticipating.

Afterwards, I said what's up the Response guys (though I did miss Mikey), talked to the guitarist of Letterkills for a short time (the album comes out May 4th kids...be forewarned that it will rule), and finally headed out. So in the final rundown, The Response were as amazing as always and hopefully this group can get a few more high profile gigs and finally start hitting the scene, Letterkills destroyed everyone with their stage presence and overall rock feel, and Story Of The Year turns out to not sound as bad live. My lungs hurt, but I felt relieved, just like a great concert is supposed to do to you. If you have one of the off dates featuring Letterkills and Story Of The Year near you, go see it. It's worth the price of admission for Letterkills alone. And kick a little 15 year old ass in the pits for me.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
dontfeedphil87 (November 21, 2005)

this is crazy, story of the year is basically my life. i mean its cool if you dont like them, what are you gonna do there just not for you. but its so different seeing everyones opinion.

titsandtats (June 24, 2004)

letterkills. sick!
thats all i need to say.

Romeo (February 9, 2004)

The bassist from The Last Hope has a belt of bullets. And a static lullaby blows.

Anonymous (February 9, 2004)

what the hell are you smoking?
thursday don't sound anything like mc5

Anonymous (February 8, 2004)

"SOTY is a poor man's used, who in turn, are a poor man's thursday"-who are a poor mans mc5

Anonymous (February 8, 2004)

SOTY is a disgrace to Thrasher's Skater of the Year.

Anonymous (February 8, 2004)

This score is for the guy who said the video is cool because it is at the Creepy Crawl. Creepy Crawl is the best darn music venue. Ever. Period. Story of the Year don't deserve to play there and film it. They are a disgrace to the Creepy Crawl.

Anonymous (February 8, 2004)

God, hey its me. I know I haven't been a big church going guy, but I need a favor. Please god if you're up there I need you to do something for me. I'll do anything you want if you grant me this one wish. Please god, please give story of the year arthritis so they can't play anymore. I'm not asking that much, and it would be so easy for you.

Anonymous (February 7, 2004)


Anonymous (February 7, 2004)

I find it kind of pitiful when people waste their precious time saying how stupid people can be for liking a band this dislike. Sure we all have different opinions but c'mon now we know damn well none of these bands truely suck that bad or they wouldn't be hear.
...at least we all know the response kicks ass.

...and the show was good.


MikeRiot (February 6, 2004)

the only contemporary band worse than story of the year is trapt.

ashton (February 6, 2004)

You guys are a bunch of cry babies!

"I bet most of you here like to suck dicks. You just whine about everything. Every piece of news, every review, every band.

There's a real lack of positivity here.
But hey .. most of you are probably americans... that says it all."

What does sucking dick having to with not liking bands?

I'm not american, but i hope you realize that you post a really negative comment and then complain about the lack of positivity.

I'm not complaining about the negative vibe on this site, those comments are only by anonymous crapbags anyways, it's the community that makes this site, and everyone is needed.

wow, that sounded really pussy.

fuck this band, they released their debut on a major label!

this site fucking rocks.

Anonymous (February 5, 2004)

Story of the Year's video is cool ONLY because it was filmed at the Creepy Crawl in St. Louis, MO. The Creepy is the coolest place I've ever gone to a show at, ever. Period.

dignin (February 5, 2004)

since when has being critical of crappy bands been equated with being a cry baby? And generilizing Americans just makes you look like a douche bag, as are the dumbasses who say "canada sucks"

Anonymous (February 5, 2004)

You guys are a bunch of cry babies!

I bet most of you here like to suck dicks. You just whine about everything. Every piece of news, every review, every band.

There's a real lack of positivity here.
But hey .. most of you are probably americans... that says it all.

Yes, we all like to suck dick. And most of us are probably Americans. We are the dick sucking Americans!

Bob, you are indeed a bastard.

BobTheCrazyBastard (February 5, 2004)

You guys are a bunch of cry babies!

I bet most of you here like to suck dicks. You just whine about everything. Every piece of news, every review, every band.

There's a real lack of positivity here.
But hey .. most of you are probably americans... that says it all.

Anonymous (February 4, 2004)

I'll agree with you about everything except SOTY, it was my 5th time seeing them and they rocked yet again, I knew of the band when they were Big Blue Monkey. The Response was awesome and Letter Kills rocked for my first time seeing them both.

Check out this link: http://justanothermusicmag.ownspot.com

Anonymous (February 4, 2004)

So, is there anyone that actually likes SOTY or Letterkills?

Because, after reading these responses, it makes me wonder how the hell these bands get signed.

Anonymous (February 4, 2004)

The show was amazing. The Response kicked complete ass, as they always do, and while their EP is awesome, their newer recordings are amazing, and the new songs that aren't recorded totally kick ass. This band is one of my favs, and I would put money on their success in the future.

Letter Kills was alright. Musically it was good, but the lead singers' kicks and microphone tricks bothered me for some reason. However, the kids dug it, so whatever works.

Story of the Year I was not expecting much. I like their CD although I didn't think it was amazing, and I agree with the reviewer regarding the Used. However, they were extremely impressive live, and it was well worth the money for the show. Too bad the Response isn't going along for the rest of the tour though, it wouldn't have been the same without them.

Anonymous (February 4, 2004)

"And secondly, bullet belts, and cowboy shirts are all the rage at these kind of shows."

Yea, I actually see that, as well as loads of bandanas, a lot.

Anyhow, I don't like any of these bands, but I thought your review was very well written...score is for that.

Anonymous (February 4, 2004)

wow, letter kills is HORRIBLE! horrible horrible horrible. I saw them with beloved the other day and hated every second of their set. booooring.

story of the year sucks too.

Haggard (February 4, 2004)

"story of the year are one of the worst bands ever."



Anonymous (February 4, 2004)

It should be a crime for a band like SOTY to cover a great band like Metallica.

Makes me hate them even more.

MikeRiot (February 4, 2004)

story of the year are one of the worst bands ever.

Anonymous (February 4, 2004)

First of all, I don't think you can be uninspired to see a band. And secondly, bullet belts, and cowboy shirts are all the rage at these kind of shows. I kid you not.

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

my score is for my incompentance on my score below this one and on STOY as a band....

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

I saw STOY on The Used tour last year and they have to be one of the most uneven bands of all time. The first song was ok then it was all shit after that...

BTW Thrice slayed all on that tour

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

"about 5 of my friends pulled out of going before the show"

Lucky them.

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

I know I'm still a teenager. I was just saying we start going to shows around then. I was never an ass at a show either. I usually stood in the back or off to the side because I was afraid of being in the middle of it all. Sure, their are some idiots at shows but you can't generalize and say they are all 15. And just because your 15, doesn't make you an idiot.


gatecrasher (February 3, 2004)

May 4th cannot come soon enough.

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

1) i just heard story of the year on mtv last night for the first time. jesus god do they suck. oh, and can they do that "bring the neck of the guitar across your chest and smash it back" move any more times?

2) doesn't the fact that they'd cover "enter sandman" clue you in to their lameness?

3) never mention the word "pit" again. you're the one who needs an ass kicking.

4) it's sad that this is what milwaukee kids consider punk these days. go buy some die kreuzen or couch flambeau stuff.

captaincrunch (February 3, 2004)

oh, by the way, the response website is incorrect, the address is www.the-response.com

captaincrunch (February 3, 2004)

I got to hang out with the Response a couple months ago, and they are super cool guys, although I have never seen them live, their Ep is very good and I look forward to them coming back to Detroit.

ashton (February 3, 2004)

eric, you're still a teenager.

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

story of the year played the metallica cover on the meteoura tour and it was note for note then too, if you think they tear it up on a small stage u should see them on the big stage, fucking awsome. although no one got into them, ive seen them at a small venue aswell awsome live band. and ya cant wait for the letter kills album

dignin (February 3, 2004)

Eric, I want to kick your 16 year old ass.

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

To the guy below;

Not all of us were idiots at that age. Maybe you, but definitely not me.

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

What I don't understand is the need for people who or older to say shit like kick a 15 year old's ass. Weren't we all young once going to shows? I'm sure someone had to show you how to mosh or act at a show. I started going to shows at 13 and am now 16. Everyone starts off going to concerts as a teenager. Let the age thing go. Lame.


Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

I really dont like the rave much either...although Ive never been to the basement. The shows at the bar are ok though....

And the Response kick ass.

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

I really can't see what would make someone go to something this bad. It amazes me...


Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

goldfinger isn't anything without charlie. i didn't care at all about the band after he left.


Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

i'm as big a fan of this as everyone else, but where's the fuckin street punk? what the fuck is you alls problems.

ps. goldfinger is a piece of shit band that sucks and they're god awful. die john feldman. 4th of the score is for goldfinger.

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

SOTY is a poor man's used, who in turn, are a poor man's thursday

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

so many words wasted on such shitty bands

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

oh, and the rave fucking sucks, by the way...don't go and support that place

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

so if you were expecting a "punk rock show", why would you go to this shitstorm?

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

Wow, story of the year are like the dokken of shitty mall-emo-hardcore. Seriously, when the singer of Goldfinger is your "big" supporter you have to know that something is very wrong. Also... I heard the singer has a R Kelley thing going on. Just what I heard...

Anonymous (February 3, 2004)


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