Unfortunately I missed opening act Bleed the Dream, but I did get to the Astoria in time to see major support pop-hardcore kids Stretch Arm Strong. Stretch Arm Strong put on a stunning show despite some sound problems and worked the crowd into a furore. Serious highlights included 'The Sound of Names Dropping' and set closer, a cover of Modern English's 'I Melt with You'. Their set left the crowd in serious need of a way to vent their energy, and set up Story of the Year to play a blistering show.

Story of the Year came on the stage and performed a furious set. The air in the Astoria quickly became hot and humid as the audience jumped up and down and hurled themselves around, and this was demonstrated by the band's vocalist Dan Marsala draining his T-shirt of sweat of which there was rather a lot. There was a lot of general high energy from the group. Guitars were hurled across the stage, and the band performed both ridiculous synchronised acrobatics and backflips.

Musical highlights included a mass sing-a-long to 'Anthem of a Dying Day' ; a cleverly created and humorously introduced medley which included 'Sweet Child of Mine', 'Candy Shop', 'More Than a Feeling' and 'Living on a Prayer', and the closing final adrenaline of past single 'Until the Day I Die'.

Overall a well put together show, highly energetic and tightly performed by its players.

The photographs that accompany this article were taken exclusively for Pennyblackmusic by Anna Gudaniec

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Commenting On: Astoria, London, 13/4/2006 - Story of the Year and Stretch Arm Strong

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