Every so often, I get to live out my middle school concert dreams, and this was one of those shows. Having been a long time fan of We the Kings and Story of the Year, covering their recent performance at Rams Head Live was a privilege that I won’t soon take for granted. It was my first time at Rams Head, a smaller more intimate venue with a wrap-around upper balcony for those who didn’t want to be part of the inevitable pit downstairs, and that ensured that no matter where you were in the venue you had premium seating to watch the show from.
At Rams Head Live on Jan. 16, the night started out with the opening band, Youth Fountain, hailing all from Canada. While I’d never heard them before, they immediately got the crowd buzzing and excited for the show. With upbeat songs and incredible energy, the crowd started dancing within the first two songs, getting loose and ready to go for the next two bands.
Next up, We the Kings launched into a crowd favorite, “Skyway Avenue,” causing the crowd to erupt with everyone singing along (myself included, loudly from the photo pit). It didn’t take long for people to start crowdsurfing and a pit to form. As the night progressed, they played crowd favorites including “When We Were Young” and “Alien.” We the Kings finished with “Check Yes Juliet,” keeping the energy high as more and more of us got lost in the music and camaraderie of the night.
Watch the official music video for “Check Yes Juliet” by We the Kings on YouTube:
Story of the Year headlined the night, starting with “And the Hero Will Drown” and “Dive Right In.” They had the crowd screaming along to “Anthem of Our Dying Day,” reveling in the experience and proving that emo and pop-punk were never a phase. People of all ages were jumping up and down, dancing to favorites like “Page Avenue.”
With everyone riding the high of the night, we all chanted for the encore. Story of the Year came back out doing a cover medley of “Ocean Avenue,” “Cute without the E,” “I’m Not Okay,” and “The Taste of Ink,” even including some of “Check Yes Juliet” as a shout out to We the Kings, and finished off the night strong with “Until the Day I Die.”
Watch the official music video for “Until the Day I Die” by Story of the Year on YouTube:
Overall, the entire night was full of the fast-paced, upbeat songs we all know and love characteristic of the pop-punk genre and everyone reveling in the fun and nostalgic music, leaving with smiles as wide as could be and buzzing from the joy of the show.
I was lucky enough at the end of the night to be able to do a meet and greet with We The Kings and a couple members of Story of the Year fulfilling my middle school fantasy of getting hugs from them and having a few minutes to talk. We the Kings made sure that they spent plenty of time with each of their fans at the meet and greet, doing signatures, photos, and hugs and just generally being some of the most down to earth guys you’ll ever meet, as were the guys from Story of the Year who made sure to let me and my sister stay after for a few minutes to try and hunt down the rest of the band to sign her birthday card. As a fan, I can say this was one of the most special shows and the love and dedication that these bands have for their fans is truly inspiring. It was a night to remember for so many of the people there, and one I know for a fact I’ll never forget.
Here are photos of Story of the Year and their opening acts performing at Rams Head Live on Jan. 16, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Carol Lowe.
Story of the Year:
We the Kings: