I went to see Story of the Year with Anberlin, Funeral For a Friend, and He Is Legend on September 30, 2005. I drove out to the Marquee Theater in Tempe without too much trouble. I had to take off my shoes and empty my pockets before going inside, but the line moved quickly and I even brought my digital camera in past the security guy.
I had never been to the Marquee before. It looked small from the outside, almost like a restaurant. The inside was pretty large though, and can best be described as a large concrete room, maybe as big as two movie theaters. The walls are painted black and red, the floor is bare concrete. There is a little window where beer is sold, a soundboard in the center of the room, and the stage.
The first band to come on was He Is Legend, at 8pm. I found that the farther away I stood, they better they sounded. I think Utah would have been the ideal spot to stand when they were on.
Anberlin came on next, and they rocked the place. I got some good shots of the band, and everyone was just having a good time. This was my first time seeing them play, and it was a good set. I would definitely see them again sometime.
Funeral For a Friend was the next band to play. I think they are from England, but I’m not sure. They sounded alright, but I didn’t know any of the songs so I just watched and actually started to feel a little sleepy. It must have been 10 or 10:30pm when they finished up.
At last, Story of the Year got set up and came on stage. The place really came alive when they came out! Everyone crowded around the stage, was screaming along to all the songs, and a good sized mosh pit was going on. The lead singer was covered in sweat, and just kept right on going. After one or two songs, the band launched into a 5-minute jam that included a cover of 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” and a couple of other famous songs. They played a few songs from the new album, and the crowd seemed to like them a lot.
The lead singer jumped into the crowd at one point, and a lot of people were screaming and trying to touch him. The rest of the band was playing as hard and fast as they could, really getting into it. They were climbing up on the amps, doing backflips, synchronized jumps and all sorts of little things to get the crowd moving. After 45 minutes, they left the stage and the lights went out. The crowd was shouting “one more song!” and a few minutes later, they came back out and played two more for us. It was fantastic.
I stayed after the show and waited in line to meet Story of the Year. I was behind like 10 or 12 people and did not have to wait long. I got a signed poster and a sticker from the band, and handshakes all around. Amidst all the fame and fortune, they are still regular guys who like music and I had a great time meeting them. I got a little lost finding my way home from Tempe and ended up driving through Sky Harbor Airport before getting on the I-10 and then taking that to the I-17. I would recommend the Marquee and the people in Tempe were pretty friendly.