The Starting Line at the ForumCultureMusicLive music
Noted for its creativity and live music, Kentish Town remains one of London’s most interesting areas. Sat snuggly among these buildings is The Forum, a former cinema now turned into one of the city’s best music venues. With its impressive art deco decorations, it seems like the perfect venue for Philadelphia-based pop-punks The Starting Line, its dark and musky feel serving for a more low-fi, punk aesthetic, conflicting with the architecture’s bright, extravagant ornamentation.
However, given that this band is known for its energetic beats and catchy melodies, there is no extravaganza, no backdrop, with very few intervals. Yet a dedicated and youthful crowd creates a touching atmosphere, shouting out the lyrics to every song, engrossed in frontman Kenny Vasoli’s emotive stories of love, angst and freedom.
The Starting Line formed at the turn of the 21st century, acclaiming much fame from their album Say It Like You Mean It. They are infamous for their extensive touring – at least they were before their disbanding five years ago. Although, now that their gigs have filtered down somewhat, it makes this night even more important for fans to catch the group back in its entirety once again.
The band covers songs over a 14-year period with such energy, passion and precision. Classics from their 2003 hit album such as The Best of Me and Leaving have the place go wild, crowd surfers see converse shoes point to the ceiling, and the band become more dynamic. “I guess I’ll call or see you around” is repeated as a solo act sees Vasoli swap the bass for the guitar during his rendition of The Drama Summer, opting for a mellower atmosphere, while Island sees the band back in full force dreaming of an exotic getaway.
The performance touches on the pros and cons of teen life, capturing a wide mix of emotions in one set. It tells us that The Starting Line is still going strong and that they’ve definitely still got it – this is one band that certainly has a lot more to give in the coming future.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
Watch the video for Island here: