This past Saturday, February 21st, Canadian post-hardcore rockers Silverstein stopped by Webster Hall in support of their album Discovering the Waterfront; which turns 10 this year. With support from the bands My Iron Lung, Major League, and Hands Like Houses; Silverstein performed a 19 song set: 8 of their newer songs, and Discovering the Waterfront in it’s entirety. Needless to say, it was nostalgic fun for older fans like myself who went through puberty and adolesence listening to that album.
I arrived to the show about an hour late (a la last minute snow storm), and missed my Iron Lung and most of Major League’s set. The venue was packed to full capacity and the energy in the room was incredible. After Major League finished their set and Hands Like Houses came on the crowd went crazy. Hailing from Australia, the post-hardcore sextet has toured with super sucessful scene bands such as Pierce the Veil, Sleeping with Sirens, and played the entire 2013 Van’s Warped Tour. The younger people in the crowd were smitten with them, and it was in that moment I felt old for not knowing a popular band. Lead singer Trenton Woodley’s dreamy soulful voice coupled with the bands electrifying rock sound leads me to believe that Hands Like Houses will continue to thrive and rise through the ranks of other generic sounding scene bands to become big.
By the time Silverstein took the stage, I, along with everyone else in the audience, was feeling restless. They opened up with “Smashed Into Pieces”, from their first album When Broken Is Easily Fixed. Suddenly I was being ambushed by an arsenal of crowd surfers and big guys in gym shorts trying to make the already large mosh pit bigger. I used this as a means of securing myself a better spot right up front by the center stage. The band’s energy was infectous. For a band whose been together 15 years, these guys have really locked down their stage prescence without it once feeling stale. Every member on stage looked truly happy to be there, and it was well recepted by the audience. After crooning out other hits such as “Vices”, “Sacrifice”, and “Bleeds No More”, it was time to get down to business. Starting with the first track of the album “Your Sword Versus My Dagger”, the crowd went into a frenzy. A fury of emotion swept the audience as I saw old and young fans sing/mostly scream along with the singer. If I thought the first song they played made the crowd frenzy, “Smile In Your Sleep”, my personal favorite track off the album, must have caused a riot. As I dodged punches and more crowd surfers, I felt a sense of nostalgia overcome me that I think affected everyone. It’s a wonderful thing when bands you listened to growing up keep a consistent sound and still manage to wow audiences 10 years later. The band performed more hits such as My Heroine, and Always and Never before closing with a half acoustic/half full band version of Call It Karma.
I had the chance to meet and get a few words in with frontman Shane Told, who came out to their merch table after their performance to graciously meet and talk to every fan who came up to him. I’ll admit, I was incredibly nervous meeting the voice behind one of my favorite bands; but he came off as a very humble and down to earth guy. After managing to stutter out that Discovering the Waterfront sparked my interest in music, I mentioned that there were so many bands in the same relm as them that only lasted 4/5 years before breaking up or changing their sound to target a new audience; but Silverstein is one of those exceptions where every album they put out has the same consistent sound only better production quality and a tighter sound. I asked him how the band managed to stay together and work with each other for 15 years. His response: “We all respect each other… we don’t have to see each other all the time off tour.. This isn’t just “my” band, we all listen to what each other has to say. And we know what our fans want to hear. We work well together.”