Silverstein

support Enjoy Destroy + Tonight Is Goodbye
author PP date 25/05/07 venue Barfly, London, UK

Apparently arriving half an hour after the doors isn't early enough to catch the first band these days, but thats just one of the small disadvantages of Barfly, that seems to open its doors completely at random without much consideration to what it says on the printed tickets. So just as I arrived upstairs to the tiny room housing about 200 dedicated Silverstein fans and saw the last few remaining seconds of local act Tonight Is Goodbye's set. Too bad, becuase I had actually been looking forward to checking them out, but something about the band name tells me I didn't miss much.

Enjoy Destroy

So anyway, after a quick beer Enjoy Destroy were ready to take on stage. I have to be honest here I didn't do my research so had no clue who these guys were, but apparently they are from Basingstoke, not too far from London. Their set focussed mostly on radio-friendly alternative rock with many hooks and melodies to catch the ear of the listener even on the first listen live. "Music To Love You To" for instance, stuck into my head straight away and I had to go check it out on Myspace to validate my initial expression, and I was right. That song rocks. But it was "MacTier" that had me and my fellow scribe DY to raise our eyebrows quite a bit. Having used a few too many hours on Guitar Hero II, as well as having heard the album in question before, its riffs sounded like they were lifted straight off Wolfmother's debut album. But to be completely fair, they weren't exactly identical to any particular song, but just the overall vibe was almost shockingly alike. However, it was also their most interesting song, and I hope that's the direction they will be moving towards on their eventual debut EP/Album. You may also have noticed that I haven't mentioned much about their stageshow, but that's frankly because there wasn't any. They mostly stood still, being a young band and all, and if it wasn't for the songs keeping me moderately interested, I would've been at the bar much earlier than at the end of their set.

5

Silverstein

Now, the last time I saw Silverstein was when they were supporting Simple Plan on a large-venue tour across Europe, including a show at the Store Vega in Copenhagen, Denmark. They had understandably scaled down their performance slightly to not scare away any potential new fans of the Canadian pop punk group, so I had high expectations to their intimate headlining set here in Barfly. The stage was set, so to say, for a life-changing performance given that the venue size was next to perfect for that kind of show. And at first, it really seemed like Silverstein were set to improve on their rather generic 'business as usual' showing with Simple Plan, as "Your Sword Vs My Dagger" transformed the venue into one massive sweaty mosh pit, which only intensified when the band played one of the old favorites "Smashed Into Pieces". Worth noting here is that the lyrics to the older songs in general were sung much louder than in the "Discovering The Waterfront" songs - a fact which I found strange considering they only got more known with the success of the latter. Shane's screams were spot on, just as throaty as on the record, and especially the final breakdown caused destruction on the mosh pit, which by now covered the majority of the venue.

But after the strong start, the storm that had been taking place in the first two songs calmed down significantly, not just off-stage but also on-stage. In fact, the guys seemed much less active and dedicated while playing "Last Days Of Summer" and "The Weak And The Wounded" than they did during the earlier songs, which reflected on the crowd as well. "Discovering The Waterfront" picked it up slightly with a massive singalong fest, but "Defend You" was the 'return to form' of the night. It certainly seemed that the more aggressive songs like this one were better received, and to be frank, is that really such a surprise at a screamo/emo gig as this, when a large part of the crowd came here to mosh their aggression away? "Already Dead", one of my favorites from "Discovering The Waterfront", sounded awfully weak, and it was difficult to make out the chorus melody as clearly as on the album version. The new song, "Sound Of The Sun", started off brutal like songs on their debut, but by the time the catchy chorus "Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up" passed by it was clear that this was a much more "Discovering The Waterfront"-oriented song. In fact, I changed opinions with DY and we both agreed that it really isn't that big of a leap forward from their previous album, which can be a good thing but in as saturated genre as the emo/screamo genre it can be lethal. Time will tell. "My Heroine" didn't receive as big reception as I had excepted, and to my big surprise, "Smile In Your Sleep" didn't either, at least if you compare it to their most aggressive song "Bleed No More" which also closed the set. Shane started it off by screaming "BLEED.. NO.. MORE", and everything from that moment onwards is a blur in my mind, because the chaos that ensued after that is too crazy to be described on paper.

Overall though, the beginning and end were strong, but the middle-part of their set lacked the same kind of energy and passion, which kind of puts you into wondering if the band is tired of playing the same old songs all the time. But who can blame them, they only have two albums out and an EP so it is only a limited number of tracks they can play. It was a shame they left out arguably their best track "Giving Up", although this is a very subjective opinion of mine. In the end, Silverstein did a good job but it really wasn't anything out of the ordinary, and to my eyes, it seemed a lot like the Simple Plan gig - 'business as usual' for the band.

Setlist:

1. Your Sword Vs My Dagger

2. Smashed Into Pieces

3. Last Days Of Summer

4. The Weak And The Wounded

5. Discovering The Waterfront

6. Defend You

7. Already Dead

8. Sound Of The Sun (new song)

9. My Heroine

10. Smile In Your Sleep

11. Bleed No More

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