Silverstein

support Palisades + Dream On Dreamer
author BL date 28/11/13 venue Underworld, London, UK

Come late November time, London is cold, bleak and often times wet... so like the rest of UK for most of the year - miserable. However it isn't every night that Canadian punk/emo rockers Silverstein come visiting (it's been a while since they were last here) and play to a sell-out Underworld audience. My memory of the last time I saw Silverstein play has sadly faded completely but I still hold a warm feeling for a band that helped kick start my journey into alternative music. Joining them on their UK return are Palisades, New Jersey post-hardcore hopefuls on their first ever visit across the pond, and Australian post-hardcore outfit Dream On, Dreamer fresh from the release of their new album "Loveless".

Palisades

If we consider Silverstein to have undisputed legendary status in the scene, then Palisades still has a long way to go to think of reaching anywhere near the same heights. They're off to a decent start though as their first UK performance, despite still showing signs of their young age, was energetic and full of enthusiasm. Front man Louis Miceli had a charismatic charm about him and sang some of the melodies on catchier songs "A Disasterpiece" and "High And Low" well, though his voice gave out from time to time so overall vocals were a little inconsistent. The instrumental mix perhaps let them down a little too as the guitars were very muddy sounding which meant the treble was completely inaudible. Fortunately the hip-hop/RnB electronics were an entertaining addition and something I enjoyed quite a lot. They were largely cheeky improvised additions not found on their latest album "Outcasts" which seemed to fit in perfectly and also drew in quite a few of those unfamiliar with the band into the pit to start jumping up and down and cheering. The only caveat I suspected being that if you didn't really understand the hip-hop/RnB influence and why it's mixed with post-hardcore/metalcore, then you were far less likely to have a good time.

6

Setlist:

  • 1. Your Disease
  • 2. The Reckoning
  • 3. High And Low
  • 4. A Disasterpiece
  • 5. Outcasts


Dream On, Dreamer

Dream On, Dreamer 's change in the clean vocals personnel for "Loveless" proved to have worked out for the better as new guitarist Zachary Britt's smooth voice transitioned well to the live stage. Having seen Palisades struggle somewhat getting an ideal sound for their set I was initially concerned the same issues would befall this band. But that never happened and we were given a solid and enjoyable set with a very reasonable sound. Zachary was more or less spot on in his delivery of the new songs which have far more raw power than their more cookie cutter old material such as "Downfall" and their EP single "Ambitions". Lead vocalist Marcel Gadacz also made sure that the screamed vocals were not left behind, giving a pretty stirring rendition of the same pained screams from the recordings which complemented the thick, darkened atmosphere. The overall ambience and mood was also starkly different compared to the more boisterous Palisades before them which certainly distinguished the two bands despite playing such similar styles. Witnessing the performances of "Neverlove" and "Hear Me Out" were particularly special moments - the lead guitar lines, the build-ups, the strong emotive vocal performances reminded me why I had graded their album highly.

7

Setlist:

  • 1. Loveless
  • 2. The World In Front Of Me
  • 3. Downfall
  • 4. Neverlove
  • 5. Hear Me Out
  • 6. Taking Chances, Breaking Free
  • 7. Ambitions


Silverstein

I personally thought it was an odd choice to pick the modestly sized Underworld for a return to London. The small venue size isn't indicative at all of the pull factor for a band which has been around for 13 years and is still very popular in the scene. But as Silverstein took to the stage and got started it felt right for everyone to be there at that moment. It was close, intimate, and for me especially - incredibly nostalgic. I remember growing up and listening to some of the same songs being played now like opener "Your Sword Versus My Dagger" vividly like yesterday. It's also a funny feeling to see how despite myself now years older (I'd try to say wiser as well but that might be a lie) and having progressed to predominantly more recent bands, I was still fortunately able to fully appreciate and embrace the newer songs from their most recent record "This Is How the Wind Shifts" in a live setting. Another factor to consider perhaps also is that Silverstein's sound hasn't been through any dramatic changes across their entire discography - the newer songs are essentially using the same formula as their older songs admittedly. Having said that, "Massachusetts" had me feeling like the night had a reached a high point already, though in reality it was only just beginning. Let it also be said right now also that Silverstein were a master of getting their sound spot on as the mix was perfectly balanced and crystal clear, which made the set a joy to listen to.

Performance wise the band were incredibly tight, led by vocalist and instantly likeable front man Shane Told who gave an unbelievably good account of a very long set of songs from over the years. So good with hitting every note and scream in fact, that it really did put into perspective the over reliance from new bands on studio wizardry to mask vocal imperfections in recordings - and then just to fall short live. Special tracks the audience were treated to included "The Ides Of March" from "Discovering The Waterfront" which the band stated had not been performed live for quite some time. Then there were noteworthy picks from "Short Songs" which was their 2012 hardcore and punk influenced mini album, containing the delightfully heavy and fun "SOS". Other warm and memorable highlights - the simply epic combination of "A Great Fire" and "Vices" causing the pit to erupt, their most endearing song "My Heroine" which had a massive sing along, and then lastly my own favourite songs to close on in "Smile In Your Sleep" and "Smashed Into Pieces", which still sounded awesome to this day. The best part about it all is getting to be so close to the band as they knocked out the classics - you could truly feel the raw energy and passion. By the end, any fan would have probably found it difficult to argue that Silverstein could have picked any better or varied selection from their back catalogue. Tonight was simply a master-class performance that showed us Silverstein after all these years, still have what it takes to play at the top and hopefully continue for as long as they want.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. Your Sword Versus My Dagger
  • 2. Massachusetts
  • 3. Sacrifice
  • 4. The Ides of March
  • 5. Stand Amid the Roar
  • 6. I Will Illuminate
  • 7. Sound of the Sun
  • 8. Brookfield
  • 9. World on Fire
  • 10. SOS
  • 11. A Great Fire
  • 12. Vices
  • 13. Broken Stars
  • 14. On Brave Mountains We Conquer
  • 15. Arrivals
  • 16. Giving Up
  • 17. My Heroine
  • 18. Smile in Your Sleep
  • Encore
  • 19. To Live and to Lose
  • 20. Smashed into Pieces

Photos courtesy of our own Lauren Harris.

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