It’s been quite a while since Canadian post-hardcore titans Silverstein graced the UK with a tour – three years in fact. For such a prevalent and consistent band, it’s surprising how infrequently they’ve hopped across the pond. Thankfully, the release of latest album ‘Dead Reflection’ has brought about their return, and tonight they’re ready to prove to one of the Welsh capital’s lesser-known venues why they’re still a powerhouse of the scene.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a secret show with the number of people present for South Wales’ locals Shadows into Light. Despite the lack of a crowd, the progressive/post-hardcore mob give it their all. Vocalist Gav Burrough spends the whole show off stage in amongst the sparse bodies. While this led to a great performance from Burroughs, it distracted from the rest of the band, who lacked some stage presence and energy. In a live setting, much of the material seems to blend into one song, but at least it’s a solid sounding one. (2.5/5)
A few more people have trickled in by the time California’s Hail the Sun take the stage. An instant surprise is the robust performance of vocalist Donovan Melero as he simultaneously produces math-rock beats on the drum kit. In fact, as the show goes on, it becomes abundantly clear how talented all of Hail the Sun are, as they rip through a setlist filled to the brim with intricate solos and complicated melodies. Melero only stays on the kit for a few songs before taking centre stage behind the mic, with a guest drummer replacing his position on the kit. It’s an energetic show, and a slowly filling Globe responds. Excellent musicianship twinned with an impressive performance from a talented frontman make for one of the most exhilarating live acts around today. (4/5)
The room is looking full as Silverstein begin to set up. The crowd is slightly older and is a museum of various Silverstein shirts from throughout their illustrious career. This perhaps speaks volumes for the undying loyalty fans show this band, but it can’t be denied they’ve earned it. The band take the stage and burst right into fan favourite ‘Stand Amid the Roar’, before following it up swiftly with ‘Sacrifice’. The two classics whip the crowd up into an instant frenzy, which the band seem to relish in. From here, we start to hear some new songs from their latest album, ‘Dead Reflection’. The reception is positive as the crowd rips open to the breakdown of ‘Retrograde’, but the biggest reaction comes with Silverstein’s older material, mainly from 2002’s ‘Discovering the Waterfront, which shows Silverstein know what their fans want.
Throughout the show there are a few awkward audience interactions, primarily due to the crowd not being too responsive to the jokes. It’s the mid-song antics of guitarists Paul Marc Rousseau and Josh Bradford that provide much of the entertainment though, as the two attempt to distract each other. It’s an interesting contrast to the consummate professionalism of singer Shane Told but makes up for a few of the lulls in the set.
The night ends on an encore of ‘My Heroine’, the band’s breakout single from 2004. The ballad sends ripples of nostalgia through the room, as a chorus of voices shout the words back to Told.
An incredibly solid performance from one of the scene’s most experienced and revered bands tonight which left much of The Globe’s attendees looking very satisfied. The absence of Silverstein from our shores for so long can be forgiven, as it’s well known that you can have too much of a good thing, and oh man, are Silverstein good. (4.5/5)
Words by Ben Mills (@BenMills28). Photos by Connie Taylor Photography and taken at The Garage, London – 16/12/2017.