Silverstein is one of those bands that never fails to impress, and Saturday night was no exception, with the band delivering in-your-face, heavy, emo throwbacks.
The Burlington quintet, known for solidifying the Canadian post-hardcore and screamo scene in the early 2000s, graced fans with their signature emo melodies and heavy breakdowns on the last show of their North American tour in London.
The smell of beer was in the air, the sound of metal filled the room and warm purple lights encircled the hall as the post-hardcore veterans took the stage.
The fire alarm was pulled during the first song of their set, “Retrograde," which seemed to distract concertgoers. But the band didn’t skip a beat and continued to engross the room with their distinct sound.
Lead vocalist Shane Told brought his talent to the forefront with his signature vocal range, which spans from melodic, clean vocals to raspy, hard-hitting screams and growls. His ability to seamlessly transition between singing and screaming was the highlight of the night, and the singer added a twist in the keys of his vocal range that went above and beyond original cuts of songs like “Massachusetts” and “A Midwestern State of Emergency.”
The crowd of about 400 people were chanting “I’m not coming home tonight,” as the concert hall turned into a battleground for crowd surfers and those in the mosh pit during one of Silverstein’s older songs, “Vices."
“We’ve been coming here for a very long time. Whether it was the Embassy Hotel or Call the Office,” said Told. “London, you’ve always had our backs!”
The concert hall got hot and sweaty as the band kept the energy high, playing through angry songs off their new album, Dead Reflection. Concertgoers enjoyed beers while headbanging to the beat of the drum during “The Afterglow,” “Lost Positives” and “Ghost.”
“Silverstein’s a band I’ve known for over 10 years. This has to be the third or fourth time I’ve seen them, and it’s always a great show,” said Rachelle Mecca, fourth-year media and the public interest student.
The band brought out the big guns, revisiting songs from their sophomore record Discovering the Waterfront, including a triumphant performance of “My Heroine”, the most energetic song of the night.
“Listening to the old stuff is really great,” said Mecca. “Every time they play “My Heroine” at the end, it’s a great group feeling; everybody’s singing together.”
The southern Ontario group's charisma and positivity played a substantial role in keeping the audience on their feet. Throughout the set, the string section, consisting of Josh Bradford, Billy Hamilton and Paul Marc Rousseau, was headbanging, clapping with enthusiasm and running around the stage, interacting with dozens of crowd surfers.
Silverstein surprised the audience by bringing out the rest of the bands on the tour, including Oakville pop-punk dudes Seaway, Toronto act Like Pacific and Philadelphia’s Cedar Green, all coming on stage and performing tipsy versions of the satirical 10-second “See Ya Bill.”
“You think you’re a little fucked up. Maybe I’m a little fucked up,” said Told, who stumbled around the stage with a beer in his hand.
Silverstein’s last stop in its North American tour was one giant party filled with some powerful music and an energetic crowd. The band’s old school songs still stand strong and align perfectly with their eclectic new sound, consisting of intricate chord timing and harmonious vocals.