Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Silverstein at The Underworld, Camden

28th November 2013

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this is the most excited I had been about a show in a very long time. Not only are Silverstein an amazing live band, who haven’t been in the UK for a few years, but their latest album This Is How The Wind Shifts is nothing short of fantastic.

©Deanna Wordley, courtesy of
Normally it’s pretty hard for a band to make you fall in love with an album in the same way as the first one that drew you to them. They can keep making music you love, but that first album you fell hard for always has a certain magic that is near impossible to beat. However a couple of listens of Silverstein’s latest offering had my gig-buddies and I exchanging looks which said, ‘is this actually as awesome as I think it is?!’ To which the answer is, categorically, yes.

Formed in Ontario, Canada in 2000, Silverstein have released six studio albums and cite Dead Kennedys, Green Day and NOFX as influences. They are the kind of band that can successfully cover a whole spectrum of emotions in one carefully crafted album, from the heaviest screams to the most beautiful melodies.

They had stuck to a very similar set list for the first leg of the tour, but the European portion came with the promise of a few changes. So five weeks ago I was at The Underworld in Camden, filled with excitement and festive beverages (mulled cider? winter Pimms?… erm, yes please!)

Clad in a NOFX denim jacket, Shane Told filled the venue with his powerful vocals, keeping the audience hooked from start to finish. We grabbed ourselves a good position; towards the back but with a perfect view that was unobstructed by those bloody Underworld pillars! The energy was electric.

Opening with Your Sword Versus My Dagger and moving straight into the incredible Massachusetts, they played a good mixture of old and new material. They even included a few songs that, in my humble opinion, had been missing from recent set lists, such as a personal favourite Vices, cleverly sandwiched between A Great Fire and Broken Stars.

Another addition was guitarist Paul's beautiful rendition of Arrivals and the entire band's subsequent delivery of Departures – both highlights from the latest album – followed by Giving Up. This section was a nicely executed change of pace, which only served to hype the crowd up more for the powerful finale of My Heroine and Smile In Your Sleep which followed.

The band returned on stage for an encore of To Live and Lose followed by Smashed Into Pieces. Aside from To Live and Lose, the last few songs were in fact the one thing that barely changed throughout the tour. And although elsewhere the changes were welcome, here I was glad that they stuck to the tried and tested. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – and these songs are far from broken.

I hope Silverstein will be back in the UK soon. I’ve seen some great bands at The Underworld, but this was one gig that will be very hard to beat.


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