August 18, 2012
The veteran punk rock and hardcore Canadian band Silverstein came to Bottom Lounge in Chicago, Illinois this past Saturday evening. This was the third stop on the “Short Songs, Short Tour” which was visiting only ten select locations throughout the Midwest and East Coast U.S. along with Eastern Canada. Silverstein brought along Lions Lions, Daytrader, and Such Gold for support on the tour. Local Chicago band Action Blast performed this evening as well.
Unfortunately, the only band able to be covered was Silverstein due to it being an all ages show. All ages shows at Bottom Lounge typically end earlier than normal, which was unknown until arriving later than anticipated this evening. A huge thanks to the staff at Bottom Lounge who was extremely kind and courteous with everything they did, including assisting with a prompt and speedy entrance. Nonetheless, the venue was packed with plenty of sweaty and excited Silverstein fans who had been enjoying a stellar lineup of bands for the evening. Fans traveled from all over the Midwest due to the extremely limited amount of dates present on this tour. This being the closest that the band was going to be near many Midwest fan’s locations meant that driving multiple hours was a necessity. When the drive is for such a small and unique tour, traveling how ever long it may be necessary does not matter for plenty of fans.
Silverstein are on tour promoting their latest release “Short Songs” which is a compilation of 22 different songs that are 90 seconds or less in length. Half of the songs on the album are cover songs from different bands that influenced Silverstein such as Dead Kennedys, The Descendants, NOFX, and many more. This is Silverstein’s second release on Hopeless Records after leaving Victory Records. The band had spent many years with the label before recently parting ways. Silverstein seem to be feeling a sense of renewal and refreshment since changing labels. With “Short Songs” the band wanted to go back towards a more traditional punk rock sound and style that they, along many others, grew up listening too. Even though the album is only 20 minutes in length, it provides a furious and fresh sound that pays homage to punk rock and hardcore bands dating back over a span of multiple decades.
For this tour Silverstein’s set list began with the “Short Songs” album being performed in its entirety. An upbeat punk rock and hardcore fury ensued forth as the band shredded through their entire new album. Performing all of “Short Songs” seemed to be nothing more than a mere warm up for the band. Once “Short Songs” was finished, Silverstein went on for over an hour playing a greatest hits compilation consisting of select songs from the band’s five prior albums. Fans of all eras of Silverstein’s music were treated to something they could certainly enjoy. Whether it was a classic song such as “Smile In Your Sleep” or newer releases like “The Artist” or “Replace You“, the crowd went absolutely nuts singing along with every word.
Silverstein’s lineup consists of: Shane Told – vocals, Josh Bradford – rhythm guitar, Neil Boshart – lead guitar, Billy Hamilton – bass and backup vocals, and Paul Koehler – drums. Lead guitarist Neil Boshart was not performing with the band for unknown reasons this evening. Towards the end of their performance lead vocalist Shane Told introduced someone, but their name was inaudible, on lead guitar. He did an excellent job note for note on lead guitar throughout the entire set. It still remained unclear as to why Neil was not present on stage. Currently there has not been any information made available as to what may have happened whether this was just a temporary leave or a literal lineup change for the band.
Regardless, Silverstein generated an amazing energy throughout the entire venue as their live performance always does. The whole band was extremely active throughout their performance jumping, kicking, head banging, and more. All of the band members engaged with the crowd constantly during their entire performance, Silverstein are prime examples of a band that refuse to give into any sort of trends. For over 10 years they have continued to write and perform their music, the way they want it to be done. There are very few bands that have a sound anywhere near that of what Silverstein truly has and embodies within their music blending elements of punk and hardcore with their own personal touch. Shane went on to share with the crowd how special of a location Chicago is for the band to perform at due to it being where they played their first U.S. show ever. Both Shane and Billy also told the crowd that the band would be coming back next year on tour, and with a brand new album freshly released to coincide with the tour. Great news for fans indeed as Silverstein wrapped up their set that lasted well over an hour. The band had no problem briefly chatting and posing for photos with some of their remaining fans afterwards, certainly creating priceless memories for those lucky remaining patrons. A great performance was given and fans were promised a new album along with another tour returning to Chicago next year. It does not get much better than that for all of the Silverstein fans that were in attendance.