LIVE REVIEW: Silverstein – Out of This World Concert Series, Part 1 – Greatest Hits Set (Live Stream) – 06/02/2021
Photo Credit: Wyatt Clough
We’re one year into a global pandemic (because one just *has* to strike every century, apparently), and we’ve begun to see more and more online shows. One could say that they’ve become all the rage in the industry, and these guys know it, because aside from being a three-part series, these new live streams by Silverstein feature a highly outlandish storyline that makes everything truly… Out of This World (*ba-dum-tshh*) – sorry, we couldn’t help it.
On a serious note, however, if this first part of the series is anything to go by, then the Canadian band have pulled out all the stops for some live streams that are sure to delight their fans – stellar light show, a circular set-up that makes the viewer feel like they’re in the middle, the whole package. The story hasn’t been fleshed out enough yet, but its Stranger Things inspirations definitely add to the whole experience, with the band being transported away from their barn set up by aliens – nothing groundbreaking, of course, but it’s that special factor, that “je ne sais quoi”, that this series needs in order to differentiate it from all of the others. In the coming weeks, they’ll perform some of their classic songs in a more stripped-down, acoustic manner, as well as play Discovering the Waterfront, their landmark sophomore album, in full.
With this first part, Silverstein have decided to open the series by doing a quick recap of their discography, by way of this Greatest Hits set. After a quick intro to establish the aforementioned Out of This World storyline – guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau sees a strange face staring back at him while he’s taking a smoke – the show promptly starts off with My Disaster 2.0. Since they released Redux II back in November 2020, the quintet hasn’t really had any chance to perform these newer, updated versions of their older songs, so when better to do so than in their Greatest Hits set?
Across the duration of this one-hour live stream, Silverstein revisit some of their older works, such as November and Smashed into Pieces from their debut When Broken Is Easily Fixed, and American Dream off A Shipwreck in the Sand, which is also given a three-song medley in the set. Sprinkled in between these earlier tracks are more recent songs, namely A Beautiful Place to Drown’s Bad Habit, or Massachusetts and Stand Amid the Roar from This Is How the Wind Shifts, their first album with lead guitarist Rousseau.
This shouldn’t be news to any of the band’s fans, especially the longtime ones, but all five members were firing on all cylinders for the whole show. Whether it be Shane Told’s lead vocals, which also filled in for Caleb Shomo’s feature on Burn it Down, or Paul Koehler’s rapid-fire drumming, highlighted with a few added fills during Infinite, a track that also sees Rousseau resume his usual background/added vocal duties, taking over Aaron Gillespie’s feature from the studio version. Josh Bradford’s riffs hit as hard as ever, and Billy Hamilton’s rumbling basslines can be distinguished easily – his backing vocal work should also be commended, as both his screams and cleans can easily keep up with both Told and Rousseau’s.
A surprising addition to this show was Michael J. Tompa joining the guys, reinforcing their sound with either a third electric guitar, some synth work here and there, and most notably by adding both violins during Hear Me Out, and Part 1 of the A Shipwreck in the Sand medley – A Great Fire, as well as busting out a cello for American Dream. Tompa doesn’t even break a sweat when it comes to keeping the pace with the quintet, a clear sign that we can expect to see the pair collaborate again in the future, as they have done so many times in the past, going as far as calling the producer the “honorary 6th member of Silverstein”.
In the end, the first part of Silverstein’s Out of This World concert series is a great introduction to what is sure to be a highly entertaining set of live streams, which should keep the fans going for a little bit more, until live shows can resume again. We just hope it won’t be too much longer.
Written by: Florin Petrut