Silverstein + Hawthorne Heights + As Cities Burn @ Le National – December 14th 2018

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Silverstein was back at Le National this Friday to celebrate the 15th year anniversary of their first album When Broken Is Easily Fixed, along with special guests Hawthorne Heights, As Cities Burn, and Capstan. We also had the opportunity earlier this week to chat with Silverstein’s frontman Shane Told, CLICK HERE for to read the interview!

As previously stated, Silverstein was back at their favourite venue in Montreal, Le National! Two years after their Discovering the Waterfront tour, it was already time for another tour celebrating the 15th year of their first album. Fans rejoiced when this tour was announced and were more than excited to see one of their favourite bands play in its entirety the album that made them fall in love with them in the first place! To no one’s surprise, the show sold out and the venue was jam-packed.

After some trouble getting to the venue as the Beaudry station was closed, making me miss Capstan in the process, I made my way to the balcony which, to my greatest pleasure, wasn’t packed, to witness As Cities Burn’s performance. I am not very familiar with the band but enjoyed their energy and TJ Bonnette’s stage presence. They played a very solid 30-min set, including “ ’84 Sheepdog”, “This Is It, This Is It”, as well as a newer one titled “2020 AD” along with a couple other songs. Despite having broken up and changed line-ups a few times since 2002, they had some fans ready to mosh and scream along, as one of them even got the chance to get the microphone and scream TJ Bonnette’s part for a few seconds.

Next up was American rock band Hawthorne Heights. I’ve been a long-time fan of the band for the past fourteen years and got to see them back at Le Ritz PDB in 2015 and at Amnesia Rockfest in 2016 and both times, they did not disappoint. Once again, their performance was delightful, with their setlist being a great mix between their classics and more recent tunes. They started their performance with “This Is Who We Are” from their second album If Only You Were Lonely. It’s the perfect way to kick off their set: it has powerful guitar riffs, is a great singalong, and I can’t help but love Matt Ridenour’s screams for the “Not Coming Back” part screamed over and over.

After this great throwback was “Bad Frequencies”, the title track of their latest release. This one starts quite slowly, with mellow vocals and soft guitar for the first part, building up to an explosion as JT Woodruff’s vocals take center stage for the second half of the song. It’s one of my favourite songs from their latest album and would advise you to give it a listen if you only know their older stuff, like “Niki FM” that was played right after.

Other classics included “Pens and Needles”, “Bring You Back”, and “Saying Sorry”, and the crowd showed Hawthorne Heights that they knew every word of them by singing along from start to finish without missing a beat. During “Bring You Back”, frontman JT Woodruff asked everyone to put the flashlight on their phones as an homage to everyone gone too soon like the band’s former rhythm guitarist Casey Calvert who passed away back in 2007, as well as The Rev from Avenged Sevenfold, John Holohan from Bayside and other talented artists. Their set also included two other songs from their latest album Bad Frequencies, titled “Crimson Sand”, and “Just Another Ghost”, the latter being a song for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, and self-harm. Frontman JT Woodruff reminded the crowd that the band was here to support them and that he hopes that everyone in the venue will be there for each other.

Last but not least, Hawthorne Heights played their most famous song: “Ohio Is For Lovers”, that will resurrect your 2004 inner emo. At the end of their set, the band took a picture with the crowd and reminded them that they would be at the merch table later on if their fans ever want to take pictures and/or talk to them. In conclusion, Hawthorne Heights offered us a wonderful throwback set with a couple new songs reminding their fans they’re still around and show that they’re still nice human beings who actually care about their fans, what’s not to like about those guys?

Hawthorne Heights Setlist

This Is Who We Are
Bad Frequencies
Niki FM
Crimson Sand
Pens and Needles
Bring You Back
Saying Sorry
Just Another Ghost
Ohio Is For Lovers

I cannot count any more the number of times I’ve seen Silverstein live since I came to Montreal 7 years ago. I was already a fan of the band as a kid but being able to see them live countless times over the years turned me into one of their biggest fans and having the opportunity to see them once again at Le National for the 15th anniversary of When Broken Is Easily Fixed was something I wouldn’t have missed for the world! The first half of their set focused on this iconic album and was performed brilliantly from start to finish.

“Smashed Into Pieces” started the set and was ideal to show the crowd that, even after 18 years as a band, they still had as much energy as they did back in their 20s. After their third song “Giving Up”, frontman Shane Told told the crowd that the first time they played in Montreal, there was barely 40 people in the venue but that over the years, every time Silverstein would be back in town, Montreal “had the fucking passion” and thanked everyone who came before starting their 4th song of the night “November”, a song about, and I quote, “shitty Canadian weather”. Fun fact: during this song, a crowd surfer lost one of his shoes and almost lost his pants too as some people in the crowd were pulling on it as he was trying to make his way on stage…

Last but not least, Capstan’s vocalist Anthony DeMario joined the band on stage for a great duo for the last song of the album “When Broken Is Easily Fixed”. They, however, did not perform the reissue bonus tracks “Friends In Fall River” and “Forever and a Day” that they did play at earlier dates during their tour. I’m not sure if a few fans were disappointed but I definitely was as these are quite good songs.

Oh wait, you thought that was it? Hell no! Silverstein also played their greatest hits for us all to enjoy. After quickly changing clothes to show the crowd that this was a new segment of the show, they played “The Afterglow” from their latest record Dead Reflection. The song was followed by classics from Discovering the Waterfront “Smile In Your Sleep” and “Call It Karma”, two of my all-time favourites songs that bring the emo kid I was in 2005 back to life.

The band also delighted us with a couple songs from This Is How the Wind Shifts, released back in 2013, with “California” and the great “Massachusetts”, a tune denouncing domestic violence. Silverstein also played a couple more songs from Dead Reflection, “Retrograde” and “Lost Positives”, before finishing their set with “Discovering the Waterfront”.

But wait, there’s more! For the encore, Shane Told went acoustic, with a skilful performance of “Aquamarine” from their latest album, that was also released a couple months ago, along with an acoustic version of “The Afterglow”, in case your mom doesn’t like the screaming heavy hardcore parts of the regular songs.

As always, in order to close their set, Silverstein played “My Heroine”, with frontman Shane Told starting the song by himself with his acoustic guitar and finishing it up with the rest of the band. And as it never gets old, Paul Marc Rousseau was once again wearing a Montreal Canadiens’ Jersey for that last song. I can’t remember which player’s jersey he was wearing two years ago, but this time it was the talented Brendan Gallagher (Go Habs, Go!). To perfectly end the night and to relive the same magical moment I lived two and three years ago, the whole crowd was shouting the lyrics from the top of their lungs as the band was standing on stage and singing along with them. The perfect end to a perfect throwback emo night, what can I say?

Oh yes, the evening was followed by an Emo Night at Foufs, for those who didn’t want this special evening to end!

Silverstein Setlist

Smashed Into Pieces
Red Light Pledge
Giving Up
Last Days of Summer
Bleeds No More
Hear Me Out
The Weak and the Wounded
Wish I Could Forget You
When Broken Is Easily Fixed
The Afterglow
Smile In Your Sleep
Call It Karma
Texas Mickey
Lost Positives
American Dream
Discovering the Waterfront

Aquamarine (Acoustic)
My Heroine (Acoustic, full band at end)

Review – Maxime Le Huidoux

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