December 29, 2015 Silverstein & Senses Fail Sell Out Webster Hall, NYC 12-12-15 w/ Capsize & Hundredth
The year of 2015 has been an exciting one for both Silverstein and Senses Fail with both bands launching new full-length albums; Silverstein’s I Am Alive in Everything I Touch in May and Senses Fail’s Pull the Thorns from Your Heart in June. What better way would there be for the Hardcore/Punk Rock scene giants to cap off the year than to announce a month long co-headlining tour. Presented by Substream Magazine, many would say this billing is long time coming for Silverstein and Senses Fail fans, as they were last seen on tour together a little over ten years ago.
The news of the tour resulted in major city venues being inundated with an enormously combined fanbase. With that said, on an unusually warm day in New York City, Saturday, December 12th, Silverstein and Senses Fail fans piled into Webster Hall. Since November 18th, Silverstein and Senses Fail have been on tour with opening performances by Hundredth and Capsize. Their tour stop at Webster Hall marked their twenty-first show together, and a line full of people wrapped around the corner of East 11th Street and 3rd Avenue to enter Webster Hall’s Grand Ballroom, resulting in a sold out evening sure to be packed with excitement.
Up first was Melodic Hardcore band Capsize from Southern California. Swiftly rising to popularity since their formation in 2009, since then, Capsize have kept their fanbase strong with raging, foot stomping tunes and crippling vocals by Lead Singer Daniel Wand. Releasing music independently for four years, in 2014 they released their debut album, The Angst In My Veins, via Equal Vision Records. Amped up and ready to confront the massive crowd, Capsize fit in well on tour with Silverstein and Senses Fail as they received a ruckus crowd reaction upon their arrival to the stage.
Microphone in hand, Daniel Wand approached the front of the stage donning a hooded sweater. It was not long before he jumped off the stage and into the photo pit where he leaned over the barricade, screaming lyrics to “I’ll Take The Blame” as the evening’s first wave of fans crowded on top of each other to get close and sing along. Guitarists Ryan Knowles and Chris Darton, Bassist Nicolas Lopez, along with Drummer Andrew Tamayo were completely enthralled in the performance, constantly in motion under flashing dark red and blue lighting. Songs such as “Calming, Crippling,” “You Can’t Come Home The Same,” and “The Angst In My Veins,” were ones that provided emotionally and wildly charged mosh pits. Capsize now complete 2015 with shows to be held on December 28th through 30th, so do not miss out.
As South Carolina’s Hundredth prepared the stage for their set, more fans filed into The Grand Ballroom at Webster Hall to make their way closer to the stage. Consisting of founding member Chadwick Johnson on lead vocals, along with Blake Hardman and Andrew Minervini on guitars, Lee Hutchison on drums, and JP Gressman on bass, Hundredth has kept their name strong through the years. A part of Hopeless Records family now, Hundredth’s newly released album, titled Free, made its debut in Summer 2015, and it was very apparent how excited New York fans were to hear it performed live.
As it seemed to be a night of constant interaction with fans and concertgoers, Johnson also leaped off stage to join fans who charged closer to the front of the stage for an opportunity to sing along with him as they began with “Break Free.” That single stage antic transformed into fans crowd surfing to the front of the stage who were too far to reach it on foot. A fan at one point reached the front and right before being thrown over the stage barricade from the crowd surf, took a split second selfie with Johnson. Playing songs like “Inside Out,” “Unravel,” and “See Beyond,” the band continued a frenzy of energy throughout the set. Toward the end of Hundredth’s performance, as they played “Remain & Sustain” along with “Weathered Town,” what felt like a possible earthquake was actually heavy stomping of fans letting loose in the wide mosh pit they formed for themselves. Hundredth now set to venture overseas for a European tour beginning in Germany on April 22, 2016.
The time had finally come for New York City based Senses Fail. Together now over a decade, Senses Fail has been a force in the Metal/Hardcore scene dating back to their impressive debut in 2004, Let It Enfold You. Since releasing five more records, sustaining some lineup changes, and record labels, Senses Fail remains strong. Now on Pure Noise Records for the release of Pull the Thorns from Your Heart, Senses Fail spent the Summer of 2015 on Vans Warped Tour to an extremely positive reaction. With Vocalist Buddy Nielsen leading the way, Lead Guitarist/Vocalist Zack Roach, Guitarist/Vocalist Matt Smith, Bassist Gavin Caswell, and Drummer Chris Hornbrook were ready to level Webster Hall in this sold out homecoming show.
Just before Senses Fail took the stage, The Grand Ballroom in Webster Hall found all if its doors packed with people trying to get closer to the stage to get a better view of the band. At that time, it had been nearly impossible to push through anyone who had been there way before. The majority of the crowd seemed to be in attendance mostly for Senses Fail, especially once Nielsen appeared on stage. The only remaining original member left of Senses Fail, Nielsen received a welcome of raucous cheering and even more when Senses Fail opened up their set with “Fireworks at Dawn.” The floor shook uncontrollably when they played “Can’t Be Saved,” which was caused by a massive amount of jumping and stomping fans.
As they played on with songs like “Lady in a Blue Dress,” “Rum is for Drinking, Not for Burning,” and newbies like “Wounds,” Nielsen’s energy on stage was on overdrive as he skipped and ran backwards from stage left to right. In fact, right before breakdowns and song hooks, he could also be seen twirling the microphone, tossing it into the air, and catching it effortlessly with snap. Not just singing to the audience, he pointed to the crowd as if telling a story as they moved into other favorites like “Buried a Lie.” Fans threw their fingers up in the air in agreement to the lyrics to “Calling All Cars,” a top ten Senses Fail song. During a brief break on stage, Nielsen humorously sang a capella to the viral parody YouTube video “Why You Always Lyin'”. In response, the audience sang along with him, stirring up laughter throughout the venue. Senses Fail closed out their set with their memorable 2004 single “Bite To Break Skin.” The crowd reaction to every Senses Fail song performed at Webster Hall proved how relevant Senses Fail are in the Hardcore Punk Rock scene to this day. While there are no plans for touring in the USA in 2016 yet, hope is holding out that once they return from Australia in March, some shows will be announced.
As the final act of the co-headlining show, Canada’s Silverstein were more than willing to carry the torch of adrenaline pumping through Webster Hall. Celebrating fifteen years as an established band, Silverstein has done a fine job of building a massive name since their major label debut in 2003, When Broken Is Easily Fixed. Touring regularly and keeping their roots with the Vans Warped Tour crowd through the years, Silverstein have earned themselves a fan friendly label. Sustaining their same lineup of Josh Bradford (guitar), Paul Koehler (drums), Shane Told (vocals), Billy Hamilton (bass), along with Paul Marc Rousseau (lead guitar) since 2012, the band are a well-oiled machine made for live performances.
Arriving on the stage, Silverstein immediately stole the show when opening with single “A Midwestern State of Emergency,” a song that took their set directly into action. During the first Silverstein breakdown of the night, yellow stage lighting followed the beat of the breakdown as if bowing down over the crowd as Told skipped across stage in a backwards snapback cap and leather jacket. Silverstein followed with their second most popular single “Massachusetts.” Masters at crowd interaction and stage performance, the first breakdown of “Smile In Your Sleep” brought Hampton and Rousseau to the front of the stage as they brought their guitar necks in the air for a quick synchronized headbang, then simultaneously jumping back off from the stage platforms. At the end of the break down, Daniel Wand of Capsize joined Silverstein on stage to belt out back up vocals alongside Told. As the song ended, Silverstein took a jarring bow to the final strum of guitars.
Moving along quickly, Silverstein played other tracks such as “I Will Illuminate,” “Stand Amid the Roar,” “In Silent Seas We Drown,” and “In the Dark.” Going on to introduce “Late On 6th,” there was a pulsing orange-red mood lighting which followed the sound of the single string picking. Once Told began singing the angsty, heartfelt ballad, a chorus of fans joined in, chanting every word. Directly followed by 2003’s “Giving Up,” one of the highlights of the set came with their Post Hardcore styled cover song of “Apologize” by OneRepublic. Playing on with another cover, this time of American Nightmare’s “Hearts,” Silverstein’s final song of the night to close out a concert to remember for Silverstein fans was their number one single, “My Heroine,” from the 2005 album Discovering the Waterfront. The moment Koehler tapped away at his Hi-Hat, fans were clapping and singing lyrics under a streaming array of lights and the entire band led the chanting crowd together with their fists in the air with each word. As he strummed aggressively, Guitarist Bradford shot hilarious facial expressions to the audience, who in turn sang back to him, making for an epic end to the night.
After their last tour stop in Connecticut on December 19th, Silverstein now return home to their native Canada for a deserved break before they will resume touring in February. Whether one was at Webster Hall for Silverstein or Senses Fail, it was a historic event that no one will soon forget and make those who could not make it into Manhattan jealous for years to come.