Senses Fail and Silverstein The Observatory 11/28/15
On Saturday night, Senses Fail and Silverstein performed at The Observatory. The co-headling, post-hardcore, bands are a quarter into their tour and show no sign of losing steam. It seems fitting that the two are touring together because they share a similar threading, not only in fan base but also smart lyricism and catchy songs that contemplate the world that surrounds them. Their savage vocal delivery makes for an ever more moving and invigorating show. This vocal range is impressive enough when needle and vinyl dance, but hearing lead singer James "Buddy" Nielson of Senses Fail and Shane Told of Silverstein, perform their tracks live for over an hour is awe-inspiring.
Just after 7p.m., San Diego based band Capsize walked onto a foggy stage. The lead singer, Daniel Wand pointed to the mosh-pit and said, "fuck it up!" Fellow band members, in skinny jeans did karate kick jumps in the air with their guitars. Soon Hundredth, a melodic hardcore band from South Carolina were instructing the audience to "wake the fuck up" and my heart began to thump a bit faster. Just before Silverstein took the stage, the audience collectively belted Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" with lighters in the air and whisky on their tongues. Before long the Ontario based band, named after the children's book author Shel Silverstein, addressed the crowd.
Guitarists Paul Marc Rousseau (who was the first new addition to Silverstein since their inception in 2000, replacing Neil Boshart in 2012) and Josh Bradford stood on opposite sides of the stage caressing white electric guitars. Told requested a circle pit and they performed "Milestone" and "California." Told explained, "If you take Harbor to Sunflower to...somewhere over there, we recorded that song ["California"]. Evertime we play in Orange County, it feels like we're coming home. Thanks for coming to see our band. We have a new album and it's called I Am Alive in Everything I Touch." They went on to play songs off their eighth studio album including "Face On The Earth" and "Late On 6th," as well as revered classics that garnered their fame like "Smile In Your Sleep," "The Weak and the Wounded," "Giving Up," their One Republic cover of "Apologize," and a cult classic "My Heroine." Upon leaving the stage, the crowd was left with the sensation that we just saw the headlining show of the evening, but the night was far from over.
Senses Fail assumed the stage, launching into "Fireworks at Dawn." Buddy Nielson, who evidently was partaking in No-Shave November, threw the microphone in the air and the cord soared high above his head before he caught it to continue singing. He continued to perform "The Importance of the Moment of Death" from their new album Pull the Thorn From Your Heart unveiling tricks like skipping back-and-forth on the edge of the stage, sporadic cartwheels, and an occasional thrust of pelvis with his hands crossed in a v-shape above his crotch. "I fucking love you, Buddy!" a fan belted from the back of the venue. The crowd clapped in unison when the band performed "Lady In A Blue Dress". Soon the room turned to black and one of my personal favorites began "My Fear Of An Unveiled Life" as Nielson sang, "We all struggle to breathe sometimes/We all just want to feel alive."
Nielson, the only founding member still remaining in Senses Fail, paused to address the Latinos in the room. "If I have a child he or she will be half Latino. I'm glad I can participate in making the world a more mixed place because the more we get rid of all the bullshit the better life will be. I have a friend that's working here today and we joke around about all the isms of the world. Racism, sexism, and xenophobia courtesy of people like Donald Trump. But the more mixed babies the better; let's start a pact!" The fans laughed and screamed in support of this notion. "The best ice cream is not vanilla-- it's Neapolitan! So yeah...we've been a band for a long fucking time. It's wonderful to come out with a band like Silverstein that's just as old us us. Thank you all so much" he continued. They sealed the night off with "Lost And Found," "Buried A Lie," "Bloody Romance," and "Calling All Cars." With a bow to the audience that stood before him and a momentary tree pose, Senses Fail was gone.
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Silverstein Set List Milestone California Smile In Your Sleep Face On The Earth The Artist On Brave Mountains The Weak and the Wounded Born Dead Stand Amid The Roar I Will Illuminate Vices Late On 6th Giving Up Apologize [One Republic Cover] My Heroine
Senses Fail Set List Fireworks At Dawn Can't Be Saved The Importance of The Moment Of Death Renacer Bonecrusher Lady In A Blue Dress My Fear Of An Unveiled Life Rum Is For Drinking, Not For Burning Wounds Lost And Found Surrender Buried A Lie Carry The Weight Bloody Romance Calling All Cars Save Yourself