Last night, House of Blues was packed with teenagers in jeans two sizes too small. Everyone smelled like Pabst Blue Ribbon. The music hadn’t started yet, and things were relatively tame.
And then it started: the screaming.
Letting out a series of throaty howls, Nick Moore, lead singer of Before Their Eyes, tore through “The Me I Used to Be.” The Christian screamo band’s screaming/singalong melodies prepped the audience.
A Static Lullaby took the stage next, and after two songs I lost interest. Singer Joe Brown’s voice is basically high-pitched screaming that’s impossible to understand. “He sounds like he’s sick,” my friend said. I think he sounded like he can’t sing (or scream, for that matter). Luckily, guitarist Dan Arnold managed to steal the mic a few times; I wished he had sung the whole time. The highlight of their set was a cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”
The next group, Bless the Fall, showed a perfect blend of singing and screaming. Frontman Beau Bokan’s voice never crossed into whiny territory. When the band performed “To Hell and Back,” the crowd parted down the middle and then ran at each other, turning House of Blues into a battleground.
When Silverstein finally took the stage, they were greeted with lots of screaming (yeah, there was a lot of that going on last night). Silverstein is one of those groups most music fans have heard of, but you’re not really sure if anyone actually listens to them. Apparently, lots of people do. They may not have reached mainstream status yet, but Silverstein proved that they know how to put on a rock show that rivals the best of them. With seven records in their catalog, Silverstein rocked through a set that played like a musical yearbook filled with new (the melancholy “American Dream”) and old (crowd-pleaser “Smile In Your Sleep”) memories.
Silverstein couldn’t stop praising Cleveland — from the Indians to the fans' energetic support. “Thank you for making a circle pit,” said frontman Shane Told. “Pittsburgh doesn’t have a clue what a circle pit is.” —Brittany Moseley
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