Good double bills are hard to find. But touring together for the first time since 2004, Senses Fail and Silverstein didn’t disappoint last night when they played House of Blues. The crowd was packed with both long-time loyal fans as well as newer fans who've recently jumped on board for the latter half of both band's long runs.
Senses Fail took the stage first. The band started with a slow one, “Fireworks At Dawn” and then went right into a fan favorite “Can't Be Saved.” After the second song, however, the band went on a streak of newer songs which made it very evident that the crowd was more interested in the older music. It was easy to see what songs the fans were there to see and hear as it was really the only time the crowd moved. Songs like “Can't Be Saved,” “Lady in a Blue Dress” and “Buried a Lie” received much more crowd reaction while songs like “Renacer,” “Canine” and “The Importance of the Moment of Death” saw the crowd standing around and merely listening. Over the years, the band has taken to a drastic change in sound, going from the post-hardcore sound that was all the rave in the mid 2000s to a more strictly hardcore approach. It's easy to see that this transition has split the fan base.
While Buddy Nielsen, the only original member still in the band, doesn't have the vocal range screaming wise he did back in the day, he's still able to get it done. His clean vocals are just as good. “I'm 32-years-old, and I need a god damn break,” he said at one point, “I can't do this for an hour.” Of course, this came after a fan was yelling for the band to play more music and in response Buddy threw him the mic so he could say it loud and clear. Also during that break Buddy made some quick jabs at Cleveland, even singing some lines from the infamous “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video,” which was met with a mix of boos and laughs. All in all, Senses Fail but on a solid performance.
Silverstein closed the night, and thankfully the crowd was alive and stayed alive for their entire performance. The band played a mix of old and new. Opening with “A Midwestern State of Emergency,” a newer song, the band got a good crowd response from the very beginning. Singer Shane Told's vocal range is astounding. He's been doing this for 15 years and still sounds exactly like he did in 2001. His ability to go seamlessly from raw screams to perfect melodic singing vocals is unprecedented. This was extremely evident during “Late on 6th” toward the end of the set. The slower and soft song let Told's vocals shine, and shine bright they did.
“Call it Karma” received a huge cheer from the crowd and the band delivered as Told's vocals were perfect as they had been. Guitarists Josh Bradford and Paul Marc Rousseau met at center stage halfway through for a duel solo, both with huge smiles on their faces. Towards the end of the set, Told mentioned the night had been very weird as a fight had broken out causing the band to pause for a second. To make it weirder, the band played cover of OneRepublic song “Apologize.” It was strange to hear Silverstein play this cover as it was something that has been absent from their set for a long time, but it was pleasantly accepted as it sounded fantastic.
Silverstein ended the night with “My Heroin” and most notably ended the show with a deafening crowd singing along. The crowd was at its loudest for this song, as the band stopped playing toward the end to let the crowd take over and sing the words.
Both bands delivered in their first tour together in over ten years. While Silverstein definitely was the more memorable act of the night, Senses Fail still sounded great even though the fan reception wasn't there as much as it was for Silverstein. Still, it was special to see two pioneers in the scene share the same stage in one night.