January 20, 2015
Performers: My Iron Lung / Major League / Beartooth / Hands Like Houses / Silverstein
One of Silverstein’s most well-known albums turns ten this year, and the band themselves celebrates their fifteen years as well. You have to know at least two songs from ‘Discovering The Waterfront’, like Smile In Your Sleep or even My Heroine. Many music fans, including myself, consider this album one of the pieces that helped to define their musical tastes and personalities today. It seems only fitting that Silverstein would celebrate these two incredible milestones with an anniversary tour…and in true Canadian fashion, they do it in the middle of winter. But winter is nothing to a bunch of Canadians, except the rest of the bands they’ve brought to our frigid winter are either American or Australian.
Joining them to celebrate were My Iron Lung, Major League, Beartooth, and Hands Like Houses at one of Winnipeg’s most cherished venues, the West End Cultural Centre. Winnipeg was the fifth stop on the Discovering The Waterfront 10 Year Anniversary Tour, and also made it into the “sold out venue” streak.
Starting out the show were My Iron Lung, a post-hardcore/punk band from San Diego, California. It appeared to be new territory for the Californians, I noticed they were generally unknown among the crowd. Both the band and the crowd were feeling each other out the first few songs, but I believe they had made some connections among the audience. Their vocalist had the gritty punk shout, which played along nicely with their more melodic instruments.
Second on the bill were Plug-In vets and favourites, Major League. It was great to see the Mantua, New Jersey guys return so quickly after their last visit on The Honeymoon Tour back in October. This time, they came back with their newly released album titled ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With Me’, which quite a few kids in the crowd recognized and sang along to, sporting Major League merch they’d just bought from the merch table. You would never guess the band had only recently replacing their former lead singer with their guitarist Brian. The energy of every member was contagious, which almost made it difficult for me to choose which guy to focus my camera on,
Next up were Beartooth from Columbus, Ohio. Fronted by vocalist Caleb Shomo, the band aggressively got the crowd to step it up a notch. With the band taking advantage of every inch of stage they had, the audience took their lead and the bodies were constantly crashing against each other and flying off of the stage. Everyone at the back or the sides of the venue weren’t completely still, either. The biggest reaction to the band, though, was a comment that Shomo made about how cold Winnipeg is at -5 celsius. The comment was meant with a lot of shouting, most of the yells translated to, “this is nothing, we get to -50!” which had Beartooth quite alarmed, before they’d continued on with their set.
A group that has every right to be shocked at the temperature are Hands Like Houses, an experimental rock band hailing from Canberra, Australia. Leaving their Australian summer to come to a Canadian winter tour, they performed to quite the large group of fans pressed against the stage as well. The energy from the band definitely did not match the lighting situation during this particular set. High energy with very low lights. Low lighting or not, Hands Like Houses are a band you do not want to miss.
Finishing of the night, the reason why each of these talented bands are on the road together, Silverstein. The excitement of a pitch black room before the band even hit the stage sent fans cheering. Silverstein had announced that they would be playing the entire ‘Discovering The Waterfront’ album front to back, as well as their popular songs from other albums.
As angrapher, the stage set up was beautiful. The lighting choices were absolutely lovely and I had to pause a couple of times to appreciate what I was seeing through my lens. It was quite emotional to hear a room full of people who never forgot the words to an album that was such a huge part of my early adolescence. Once I was finished shooting, I took my place in the crowd with my friends and sang so loud I nearly lost my voice.
Words and photos by Kaylee Smoke
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