It’s Friday night; I’ve been told that the month of February has been the coldest one on record. What better way to warm up than to gather with friends at a good old punk rock show! Tonight at Le National was the ten-year celebration of the Discovering the Waterfront album release from Canadian post-hardcore band Silverstein.
To begin the night of celebrations, San Diego punk band My Iron Lung came out and offered us a strong set. The California rockers came out to play, and hit homeruns with every song. I did not know of them prior to this show, and had I not seen them in the flesh I would have thought the venue was going to play a Radiohead CD while we waited for the first band to play. Fortunately we didn’t have to listen to that rubbish (I’m not a Radiohead fan…start throwing shit at me now). They were a fun bunch who played their songs and got the hell out of there. My only criticism would be that next time, they might want to take a breath and say hi.
We were off to a good start; it was time for Major League to hit the stage. This was one of the bands that I was looking forward to on the bill, and they didn’t disappoint. I had previously missed them a few times and was really intrigued how their music would translate live. This New Jersey-based group was highly entertaining; definitely a band you want to catch live when you can. Their songs are fun and catchy. However in the middle of this fun there was a sobering moment when Brian Anthony Joyce talked about his affinity for our beautiful city of Montreal. He told us about October 31st 2013 when the band was in Montreal playing a show at Underworld. He had decided that this was his last day on earth; my heart broke hearing him say those words. The silver lining on this day was that as he walked through our city, it gave him a reason to live, and he decided life was worth it. This is how the song “Montreal” came about. He left us with these words that I thought were brilliant: “It’s not going to get easier BUT it will get better.”
The good times continued with the next band, Australia’s own Hands Like Houses, yet again a band I was not familiar with. This band pleasantly surprised me; I loved their harmonies and the fans were familiar with their songs, making it a very enjoyable thirty-five minutes. The highlight for me was when vocalist Trenton Woodley said they would play an old one from the 90s. I will admit saying to myself, “Were they around then? They couldn’t be..” The song started, and I recognized it right away as “Torn” by Nathalie Imbruglia. They finished their set with their hit, “Introduced Species.”
Having missed Columbus Ohio’s Beartooth last summer in the mist of all the bands at Warped Tour, I was extremely excited to see these guys live. Also, after hearing three bands hype them up, I was really ready for them to kick ass. Brian from Major Leagues told us earlier that they were going to melt our faces off, FUCK YEAH! They came on stage with an aggression that none of the previous bands had. You could feel in the air that this would be something; the temperature went up by fifteen degrees. The place was a sauna of flying bodies, sweat and tears. This was exactly what I pictured they would be like. The played a nice variety of songs with “Beaten in Lips” being my favorite of the night. They also did a cover of “Blitzkrieg Pop” from the Ramones. An amazing set.
Finally it was time for the boys from Burlington, Ontario to kick ass and show us all how it’s done. Silverstein is not only celebrating the 10th anniversary of their second album, they were also celebrating fifteen years as a band. How time flies! They just picked up where the previous band left off, starting with “Smashing into Pieces” and “Massachusetts.” The energy was great, and the fans were digging it. At this point the place was packed to the gills. It was hard to gasp a breath, let alone sing along, but this didn’t stop anyone from singing along with the band through the nineteen-song set, including all of Discovering the Waterfront’s tracks. Silverstein definitely stole the show, which was evident when they got the crowd to do the vocals for “My Heroine.” Simply awesome.
Tonight was a victory for music! Get out there and enjoy live music, it’s good for the soul!
Written & Photographed by Eric Brisson Eric Brisson Photography