Welcome to today’s edition of “Jason is a Grumpy Bitch.” You’re in for a treat, ladies and gents, because it’s been a long time since I’ve been force fed this much Haterade. Remember when you were thirteen and you talked about how you knew everything, even though when you discovered something new it would give you such a fucking hard-on that you wondered if this is what sex would feel like? Well, in addition to that terribly descriptive gym class experience, you probably listened to some pretty garbage fucking music at the time. Why am I talking about this, you might ask? Well, apparently they never taught you to read a fucking title in high school either. This past Saturday February 27th, I was suckered into catching the entire Silverstein concert at Montreal’s Le National, in the name of the mighty Bucketlist. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t really suckered, I FUCKING LOOOOOOOVED one of the bands. Keep reading and you’ll find out which one!
Before we get started, I’ve had some stupid luck when it comes to catching a show on time lately. That stupid luck seems to have been surgically removed from my butthole this time around, as my day job owns my soul and thus I sadly missed both Hamilton, ON’s Emotion-Core (no thats not an actual genre, fuck off) up and comer, Rarity, and Quebec City Hardcore’s own Cardinals Pride. I’m not going to tell you what I think of them, because I missed them (keep up!) But I do have a handy dandy photographer by the name of Stacy who I’m going to specifically quote instead to embarrass the shit outta her. According to her, Rarity apparently, “Didn’t have much of a crowd” but “…still sounded really good,” and Cardinals Pride “…really got the crowd going.” Are these exact quotes? Fuck no! I’m an alcoholic, you expect me to remember shit? Regardless, these are acts you should definitely pour your money into as they’re quite loved in the Montreal hardcore community, and you wanna be loved too, don’t you?
Starting off my night, Lexington, KY’s (like the jelly) Emarosa. You might remember Emarosa from a few internet headlines indicating that former singer Johnny Craig liked to steal stuff from people and put other stuff in his ass and take pictures of it, but that’s not them anymore. They have a new singer! And I fucking hate him too! Before anybody rage quits and slams their computers shut with tears in their eyes, this isn’t my cup of tea. That’s my opinion, and I’m going to continue to make a satire out of it for your amusement. Maybe you like them, and that’s okay; you’re allowed to be a human devoid of opinion based on what the internet tells you. That being said, here are the reasons why I didn’t like them. Call me crazy, but there was not a single note sung during that set that wasn’t flat, but that’s okay right? Because we have STAGE ANTICS, YAAAAAAAY! Because apparently, when you start your set in the crowd, that excuses you to not have any actual singing ability, and then when you flip your bass player around, which is supposed to be impressive considering he weighed probably a whole ten pounds, that’ll make everybody squeal and shut their ears off! And THEN when you take a random ladder and put it in the middle of the crowd, stand on it, and say goodbye to the crowd, that’ll also make them forget a godawful attempt at melody. THERE WAS A PERFECTLY GOOD STAGE STANDING RIGHT FUCKING BEHIND HIM! Rant ended. I’m sorry for those who now need therapy. I’m also sorry if the band is reading this. Keep at your craft, who am I to judge?
As my hate subsided, my eyes widened. My excitement rose, and my erections flowed. I’m going to stop rhyming because I’d be doing a terrible injustice to the gorgeous angst that is California’s Post Hardcore prodigy, Being as an Ocean. For you, my loves, I suffered a night of screamo and squealing. For you, my loves, I would suffer a thousand more. Alright! Sappy bullshit aside, this band was the entire reason I agreed to cover this show, and these cats delivered, like last time and the time before. I’m quite obviously a fan, so you’re going to think I’m biased in my opinion, and maybe you’re right; or, maybe some actual musicianship was displayed. Yes, frontman Joel Quartuccio started his set in the crowd with his community; he also did something he was good at, and sounded good while the masses swarmed him. Stage antics are encouraged in my eyes, so long as you’re actually performing in some way at the same time. That being said, BAAO is a band for the people. It doesn’t matter how they end up sounding live when a microphone breaks, or when some asshole kid swipes the mic and attempts the lyrics on his own; the poetry still sings to you in your head. (That, or I’m schizophrenic.)
I knew exactly what I got myself into, and I knew that this was going to be a rather cringe-worthy trip down memory lane, a reminder of the fact that I, Jason Greenberg, used to listen to a band that I now cannot stand. Evolution is a bitch. To my surprise, however, the pride and joy of Hamilton’s screamo scene, Silverstein, has actually kept up with the times. Don’t get it twisted, I still grumped in the back with my arms crossed as I drank my overpriced beers, but I will say this: they didn’t disgust me. The set opened with “Stand Amid the Roar” which, to my bewilderment, actually slung a few southern-oriented riffs à la old school Vanna song “Trashmouth.” I’m definitely not going to go as far as to say that the two bands are similar, but I will definitely attest that our Ontarian counterparts here have made a solid point of avoiding their expiry date. Also, Le National displayed a vibrancy that I have not heard from them in quite a few years. I will say that although I still can’t stand Silverstein’s whine or bring myself to attempt to enjoy their “classics” like “Your Sword Versus My Dagger” or “Smile in Your Sleep,” I can at least say that these dudes still got it, whatever the fuck “it” is. Add a few more “mosh” parts or “things I can put into quotation marks to make myself sound like an even bigger cunt than I already do” parts, and I might even give them a moment’s listen when they hit the stage at this year’s Amnesia Rockfest. Oh, and might I also add that surprisingly, the crowd itself didn’t look that young! They definitely fucking sounded like it, but alas, looks can be deceiving, can’t they.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Stacy Basque
*edited by Kate Erickson