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A Next-Level Experience with Silverstein

Words by Nic Angeles and Nathan Nicdao | Photo: Silverstein

 

For the record, it’s only been months since we last saw Silverstein at an actual concert. This happened earlier this year in Manila at a show powered by PULP Live World, several weeks before much of the world was brought to a standstill by COVID-19—before mass gatherings, live shows/concerts included, were brought to a halt to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Given this, one could say we’ve still got a pretty fresh memory of the kind of energy that the band and their fans would share in a live setting. Fresh in our minds were the sweaty mosh pits, the loud music that left our ears ringing for days, and the way we almost lost our voice from singing and screaming along to our favorite Silverstein anthems.

 

 

So when the band announced their Next-Level LiveStream Event, it’s safe to say that we didn’t know exactly what to expect. What kind of online event, after all, could replace the physical, sensory experience of actually catching a band live? And what did “Next-Level” mean?

Perhaps, “Next-Level” meant taking things a notch higher than the Quaranstein Special previously produced by the band as a way of connecting with their fans throughout this unprecedented time of isolation, especially following the unfortunate postponement of the rest of the band’s 20th Anniversary Tour. It meant getting together in a studio for the first time in so long to perform songs together, with an audio and video crew to boot, to provide fans something with better quality.

 

Our Next Level LiveStream Concert Event is happening TOMORROW! But if you can't make it- you can watch ON-DEMAND for 48…

Posted by Silverstein on Saturday, July 18, 2020

 

The Next Level Experience: Ready for Prime Time

“Next-Level” was that and more. “The whole thing will be a multi-track audio recording into a vintage 1971 Neve 8014 console, and captured by four HD video cameras,” the band shared prior to the event, promising fans that they did put a lot of thought and work into making something like this happen. And with what we’ve seen during the broadcast of the LiveStream event, Silverstein indeed delivered on the production value and quality that they promised their fans.

It almost didn’t seem like it had been weeks since members Shane, Billy, Paul, Paul Marc, and Josh last shared the stage together. But it actually was the first time they’d all been in the same room, after a long while, when they reunited at Union Sound Company—the studio in downtown Toronto where they had recorded their new album A Beautiful Place To Drown. From the time they opened their LiveStream set with “Stand Amid The Roar” up until they closed with “Afterglow”, Silverstein played a show that reminded fans just why they’re a really good live band.

 

 

Capturing this performance the best possible way were long-time collaborators of the band. Wyatt Clough, who directed Silverstein’s music videos for “Infinite”, “Bad Habits”, “Whiplash”, and “Lost Positives”, handled the video production. On the other hand, Sam Guiana who produced A Beautiful Place To Drown handled the audio and made sure everything sounded top-notch.

 

The Setlist: A Homerun Derby

Moreover, the setlist could have passed as any fan’s dream Silverstein setlist. It was a nice mix of both old and newer stuff, with the band performing something off every album. While Filipino fans have heard “Burn It Down” and “Infinite” live during the January 2020 concert at the Skydome, it was a treat to hear a mellow version of “Where Are You” from A Beautiful Place to Drown, especially with producer/engineer/session musician Mike Tompa working some magic with the band during the event.

 

 

Some songs from the fairly recent records like Dead Reflection and I Am Alive In Everything I Touch were favorite moments of ours. The band transitioning from “Vices” (A Shipwreck In The Sand) to “Smashed Into Pieces” (When Broken Is Easily Fixed) almost had us holding our breath, and your usual Silverstein classics had the effect of having us looking back on just how long we’ve all been fans of this band.

 

 

We enjoyed every minute of the whole performance, and each song they played made us want to wild out in our living room. Silverstein gave fans a really great set. No strikeouts, no base hits, all out of the park.

 

Sunday Night Silverstein

Apart from music and performances, the band utilized the “pre-taped” nature of the stream by employing “dugout” player introductions, “locker room interviews”, and even instant replays (with slow-mo analysis)—think Sunday Night Baseball, but more tongue-in-cheek.

 

 

To pace the stream better, the band also used commercials not unlike what we normally see on paid cable. The ads also kind of gave us more bang for the price of admission by showing the band’s sense of humor. The ads, along with the sports-themed presentation gave the broadcast a familiar and homely feel. It’s like watching your favorite team after hours on a sketchy cable signal when you were young, but with your favorite band.

Now that’s something different, and we’re all for this kind of entertainment. And we like fun bands that take the stage like they’re taking their positions on the field. Perhaps the goal was to give fans a good laugh, especially during such a dark time all over the world, and they succeeded. Besides, we also missed sports.

 

Fan Reactions

While Silverstein did some post-match interviews of their own, we were also able to catch up with Filipino fans that got a chance to catch this unique event. Here’s what they have to say:

 

“The livestream event was really awesome! The last time I saw and heard Silverstein live was when they performed here in the Philippines in January 2020. The livestream was really a great concert experience – felt like I am in the mosh pit area of the concert scene, but within the four corners of my room and I get to live chat with my co-fans from around the globe, before and after the concert proper. Shane really eats CDs, his voice was as it was when I first heard their songs back in 2004. The whole band can ‘rock’ it even after 20 years! It was really great to see them again even though only through the screens of my laptop (and that’s thanks a lot to you too, Pulp! ^_^)
As much as I would prefer live performances for concerts such as these, it is understandable that we will not be able to go back to how things used to be due to this pandemic. But thanks to the unending love and passion of artists such as Silverstein, to perform and bring inspiration for their fans, and the organizations such as Pulp to make things possible, I guess, livestream events are not really that bad at all. These are better than never seeing our favorite artists do the things they have always loved – and that is performing in front of their fans.
— Maria Joanna Lilibeth Bautista

 

“Yes, indeed had a great experience being part of Silverstein Livestream Concert. Concert was great and I was able to interact with other fans on the stream as well.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity.”
— Renato Diocales

 

“Silverstein never fails to entertain their fans! No pandemic can stop them from doing the things they do best. They knocked our socks off! They performed songs that well represented their discography – from new tracks to old ones. We loved them all.
Silverstein fans were lucky enough that the band set up this online concert as an alternative to the traditional live concert where we get to see them perform in person. We can still enjoy their good music despite the restrictions brought upon by this pandemic.”
— Mary Ann Frances Yanzon

 

Post Game Show Analysis

So given the experience we had of watching this show over the internet, do we think such online, livestream concert events are a good enough alternative for concerts in the “new normal”? We know nothing’s better than going to live shows, but with the current situation, this may well be the closest experience we can have.

 

 

“We had a blast putting together our first ever online concert and we really hope you all enjoyed it,” the band says to their fans a couple days after the broadcast. “Thanks for all of your support & we will continue delivering new content until we can all be together again!” It was a really just a fun show to watch over and over, and it’s great that with the $10 ticket (with portion of the proceeds going to the National Independent Venue Association or NIVA), fans had 48-hour access to the stream, in case they couldn’t make the time of the broadcast.

 

Who’s ready for the Next Level LiveStream TODAY? ($10, pure entertainment / helps us & NIVA – National Independent Venue…

Posted by Silverstein on Sunday, July 19, 2020

 

From what we have seen, since the show was in a more produced and controlled environment, we can tell how this platform can allow artists to express themselves with more than just the music itself; allowing them to create a more holistic experience for the fans, and we’re excited to see where this can go. Indeed, if this is how we stay so connected at a time like this, we hope to see more of such events and that artists keep finding ways to level up. PULP

 

 

 

If you missed this incredible event, you’re in luck. Silverstein are running it back with an Encore Presentation of their Next-Level Livestream event. You can catch the rebroadcast from August 2 (9am EST) – August 4. Tickets are still priced at $10, and a portion is being donated to NIVA (supporting venues across America that are closed due to COVID-19). Fans will receive an email with instructions detailing how to access the exclusive stream & can be re-watched during the availability window.

 

Due to popular demand: 🎙️ Our Next Level LiveStream Concert Event is available on-demand again for a brief time: August…

Posted by Silverstein on Wednesday, July 29, 2020