Photography by: Jerome Joyce

Words by: Tyson Clarke

On February 22nd 2018, Silverstein brought their annual Stay Warm Festival to the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. The festival had support from Toronto based emo band Selfish Things, Virginia based pop punk bank Broadside, and Kentucky based rock band Picturesque. The festival was also supposed to include Tonight Alive, but the band was unable to perform due to the singer having a sore throat. Rather than adjusting the set times, to make the night feel even more special, Silverstein announced earlier in the week that they would be playing 2 special sets: their greatest hits, and Discovering the Waterfront in full. After the exciting announcement, thousands of fans lined up to witness this once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Burlington based emo/post-hardcore band, Silverstein kicked off their “greatest hits” set with “Ghost” off of their newest record, Dead Reflection. Singer, Shane Told was quick to greet the crowd by saying “Toronto how are my 905 kids? 16 years, and we’re gonna play all of it” before jumping into the aggressive “Bleeds No More” off of the band’s first album. Silverstein’s first set covered any material you’d want to hear from their first album to their most recent, without taking many breaks in between to breathe. The closest thing to a “break” the crowd got during the first set was the 1 and a half minute piano ballad, “Arrivals”. Besides that, the entire set was face paced, and ferocious. This show was treated as a hometown show for Silverstein, and Shane made sure to express to the audience the appreciation the band had for coming out. “It’s always very special when we come to Toronto, because as many of you may know we grew up down the road in Burlington/Oakville” Shane said before ripping into “Smashed into Pieces”. The band closed off their first set with “The Afterglow” off of Dead Reflection.

                The band left the stage for a quick break so their backdrop could be changed to the Discovering the Waterfront album cover. Soon after, Silverstein stormed back on stage to play the classics: “Your Sword Versus My Dagger”, “Smile in your Sleep”, and “Ides of March”. You could tell that this album being played live in its entirety was not only special to the fans, but to Silverstein as well.  At one point Shane said, “We don’t do this every day so this is special for us. It really is crazy man, when you play these songs in order and you think back to the first time you heard the record. I don’t know if it’s doing that for you but it’s doing that for me right now.” One of the highlights of the set was the stripped down acoustic version of the band’s biggest hit, “My Heroine”. The song is already so emotional but hearing the vulnerability in Shane’s voice made it haunting. Near the end of the set, Shane thanked the crowd one last time, saying “Toronto, I want to thank you so much for being here on a Thursday. It’s not every day we get to play this shit so I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did” before closing off the night with the final track on Discovering the Waterfront, “Call it Karma” .

The best thing to compare a Silverstein show to would be a car wreck. Their concerts are absolutely chaotic, but in the most controlled way possible. Every single person in the crowd was jumping, moshing, crowd surfing and head-banging along, especially during the Discovering the Waterfront set. The album changed the lives and means so much to so many people. This was apparent if you attended this show and looked at the smiles on everybody’s face during the set. It’s not every day that a band will announce two days before their show, with no promotion, rhyme or reason besides wanting to doing something special for their hometown crowd, that they were going to play their career defining album in its entirety. The 2018 Stay Warm Festival was an absolutely unforgettable night.

Silverstein Setlist:

Set 1:
Bleeds No More
Lost Positives
Smashed into Pieces
Sound of the Sun
A Midwestern State of Emergency
Broken Stars
The Afterglow

Set 2:
Your Sword Versus My Dagger
Smile in your Sleep
Ides of March
Fist Wrapped in Blood
Discovering the Waterfront
Defend You
My Heroine (Acoustic)
Always and Never
Always Dead
Three Hours Back
Call it Karma


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