I recall leaving my local date of this past summer’s Warped Tour. Every year, after the dust settles and we get to the car, my partner and I like to take guesses on upcoming fall tour lineups. Immediately, I suggested a Silverstein and Senses Fail co-headliner. It only took a few weeks to see that my prediction had come true and my excitement could not quite be contained.
I have had a few life updates since the summer, namely the fact that I got a new, full-time job. Because of it, we sadly arrived to New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom a little late, missing openers Capsize and Hundredth. But we got there with enough time to prepare ourselves for what Silverstein would bring to the table.
Opening with “Milestone” from their latest offering I Am Alive in Everything I Touch, Silverstein exploded into a 15-track setlist covering almost each and every one of their major releases (sorry, Arrivals & Departures…and Short Songs…). Looking around the room, I could tell that most of the attendees were fans of older Silverstein, but that didn’t stop them from going ballistic during “Massachusetts” or “Stand Amid the Roar” from 2013’s This is How the Wind Shifts. Later on, the band dusted off their cover of OneRepublic’s “Apologize”, taken from 2009’s Punk Goes Pop 2 before closing out with “My Heroine” from their acclaimed second record (which was previously celebrated earlier this year) Discovering the Waterfront.
Closing out the night were hometown heroes Senses Fail. Fresh off an extremely well-received Warped Tour stint and a bombastic new record, the guys were welcomed home with open arms from eager fans. Their set began with “Fireworks At Dawn” from 2008’s Life is Not a Waiting Room (in almost total darkness; thanks, y’all). Soon after, the band took to cuts from this year’s Pull the Thorns From Your Heart and they, in a world, killed. It’s easy to notice the shift in sound for this record, but the charisma and energy from frontman Buddy Nielsen was still alive and well. Sanctioned off between jabs at Donald Trump and important messages for the betterment of living your life, Nielsen and Co. tackled songs from six of their releases, including “Bloody Romance” from their debut EP, 2002’s From the Depths of Dreams. The band closed with classic staples “Calling All Cars” and “Bite to Break Skin”.