Four Year Strong & I The Mighty Support Silverstein on STACKED 20 Year Tour
Photos & Words by Kevin Miller
There has not been many tours that stick in your head for an extended period of time. Usually the ones that do have a line up that is stacked from top to bottom. Since going to GA shows since 2003 where I saw my first show that consisted of Yellowcard, Matchbook Romance, Fall Out Boy and Acceptance, I quickly learned what it took to sell tours. Saturday night will be one of those nights that will stick in my head as one of the best tours I have seen in a very long time. Silverstein brought their 20 year anniversary tour to Sayreville on Saturday night and it was no surprise that the show was SOLD OUT. Bringing along two power house acts in Four Year Strong & I The Mighty to support their celebratory tour.
It is not often, even at a sold out event, you see the venue pack itself out early for the opener, but Jersey showed up and was ready to rock from the get go. San Fransico’s I The Mighty was the first act to take the stage and to say they turned just a few heads would be an understatement. It was clear that the ITM faithful showed up but those who may not have known who they were, were certainly impressed. The crowd constantly engaged, banging their heads and those who knew every word singing right along with front-man Brent Walsh. They played a great mix of old and new songs that included anthems like “Failures”. They were the ideal opener for this tour bringing a great energy to the stage with their stage presence matching the energy blaring through the speakers and encouraging the crowd to reciprocate the that energy, which they did. They warmed up the crowd for the rest of the night.
Massachusetts Pop-Punk legends, yes I said it, legends then took the stage. This set was one I was highly anticipating because of the new record, “Brain Pain” that was just released by Four Year Strong. A lot of times when new records are released by a band that has been around as long as they have fans don’t necessarily want to hear a ton of new songs live as the old school anthems are what got them there in the first place. That theory though, completely proven wrong on Saturday by their set and by the album’s alone quality alone. Brain Pain in my opinion is the best album FYS has put out since 2007. I did not skip one song front to back and I, like others proved in the crowd, was really excited to hear the new jams live. Like any other Four Year Strong show, the energy on stage and in the crowd was unwavering but I was mostly curious to see how the crowd would be during the new songs. A lot of times you could notice a drop off in the crowds participation and energy when the newer songs are played. Kind of like, “It’s time to take a break and rest mode.” This didn’t happen ONCE during their set as crowd surfers continued to pour over the barricade and the crowd sang back every word at the top of their lungs. If that doesn’t attest to how great “Brain Pain” is as an album I don’t know what will. Four Year Strong continues to amaze me with each release they put out as they are one band that stay 100% true to their roots and has never compromised their sound to impress anyone.
It then came time to celebrate 20 years of Silverstein. My first time ever seeing this band was in 2003 at Skate and Surf Festival in Asbury Park where they performed on an outside stage where even people who were not ticket holders were able to watch their set. It got me thinking that since they probably made it to the states a year or two prior, I have been along for one heck of a ride with this band from the greater white north. What better way to celebrate 20 years than with a 3 set night, which is what they did! Opening the night with a single, Burn It Down, off their new album the electricity of the crowd sunk in immediately. Times while standing in the crowd not being able to hear front-man Shane Told’s voice over the roar of the crowd. The energy was pouring through the set until the acoustic renditions came to the stage. Told reminiscing between songs about how they always knew Jersey was a force to be reckoned with since their first show at Bloomfield Cafe when a mosh pitter broke a window. Continuously letting the crowd know they were the best crowd of the tour thus far, and it was clear it wasn’t just smoke being blown. The band was celebrating more than just 20 years that night but also the release of their tenth album as a band, A Beautiful Place to Drown. Silverstein time and time again proves to be like wine, aging well with time. They pushed boundaries with this latest album and the fans embraced every part of it. This show was one for the record books for me.