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This Is How The Wind Shifts At A Sold-Out Silverstein Show in Brooklyn!

Twenty-three years and counting, Silverstein is finally returning to stages across North America to celebrate the tenth anniversary of This Is How The Wind Shifts with a full run-through of the album being performed! For Silverstein, This Is How The Wind Shifts stands as their final release through Hopeless Records and their eighth full-length album The current tour series is the very first time every single song off This Is How The Wind Shift has been played in front of live audiences, including a handful of classics listeners have never heard performed live. Fans have been impatiently awaiting Silverstein’s return to stages, Brooklyn’s Warsaw was packed in and sold out this past Sunday to warmly welcome back Silverstein and revive the twelve songs that made fans fall in love with them all over again ten years ago.

Silverstein is a Canadian rock band dating back to February of the 2000s, making them one of the most iconic bands in the emo-rock industry. The stage name ‘Silverstein’ is a reference to the famous children’s author, Shel Silverstein, whom the band has admired since childhood. As of today, Silverstein has released a total of 11 studio albums, seven EPs, a compilation album, and a live DVD/CD set, all of which are highly acclaimed and beloved. Throughout the years, the band has remained consistent and connected, with only one change in their lineup after eleven years of being an ensemble. Currently, the band consists of lead vocalist Shane Told, lead guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau, rhythm guitarist Josh Bradford, bassist Billy Hamilton, and drummer Paul Koehler who have reached a milestone together of over 1,000,000 albums sold worldwide. The band has witnessed many critical acclaims throughout their careers beyond this, including a nomination for a Juno Aware with their second studio album, Discovering the Waterfront, and multiple high-ranking albums on the Billboard 200 charts.

Silverstein returned to the scene with a bang and a scream on their eighth studio album This Is How The Wind Shifts. The album was recorded alongside producer Jordan Valeriote, who has produced for various other hardcore artists including Neck Deep and Intervals. The album was additionally mastered by Troy Glessener at Spectre Mastering, a company he owns personally. According to Silverstein’s lead singer, Shane Told, This Is How the Wind Shifts is a concept album similar to Silverstein’s 2009 release A Shipwreck in the Sand, and was written in a similar headspace. This Is How the Wind Shifts experiments with storylines, the album consists of six different stories told through parallel tracks: One of the songs begins the story and another ends the story.

When speaking on the album, Told mentions, “The idea of this album is how a person’s life can change forever with just one event … Each track has a parallel track that tells the story in a different light, what would have happened if things were different due to a single event. The song titles of each parallel track go together, forming a sentence or in some cases two words that relate to each other and to the story. Overall, the point of this album is not to provide the existence of fate, or to disprove it. It’s a discussion of life, of loss, and of success within failure, of failure within success, of the struggle between your actions and feelings, and how those don’t always go together.”

This Is How the Wind Shifts has a unique lyrical structure that explores various perspectives and narratives. The beginning half of the album features songs that explore missed opportunities and regrets, while the second half of the full-length release imagines alternative outcomes. Lyrically, the album delves into introspective and reflective moments, examining the narrator's own emotions, experiences, and growth through themes of resilience, loss, heartbreak, self-exploration, mental health struggles, growth and personal development, and nostalgia. Overall, This Is How the Wind Shifts highlights Silverstein’s ability to craft emotionally impactful, thought-provoking lyrics, creating a deep emotional connection with listeners song after song.

Musically, This Is How the Wind Shifts can be characterized as an evolution in Silverstein’s songwriting and sound, a continuation of the band's exploration of post-hardcore and emo elements, honing in on creating an intense and dynamic atmosphere through heavy guitar riffs, melodic hooks, and powerful vocal performances. Lyrically, vocalist Shane Told delivers emotionally charged and potent performances throughout the album. The vocals shift between clean runs and intense screams, providing another layer to the emotionally-driven lyrical content that, in turn, engages listeners in the stories behind the songs. This dual between hardcore and melodic is advanced even further through intricate guitar work, creating rich and textured sounds through dual harmonies produced by guitarists Paul Rousseau and Josh Bradford. As someone who plays guitar, Silverstein has always been one of my biggest inspirations musically since the start. The band seriously has some of the most polished musicians within their lineup, and their dual guitar harmonies are refreshing to hear and mesmerizing. As much as Silverstein is categorized as a post-hardcore ensemble, This Is How the Wind Shifts displays the band's diversity and polished musicianship with moments of softer, acoustic-driven tracks such as “Arrivals” and “Departures.”

Yet, a hardcore band wouldn’t be complete without a strong drummer to set the tempo, and that is exactly what Paul Koehler is to Silverstein. This Is How the Wind Shifts is notable for its blend of post-hardcore intensity and rhythmic diversity while maintaining a sense of precision instrumentally, all of which builds from Paul Koehler’s drum patterns. Koehler often incorporates double bass pedal patterns, an expert technique that requires drummers to reach high BPM’s with clean and in-tempo 16th notes. Koehler’s versatility on drums is expanded through rapid snare fills that add a sense of urgency and intensity to the music, creating a strong backbone and solid foundation for heavy guitar riffs and vocals. This is all to say, Koehler puts emphasis on versatile beats throughout this album, including a mix of straightforward punk-influenced beats and more intricate patterns, switching rhythms frequently to match the intensity of the lyrics and syncopating his drumming, showcasing the tight musicianship of the band as a whole. It is no wonder This Is How The Wind Shifts is referred to as a classic in the hardcore and emo genres, the release captures the essence of early 2000’s emocore while showcasing Silverstein’s distinct sound and emotional depth.

Silverstein - Warsaw Brooklyn

With all this considering, it is no simple feat to bring such a complex, heartfelt studio album to stages across the world while still maintaining the beautiful emotional depth listeners adore, hence why Silverstein waited ten whole years to finally perform every single song off This Is How The Wind Shifts live. Even so, it was well worth the wait to finally hear all twelve songs in a concert hall, echoing off the walls, being sung back by a sold-out crowd. This show was definitely in my top 3 favorites from this year, and I couldn’t help myself from singing along to the classics of my teenage years in the photo pit alongside the crowd and Shane Told.

Right before Silverstein concluded the night at Warsaw, a loudspeaker announcement informed the crowd of the most anticipated part of the tour series; The crowd decides on the setlist. Immediately, every single phone snapped out, chatter filled the room as people tried to convince those around them to pick the song they wanted most. You could not avoid the sense of impatience and anticipation bubbling up inside of everyone in attendance, it was radiant. The crowd was ready to go hard for Silverstein, and they did just that before the first lyrics even came out of Shane Told’s mouth. You know it’s about to be a good show in the hardcore scene when the band has to pause the set only two songs in to address an issue in the mosh pits. If you’re planning on catching Silverstein for their celebration of ten years, be prepared to mosh all the way through the practically thirty song setlist.

As a leading force in the hardcore, emocore industry, Silverstein have been known for providing energetic and engaging live performances since the 2000’s. The ten year anniversary of This Is How the Wind Shifts is not the first celebratory tour of the band’s career, however it might’ve been the most well-received. Despite honoring This Is How the Wind Shifts, Silverstein still crafted a diverse setlist as usual, playing a mix of songs from various albums in their discography with a total of 25 songs in the setlist. The current tour setlist is special to not only the band, but longtime fans of Silverstein who can expect to hear classics from over ten years ago being performed again, including songs which have never made it to stages throughout the bands touring endeavors. The band recognizes and appreciates the die-hard fanbase they’ve generated over the years, effortlessly engaging a crowd by making them feel apart of the show experience. Beyond the audience selecting songs for the setlist, lead singer Shane Told converses and connects with the crowd brilliantly. He creates an atmosphere so welcoming and intimate, you easily forget the show is sold out and there’s other people around you. It truly feels like you’re having a conversation with Told in between songs through his witty jokes, engaging storylines, and compelling antidotes.

Given the nature of the music, you can anticipate a fantastic show no matter what city you’re catching Silverstein in. The audiences the band attracts are vigorous and high-spirited, making the show lively from start to finish; there is never a dull moment in the crowd, with constant crowd surfers and macabre, yet exhilarating, mosh pits. The combination of melodic, clean vocals with hardcore screams gives the chance for the audience to belt their hearts out at some points and head bang at others. The atmosphere created by Silverstein in a concert venue is overall inclusive and inviting, you’re drawn into the center of the moshes from the outskirts and urged to participate in the performance. Not to mention, every single member of Silverstein are technically proficient musicians who are able to seamlessly transfer studio recordings to live renditions while having as much fun on stage as possible. Each instrumentalist is phenomenal on their individual instruments and blend together cohesively to make a sound arguably better than the recorded versions. It comes to no surprise considering the current lineup of musicians have been together for over ten years.

This Is How the Wind Shifts marks the first album with guitarist Paul Mark Rousseau filling in on leads, harboring some of the most compelling, harmonious dual guitar sections from Silverstein’s discography. A personal favorite off the full-length release is “Hide Your Secrets,” a song written in the unusual 6/8 time signature and resultingly one that has really never been played live by the band. If you weren’t convinced of Silverstein’s talent, hearing this song preformed live will definitely solidify their deservance. All in all, This Is How the Wind Shifts was a victory album for Paul Mark Rousseau who was heavily involved in the songwriting process as the newest member of the band at the time. Many of the tracks were written solely by Rousseau, including the fan favorite, “Arrivals,” which Rousseau performed accompanied by only his guitar to close out the night in Warsaw. The finale was the standout moment in the set to me, the crowd went completely silent for the first time that entire night and everyone just let Rousseau sing them to sleep, uninterrupted.

The emo phase might have passed for you in the late 2000’s, but it is never too late to go see the bands that made that era so special, especially as they celebrate milestone anniversaries such as Silverstein is with This Is How the Wind Shifts. Silverstein are barely half-way through their North American tour series to honor 10 years of the 2013 classic, so make sure to snag tickets to available cities while you still can and get ready to mosh all night long, maybe even crowd surf a few times!


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