with The Devil Wears Prada, A Day to Remember, Protest the Hero
Philadelphia, PA • February 23, 2008
Despite the snow on the ground, kids were lined up in their best t-shirts, tank tops, and other summer attire, anxious to get inside. Whether because of anticipation for the show or a desire to get warm, the crowd buzzed with excitement. Numerous people paced the long line, begging for an extra ticket. However, the crowd wouldn’t budge — the show was sold out for a reason.
Inside, some show-goers wandered around the merch tables while others went straight to the floor. Already the place was packed, and the show was just starting. Up on the balcony, the scene was similar. Some nursed drinks, while others (including a large number of parents) looked down at the crowd, as if searching for someone.
Protest the Hero was up first. As soon as they started to play, it seemed as if someone had pushed the “on” button for the crowd. Within the first several minutes, the bodyguards were already deep in the pit, pulling kids out. While the band put on a great set, the six songs were agony for some of the kids who were there for other acts.
Next up was A Day To Remember. Right before the band took the stage, the house lights went down and the chaos began. Kids were already going at it as the quintet made their way out. As the music started, the crowd started several small circle pits and kids seemed to tumble their way over the audience when crowd surfing. While the band played several tracks from the re-release of their debut CD, perhaps the one that seemed to get the most reaction was a cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone.” At first I was a little surprised, but I must say that this pop-punk version of the track was one of the best covers I’ve heard in a while. One of the best parts of the band’s performance was the interaction that the crowd had, singing along to every single word of each song.
The Devil Wears Prada followed suit. Within moments, the Ohio band’s synth player, James, went headfirst into the crowd. As he scrambled back to the stage, the fans were grabbing at him. During the next couple of songs, the band put on an invigorating performance, jumping in unison and swinging their instruments. At one point, the vocalist, Mike, was on his hands and knees, belting into the mic. As the set progressed, the sweat began to pour down the band’s faces, and in the crowd, it was even worse. During the last song, Mike went into the crowd, but the fans were a bit hesitant to give him back.
As the show progressed, it seemed that the crowd was getting more and more chaotic. At times, there were pits occurring spontaneously and the guards seemed to move constantly. Then the headlining band, Silverstein, took the stage. There were amps lined up along the whole stage, with bright lights on top.
The Canadian screamo band played a decent mix of both old and new tracks (which is always nice for those who may be unfamiliar with their new work). Some friends of the band even made it a special night, thanks to their engagement before their set.
The crowd roared back during every song, with a new burst of energy that seemed almost impossible. Even the bands were getting into the action by jumping in and joining the crowd (Shane, the lead singer of Silverstein, did as well). Although Silverstein kept asking why the kids weren’t “dancing” (aka moshing), it just wasn’t happening.
However, the kids weren’t going to let that ruin their night. They sang along with every word, as they jumped and screamed. Downstairs, the atmosphere was even more intense. With hardly any room to move, people were still moving back and forth between the crowd and the merch booths, in an attempt to get any last minute necessities.
What was surprising was the number of people who left before the encore. Seriously, what band doesn’t do an encore? Think about it. The songs left for the encore are always great. Okay, maybe they’re not always the tightest, but the crowd and the bands seem to really enjoy them. Maybe it was too late (though only 11 p.m.), but either way, the extra space was a bit refreshing to stand back and enjoy the last performances from Silverstein.
The band has improved their stage presence greatly since the last time they sold out the Troc. It also seemed to be a more appealing bill to all, with a good number of opening acts that meshed well together.