Nostalgia is an odd word to use when a scene is only ten years old but tonight’s line up of artists playing the Bald Face Stag brings that word to mind. Hawthorne Heights are in town playing their two genre-defining albums in full, Silence in Black and White and If Only the Lonely. They have bought along for the ride Spitalfield’s front man Mark Rose as well as Silverstein’s front man Shane Told, who on this tour is under his solo project River Oaks and if that wasn’t enough, local lads Sienna Skies are on board. Wow, what a night it is going to be.  
When you have this much awesome music to get through in one night you should kick things of early, even if it is Saturday, so sometime just after 7:30pm I arrive. I’m not the only one in early though, which is good to see. Mark takes to the stage and says straight away to the crowd that when he first bought a guitar all he wanted to do was learn the riff to Metallica’s Enter Sandman, and with that he gets straight into it. It is more pop punk than metal but still sounds great to me and everyone else gathered. The set was a mad trip back in time to 2007 when Spitalfiled first and last toured Australia. Hearing Gold Dust Vs the State of Illinois and Secrets and Mirrors really took me back, it was so good to hear those tracks live once again. 
Sienna Skies are one of the best local bands around and it seems I am not alone in knowing it as the crowd has grown significantly since I first arrived. Having released their new album A Darker Shade of Truth late last year, I was eager to hear some of the new tracks that I really enjoy off the album, live.  Let me tell you, these lads do not disappoint when it comes to delivering the goods live. I know they have a technical brilliance about them when it comes to the studio but to hear it live is something else entirely and new front man Thomas Pirozzi really fits in so well. Hearing new tracks, There’s No Place Like Us and Divided were brilliant and old faithful’s like Directions and Heartquake, just flawless. These guys had I think the best light show of the night, and with the crowd really showing their support on every track you must hand it to these guys, they know just what they are doing and they do it so freaking well.
After that set I need a drink. I line up and start a conversation which I then must soon end as for I can hear the start of the album I came to hear. Hawthorn Heights have taken the stage and are now playing the Silence in Black and White. Life on Standby is how the album starts so it’s also how the set starts. Things are feeling good already but as soon as Nikki Fm kicks in, things get turned up a notch as the pit opens and the energy in the room is instantly lifted. Lead singer JT Woodruff comments how playing album shows, gives them a chance to play songs they don’t often get to play which is a good thing in my opinion as for this album had so many great tracks on it. Silver Bullet was my favourite track in the set and it was the point where the biggest singalong came. After that track, they changed things up and played a new track for us, Push Me Away, which was well received.  Never wanting these memories to go away JT shows expressions of his love and appreciation for us, the fans and the fellow friends on tour with them, it truly is a wonderful feeling out here amongst the crowd.   
One band leaves and a single musician enters. Things really are moving along tonight but that doesn’t matter, the feeling in the room is all good. Silverstein frontman Shane Told has an acoustic solo project called River Oaks which if you haven’t heard then you really should. He opens the set with California and finishes off that track with a bit of Silverchair’s Tomorrow. Hearing One Last Dance was a nice touch, especially since it was a request which he said he normally doesn’t play. The big moment game when he played My Heroine, man that took us all way back. Being in this room and in this stripped back format it gives us a chance to get up close with the artist and for them to open-up about the meanings behind some of their song. In the case of a track called Darling Harbour, it was about a girl he had fallen in love with in Sydney one time and it was littered with references about our beautiful city and it really touched us all in the room, one of those beautiful moments in live music. The set finishes up with Replace You, an awesome set off his River Oaks stuff and some of the best Silverstein tracks that I have been longing to hear.
Okay it was time to get Hawthrone Heights back out to finish off what they started tonight in bringing all these fine musicians together and giving us one hell of an evening and an added trip down memory lane. It started with If Only You Were Lonely and then the killer guitar work for This Is Who We Are and just like that we are off moshing again. From then on in it’s just solid goodness from the band with tracks like Language Lessons and Pens and Needles that really get us amped up, and towards the end Cross Me Off Your List and Where Can I Stab Myself in the Ears just helped carry the energy over on what had been a truly big night of great music. The set list ended and as they leave the stage we all know that there are two really big tracks missing from tonight’s set that they must be saving for the shows end. Sure enough, once they jump back on stage they play Saying Sorry first up followed by the huge hit, and making for one hell of a set list ending, Ohio is for Lovers. This is where everyone just went off as the stage was filled with members from both Hawthorne Heights and Sienna Skies, the crowd just loving it. 
Wow, what a night of such awesome tunes. JT had mentioned earlier that to be on a tour with other bands is cool, but when those guys are literally your friends it just makes it that much more special. We the audience get to see and feel that, and as all-night members of all of tonight’s acts that would either be on stage singing other acts songs, or be down in the crowd with us supporting each other, you just get don’t often see this level of support. Fun, mayhem and love, and the Bald Face Stag is the sort of perfect venue for it. There was nothing about tonight’s show that wasn’t excellent. I would like to see more tours of this kind in the future as for tonight was an absolute joy to be present for. 
Review – Chad
Check Out Our Photo Gallery Shot By Christian Ross 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.