“This is incredible,” swooned lead guitarist/vocalist Brian Aubert of the Silversun Pickups, just after blasting through a seemingly never-ending melt-your-face-off experience known as a Silversun Pickups show. Once Brian, Chris, Joe, and Sara (the temporary replacement for now pregnant Nikki) took the stage at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston on the 17th of October, it was as if the planets aligned and it was the last concert they would ever play. The energy of the band was such that every song seemed like it could be the climax, but they just kept playing, getting better as the night went on.
I have been to many concerts in my life, and I have to say that this concert was by far my favorite. The venue, the passion, and the music came together into a trifecta of mind-blowing rock that blew the crowd away. The music combined the grit of a dirty punk rock show with the clean sound and performance you would expect from a highly trained and full manned orchestra.
The opening acts were an alternative rock band from Australia called “Atlas Genius” and another alternative rock/metal group called “Cloud Nothings.” Once the Cloud Nothings finished their set, the roadies unsheathed the simple and yet powerful rig of the Silversun Pickups. At this point my thoughts were directed to the fact of how little they had, equipment wise, but how full their sound was when I heard their recorded music. However, once they took the stage I understood. Their equipment packed a punch that I never heard before. It was raw rock and yet simultaneously so rich that you could not help but stare and listen in amazement. They took away the glitz and glam of a big, Hollywood rock group and with their “bare bones” they showed that they knew the meaning of the words “Rock Band.”
Opening with the song “Skin Graph,” immediately I knew that this was no band to be messed with. During the intro, Brian stared out over the crowd in a menacing glare and wrung his hands together, almost as if to say “You don’t even know what’s coming…”
Once everyone kicked in for the first chorus, the energy shot up to eleven and the crowd immediately began jumping. Brian played off of the crowd throughout the show, and even at one point he called out a guy dancing named Patrick to come give him a high-five, but instead of high-fiving him, Brian hugged him and kissed his the top of his head. As seen through his various personal gestures, such as that, Brian turned the night into a very close performance for all who witnessed, like telling stories about his wife (the previous bassist who is now on maternity leave) or how the very first placed they toured as a group was at bar in Boston.
After an hour and a half of incredible music came my favorite of their songs (obviously) “Lazy Eye.” I knew it was a great song, but because of how they performed it, I can never listen to it again because it would never be as good. They destroyed any semblance of peace and order when the distortion kicked in. Watching them jam out to this song with such huge smiles on their faces, insanity in their hearts, and distortion in their guitars made me understand why people form bands. For moments like these.
1. Skin Graph
2. The Royal We
3. Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)
5. Gun-Shy Sunshine
7. Mean Spirits
8. The Pit
9. Three Seed
10. Panic Switch
11. Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)
12. Lazy Eye
13. Make Believe
14. Out of Breathe
15. Well Thought Out Twinkles