Yes this "review" is a couple weeks old, but I like to capture my concert memories in one convenient spot. So this is more a recap than a review since this was a bit of a surprise set from The Silent Years, who played before The High Strung. Things are really taking off with Josh Epstein's other project, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. who are garnering a ton of national attention with their first EP. Between that and the delay of The Silent Years new album "Spider Season", hung up in a battle with their former record label amongst other things,TSY shows have become few and far between locally. So any opportunity I get to see what is still the best band coming out of Detroit, I am there.
This was my first time in The Berkley Front. There is an intimate stage upstairs from the main bar for live music. Not the greatest sound system around, but a cool place to see local favorites up close and personal. The Silent Years were performing as a four-piece for the first time in years, so it brought a different element to the set to be sure.
The band focused on older material, playing nothing from "Spider Season", as the arrangements just didn't fit the four piece lineup. They opened with a much more rocking version of their ballad "Someone To Keep Us Warm", very cool the way it was changed up. You truly never know what you'll hear at a Silent Years show, be it rarely played songs or completely rearranged versions of more well known ones, which keeps every set they do fresh.
Two tracks from their last full length release, 2008's "The Globe", were next as "On Our Way Home" and "Aging Gracefully" were played back to back. Then it was on to the magnificent "Forest Fire" from last year's flawless "Let Go" EP. They returned to "The Globe" for that disc's opener "Out Into The Wild", before a fierce version of "TV>BJ" from "Let Go". Epstein was on fire all night on guitar, no better example than during this song's intense conclusion.
As good as the band was sounding, it was around this time that Epstein started encountering technical problems with his guitar. He soldiered on and got it working for "Someday" from their self titled debut full length, but it continued to give him problems as it basically stopped working. They tried to close the set with the closing anthem "Open Up Our Eyes" from "The Globe", but Epstein cut the song off during the instrumental intro as his guitar just was not cooperating and thanked the crowd.
It was an unfortunate ending, but it did not detract from what was otherwise another strong set from a band that is still simply not to be missed whenever they play locally. As of right now, the next opportunity will be at the Launch Party for this year's Fucking Awesome Fest at the Magic Stick. The Silent Years are slated to close the night, taking the main stage around 12:15.