On Friday May 6, Pittsburgh punk band Silence made a tour stop in Seattle at The Kraken (formerly Galway Arms) in the University District. According to the band, the previous night, their van broke down, so they were in a rented vehicle and some of their equipment had to be left at the auto repair shop in Spokane (about 6 hours from Seattle). They borrowed monitors and amplifiers from one of the opening acts, though, so they were still able to perform their set.
The first act was Arcane, a side project of some of the members of Kohosh. However, the bass player wasn’t there that evening, so while I was interested in hearing what this band had to offer, I don’t feel like I actually got to hear that.
The second band of the evening was Frustration, who put on a good set, interacting with the crowd, who was clearly into what the band had to offer. In the middle of aggressive/angry songs, the singer made a comment along the lines of “all these songs are about things that make me happy”. While I think he was making a joke, I kind of got the idea that the things he was railing against, he was doing so because the subject matter made him happy.
Last up was Silence, who recently released their debut album via the Profane Existence label. It was a homecoming show of sorts for their guitar player, so familiar faces were abound in the venue that evening, including Eric from Left Askew and Lonnie from Dreadful Children. There were about 30 people in attendance, a decent sized crowd for the size of the venue. After the first song, a comment was made that, at their first show in Seattle, a guy in the crowd was already wearing a Silence shirt…
Speaking of the first song, the band opened with “The Image Has Started to Crumble”, which I had previously ranked the demo as my 27th favorite song of 2014. Live, an intensity was brought to the song and you could tell the members of the band stood behind the meaning of the song.
The next two songs were “Beast in a Box” and “War Drums”, which combined are the first three songs on The Deafening Sound of Absolutely Nothing. Throughout the evening, Dusty, the vocalist, had really good stage presence, pacing intensely back and forth across the front of the stage while delivering the lyrics.
Among the places this was most evident was on “Not a Hero”, a track introduced as being about how uniforms (be it military, fireman, policeman, etc) does not make one a hero. Apart from hearing it during their radio set for WRCT’s Advanced Calculus program several months ago, this song was new to me, and it was one of the better tracks of the evening.
One of the last songs on their setlist was the first part of their title track, “The Deafening Sound of Absolutely Nothing, Part One”. The track lashes against people who talk to hear themselves speak, radio hosts that spend hours discussing the minutest detail of a mundane topic, and pop culture being celebrated in the tabloid magazines.
The final track on their setlist was “You Can’t Go Home Again” and was introduced with a story about the guitar player coming back to Seattle (before this show) and realizing that some of his beloved venues no longer exist. He rattled off a list that included: RKCNDY, the (Original) Funhouse, and perhaps most importantly The Morgue. (RKCNDY was an all ages venue during the Teen Dance Ordinance years in Seattle, The Funhouse was one of the larger punk venues in Seattle, near the Seattle Center, and The Morgue was a non-sanctioned venue that regularly put on punk shows in the Georgetown District of Seattle). Afterward, I asked him about the set and he stated that the band had a special setlist for Seattle where that track was the set closer because he knew the punk community coming out to the show would understand.
At the end of their main set, the crowd began chanting for an encore, so the band decided to go into an unreleased track called “Nighttime Girls”, which is apparently going to be on an upcoming EP, to be released later this year.