Saturday, March 3, 2012

Show Review: Silent Old Mtns (2/7/12 at DC9)

Very often, the true brilliance of a band doesn't come until multiple viewings of the band's live shows. This is especially true with younger bands, as one great live show could have just been a fluke, or a sign of great things to come. Silent Old Mountains is just about to hit their one year anniversary as a band, but they perform like a band full of ten year veterans. Combining their exceptional live show with a wide group of friends and family transformed a boring Tuesday night into a fun night showcasing an upcoming local band.

Silent Old Mountains has their opening for their show locked down, as this was the second time in a row (that I've seen them), that they've opened with "You've Got Your Sights On Me Now." But, it works as a perfect opener, as banjoist/tambourine player Sam Whalen always begins the show with some of his own personal poetry while the rest of the band faces away from the crowd, bringing a unique touch to the band's performance. His opening piece is based off the band's name, giving any new listener a perfect introduction to the band.  Sam's ability as a spoken word artist is absolutely extravagant, bringing chills to the unexpected future fans and even the band's old friends. Sam did about two other pieces throughout the night as interludes between songs, and his unique ability gives the band one major way of separating themselves from practically every other band out there.

As Sam ended his piece, the band finally turned around and began playing. For the third time I've seen this song played, it still seemed like a totally new song, as Silent Old Mountains always puts additional effort into improving their performances. Andrew Bromhal has continued to grow as a vocalist, moving from a simply a unique voice to someone who can control it throughout his entire register. Songs like "That Telescope Find" force Bromhal into a higher register, which he has proven that he can dominate.

For such a small band, Silent Old Mountains is absolutely a fan and family focused band. The band had dozens and dozens of demo CDs that they were just handing out to anyone who showed up, a gesture that more bands should be doing as thanks to the crowd. Additionally, the band also allowed one of their members' girlfriends to contribute backing vocals for the show, and definitely did not bring the band down at all. In fact, it probably helped the performance, as well as showing that the members aren't afraid of trying new things. In this musical environment, there's a necessity to keep changing and trying new things, and based on the progression I've seen in the band over the past four months, I have no doubt that this first year will be the beginning of many great ones for Silent Old Mountains.

Check out Silent Old Mountains on Facebook right here.

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