The End of Silence 10th Anniversary Tour hit the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday evening to high expectations. What is interesting about this tour is that every band, opener or otherwise, easily could headline their own run, but together this tour was the jackpot of Christian rock.
Random Hero wins the “Most Underrated Opening Band” Award. I have only ever been able to see this band once some time ago, but their show that night was like nothing I could expect. These Colorado natives demanded the attention of the audience and did not let it go until the end of their set. Frontman Aaron Watkins made sure that all eyes were on him the entire time with impeccable vocals and crowd participation. My biggest pet peeve with a band’s performance is when they create an environment similar to a zoo in which fans simply watch them play. Random Hero on the other hand created an experience that drew fans in by doing everything from engineering their set to have a clear direction, to the lead singer taking mid song selfies with fans. Their guitarist and bass player held their own and complimented the drummer nicely from a musical composition stand point. The entire team worked seamlessly to put on a show that had even the most die hard Red fans debating which new CD they wanted to buy. In all, this is a band you need to keep your eye out for.
Next to take the stage is a band called Spoken that I haver seen many times before, though always with a different line-up. The one member that has never changed is frontman Matt Baird who puts on a show all by himself. Matt proves to be a seasoned veteran on the stage which was shown through his demeanor. His vocals were on a whole other playing field. The amount of power needed to belt the lyrics that Spoken is known for would cause pitch issues in almost any other artist. Any other artist except for Matt who did not miss a note, nor a beat the entire time. The band, despite line up variations was just as tight creating a performance I would gladly see again.
I mentioned before that the trick with this tour was that every artist on it could easily be a headliner. While Spoken and Random Hero are a dynamic duo of Christian rock in themselves, adding Disciple to the line up was almost overkill. This band needed no introduction and like Spoken and Random Hero commanded their time on the stage. Most notably was Kevin Young’s passion on the band’s newest single “Erase”. A crowd will only believe the lyrics in a song as much as the singer does, and even the most hardened heart would have to be touched by the emotion in his voice. He meant every single lyric, and he meant it for every single person in that room. The rest of the band played with just as much gusto. The band’s drummer, Joey West, however stood out. Generally drummers just lay a back track and become the back bone of the band. Joey from beat one became a whirling dervish of percussion and fills like no other. Certainly entertaining and undeniably talented. By the end of Disciple’s set, I had almost forgotten that they were not the headliner.
The true headliner of the night had a tough time matching Disciple in my list of favorites, but not problem matching them in the volume department. Red is just one of those bands that you expect a good rock show from. After 10 years, if that expectation is not met you assume that someone is sick. Tonight was no disappointment. The band was tight and locked together. They had no issue feeding off of the energy of the crowd, and each other. The only thing that took away from their performance aspect was their light show. Generally rock shows are known for their production, but not for blinding concert goers. The music was amazing, the lights just took away from some of that. The other thing to note after 3 bands is that the night tends to get pretty long. Red’s set was celebrating their 10th anniversary of their first album The End of Silence so the set was primarily based off of older songs with newer ones blended into the mix. That being said, the night got kind of long. This transition was flawless and brought a ton of joy to both new and old fans. The band surprised the crowd with a cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which was at first a very strange choice of songs for the band, but proved to just a fun rendition to break up the song line up. Overall Red gave a very satisfactory end to the night and preformed just as well as they usually do.
The End of Silence 10th Anniversary Tour overall was an excellent experience. Concert goers and myself will definetly be eagerly awaiting the return of all of these bands to the Cleveland area.