WASHINGTON, August, 22, 2011 —In the span of a year, a lot can change for a relatively new band. Has the sound grown? Have they become more comfortable on stage? Seeing a band after a year, one wonders if anything is dramatically different about them?
The Silver Liners performing at the Rock and Roll Hotel provided a good opportunity to see how much this band has changed in the past year.
In the last year, the Silver Liners released their second EP. Their membership has changed slightly. A documentary film crew seems to be following them around. The band has clearly grown at least in terms of their personal scope. However, they are still a five piece pop/rock band from the DC area and their set is still filled with tight danceable rock songs.
One of the more unique things about the Silver Liners is even in their immediate infancy there was a certain kind of professionalism to the band, almost abnormally so. Despite none of the band members being much older than 25, they’ve always played with a clear goal in mind.
A lot of this stems from front man’s Jay Nemeyer’s drive. Aside from being the band’s lead singer, he’s also been the band’s unofficial mouth piece and by that distinction has been the sole interpreter of the band’s direction.
A year ago, his stage presence was obvious but there was also some stiffness to him. It felt like he was slightly too concerned with making sure the band’s presence was just right. This was balanced on stage by the casual nature of guitarist John Patton and fun energy of bassist Ray Remesch, so it never dominated how the band came off.
Nemeyer now seems more relaxed on stage but still with a certain level of intensity. The clear and diverse personalities of the band is in part what makes the band arresting on stage without settling on coordinated costumes, elaborate stage set-ups, or other garish gimmicks. Another aspect to their professionalism is just how tight they are during their performance. For such a young band, it’s a bit surprising to see them as on point with their songs as they are. There’s rarely any wasted time in songs. The band is in tune with each other enough that even some early technical troubles are virtually undetectable when the rest of the band fills in their roles.
Since the Silver Liners approach has been refined, it’s easy for them to throw interesting curve balls to the audience. At one point during the set, local rapper Dom-o was brought on stage unexpectedly to rap one of the band’s mainstays “Running Through My Head.”
It’s a quirk which keeps anyone familiar with the band on their toes and an open mind for anyone seeing the band for the first time.
The most obvious difference in the band wasn’t anything they played but the addition of new keyboardist Kenny Grim. Keyboard has always been a strong point of the Silver Liner’s sound and one would think it’ll continue to be, but they were largely absent during this show.
Being Grim’s first show with the band, it’s easy to understand he didn’t want to step on the rest of the band’s toes. As they move forward, Grim’s presence will be felt more.
The night closed with the rocker “Hold Your Hand” which is a song Nemeyer wrote before the band was formed. It’s noticeably faster and harder than their normal material. While it’s an older song, it might be a sign of the band’s willingness to push towards something outside of their current sound.
The Silver Liners have refined their sound to this point and it’s time for them to take the next step. Give the band another year and it’ll be interesting to see what new direction they go in.
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