On February 12, A Silent Film quietly came to town. It was a Tuesday night when they set up shop at the Shelter in Detroit. The streets were empty and without the usual pre-show bustle, which might have lead some to believe that this was a “could-miss” show. It wasn’t until attendees walked around to the back of the building that is Saint Andrew’s, paid the price of admission in front of a somewhat shady looking and unremarkable entrance and descended the steps into the space below Saint Andrew’s that is known as The Shelter that this dreary looking corner of Detroit seemed to wake up.
Being well versed in Detroit venues, none of this caught me by surprise. In fact, as a teenager, the first show I ever went to was at the Shelter. However, it had been some time since I caught a show there and visiting again reminded me of just how much I like that space. It’s quiet and tucked away and feels almost like watching a show in someone’s living room — plus they even serve Arbor Brewing Co. beer. And I like the experience even better on quiet nights when there’s nothing going on in Saint Andrew’s above — no creaking, somewhat unstable looking ceiling or other noise for the Shelter bands to contend with.
We snuck in that night just in time for A Silent Film’s performance, and right away I was impressed. The albums are so polished — from the instrumentation to Robert Stevenson’s crisp and clear vocals — that automatically one would expect the live version to not be quite the same. But it was. Stevenson’s voice was just as strong, just as engaging and the entire band followed suit.
Stevenson gives off the same aura in person that he did when I interviewed him via Skype for the February 2012 print issue of iSPY — he comes off as genuine, likeable and sincerely grateful to the band’s fans. However, he and the rest of the band all seem to thoroughly enjoy what they are doing and, as a result, put on a great show.
They are the kind of band that puts on a stadium sized show no matter what the size of the crowd may be — or where their place in the lineup is (they played before Gold Fields during this show, but — based on their performance alone — you’d have thought that they were headlining). Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of their albums, A Silent Film is the kind of band that puts on an entirely on point live show packed with contagious energy and enthusiasm that draws the audience in, making all of them fans by the time it’s through. Next time they come through town, buy a ticket. You won’t regret it.
For the full album of photos, click here.
For iSPY’s interview with Stevenson, click here.