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Silvertide ushers in new era of Rock 'n' Roll
by RACHEL RICHEY
February 24, 2005
For all those who have lost hope in the music industry as of late, it's finally happening. We have something to believe in again.
It's a welcome and cherished rarity to witness something so mesmerizing that it renders you slack-jawed and glassy-eyed in a state of complete reverence at the genius unfolding before you. This is the only way to describe the experience of Sunday night's Disco Rodeo show featuring Submersed, Silvertide and Alter Bridge.
With a lead vocal style rivaling that of Audioslave's Chris Cornell, Submersed brought the concept of technically sound alternative rock to its knees, dwarfing any previous attempt to define the genre.
The guitars left you stunned in a chilling state of head-banging glory. The instrumental bridges featured the long-awaited return of the guitar solo with an alt-rock twist, transforming the audience into a massive air-guitaring, mosh-pitting fury. To say the least, the little-known groups left a big impression.
Rarely does an opening act outdo the headliner, but that was certainly the case as the Philadelphia-born rock revival outfit known as Silvertide took command of the stage as a king takes his throne.
The words "mind-blowing display of neo-classic-rock originality" do not even begin to describe the rock genius that is Silvertide. With the release of its first full-length LP, Show and Tell, and indescribable live performance style, the band has solidified its place within the hearts of millions of die-hard rock fans anxiously awaiting the next revolution.
The undeniable fiery dynamic between frontman Walt Lafty and lead guitarist Nick Perri bears striking resemblance to the classic rock soulmate ensembles of Axl and Slash, Jagger and Richards and even Plant and Page. Perri's face-melting solos, dripping with the virtuosic rock guitar genius that classic rock fans yearn for, not only defy the laws of physics but also light a fire of hope for the long-awaited revival of the true soul of rock 'n' roll.
Eyes closed and head thrashing in a guitar-wielding, trance-like state of virtuosic glory, Perri pounds out chords as if he were channeling Angus Young. The prominent tattoo of the words Les Paul across his chest - an actual tattoo-traced signature from a live jam with the guitar legend himself - does much to denote Perri's skill with the instrument.
Silvertide features Walt Lafty's unique take on the raspy, energetic lead vocal style of an early Brian Johnson laced with The Guess Who's Chad Allan. He even occasionally climbs the ladder toward the coveted eargasmic falsettos of Robert Plant.
Complete with the rustic look of tight jeans, long hair, mouth-watering and shirtless tattooed bodies, and the piercing stare of a group that's heard it all before, Silvertide's look and sound bring to mind instant comparisons to other such modern groups as The Darkness and Jet that are inspired by classic rock. A rock-marathon live version of the super-charged "Ain't Comin' Home" brought the set to a close with a ballad-esque improvisational technique that hasn't been seen since the '70s. Other tracks such as "Heartstrong" displayed the group's softer melodic capabilities. The band makes sure to cover the root elements when it comes to rock 'n' roll: sex, drugs and rebellious independence. Overall, Silvertide not only succeeds in bringing back the wistful mystique of the golden days of rock 'n' roll but also gives modern rock a much needed face-lift, shifting the focus back to lyrical value and instrumental skill.
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