LYNCHBURG, VA ‐ Saturday night brought A Silent Film, the alternative band from Oxford, England, to Lynchburg’s Academy of Fine Arts on the next to last date of their US tour.
Opening for A Silent Film was Los Angeles, CA based band Hands. By the end of Hands’ set, the all seated venue was standing and dancing, giving a warm reception to the band. While Hands only has one EP and one LP to their name so far, they had a wealth of material with which to share. Look for Hands to return to the road on a headlining tour of their own in the future.
After a very quick equipment change over, A Silent Film themselves took the stage, opening with “Love Takes A Wrecking Ball” off 2012 album ‘Sand & Snow’.
Vocalist Robert Stevenson emerged with boundless energy, and maintained his pace throughout the set, transitioning flawlessly from piano to guitar to flitting about the stage singing to each member of the audience. The third song of the night, “This Stage Is Your Life,” seemed to describe his on stage demeanour perfectly.
A Silent Film’s hit singles and fan favourites were interspersed with a total of 6 new songs, which according to the band are slated to appear on the album they were heading home to record. “Lake Swimming” and “Evergreen” had a more melodic and slow tempo, while “Lavender Fields” seemed to touch on childhood fantasy. “Stranger” and “Strong Enough” fit in quite well among the band’s more seasoned selections of “Queen of a Sad Land” and “Anastasia” (both from “Sand & Snow”). Overall, each of the new songs was well received, thanks no doubt to the band’s enthusiastic delivery of the fresh material.
About halfway through the concert, drummer Spencer Walker asked the rest of the band if he could have a few words. He asked the crowd what the story was behind Lynchburg, imploring “Why are you all here?” While the audience answered with various amusing responses, it was a nice moment of connection between band and crowd, especially hearing a drummer speak up for a change.
The band returned for an encore, seemingly surprised at the clapping, stomping and cheering that had beckoned them back. They spoke their appreciation to the crowd, saying how surprised they were to be so loved on their first visit to Lynchburg. They played one more new song, “Message,” and rounded out with “Danny Dakota & The Wishing Well” which many probably know from its SiriusXM rotations.
If the audience is any indication ‐ who were out of their seats and on their feet cheering almost the entire show ‐ A Silent Film will return again to Lynchburg on a future US tour. For now, everyone will be waiting with bated breath for the forthcoming album that the Academy of Fine Arts crowd got a healthy sampling of.