For lovers of live music, acoustic shows are often the most raw and striking. It is a true test of talent and brings the artists closer to the audience. Personally, as someone who has seen at least hundreds of live acts, I have only been to a few acoustic shows and never know exactly what to expect. While many acoustic shows are set in smaller venues, the High Noon Saloon in
was an excellent location for HURT and two members of Silence is Broken to play. As with many similar shows, this one did not disappoint. Madison, WI
Jamison Parker and Aaron Fishel of the
band Silence is Broken opened the show. I have seen the band too many times to count and they are my standing favorite semi-local band, but I had never seen them in an acoustic setting. Silence is Broken was established in 2005 and frequently comes to Madison and the surrounding areas, playing with many bands like HURT, Anew Revolution, Nonpoint as well as a multitude of other national acts at their 94.1 WJJO Band Camp appearances. Rockford, IL
This show was different from anything I had every experienced with them, although not in an unpleasant way. Hearing some of their songs that are normally full of energy played without the other members of the band or any of the added benefit of a regular show was eye opening. It allowed the fans to absorb the music on a deeper level and truly understand the lyrics. The show took on a very personal, relaxed, and conversational attitude. The normally energetic stage presence of the Silence is Broken members was toned down and the music took on a slower and sometimes sadder tone but was nevertheless enjoyable. While I prefer seeing Silence is Broken in the usual setting, the acoustic set showed an entirely different side of at least two of the members and I wouldn’t recommend passing up the chance to see it again.
HURT, a band that was originally created in
Virginia but now based in , had a similar conversational and relaxed tone during their set, but played with the entire band and even included a cellist in their show. Led by front man J. Loren, HURT played a variety of songs including some of their original work, brand new songs and some from a variety of their albums. California
The acoustic HURT set differed from the opening act due to having the entire band and having songs that are played in a way that translates easily into an acoustic show without changing the tone. HURT blew away the crowd with some fan favorites like Rapture, 1331, and Ten Ton Brick. J. Loren brought in his normal crowd-pleasing energy and, as usual, had the entire venue singing along to the songs. HURT’s variety in their songs provides different sounds and nobody walks away completely disappointed. The songs in the set followed the same trend as a normal HURT show, including heavy, moody, and upbeat songs all intermingled. The only complaint heard at the end of the show was the disappointment that they did not play the hidden track at the end of the album Goodbye to the Machine, which is alternately called “Flowers” and “We’re All Gonna Die,” depending on who you are talking to.