REVIEW: SILENT HILL LIVE, THE HAUNT, BRIGHTON, 06/11/2015
Having grown up with horror flicks and video games the idea of heading out into the dark depths of the city to catch a rendition of the soundtrack from one of the most haunting franchises to exist, being performed by none other than the original composer no less, sounds like a good thrill, yet somehow Akira Yamaoka and the gang delivered less spooks than your kid’s Halloween shindig.
Met with the sign ‘Welcome to Silent Hill’, and a body hanging from the ceiling, we were prepared to be tormented by the sounds of long suppressed gaming memories, becoming increasingly paranoid that something was about to jump out from the stage doors. Yet as Akira took the stage with his slicked back hair and floral shirt along with his gang of causally dressed cronies, kicking off into the first of a long line of power chord heavy tracks, the sense of unease quickly dissipated.
The distinct lack of immersion was only furthered with the introduction of singer Karina who tried to egg on the crowd with such clichés as “are you having a good time?” and “[inset town] was great but you’re way better”, which took the whole vibe down to local pub cover band level rather than reliving the songs from some of the most terrifying moments in video game history.
However the night wasn’t without it’s highlights, tracks like ‘Room Of Angel’ managed to send chills down our spines with it’s dark lyrics and piano backing, and Akira’s right hand man for the night Tod stole the show from time to time as he was given ample chance to show of his numerous talents, most notably his finger work on the mandolin for Silent Hill 1’s opening theme. But despite this overall the set let us down favouring the vocal heavy, rock ‘n’ roll tracks of the series, all while pushing the eerie instrumentals that brought us out in a cold sweat all those years ago aside.
Tonight’s performance was by far a bad one, in fact, everyone on the team were on point, it was just missing the small details and a thoughtful set list that we had come to expect from a show revolving around a franchise as prestigious as Silent Hill. Next time bring the horror in spades, especially if you’re charging £25 for the experience.
Words and photos by Charles Shepherd