Reggae punk titans SiM gave an electrifying performance at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland on September 19, sharing the stage with bands Within Destruction, Rain City Drive, and DANCE GAVIN DANCE. This show was their 19th stop on the action-packed Jackpot Juicer US Tour, which took them to 27 major cities across the country and drew in an impressive crowd of approximately 70,000 fans.
Tremors before the rumbling
SiM fans eagerly formed a long line outside the venue, winding from Colesville Road to Fenton Street. They were unmistakable, proudly showing off their SiM and Attack on Titan merchandise. SiM has composed two iconic theme songs for the anime series Attack on Titan so far: Under the Tree and The Rumbling. The latter has even achieved an impressive 50 million views on YouTube. Some dedicated fans even went the extra mile, sporting Eren cosplay makeup, paying homage to Attack on Titan‘s complex antihero. Adding to the palpable excitement, a “SOLD OUT” sign was prominently displayed in the box office window.
SiM had a prestigious spot in the lineup, performing just before the headlining act, DANCE GAVIN DANCE. As the house lights dimmed to signal their approach, the Fillmore’s famous crystal chandeliers came to life with a vivid violet glow. This sent a palpable shiver of excitement through the crowd, who were tightly packed on the standing-room-only floor. The feeling surged with a thunderous roar as the members of SiM—vocalist MAH, guitarist SHOW-HATE, bassist SiN, and drummer GODRi—made their entrance onto the hazy stage.
Get Up, Get Up
The performance kicked off with a fighting spirit as SiM launched into Get Up, Get Up, a mobilizing anthem from their 2012 album LiFE and DEATH. With rapid bursts of light and English lyrics, the band swiftly connected with the audience, encouraging everyone to get up and dance.
Right out of the gate, SiM introduced their reggae influences fused with hardcore punk, setting their unique musical identity apart in the lineup. This reggae vibe continued into their second song TxHxC, which exuded an unbridled festival rock spirit, pushing the limits of the crowded concert hall. The audience responded by kicking up a flurry of dust, as beer cans and sneakers of all sizes and colors sailed over hands in a crowd-surfing frenzy.
SiM proceeded to deliver a show that was steeped in nostalgia and honed by experience. SiM’s music harkens back to the energizing and carefree sounds of the early ’00s, but they infuse it with a fresh twist, incorporating unexpected instruments, vocal embellishments, and unique genre blending. Having performed together since 2004, they bring a tight and well-honed live presence to the stage. This dynamic blend of fresh intensity captivated the crowd instantly, even those who were experiencing SiM for the first time.
With the band now in full swing, they dived into their fresh material, commencing with KiSS of DEATH from their latest studio album, PLAYDEAD. The high-octane beats relentlessly threw gasoline on the fired up crowd, with no respite between songs. Security was already in action, removing overenthusiastic fans from the audience, and the third song wasn’t even finished!
Can I smash your head with a baseball bat?
By the time the third track rolled in, the audience was “swallowed by the flood” of SiM’s music, to quote KiSS of DEATH. SiM is renowned for igniting wild mosh pits at festivals, from walls of death to circle pits, and this performance was no exception.
Mischievous and outgoing frontman MAH has a remarkable knack for stirring up audiences and inciting chaos. Just before a particular song, MAH playfully directed the crowd to crouch down, only to burst into action moments later. He seemed disappointed with the crowd’s performance, then delivered the punchline to his joke—”I totally forgot that American folks can’t crouch. Assholes!”.
The set took a hard swing into the earworm BASEBALL BAT—a catchy, sadistic tune that I can’t help but sing along to whenever it comes on in my car. With a maniacal grin beneath lime green lights, MAH playfully offered a tutorial on how to sing along to the chorus:
Can I smash your head with a baseball bat?
Or stab you with a smile in the back
I wanna K-I-L-L Y-O-U
Give me something hard as a baseball bat, yeah!
Afterward, MAH beamed with enthusiasm and declared, “We can’t get enough of this town. That’s why we’re coming back on our own headlining tour this spring!”
With that exciting announcement, the crowd erupted in a defeaning cheer of approval.
“Do you like numetal? Bands like Korn?” MAH asked the crowd, to a flood of screams.
He introduced the next song in their set, RED, a fresh track from their new album PLAYDEAD. This song features an ethnic-sounding melody played on the Kalimba, an African instrument. However, when the melody is distorted through a low-pass filter and incorporated into the hardcore composition, it becomes nearly unrecognizable.
Without a doubt, RED takes you on a nostalgia trip to the early ’00s nu-metal scene, all while injecting SiM’s unique and innovative touches. This song also serves as a pivotal moment in their performance, as they shift towards a heavier sound.
Introducing their earth-shattering anthem The Rumbling, the deafening roar from the audience shook the very foundations of the venue and proved to be the most thunderous reaction I experienced throughout the night.
All hell broke loose in the pit where hardcore punks, metalheads, and anime enthusiasts collided. Amidst the chaos, a sea of cellphones struggled to capture the iconic hit as bodies slammed around them.
High above the frenzy, MAH stood tall and triumphant. His outstretched arms seemed to guide the pulsating sea of fans like a puppeteer pulling the strings of a marionette. The relentless pounding of GODRi’s drum kit reverberated through the air, while bassist SiN leaned into his guitar, driving the song’s rhythmic core. Meanwhile, guitarist SHOW-HATE radiated pure satisfaction, smiling as his fingers deftly worked the strings of his guitar.
After a night filled with twists and turns, and diverse melodies that had the audience on the edge of their seats, SiM wrapped up their performance with the electrifying tracks KiLLiNG ME and “f.a.i.t.h.”. As their set came to a close, the entire Fillmore venue was a sea of fans, stretching from the barricade up to the back of the house, and even folks on the second floor craned their necks for a better view.
Despite their compact set, SiM managed to deliver a satisfying range of songs from their extensive discography. For those new to SiM, their set provided a clear introduction to the band’s identity and musical essence. While The Rumbling was an undisputed crowd-pleaser, SiM ventured into various musical genres, leaving melodies that were impossible to forget, ensuring that everyone left with a musical hook that would stay with them.
Having wrapped up their whirlwind US circuit, SiM kicks off on their Japan tour on October 24. The tour runs through December and features popular guest artists like Paledusk and Knosis. Some performances are already sold out or are approaching capacity, so if you’re in Japan, be sure to grab your tickets soon!
For those of you in the US, keep your eyes on JROCK NEWS for when SiM officially announces their next US headlining tour. In the meantime, you can check out our review of SiM’s sixth studio album, PLAYDEAD here.
SiM at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland, Tuesday, September 19, 2023
- Get Up, Get Up
- KiSS OF DEATH
- BASEBALL BAT
- The Rumbling
- KiLLiNG ME
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