Recap: The Silos at The Hangar on the Hudson 12/16/22 -By: Steven Stock
Written by Staff on December 22, 2022
Damn weathermen! The actual weather in Troy last Friday wasn’t so bad, a cold rain that eventually turned to light snow before the Silos took the stage at the Hangar. But several days worth of alarmist forecasts hyping potential snowmageddon without actually predicting much of anything meant that just over three dozen hardy souls turned out for this repeat performance, nearly eight months after the Silos’ last Hangar visit. Thankfully, Walter Salas-Humara and his three bandmates didn’t seem at all discouraged, delivering two captivating sets that left virtually everyone in attendance clapping and smiling.
Bruce Martin alternated between a minimalist drum kit and keyboards during the Silos’ set, but he opened the show with three acoustic guitar numbers that showcased his delicate fingerpicking. Martin stayed onstage to back Rod Hohl for his three-song set, until finally Hohl traded his Telecaster for a bass and Salas-Humara took center stage. He’s a compelling frontman even before he opens his mouth to sing. With formidable eyebrows set low over deep-set dark eyes Salas-Humara looks intense, but soon enough he unleashes a toothy grin that sets everyone at ease.
The Silos started with four tracks from their new streaming album Family. “Dreaming Of Paris” was an early highlight, with Martin on keyboards and Hohl playing long sustained notes on his Telecaster that expressed yearning much as a pedal-steel guitar would in a more conventional country band. Salas-Humara plays guitar extremely well but he largely eschewed any solos on this night, so the rare tracks where Hohl traded his bass for a Telecaster (such as “Margaret” in the second set) really commanded attention.
The Silos’ second album Cuba garnered a ton of acclaim back in 1987, culminating in the band being named “Best New Artist” in Rolling Stone’s year-end critics’ poll. Joined by local violinist Alice Oldfather, the Silos’ second set started with nine of the original ten Cuba tracks played in album sequence (only since-departed bandmate Bob Rupe’s “Memories” didn’t make the cut). Oldfather’s intriguing violin lines and backing vocals transformed what was an elemental power trio during the first set into a rather more challenging and rewarding proposition in set two. Her eerie intro along with Martin’s sustained keyboard lines helped add some unusual dynamics to “Tennessee Fire.’
Hohl contributed some lovely backing vocals to “Going Round,” while drummer Martin was a propulsive beast on “It’s Alright.” Martin travels light – three drums, three cymbals – and sounds so much better than silly-ass progressive drummers who need a semi-trailer for their kit! After the Cuba set, the Silos played “Porque No,” “Long Green Boat” and an exultant version of “I’m Over You.”
The crowd, small but insistent, demanded an encore and we got two, starting with “The Only Love.” “I’m gonna close with a song about the Capital Region,” promised a grinning Salas-Humara. Reaching back to his early-90s collaboration The Setters with Alejandro Escovedo and Michael Hall, Salas-Humara and his three fellow Silos clearly enjoyed resurrecting “Let’s Take Some Drugs And Drive Around.”
Silos’ first set
My Favorite Animal
Dreaming Of Paris
Sea Of Cortez
Love And Trust And Friends
Silos’ second set
She Lives Up The Street
Mary’s Getting Married
Just This Morning
All Falls Away
Long Green Boat
I’m Over You
The Only Love
Let’s Take Some Drugs And Drive Around