Date: May 17th, 2013
Venue: O2 Academy, Bristol
Support: Our Last Night / The Word Alive
The O2 Academy in Bristol welcomes the arrival of Orlando, Florida poster boys Sleeping With Sirens for a sold out gig. Stretching far up Trenchard Street is an armada of scene girls, all wondering what the fuss is about these ‘gigs’ they’ve heard so much about. At 23 years old, I am by far the oldest person in attendance (save for the parents that have come along with their kids). In front of me in the line, two teenagers share a cigarette and take swigs from their freshly mixed Imperial Vodka with Red Bull. It’s going to be one of those gigs.
Our Last Night (*) from Hollis, New Hampshire really are as interchangeable as they come with every other band in the modern metalcore scene. There’s about as much originality to them as a punch in the face, but they nonetheless easily get the starstruck crowd moving with little effort. The only real thing of note is a moderately good cover of Adele‘s ‘Skyfall’.
The bar has been set pretty low for levels of heaviness, and The Word Alive (****) soar over it with their all-the-breakdowns chugfest. Telle Smith is an extraordinary vocalist, seamlessly progressing from bone rattling roars to powerful melodics. The pits are rather one sided, with the few hardcore dancers pitting themselves against the more edgy teens as others scream in terror. TWA play a perfectly sized set, boasting songs from 2010’s ‘Deceiver’ and the more recent ‘Life Cycles’, including ‘Dragon Spell’ and the excellent ‘Room 126’.
It’s obvious when the next band are about to come on, because a wave of high pitched screams sound out whenever anyone wanders onto the stage for Sleeping With Sirens (**). What follows is a set that is incredibly easy to hate thanks to its linearity. Songs from ‘Let’s Cheers To This’ to ‘A Trophy Father’s Trophy Son’ and ‘Tally It Up, Settle The Score’ are the highlight, alongside promising tunes from new album, ‘Feel’.
What’s clear is that Sleeping With Sirens would arguably be nothing without lead singer, Kellin Quinn. His broad vocal range is impressive, but anything he does is greeted with spine-shattering screams from the crowd of pre-teens. It’s at the point where he could literally shit in a tissue and smear it all over the front row when the band decide to exit stage left, leaving himself and Jessie Lawson on acoustic guitar to crank the douchebag score right up to 10. Even more gut wrenching is the token ‘be yourself’ speech that will spread like wildfire all over YouTube.
It’s these sort of shows that make teenagers look ridiculous. SWS are pretty much One Direction with a few rock elements, yet the whole scene refuses to listen to the latter because they’re in the charts. A review from any one of the kids at this show would just read “OMG best show eva <3" because SWS know exactly what to do to make their fans wet their pants.
If you’re not convinced yet about the average age at the show, you need look no further than the front till totals for the front bar. From a sell out crowd of 2000 punters, only about 10 troubled the bar. I’m too old for this shit.
Written by MG Savage