A little while ago I went to see the US post-hardcore band Sleeping With Sirens who toured as special guests with Rise Against through Europe.
Rise Against is an American punk hardcore band, founded in 1999 under the name ‘Transistor Revolt’. After a few changes in their line-up, they now consist of Tim McIlrath (vocals), Zach Blair (guitar), Joe Principe (bass) and Brandon Barnes (drums). So far, the band released eight studio records, a few EP’s and live DVD’s which are ‘Transistor Revolt EP’ (2000, self-released), their debut album ‘The Unraveling’ (2001, Fat Wreck Records), ‘Revolutions per Minute’ (2003, Fat Wreck Records), ‘Siren Song of the Counter Culture’ (2004, Dreamwork Records/Geffen) which includes their break through singles ‘Swing Life Away’ and ‘Give It All’, ‘The Sufferer & The Witness’ (2006, Geffen) which reached number ten on Billboard’s 200 (USA), ‘This is Noise EP’ (2007, Geffen), ‘Appeal to Reason’ (2009, Geffen) which reached number three of the Billboard 200 charts in the USA, ‘Endgame’ (2011, Geffen), ‘Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013’ (2013, Geffen), ‘The Black Market’ (2014, Interscope Records) and ‘Wolves’ (2017, Capitol Records). With their extensive touring after each album released they were able to establish a strong fan base right from the beginning. They also used some of the footage, recorded during their live performances, together with fan interviews, to create ‘Generation Lost’ (DVD) which was released at the end of 2006. ‘Another Station: Another Mile’ was the second live DVD of the band, released in 2010, but this time with the focus on unreleased live footage. Musically, they offer a mix of melodic hardcore, punk rock and hardcore punk mixing rough vocals with heavy and fast guitars. With their lyrics they address different topics such as social problems, animal rights, environmental issues and politics. The band also supports organisations such as PETA.
The sold-out show took place at the o2 Academy Brixton, a Grade II listed concert venue with a capacity of around 4900 people. The normally host events such as live music concerts, club nights or comedy shows, attracting music fans from all over the world. A special feature of the venue itself is the sloping floor that offers a great view even from the back. The stage is one of Europe’s biggest fixed stages with its design based on Venice’s Rialto bridge frame, the Art Deco interior and the distinctive 140-foot dome, making the venue a very special and atmospheric location.
The Venue opened its doors around 7pm and the huge crowd entered with lots of excitement. There were many young adults, but also some younger as well as older people.
The first band on the stage was the melodic hardcore punk band Pears from New Orleans, Louisiana (USA). Founded in 2014 by Zach Quinn (vocals) and Brian Pretus (guitar), they released their debut album ‘Go To Prison’ (self-release) in 2014 and their second album ‘Green Star’ (Fat Wreck Records) in 2016. After a slight change in their line-up, Erich Goodyear joined the band playing the bass and Jarret Nathan sits behind the drums. Musically, Pears mixing rough vocals with their guitar based sound. They had a lot of energy and fun on stage. However, the crowd wasn’t that engaging, even though, the band showed their comedy skills, joking the other bands would have cancelled and they would play all sets themselves instead…
The next band on the stage was the American post-hardcore band Sleeping With Sirens which was the actual reason I wanted to go to the concert 🙂 I saw them before during their ‘World Tour’ with Pierce The Veil. Hence, as I heard they would play some concerts with Rise Against I was absolutely excited.
The band from Orlando, Florida (USA) was founded in 2009 and currently consist of Kellin Quinn (vocals), Justin Hills (bass), Nick Martin (lead guitar), Jack Fowler (rhythm guitar) and Gabe Barham (drums). They just released their fifth studio album ‘Gossip’ (2017, Warner Bros.) which opens up to a broader audience through its rather pop-influenced sound. With their last albums, the band already tried to use as little breakdowns as possible and saw themselves more as a Rock band than within the post-hardcore scene. However, Kellin Quinn’s outstanding and unique sounding voice makes the band even more special and unique, using an incredible range within his high pitched clear vocals and screamed vocals. The main part of the songs is sung with clear vocals. The influences and crossovers of genres such as pop-punk or pop-rock, combined with the unique voice and their talent, makes them a very outstanding band. The band writes the lyrics themselves. Most of the topics are about things that bother the band members or situations and feelings they had to deal with at that point of time.
With each band the crowd got more hyped and the energy level rose. Sleeping With Sirens had an amazing time on stage and animated the crowd to sing along and to enjoy themselves while moshing in their circle pits. Kellin joined the fans at the barrier singing with them together. They played a good mix of their older and new songs which was highly appreciated by the audience.
With Rise Against on the stage, the crowd went mental. They had many circle pits, crowd surfers and everyone enjoyed the show. The band was highly motivated and played many of their new, but also a lot of their older songs. The fans sung along and had a great time. With some of their most famous songs as acoustic versions, the atmosphere was incredible.
Especially the sound and lighting system supported the atmosphere. They had additional screens and a great light show. However, for the acoustic songs they kept it very minimalistic, having only one spot which definitely added to the atmosphere! The sound was on point, not too loud and well mixed – for all of the bands.
It was an amazing night, a special time and a great show with very talented bands. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them the next time they are on tour 😉
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