Camden in the cold can seem a bit dreary – melancholy, even. But Sleeping With Sirens were here to liven things up and get Saturday night started for all the excited teens, drunk mums, and bored dads in attendance.
A fantastic selection of support bands were in tow tonight, albeit odd choices for a band with Sleeping With Sirens’ demographic. Something tells me that the parents of the 15-year-olds here tonight didn’t much approve of SHVPES’ “Your mother should have swallowed you” lyric. I’m a big SHVPES fan, but I’m sure a more wholesome, fitting choice of band would have sat far more comfortably with everyone.
What surprised me was the fact that Sleeping With Sirens still attract such a young audience – as they did when they were newcomers. Some of the kids here tonight would still have been in primary school when the band formed. I suppose sugar-sweet vocals and good looks are something that will keep a band firmly in the teen category forever. There were some older, OG fans in the house – almost as excitable as the young-uns.
Regardless of age or life stage, there was one thing that all attendees tonight had in common – being absolutely packed solidly together. The sold-out show meant that the balcony was open – a rarity at Electric Ballroom these days, and there was not a centimetre of space between the people down in the floor space.
The set was pretty much half tracks from new album, How it Feels to be Lost, and half classics. A few inspirational speeches from frontman Kellin Quinn earned much applause and cheers from the crowd, and the mention of his daughter sent a wave of ‘awwws’ through the venue. The pace was slowed down for acoustic renditions of ‘With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear’ and ‘Roger Rabbit’, and then picked back up for ‘Blood Lines’ with renewed energy in perfect SWS fashion.
Quinn mentioned that he was ill and it had been affecting his voice, but that he went to see ‘a good doctor in London’ who had ‘shot him in the neck’ so that now he was able to sing. I’m assuming he meant shot as in injection, or else he definitely would not have been able to sing. Was I the only one in this 1,500 capacity venue that pondered that thought for more than 10 seconds? It has to be said that Quinn was doing a fantastic job vocally, for someone who had been ill.
The end of the show was truly a spectacle, complete with smoke and confetti. Ending on ‘Kick Me’, there were people on shoulders and all the craziness that the lack of space would allow. The band exited the stage to loud screams and (somewhat predictably) came back for an encore of old classics ‘If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn’, and ‘If You Can’t Hang’ – the one everyone had been waiting for.
It must have been all the last-minute energy drinks bought at the bar that had sent the whole crowd into overdrive, and people had somehow found the space to mosh.
‘If You Can’t Hang’ was turned into a well-maximised commodity tonight. It stopped as if it was the very end – a dead silence from the stage, but then the song picked right back up with so much confetti falling down to cover the crowd.
A very dramatic but equally impressive ending – worth the effort that will go into clearing all the confetti up (although I’m not sure the Electric Ballroom staff would agree).
Check out the full photo galley here.