[LIVE REVIEW] Sleeping With Sirens @ Big Top, Sydney 21/04/2018

Walking into Luna Park, there’s always that sense of fun about and even with a cooler night shaping up outside, the line to get into The Big Top stretched most of the way to the big mouthed entrance. It didn’t take long for the crowd to enter and disperse around the venue, with some were very eager to get to the barrier. Each time the light changed, or the house music ended the crowd would cheer. However, the crowd dynamic and vibe was unusual, and the lighting wasn’t the best. While the venue isn’t a large venue, it’s also not small, so it never felt quite full but there was still a lot of fun to be had!

The Faim ran onto the stage full of energy, meeting the audience’s cheers, clearly having fans in the room. Announcing that it was “the biggest crowd [they’ve] ever played to” and they were glad to be back in Australia after recently touring the UK.

Lower Than Atlantis, visiting from the U.K themselves, greeted the awaiting audience, bouncing onto on the stage. So full of energy and with the promise of a “shoey” the crowd began to the bands pop-rock sound. Although, the band noticed the vibe of the crowd and said “this is the weirdest gig we’ve played in a while” which the crowd seemed to agree with through their laughing response to the comment. Lower Than Atlantis continued to play with just as much energy before warming everyone up for the headlining act.

Sleeping With Sirens walked onto the stage, full of confidence.  From the first scream and kick of the drums of ‘We Like It Loud’ the crowd was in motion. Drummer, Gabe Barham, was clearly ready and warmed up to start with such a quick song and eased into the rest of the set. Greeted with the screams of eager fans the band seemed just as keen to get the show started. Continuing with another song from their 2015 albums Madness, ‘Go Go Go’ and ‘Better Off Dead’ was up next, bringing with it the first of many singalongs of the night. The latter of which brought with it a speech about speaking up if you’re feeling down and being aware of other people’s feelings, dealing with depression and knowing you’re never alone.

Empire to Ashes’ with its tune that makes you want to dance and ‘Hole in My Heart’ which made the crowd move a little slower, were the first songs of the touring album ‘Gossip.’ Following on from the same album was ‘One Man Army’ which saw Nick Martin reaching for an acoustic guitar.

Following on from this was an acoustic set, leaving just Martin and vocalist Kellin Quinn on stage. Quinn’s incredible vocal range shone through during ‘Roger Rabbit,’ ‘Gossip’ and ‘The Strays.’ In the middle of the acoustic set, the crowd was treated to finding out some of Quinn’s favourite things with bass guitarist Justin Hills jumping about on stage for some added comedy. The crowd sang along enthusiastically to each song and fully erupted to the final of the acoustic set as the rest of the band returned to the stage for an extended version of the song.

Trouble’ was up next, with it’s catchy clapping intro and then the hard hitting meaning of ‘Congratulations’ to follow, along with the funky guitar solo performer by lead guitarist Jack Fowler. ‘Legends’ was announced as the final song, but it’s slow tempo left the crowd wanting more, so of course there was an encore! Finding their places on stage again, all taking turns to swig out of a whisky bottle. The band had left the biggest three songs for last. “Please stay forever with me” rang out through the speakers before the song had even started, with goose bumps rising on the crowd arms before ‘If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn’ exploded through the speakers at full force. Break up song extraordinaire – ‘If You Can’t Hang’ was up next with the emotional singing from the crowd echoing through the room at every point. Saving ‘Kick Me’ – the first single from ‘Gossip’ – for last the crowd was whipped into a frenzy of movement, singing and screams to finish the night off.

At the end, the band members took some time to say goodbye to their fans, waving, through pics and drum sticks and seemingly enjoying themselves. With a rocky start from the vibe of the crowd and some fans seemingly disappointed with the lack of old songs on the set list, it was a fun, vibrant night with everyone seemingly leaving on a high and satisfied after the 3 years long wait to see Sleeping With Sirens on Australian shores again. Hopefully it’s not so long wait, next time!

Review and Photos Contributed by Carleigh Ingram