It was a delightfully cool evening that heralded the start of summer as I arrived at Max Watts, 30 mins before the doors were to be opened. A long queue had already formed and snaked it’s way around the corner and down the alley like a magnificent, black veiled, rainbow serpent.
Emo, Metalcore, Post-Hardcore, none of these labels mattered tonight. All that mattered was that Sleeping With Sirens were in Melbourne and had sold out the venue.
First up were Melbourne’s very own, Bad/Love. Having just completed a tour in October supporting Stepson, the boys were in fine form and delivered a killer, high energy set from start to finish. Their guitarist appeared to have had some technical issues early in the set but the band smoothly continued while it was sorted out and didn’t miss a beat. The crowd responded enthusiastically towards the band and even got a circle pit going mid set.
After some initial delays due to technical issues, The Beautiful Monument took to the stage and delivered a set that was like a soundtrack to an emotional roller coaster. Songs akin to a cocktail of heartbreak and angst resonated with the audience as vocalist Lizi Blanco managed to simultaneously capture both joy and sorrow in her performance.
While we waited for Sleeping With Sirens to take the stage several ABBA songs were played over the sound system much to the crowds delight. They gleefully sang along, loud and proud to know all the lyrics. I guess no matter what genre of music you are into, we can safely assume everybody loves ABBA.
At 9:40pm the lights dimmed and the crowd screamed as Matty Best took to the drums and gradually built upon the tension in the room with a series of well executed drum fills. As he reached a crescendo the whole band ran out on stage. Kellin Quinn acknowledged the crowd and was rewarded with a raucous reception as the band began playing, Break me down.
Sleeping with Sirens performed with a frenetic energy as Kellin swung his microphone from his neck and bassist Justin Hills ran around giving high fives to members of the audience. By their 3rd song, Leave it all behind, the crowd had transformed into a sea of undulating bodies creating a marriage of synchronicity and chaos.
Circle pits and mosh pits spontaneously erupted and we even got to see the infamous wall of death as they performed Complete Collapse and Crosses off their new album. Aggressive, groove driven verses gave bloom to anthemic choruses that the fans were all too eager to sing along to. From their reaction it seems the fans not only approve but absolutely adore the new material.
Despite all the moshing the crowd seemed respectful of each other at all times and there was a sense of camaraderie among the fans. This sentiment was further reinforced when Kellin made a heartfelt speech about self worth and being there for each other. We were even treated to a little acoustic set performed by Kellin Quinn and guitarist, Tony Pizzuti which included a tasteful cover of Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls.
Ending on a high note they played Bloody knuckles off the new record and the fan favourite If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn. Sleeping with Sirens definitely have some of the most passionate fans I’ve ever seen and it seems to me that to them these aren’t just songs, but Anthems for those who don’t belong. And for them Kellin Quinn isn’t just a vocalist, but the voice of their generation.
If tonight’s performance was anything to go by then I can confidently say that we’re in for one hell of a day at Good Things Festival.