Scene kids across London came together on Wednesday night as emo icons, Sleeping With Sirens, were in town celebrating the release of their latest album Complete Collapse.
Before Kellin Quinn and co. took to the stage, the crowd were treated to not one, but two stellar support acts in Charming Liars and Static Dress. The former, a London based band fronted by the Californian, Seth Salois, proved to the audience that ‘Charming’ is a very apt description of the band as they expertly warmed the 2,000 strong audience after their lengthy queue in the rain.
The energy is then ramped all the way to eleven with the arrival of Static Dress who more than picks up what Charmin Liars put down. With a sound and look reminiscent of My Chemical Romance’s early years, the band exploded through their 7-song setlist, building perfectly upon the energy Charming Liars had created and leaving the crowd buzzing for the arrival of their headline act.
With one final change over, it’s finally time for Sleeping With Sirens. The band ran onto the stage to the roaring screams of the crowd as they began the How It Feels To Be Lost track “Break Me Down”.
Sleeping With Sirens transport the crowd back in time as they are dressed reminiscent of Green Day’s American Idiot era, most notably through Kellin’s black shirt, red tie and shorter haircut.
“Break Me Down” is followed by a personal favorite of mine, “Kick Me”, before the band perform three tracks, “Leave It All Behind”, “Never Enough” and “Talking To Myself”, off their sixth album, How It Feels to Be Lost, back to back. Strangely, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this tour as being in support of Sleeping With Sirens sixth studio album, instead of their seventh, considering how heavy they play off of it.
Although the heavily played album is strong, there could be a case made for Sleeping With Sirens to play more older hits such as “A Trophy Father’s Trophy Son”, “Scene Two: Roger Rabbit” or anything off their third album Feel.
But for fans of Sleeping With Sirens’ newer output, London would also be treated to bangers such as; “Crosses”, and “Bloody Knuckles”, in addition to the live debut and music video recording of “Crt-Alt-Del”, the title track of this current tour.
This being said, Sleeping With Sirens did blast out a couple of early hits such as “Do It Now Remember It Later”, “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn”, before closing their set with an encore of their greatest hit “If You Can’t Hang”.
As well as playing a mix of old and new songs, Sleeping With Sirens performed a beautiful rendition of the Goo Goo Girl’s sing-a-long classic “Iris”, which was the highlight of the night as fans pointed their phone lights to the sky and sung the hit song in unison.
Overall, there may have been a skewed ratio of new to old songs for the more die hard of fans, but nevertheless, Sleeping With Sirens, with the help of two incredible support bands, captivated London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire with an infectious energy and presence that simultaneously felt both fresh and nostalgic.
Words by Dan Harden // Photography by Martina Liberini