Sleeping With Sirens – Gig Review 1st December @ Max Watts, Melb VIC

Sleeping With Sirens
Max Watts, Melbourne VIC
December 1, 2022
Supports: The Beautiful Monument and Bad/Love

Having just released their new album Complete Collapse under two months ago (our review here), Australian emo’s and alt-rockers have many reasons to rejoice when the thought of Sleeping With Sirens coming to their city for a slot at the inaugural Good Things Festival comes to mind. For some fans, including myself, that festival set was not enough. Our thirst for satisfaction drove many of us to head to Max Watts in Melbourne/Naarm, where we could catch the four-piece in a far more intimate setting.

I arrived at the sold-out show to a massive line of people waiting to enter the venue which wrapped around the block. Openers Bad/Love seem to be hot property right now as droves of punters crammed into the venue to watch the band open the night’s festivities. I’ve witnessed this band perform a number of times and each time, for various different reasons, I was quite underwhelmed. At this show however, I couldn’t take my eyes off the electric four-piece. Vocalist Landon Kirk made it difficult to focus my attention in any direction but his own. His clear, well-defined, clean and unclean vocals, as well as his entertaining stage presence, makes him an absolute pleasure to watch. Guitarist Lachlan Monty adds an extra dimension with his vocals which were more than welcomed as the group performed like a well-oiled machine. The packed-out band room responded well to this as they moshed until the last note was played.

As the maximum capacity crowd waited for The Beautiful Monument to take to the stage, punters entertained themselves by singing along to whichever songs were playing through the speakers, one of which being ‘If It Means A Lot To You’ by the almighty A Day To Remember. As the five piece took to the stage vocalist Lizi Blanco joked about this by greeting the band room with “What’s going on you beautiful bunch of emo’s? Yeah, that’s right, I heard you all singing!” before breaking out into their signature alt-rock sound. Much like the Bad/Love who performed before them, this bunch had the crowd singing along and moshing from start to finish.

Surprising us all with a little treat, the band played a brand new, unreleased song that had a fast tempo, yet stuck to the group’s melodic roots throughout the chorus. Vocalist Blanco moves from left to right, with an attitude of ‘are you f*cking listening?’, which of course the answer was yes, although my awareness was drawn to guitarist/unclean vocalist Amy McIntosh. Her energetic stage presence in the form of guitar spins, kicks and other dance moves while performing and singing is highly captivating. Before walking off stage, the Aussie quintet finished the set with their popular track ‘Deceiver‘.

The thirty minute wait between sets felt like all of eternity as the punters squished up against each other in the maximum capacity band room, however, this didn’t seem to have an effect on anyone’s bellowing shriek’s from the second that vocalist Kellin Quinn stepped foot on stage. His mere presence seemed to send the hundreds of fans into a frenzy. The hungry and lively audience transformed this venue into a zestful area of circle pits, walls of death, crowd surfing, moshing and sing-alongs from the second that the first note was played. The US-based alt-rock band played songs from all eras of their existence, with the first half of the set being focused on their newer material, especially their latest album. Songs such as ‘Crosses‘, ‘Complete Collapse‘ and ‘Bloody Knuckles‘ have quickly become crowd favourites as the audience sang every word and didn’t miss a lyric. Aussie-turned-US drummer Matty Best took this tour as a chance to impress his home country by playing flawlessly. This is his first Australian tour with the band (since his other band Tonight Alive‘s hiatus began) and he has seemingly slotted into the group effortlessly. He has spent quite some time overseas performing, writing and recording with this group so having him come home and show us just how much he has grown as a musician was special.

Kellin Quinn only gave one speech of the night where the Oregon-born vocalist bluntly pointed out that “every single one of you are important and loved. Check in on your friends, lift each other up and spread you love” which was something that all of us could take in. The vocalist is renowned for these types of messages but when this was said, he made each of us feel as if we were the only ones in the room and he was talking directly to each of us as an individual.

At which point all band members except Quinn and guitarist Nick Martin left the stage. The band performed their hits ‘With Ears To See, and Eyes To Hear’‘Roger Rabbit’, as well as their Goo Goo Dolls cover of ‘Iris’, each of which was as emotionally gripping as the next. There was sobbing, cheering, singing and hugging all contained within the crowd while these performances took place. At this point in the set, the lights were perfectly displayed to showcase these acoustic tracks, at no point did they overshadow or underwhelm the performance, which heightened my enjoyment tenfold. Before finishing their performance, the group performed their famous track ‘If You Can’t Hang’ as an encore, which gave us all one sing-along before losing our voices.

As an old fan who is mostly familiar with the band’s earlier work, I didn’t manage to connect with the group’s newer material as much as I would have liked. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my nostalgic trip down memory lane with the performances of Sirens’ older material. We are bloody lucky to have this band visit Australia to perform at Good Things Festival so make sure you take the time to support them when you attend.

Gig Review by Adam Rice

Sleeping with Sirens’ Brisbane sideshow (Dec 6) tickets here

Good Things Festival

December 3 – Sydney – LAST TICKETS

December 4 – Brisbane – LAST TICKETS

Tix Here

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About Adam 'Ricey' Rice (106 Articles)
A young music enthusiast who dives into a world created by an artist then returns to reality to express what he experienced in writing.