Sleep Token – Gig Review & Photo Gallery 4th May @ Magnet House, Perth WA
Magnet House, Perth WA
May 4, 2023
It has been almost a year since Sleep Token were on Australian shores, last here to support Northlane on their Obsidian Tour. I think it’s safe to say that at that point in time, they were still somewhat of an ‘underground’ band as they weren’t even the main support. They were given a criminally short set time of roughly half an hour. However, the quadruplet of masked entities blew the absolute socks off the audiences, ensuring the next time they returned they would be the headliners.
Fast forward to earlier this year and the band dropped two singles (‘Chokehold’ and ‘The Summoning’) within a day of each other, blowing up the internet – largely due to that overly sexual ending to ‘The Summoning’ that would end up being used in countless TikTok clips. This resulted in their monthly listeners on Spotify exploding from ~500,000 to over 2,000,000. The band dropped a few more singles and proceeded to announce their headline Australian tour, which would sell out very quickly, prompting a couple of venue upgrades. And there isn’t even a support band. The hype surrounding Sleep Token and this tour was unreal.
Knowing there weren’t any supports and that Sleep Token weren’t due to hit the stage until 9pm, I arrived at 8:30pm. The venue was absolutely chockers, a blue glow provided by a row of static lights above the stage, and some ambient synthy tunes that wouldn’t be astray as an intro or bridge in a Sleep Token track filled the air. I did a quick recon, weaving through the sea of punters and found myself a somewhat decent spot on the balcony. I had a quick chat with a couple of people around me who had been there since 6:30pm to get merch and found out that the line to get in was lengthy even at that point and that the place had been packed since doors.
8:59pm hit, the lights suddenly dimmed, and the crowd erupted. Vessel appeared on stage amid a bloom of hazy smoke and proceeded to command the complete attention of the room, crooning the opening lines of ‘Chokehold’. By the time the chorus hit, the whole room was singing, and when the full band came in the walls trembled. The alternation between angelic cleans with soothing, restrained melodies and powerful vocals with crushing distorted riffs continued through the rest of the track and ‘The Summoning’. The room continued to sing along with Vessel, and cheer when IV ripped the guitar solo and II cut loose with a drum solo during the usual interlude. Enter that sexual ending to ‘The Summoning’ and every single person was grooving and singing along.
‘Hypnosis’ was next. Living up to its name, the hypnotic groove of the song had the moshpit swaying rhythmically with hands in the air waving back and forth. To complete the vibe, fluorescent light tubes descended from the ceiling and flowed in waves to the beat. ‘Like That’ and ‘Nazareth; followed, the latter allowing Vessel to really flex his vocal range. The colossal closing breakdown groove of the track ensuring punters fists were pumping the air. ‘Granite’ had fans lulled into calm before pummelling them with heaviness. Not a single word uttered between tracks, Vessel then commandeered a piano, entrancing the audience who chanted the lyrics to ‘Aqua Regia’ with him, erupting in applause during the melodic solo. The crowd proceeded to hang onto every word of ‘Atlantic’ as Vessel remained solo on stage with the piano.
The opening notes of ‘Alkaline’ then rung out through the speakers and the room exploded in a huge cheer – clearly a fan favourite. The band once again showing off their ability to draw fans in with softer vocal-led ambient verses and choruses before ripping faces off with monstrous groove-filled breakdowns. Returning to a slightly pop-ier vibe, ‘The Love You Want’ had the audience enter into an overhead hand clap throughout. Sleep Token then took the audience through a three-track journey from their 2019 album ‘Sundowning’ with ‘Higher’, ‘The Night Does Not Belong To God’, and ‘The Offering’. All three tracks had the room completely entranced; the sing-alongs were deafening and the moshpit exploded during heavier sections, particularly the closing of ’The Offering’, which had both the band and punters giving it their all. The band disappeared off stage to a healthy roar from the crowd, who then entered into a “ONE MORE SONG” chant. A few minutes passed and Vessel re-emerged and gave the fans one last serenade with ‘DYWTYLM’.
An hour and a half of non-stop hits. No in-between song banter (or punter flatulence), just a complete musical experience. Sleep Token is a band you must see. While the songs are amazing on record, the depth between the mellow and heavy parts really comes alive when performed, making for a phenomenal show. Sleep Token demonstrated that if you do it right, your music really does the talking for you. Who needs a support band right?
Gig Review by Anthony Santoro
The Love You Want
The Night Does Not Belong To God
Photo Gallery by Emanuel Rudnicki. Insta: @emanuelrucnicki
Please credit Wall of Sound and Emanuel Rudnicki if you use published photos