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Gig Review: Sleeping With Sirens @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 29/4/18

01 May 2018 // A review by ShelleySketch
It’s a Sunday night in Auckland and this show was adjusted accordingly, with set times being even earlier than scheduled. 5pm doors was a weird experience but at the same time it was a welcomed one. The Powerstation was split, with U18 upstairs and R18 downstairs. Sadly, this was probably a poor choice as it made the venue look rather empty with the small crowd being split. But that didn’t affect the energy of the crowd at all.

The Faim took the stage and lead vocalist, Josh Raven seemed to literally go crazy! He was constantly jumping, moving around the stage and interacting with the crowd. It made me feel somewhat tired just watching him. Michael Bono (Lead Guitar/Bass/Vocals), Stephen Beerkens (Bass/Keyboard) and Sean Tighe (Drums/Percussion) followed suit. Though they were pretty much confined to a small area, they’d move where they could and were clearly into the performance. For a second, I thought The Faim sounded somewhat familiar to me and I realized they made me think of Panic at The Disco, particularly with Josh’ vocal range, which I’m sure is envied by other musicians. He introed their song Make Believe by saying “This is our song. How we crawl ourselves out of the fucking shit”. The Perth locals clearly wanted to maintain that energy with Josh getting the crowd to clap along in tracks, jump and he even jumped into the pit to get up close and personal with them. Though it was an early show and the crowd was still quite small at this point, they made it feel like the room was packed and it was great.

Next up was an act who had flown a bit further to get here, Hertfordshire locals, Lower Than Atlantis. There was a small group of people in the crowd who you could see were very excited about the guys making it to our shores. The band dived right in. There wasn’t too much movement at all, but the songs seemed to provide more energy anyway as the crowd jumped along to start with. They then clapped along as well. Occasionally lead vocalist Mike Duce would interact a bit with the crowd, even fist-bumping a female in the front row. But that was about it. At one-point Mike even announced “ozzy, ozzy, ozzy!” Clearly, they were in the wrong place, but the crowd went along with and did it anyway. I’d have to say one of the best parts of the set was when he advised the crowd to sing-a-long if they could understand his accent. The crowd clearly didn’t and just seemed to play along. Mike noticed and advised them to just make the words up, however the crowd decided to hum instead. He then found it hard to continue as he just burst into laughter. The guys were clearly trying to figure out how similar we were to Australia as he asked the crowd if we encourage “shoeys” here. The crowd told him we didn’t but then decided to encourage him to do one anyway. It seemed like he expected that to happen but also didn’t want it to at the same time. Mike took off his own shoe and told the crowd that using his own shoe would be the worst as he has played in them every night on the entire tour. The look of disgust on his face definitely showed how gross it really was. He then preceded to play the rest of the gig in his white ankle socks. I noticed throughout the set that Mike has a bit of a twitch. He seems to go up on his tip toes a lot, just up and down. It was rather interesting. As their set came to an end they decided to acknowledge those who were upstairs, and Mike told them to get ready as he was going to do a “high-five Mexican wave” with them. This involved him running upstairs and high fiving everyone, while still playing. He played from the balcony for a bit while looking down at the stage before finally returning to thank everyone and say goodbye.

After a brief intermission to change the set, the lights went out and the intro music began to play. Finally Sleeping with Sirens emerged and got stuck straight in to their set. At first it seemed like your standard set with band members in their set areas. However, their energy picked up, especially Nick Martin (rhythm guitar/vocals) who began singing and interacting with the crowd right off the bat. The next member I noticed was Gabe Barham (drummer) as he looked like he was having the best time playing drums. Lead vocalist Kellin Quinn seemed a bit like he didn’t want to be there at first, as he paced the stage back and forth with his head down. The crowd also hadn’t grown much more but it also seemed rather nice having such an intimate crowd. Nick addressed the crowd to let them know they appreciated everyone for coming out to the last night of this leg of the tour. The night then got a bit weird. It was the last night of tour and they were probably quite tired, so all the stupidity ensued. There was a small group of girls who continued to ask Nick for a pick and Kellin was quick to jump on the band wagon, also asking him for a pick. Justin Hills (bass) decided to join in and asked Kellin for his microphone. They then began playing with microphone, even grabbing another one and just playing around while singing together. It was a fun moment the crowd really loved. It was making it feel like this small crowd were all just friends and having a fun time.

It came time for the band to play their “last song”, Legends. The crowd went off as they thought it was the last song. This song is obviously very well-known as well for being used by the official U.S Olympic Team song. The gig veterans who were up the front knew they would come back on, but it didn’t stop the crowd chanting. After a couple of minutes, the band came back out. Though Justin raced Kellin to the mic to tell the crowd they have 3 more songs left for us. The jokes continued with Kellin dedicating the next song to him and began singing about his band mates. All the pranks came out at this point! Gabe was getting chucked sticks from both sides, forcing him to drop sticks he’s using and continue playing with the ones chucked at him. Justin was running around and just seemed to be laughing for the longest time. There was obviously a joke or discussion on stage which ran for the rest of this night. Jack Fowler (lead guitar) was also laughing and even started fooling around. He put a beer in his mouth and drank it with no hands at one point and also lied down on the stage while playing. Kellin's energy had picked up as well as he began fooling around. He swung his mic around at crazy fast speeds, which he tried to do earlier in the night, but the lighting threw him off. And just like Jack, he lied down on the stage after they pushed him over as he was tying his laces. All these jokes really took the show to another level. It was the music everyone wanted but the band gave off this fun, loving energy which made the crowd appreciate them even more. The band all came forward at the end, thanked everybody, chucked out memorabilia and departed the stage. The crowd was beaming as they left. Even stopping to take photos with The Faim, who were hanging out to meet fans. It’s unsure if Sleeping with Sirens will be back, but this small intimate show definitely made for a good Sunday night!

Review written by Shelley Te Haara

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