Sleeping With Sirens, This Wild Life, As It As and Beach Weather – Rock City, Nottingham – 1st March 2016

After a full 45 minute wait, the first band on tonight’s bill is Beach Weather. This US three-piece play their average alt rock well, but they don’t really stand out among their peers. The audience clap and woop in the right places and after each song, not disliking but not really invested in these openers either. During the 30 minute set we are eventually treated to the stand out song ‘Bad Seed’, with the funky upbeat sound and easily sing-a-long woah woahs, it’s impossible to not tap your feet along to. This gets the energy up in the room, and deservedly receives the loudest cheer so far.

Next up are acoustic duo This Wild Life, who, after a few original songs including ‘Better With You’, get the whole crowd singing a long to a brilliant cover of ‘Sleepwalking’ by Bring Me The Horizon. Vocalist / guitarist Kevin Jordan weaves his way through a multitude of topics, from his sick mother in the beautiful ‘No More Bad Days’ to a pet dog in the appropriately named ‘Puppy Love’. This Wild Life would be a great band to watch in a room full of fans singing a long, we got just a hint of what the atmosphere would be like during ‘Sleepwalking’, but because most are unfamiliar with the band, the set doesn’t quite reach that level of enjoyment. The crowd wake up and clap a long when Anthony Del Grosso swaps his guitar for a drum kit in set closer ‘Concrete’.

Final support comes from home-grown talent As It Is, who clearly have quite a few fans in attendance. Screams ripple through the room every time frontman Patty Walters steps out on stage during soundcheck. They open with the second ‘Concrete’ of the night, before kicking into ‘Cheap Shots And Setbacks’ to an ecstatic crowd. Phones across the room are probably on their last legs already, as Walters demands everyone light the room up for the second time tonight – admitting that the only reason they do it is to get cool photos for social media. Patty dons an acoustic guitar for ‘Oceans Were Lakes’ and ‘Silence (Pretending’s So Comfortable)’, before finishing on their most popular song ‘Dial Tones’.

Finally the band everyone is here to see, Sleeping With Sirens. Each member makes an entrance on stage, lapping up the cheers that fill the room, before launching into ‘Don’t Say Anything’. The room explodes into a frenzy during ‘Kick Me’ and shout ‘Go go go, I don’t want to take it slow’ back at front-man Kellin Quinn in aptly titled ‘Go Go Go’. ‘Better Off Dead’ gets a scream when announced, the whole crowd shouting every lyric at the band. That’s the most predominant aspect of tonight, the fans are so invested in their favourite band, every song getting just as much love and admiration as the last. Of course there are favourites, such as set closer ‘If You Can’t Hang’ and acoustic ‘The Strays’ but the attention never drops, the dedication never waivers through the whole 15 song set.

Talking about the 15 song, hour-long set, vocalist Kellin Quinn is pitch perfect throughout, whether on an acoustic, vocal driven song such as ‘Gold’ or whether jumping about like a madman, Quinn’s voice sounds as good as, if not better than on record. Guitarists Jack Fowler and Nick Martin take advantage of the ramps on either side of the stage the whole set, swapping sides and posing for the crowd. Sleeping With Sirens ‘finish’ on ‘If I’m James Dean, They You’re Audrey Hepburn’, continuing with a three song encore before leaving their fans to gush about how good their night was for weeks to come.

As It Is

Beach Weather

This Wild Life

Sleeping with Sirens

Photos and words by Carrie-Anne Pollard

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