Sleeping With Sirens at Rock City, Nottingham

Kellin QuinnAs I walked into the main room of Rock City, Nottingham, all I could think was “this gig could go one of two ways”. Strangely enough, it went both.

To start with, it really irritated me that I didn’t get the chance to see the whole of The Getaway Plan’s set. They were the first support up on stage, and had already started playing by the time I got into the venue. Saying I was only about halfway in the queue, I pity anyone at the back who particularly wanted to see them. I suppose it makes sense when you’ve got a load of supports, and you only start letting people at 7.00pm. I’m sure the venue had a perfectly justifiable reason why a fair portion of the audience missed the entirety of the set, as well. That said, what I saw of the set was pretty great, especially to such a huge crowd. The crowd were all set for a great evening, and weren’t holding back, even if it was only the first band, and they may as well have been headlining, they were that damn good.

If I’m honest, I could say the same for Hands Like Houses, the second support. They came on stage with something I haven’t seen in a band before – a mix of assertiveness and confidence in what they were doing (not to be misconstrued for arrogance), and wanting to deliver the best damn set they could, and show the crowd a real good time. For some reason I was left respecting them, more than anything. Both these supports did what was intended though – got the crowd warmed up and loving the night!

When Sleeping With Sirens first announced their supports for this tour, I remember there being a lot of people… not complaining, but confused and… Well, yes, complaining, that The Summer Set were going to be the main one, purely for the fact that they’re not that similar in genre. I mean, I was over the moon, and they could well be the reason I enjoyed the gig as much as I did, but The Summer Set were clearly brought in for the majority of the audience – 14 year old “fangirls” who liked alternative pop music – rather than Sleeping With Sirens’s target audience – post-hardcore rock fans. Either way, The Summer Set put on a show and a half, mixing some of their older music with a lot of their new tracks, thanking various people who helped them along the way, and making it a show and not just a set list.

I don’t know where to begin with Sleeping With Sirens – how impressed I was with their older work, or how I felt they didn’t fit together at all as a band? I thought it would have been bad if the show had slipped into a Kellin Quinn-fest, but it was worse than that. At least if it had become The Kellin Quinn Show, the rest of the band would have stuck together as a band and just let him lead, but instead they were all over the place, each one trying to take the lead, when I’m sure about 50% of the crowd didn’t know any other members except the lead singer. Not a great start.

I had been most looking forward to hearing them play their older work, and that was absolutely incredible, to say the least. For me, seeing songs such as If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn and With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear performed was definitely the highlight of their show, along with A Trophy Fathers Trophy Son. The low point of the night was probably… well, the rest of it.

In all fairness, Low was performed rather well, but the rest of the album… well least to say, I wasn’t impressed. When I first listened to Feel (SWS’s latest album) in full, it occurred to me then that most of the tracks seemed rather similar. For some reason, I’d been hoping – and expecting – that it would be better live. Evidently, it wasn’t. There are two attitudes to this kind of music and respective behaviour at gigs; the “let rockers rock” approach, and “aren’t they, like, 12?” If it hadn’t been that the average age in the room was 13/14, and most of the younger fans were girls, I’d have been totally for all hell being leased on the place. But you’ve got all the health and safety issues nowadays, and if people can’t climb on each other’s shoulders (thanks to the bouncers), why did Kellin throw his towel into the crowd? Yes, I know no one got killed by a towel, but no rock star threw a microphone stand into the pit at first, did they? Oh, and spurting water into the crowd. C’mon, that’s gross. I don’t care if he’s famous. “Kellin Quinn spat on me once” – that’s definitely a great claim to fame.

You’ll probably be glad to hear that this is my last complaint –overall, I didn’t like Kellin’s attitude. You might remember that he featured on a track with Pierce the Veil not so long ago, King For A Day – this was a song written about how badly PTV were treated on tour when they were slaving away trying to get known, and being disrespected by much bigger bands; that’s why I find it incredibly ironic that Kellin had the nerve to act as he did. Before the band played The Best There Ever Was, Kellin takes the stage to himself and does a little speech about how many bands play that venue and “expect” the crowd and “expect” people to sing along and that he “doesn’t” – there’s probably pathologic liars who could inject more sincerity into any speech that he did into that. Furthermore, before they played “These Things I’ve Done”, he asked the crowd, and specifically the girls, if they were feeling “hot and sweaty” and told us all that this song would make all the girls in the room more “hot and sweaty”. C’mon Kellin, you’ve got a wife and daughter.

I saw a lot of people complaining online about Kellin’s attitude in general, and I refused to believe them. I saw a lot of people slight the new album, yet I still listened to it adamantly, picking out tracks I like. But in all honestly, I was disappointed that they were all the complaints I heard were right, and this gig proved it. It was an experience, even if I didn’t see it all.

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