Sleeping With Sirens // Static Dress // Charming Liars // Live Review // The O2 Institute // Birmingham
To no one’s surprise, I’m back at the Institute in Birmingham for yet another night of live music at one of my favourite venues. Tonight’s show was made up of post-Hardcore sweethearts Sleeping with Sirens, with support from Static Dress (who released one of my favourite albums of last year) and the Pop-Rock 4 Piece Charming Liars. After the usual queuing malarky as one expects at a show like this, I got into the venue to find my space as the first act began.
Up first wereCharming Liars, a Pop-Rock 4 piece from Britain/America. With a good stage presence and a well-rehearsed sound, the crowd got fully onboard with the set, following every command from the stage. You had all the usual opening act classics, splitting the room with a cheering competition, waving your hands, getting low to the ground and jumping, you know the classics, and the crowd ate it up. While I personally wasn’t a fan, as the set flew by, I could tell the crowd was having a great time. While it felt like a set that didn’t really fit with the rest of the night’s lineup, for fans of radio-friendly Pop-Rock, Charming Liars are worth checking out.
Up next was Static Dress, with their blend of Atmospheric Emo-Hardcore and the difference in the crowd’s reaction was immense. The energy from the stage instantly fed into the audience with pits and crowd surfers throughout the entire duration of the band’s time on stage. The best part of the set was 100% the stage presence from the band, but especially vocalist Oli Appleyard who I don’t think stood still once throughout his time performing. Static Dress is one of the UK’s most interesting acts currently and I’m glad to have finally had the pleasure of seeing them live. They are a band to keep an eye on, as I see them blowing up incredibly soon and a great way to set up the main event.
After a changeover that consisted of nothing but ABBA, the night’s main event, Sleeping With Sirens hit the stage. As is common with gigs I cover, Sleeping with Sirens was a band I listened to religiously as a teenager but fell away from as I got older. Within moments the crowd were ballistic as SWS opened their set with Break Me Down, my personal favourite track from their 2019 release How It Feels To Be Lost and thanks to the tight musicianship and ridiculous level of energy pulled me and the rest of the crowd into the set with ease. With their setlist covering mostly newer albums, I did find myself slightly lost at points, but this didn’t take anything away from the performance as the stage presence and energy made up for my lack of knowing newer tracks. Other than the mic cutting out during Talking To Myself (which the band handled incredibly well and just restarted the song), there’s nothing but praise to be said. A genuinely great set that exceeded all expectations.
As I left the venue, it was great to finally tick SWS off my Emo-Years bucket list of bands to see. The energy was entirely positive as the crowd slowly dispersed at the end of the night and I can’t wait to see what all the bands do next.
SleepingWithSirens will be touring the UK this Spring with newly announced supports from Static Dress and Charming Liars.
Full dates below:
CTRL+ALT+DEL TOUR Mon 13 March O2 Academy, Bristol Tues 14 March O2 Institute, Birmingham Wed 15 March O2 Shepherds Bush Empire Thur 16 March Stylus, Leeds Sat 18 March Waterfront , Norwich Sun 19 March O2 Ritz, Manchester Mon 20 March Boiler Shop, Newcastle Tues 21 March SWG3 Galvanizers, Glasgow
The band’s music videos for tracks“Crosses“featuring Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain, “LetYouDown“featuring CharlotteSands, a visualiser for “Ctrl+Alt+Del“and most recently, a visual accompaniment for the album title track “CompleteCollapse“have altogether summed up a staggering 5.5millionviews onYouTube. Stream ‘Complete Collapse’here and watch the music video for “BeHappy“ now.
‘Complete Collapse’ is out now Sumerian Records HERE