Sleeping With Sirens isn’t really the first thing (or the 7 millionth thing) you think about when you hear the words “church show”—especially if you’re talking about the With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear era. But the word “acoustic”, yeah, that has Kellin Quinn‘s vocals written all over it.
Their 2012 acoustic EP If You Were a Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack showcased the band’s ability to do acoustic, and to do it damn well. Their latest live and unplugged album just reiterated how skilled they are at producing new and interesting renditions of their beloved classics. And their fans must have loved it because tonight, at their first ever UK acoustic show, Union Chapel is packed.
Sleeping With Sirens step out onto the stage and get into the massive ‘With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear’ and this has to be the loudest sounds ever emitted from a church. The crowd sing along to every word, without missing a beat, a riff or a musical flourish. This crowd knows these songs inside out, and it seems like they are competing with Kellin Quinn for loudest vocals. Seriously, there’s stained glass windows here. We’re worried.
The band play their live and unplugged album in full, which includes old tracks ‘If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn’ and ‘Who Are You Now?’ and newer songs ‘Gold’ and ‘Save Me A Spark’. They even play their cover of Goo Goo Dolls‘ ‘Iris’ and the song that Kellin Quinn “crushes at karaoke” ‘Santeria’. ‘If I’m James Dean’ and ‘Go Go Go’ has the whole room standing up (by the request of guitarist Nick Martin) and everyone is full of unadulterated energy and passion for these songs, and this night.
Even with the flu, Kellin Quinn’s voice is show stopping. And this venue is the perfect setting to highlight these fluid-like vocals that vibrate through the church, and bend and wrap around the beautiful, grand columns. The crowd “woo” and clap at every insanely high note (which happens pretty much every 2 minutes) and there is no doubt that this is an unforgettable experience for both the fans and the very appreciative band.
The stage banter is energetic and witty. With tidbits like “mass will be in 20 minutes”, a story about drummer Gabe Barham singing ‘Killing Me Softly’ in the bathroom, and Kellin Quinn’s random musical outbursts, which include ‘Killing Me Softly’ and ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, the fans enjoy the hilarity. The band does the fake out but returns to the stage to do their final song of the evening ‘If You Can’t Hang’, and everyone goes crazy for one last time.
Sleeping With Sirens have definitely done something special here tonight, but for a band who does acoustic like it’s second nature, we’re not surprised.