November 16, 2016 Sleeping With Sirens Bring Madness To The Paramount Huntington, NY 11-12-16 w/ Waterparks, Tonight Alive, & State Champs
With New York City becoming electrified as the UFC held their first fight night at Madison Square Garden, Long Island was just as enthralled as Sleeping with Sirens headlined their own heavyweight event on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at The Paramount. Engulfing the Huntington Village venue, a long line wrapped around the block as Shoreham, Long Island’s own DJ Dylan Taylor warmed up the massive crowd that continued to build with a high-frequency blend of electronically-charged leads.
Coming straight off of their run on Vans Warped Tour, Sleeping With Sirens commenced their End The Madness! Tour 2016 on November 3rd inside Concord Music Hall in Chicago, Illinois, along with Tonight Alive, State Champs, and Waterparks. Currently on tour promoting their latest studio album, 2015’s Madness, now over a year old, it marks the band’s fourth studio album. Peaking at #2 on the Alternative Albums chart, #3 on the Top Rock Albums chart, and #1 on both Hard Rock Albums and Independent Albums charts, it is an album that appeals to many, making it a tremendous follow-up to 2013’s Feel. Adding to all the excitement, the star-studded tour is chock-full of recently released tracks, with all three openers supporting their recent 2016 efforts; State Champs’ Around the World and Back, Tonight Alive’s Limitless, and Waterparks’ debut, Double Dare. This all in mind, it was time for the fun to begin.
First up was the Houston, Texas band Waterparks. Considered a Pop Punk act, Waterparks signed on with Equal Vision Records back in November of 2015 and has since been featured on 2016’s Vans Warped Tour, and released their debut album, Double Dare, as of November 4, 2016. Considered by many one of the bands to check out at Vans Warped Tour, Vocalist/Guitarist Awsten Knight, Guitarist/Vocalist Geoff Wigington, and Drummer Otto Wood immediately sparked the crowd, breaking out with their latest single, “Hawaii (Stay Awake).” Adding to the fun, during the set, the crowd had blown up condoms, which bounced around their heads. When Knight innocently asked who started the absurdity, the entire audience roared back in unison that the band did! In response, Knight pointed to the front row, playfully threatening he will “call their parents.”
Moving along, Knight proceeded to announce the band’s recently released debut, along with the single “Stupid for You,” which was described as a love song for Stevie. As a lighthearted nod to the earlier contraceptive-bouncing incident, Knight introduced the song “Royal,” stating, “This song is about condoms!” In efforts to keep up the boisterous atmosphere, Knight requested crowd-surfers during their last song, “Mad All the Time,” and the crowd did not disappoint. Upon the start of the track, to Knight’s amusement, audience members dove offstage and surfed the crowd in a final and cathartic close to the band’s set. Those who still have not seen or heard of Waterparks, should absolutely give them a shot for a good time.
Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Tonight Alive were up next. Formed almost ten years ago now, Tonight Alive offer a delightful Power Pop sound with soaring vocals from Jenna McDougall. Matched by often inspiring lyrics, Tonight Alive has always been a band to check out live, and the USA has been given plenty of chances in the past two years as they have toured with The Used and Taking Back Sunday in 2014, All Time Low in 2015, and most recently Set It Off in early 2016. A perfect fit to be on tour with Sleeping With Sirens, McDougall, Drummer Matt Best, Lead Guitarist Whakaio Taahi, Rhythm Guitarist Jake Hardy, and Bassist Cam Adler continued the ensuing madness.
The first three songs, “How Does It Feel,” “The Edge,” and “The Ocean,” had the crowd singing along to every word as McDougall shined bright center stage. A sudden shift in ambiance occurred midway through as McDougall spoke intimately to the audience before she asked them to accept good in their lives as she has accepted it in hers. A positive vibe continued with “The Other Side,” which was fully embraced as the crowd waved their arms high in the air while the stage was drowned in blue lights. Adding to the mood, the lighting was really impeccable as the illumination shifted subtly to match the feelings of each song. McDougall stated she saw “a lot of angels in the crowd tonight,” and in an attempt to get everyone involved even more, she asked the crowd to get out of their comfort zone and move their hips and shoulders.
Doing a good job of getting people into the groove, before the set concluded, McDougall went into a social rap about society and how we the people have the voice to make change and how it is the reason everyone was there, to vocalize their choice. With that, the Alternative Rock outfit broke out into “Lonely Girl,” which again saw crowd-surfers going wild. Still an electrifying band to see live, Tonight Alive continues to perform shows through the end of the year, returning home to Australia for gigs December 10th through 18th.
Acting as main support for the night, State Champs invoked an intoxicating energy from the start. Hailing from upstate New York, State Champs have been in the game since 2010, offering fans the best of what Pop Punk once was. Currently signed with Pure Noise Records, Around the World and Back was listed 4 on Alternative Press’ “10 Essential Records of 2015.” Also spending plenty of time on the road in recent years, State Champs are quickly becoming modern day Pop Punk heroes.
Immediately igniting crowd-surfing from the moment they took the stage, State Champs voiced how they felt at home in the welcoming Paramount crowd, especially with family and friends that took the drive down to see them. Bassist Ryan Graham, along with Guitarists Tony Diaz and Tyler Szalkowski, took full advantage of the huge stage area, moving and jumping everywhere. Inspiring everyone to singing along to every word from the start, however, when “All You Are Is History” came into full swing halfway through the set, the crowd reached a new level. At this time, the house lights went up as Vocalist Derek Discanio started screaming with the crowd in unison.
Seemingly shaking the entire venue, Drummer Evan Ambrosio provided a ton of his own energy as they wrapped up the performance with “Easy Enough,” “Remedy,” and “Secrets.” A powerful display, following the tour’s conclusion, State Champs will take a much deserved vacation before heading over to Europe in early 2017, set to visit Spain, France, Germany, and the UK.
Already rocked and rolled by the impressive performances from Waterparks, Tonight Alive, and State Champs, Sleeping with Sirens burst out ostentatiously, complete with fireworks and screaming appraisal from the explosive crowd. With their Drummer Gabe Barham perched about 8’ above the stage on his riser a la KISS’ Peter Criss, Vocalist Kellin Quinn, Bassist Justin Hill, along with Guitarists Jack Fowler and Nick Martin took turns running up a ramp box to get a better view of the pure madness that was consuming crowd.
Opening up with beloved hit from their 2011 album Cheers to This, “Do It Now, Remember It Later” was met with an overwhelming roar of cheers. Moving on with songs like “Bomb,” “We Like It Loud,” and “Here We Go,” just to name a few, Sleeping With Sirens was a collective that continued to amp up the room. Amidst it all, Quinn announced that after this tour the band will be entering the studio to record their next album. Difficult to hear what Quinn was uttering in between, because every time he got to the microphone the crowd erupted in mania, it was quite unbelievable to see the reactions. Then, during “Gold,” Martin came out onto the floor and played while starstruck fans took selfies with him. Following the stunt, the band exited the stage for a short break as onstage screens began projecting the band members.
Succeeding the break, stage effects completely dominated the visual aspect of the show, and during “Kick Me,” the stage backlighting illuminated the band in such a way as to look like they were playing in an arena. Keeping everyone engaged with their tight sound and visuals to complement it all, for “Dead Walker,” the screens projected depictions of classic Horror movie monsters, mixed in with photos of Chuck Norris. Towards the latter half of their second set, Sirens’ “Better Off Dead” came on with a very emotional delivery from Quinn, who suffers from depression and anxiety. He admitted to the audience that sometimes he does not want to play these shows, but because of the tremendous support of fans, he feels he needs to do so, and as a result, he feels important to be alive. A touching moment, Quinn’s words were met with overwhelming support through many voices shouting from the floor and rafters.
Closing out their second set with “Don’t Say” and “Satellites,” they returned for the tearful and final encore of the group’s 2011 smash hit “If You Can’t Hang,” rounding it out. Jam packed with everyone’s favorite Sleeping With Sirens songs, scores of exhausted fans flooded out towards the exits once the house lights went on for the final time. With a full roster of celebrated Alternative acts, and energy that felt like opening night, the End the Madness Tour is surely not an event to miss. Be sure to check out this run before it concludes on December 4th, and also do not miss Sleeping With Sirens’ Madness for one of their most versatile and sonically sound albums to date.Photos by: Aintellin Photography