January 16, 2015 Sleeping with Sirens & Pierce the Veil sell out The Paramount Huntington, NY 11-24-14 w/ This Wild Life & Beartooth
Making a bold move, Pierce the Veil and Sleeping With Sirens announced their plans for a massive five month long tour simply titled “World Tour” back in mid-2014. Exciting to followers, Pierce the Veil’s lead vocalist/guitarist Vic Fuentes states, “Our fans inspired us to create this tour, so that makes it extra special, and very meaningful for us. Doing a world tour is something that not a lot of bands get to do in a lifetime, so we plan on making these shows the best we’ve ever done. We can’t wait to see you all there!” Kicking off the first leg of of the tour in early November, dates were selling out all over the country, and on Monday November 24th Rockstar Energy Drinks World Tour arrived at The Paramount in Huntington, New York. Following suit as other shows, the event sold out quickly and due to overwhelming demand a encore performance was given to Long Islanders on November 25th. With support of opening acts This Wild Life and Beartooth, the first of two sell outs was swarming with antipcation that had fans lined up around the block prior to doors opening.
Spending their formative years in the subversive Punk Rock scene in Long Beach, California, Kevin Jordan (vocals, guitar) and Anthony Del Grosso (guitar) of This Wild Life did what all the cool kids were doing: they formed a band. However, after two albums and a few years playing the Pop Punk that they grew up on, in 2013, Jordan and Del Grosso decided to go from a full traditional Pop Punk band to an acoustic duo. Del Grosso divested himself of the drums he had been playing until then and picked up the guitar, and Jordan relaxed his vocal chords by replacing screaming with singing. It was a bold move, but it worked.
Now incorporating Punk stylings into heartfelt Folk melodies, This Wild Life created a truly original blend of genres that has garnered them much attention. They were signed to Epitaph Records and released their third album, Clouded, to rave reviews in 2014. Theirs was the quietest band on the bill, and the crowd listened intently as they played their six song set. Some were obviously familiar with the band, singing along to tracks off of the album Clouded like “History,” “Over It,” and “Roots and Branches.” Heavily tattooed and pierced, these gentlemen have retained the visual aesthetic of their Punk Rock roots, but they are earnest and relatable. Their music, their thought-provoking lyrics, and their understated stage presence is unexpected but effective, and the audience at The Paramount was delighted with their set. Those who missed This Wild Life can catch them in the spring when they will join New Found Glory on their Sleep When I Die Tour.
Next up was Ohio Hardcore Punk outfit Beartooth. Vocalist Caleb Shomo began Beartooth as a side project while he was with Metalcore band Attack Attack! The Sick EP (2013) and feature-length album Disgusting (2014) consist of deeply personal tracks that are reflections of Shomo’s often depressed mental state. At the Paramount, Shomo was joined on stage by fellow band-mates Taylor Lumley (lead guitar), Kamron Bradbury (rhythm guitar), Brandon Mullins (drums), and Oshie Bichar (bass).
The stage was bathed in deep green and yellow light, aptly setting the tone for the heavy sounds of Beartooth. Shomo briefly surveyed the crowd, and screamed the first line of Sleeping With Sirens’ “Kick Me” into the mic. After the obligatory inquiry as to how the crowd was feeling that night – the screaming indicated they were feeling great – Shomo yelled, “I demand a circle pit!” and the band continued paying homage to the headlining act by playing a bit of “Congratulations.” Beartooth played a nine song set, opening with “The Lines” and playing other hits including “I Have a Problem,” “In Between,” and “Relapsing.” With every member jumping, throwing limbs and instruments in the air, leaping from speakers, and running around the stage, Beartooth proved to be the heaviest, most confrontational act on the bill. Shomo especially gave the audience everything he had, at times doubling over to hurl rasping screams into the mic, harnessing his pain and releasing it into a crowd that was eager to receive in this cathartic exchange of energy. Beartooth’s vigor got the audience moving, and with the moshing and crowd surfing, the crowd was like a living entity that demanded more after the band played “Beaten in Lips.” Beartooth returned for an encore, sating the aggression-hungry crowd with their heavy single “Body Bag.” For those interested in seeing this high-energy project, Beartooth will continue to tour North America through February 3rd. They will return from the UK leg of their tour on February 22nd and will continue to play shows in the US and Canada through May.
Originating in Orlando (currently based in Grand Rapids, MI), five piece Post-Hardore group Sleeping With Sirens was up next. With Kellin Quinn on vocals, Jack Fowler on lead guitar, Nick Martin on rhythm guitar, Justin Hills on bass, and Gabe Barham on drums, the band consists of industry veterans. In the past, Quinn has worked with various projects, including Closer 2 Closure, Our Name in City Lights, and Screenplay. Hills played with For All We Know, Fowler was the guitarist for Broadway, and Barham was a member of both. Sleeping With Sirens is the project that brought the guys fame, however, particularly among young, female fans of the genre. Those fans were screaming long before the band took the stage and immediately broke into their new single, “Kick Me,” off of their latest album, Feel (2013).
Throughout the twelve song set, the band performed with great energy, jumping on the risers to get closer to the crowd and bouncing around the stage to such a degree that they’d sometimes bump into each other. One of the most endearing aspects of the performance was the band’s camaraderie. The members would often play shoulder to shoulder or back to back, and they were obviously having a blast. Among the audience favorites were the songs “Scene Two: Roger Rabbit,” “Do It Now Remember It Later,” “If I’m James Dean Then You’re Audrey Hepburn,” and “If You Can’t Hang,” which the band played for the encore. The crowd, which was clearly made up of dedicated fans, knew the words to every song in the set, and the band was appreciative of the enthusiasm. At one point, Barham headed to the balcony where he was immediately surrounded by fans trying to capture the moment on their iPhones. All in all, Sleeping With Sirens put on a great show where they had just as much fun as their fans. The band has their fourth, full-length album set to be released this year, and they will continue to play U.S. shows with Pierce the Veil through March 7th before the bands embark on the international leg of the tour.
Closing the show was San Diego Post-Hardcore band Pierce the Veil, who have risen to fame over the past few years. Their 2012 single “King for a Day,” which appeared on the album Collide with the Sky, went gold, and the track was often heard on top 40 stations. The band, which is made up of members Vic Fuentes (vocals, guitar), Tony Perry (guitar), Jaime Preciado (bass), and Mike Fuentes (drums), will be releasing their fourth studio album early in 2015.
The band’s entrance onto the stage was preceded by the appearance of an unusual looking curtain. The crowd began to chant for “PTV,” and lights went on behind the curtain, revealing the band members’ silhouettes. The crowd screamed as the band played the opening strains of “May These Noises Startle You in Your Sleep Tonight,” and the curtain lifted revealing the band in full. Vic Fuentes remained somewhat stationary as he played complicated riffs, some inspired by the band’s Mexican roots, while Perry and Preciado ran around the stage keeping the energy levels high. Highlights included “Disasterology,” which resulted in an eruption of crowd surfing, and “A Match Into Water.” When the band toned it down a bit playing the acoustic track “I’m Low on Gas and You Need a Jacket,” the audience sustained the excitement by singing along.
Fuentes thanked the audience for their enthusiastic response to the performance – “Wow, you Long Islanders really love us, and I love you guys. Thank you!” – and the band concluded with mega-hit “King for a Day,” ending a great night on a high note. The Rockstar Energy Drinks World Tour will recommence on January 23, with US dates through March 4th. New Yorkers can catch the not-to-be-missed show again at the Hammerstein Ballroom on February 17th.