Live review: Sleeping With Sirens at O2 Academy Bristol. 13th March 2023.

American rock band Sleeping with Sirens brought their ‘CTRL, ALT, DEL’ tour to Bristol’s O2 Academy on 13/03/23, before commencing on a nationwide tour around the UK. 

Fans of the acclaimed emo rockers were also treated to two alternative UK bands, Charming Liars and Static Dress, who opened the show before they shook up the stage at the O2. Shortly after 9pm, the Floridian quintet played an array of classics, debuted some new material and the lead vocalist Kellin Quinn also performed an acoustic set halfway through the show, in which he covered the classic hit ‘Iris’ by The Goo Goo Dolls. Admirably during the show, the band noticed a fan in the crowd in some kind of distress, and immediately stopped playing to ensure the fan/fans in question were okay and that they were able to rehydrate themselves. 

Every single one of the band members put on one hell of a show for Bristol’s gig goers, as their energy was contagiously electric throughout their set, often rousing the raucous crowd to engage in intense moshing. Amongst the audience, there were people of a variety of ages, from young adults who would’ve devotedly listened to the band in their teen years prior, to slightly older hardcore rock fans. Considering Sleeping with Sirens have been creating music and performing together since 2009, their longevity in selling out shows in the UK is a testament to how strong their international fanbase truly is. 

Kellin Quinn, the band’s frontman, possesses such a distinctive, original tone to his voice and it was an enormous pleasure to hear the band rock out live. Prior to covering this show, I had not heard the band’s music but, as soon as I heard Kellin’s voice ring out, I recognised his unequivocal tone from his feature on Machine Gun Kelly’s track ‘Love Race.’ This concert was a fantastic experience, especially as I’m a new listener of the band’s specific genre of screamo rock music, and it’s influenced me to want to explore more bands and artists within this genre. As I vacated the venue midway through the last song to avoid the mass crowds of people, the encore echoed through the street outside the O2 Academy in Bristol, reflecting the south-west city’s enormous outpouring of love for this band.

Words and photos by Dan Rose (no use without permission).

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