LIVE: Sleeping With Sirens / State Champs @ Union Chapel, London

By Lais

Tonight’s venue is the wildly atmospheric Union Chapel, and as someone who’s never been before, it’s a pretty mind-blowing setting. As the name suggests, Union Chapel is a church – and a very beautiful one at that – which is sometimes used as a venue for live bands. Tonight Sleeping With Sirens and State Champs are taking to the stage to play one very special acoustic show, and absolutely nobody is disappointed.

Last night State Champs played a very different show at the Underworld: it was hot, sweaty and very rowdy, and naturally it was an absolute delight. Tonight’s show is just as excellent, but for very different reasons. The band aren’t as used to playing acoustic shows as they are to playing incredibly lively shows, so it’s just as exciting for them as it is for the crowd. If there were any nerves involved before the show, they’re quickly overcome when the band take to the stage.

Opening with one of their biggest hits, ‘Elevated’, it’s a very different version to the one we’re used to, but it sounds utterly fantastic. Frontman Derek DiScanio’s vocals sound absolutely glorious in an acoustic environment, and at one point he goes solo on ‘If I’m Lucky’ which shows off his voice even more. It’s a short but sweet set, and the setlist favours older tracks which they don’t play as much, like ‘Stick Around’. It’s definitely a treat for diehard State Champs fans, and it’s an absolute triumph of a set.

Tonight’s headliners are Sleeping With Sirens, and it’s safe to say there are some very happy fans when they come onstage. Some had slept outside the church the night before to get the best seats in the house, and there are girls crying with emotion in the front pews as Kellin Quinn and co take the stage. The band open with ‘With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear’, one of their oldest hits, and it goes down an absolute storm.

Sleeping With Sirens are seasoned pros at playing live, and Kellin Quinn’s incredibly distinctive voice is in its element in this atmosphere. As the headliners, they obviously play for a lot longer than State Champs, which does mean they lose that short but sweet quality, but they keep their wildly keen crowd entertained at all times. One of the highlights of the set is their cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Iris’, which is almost better than the original, and then naturally their encore rendition of ‘If You Can’t Hang’ is a huge success. It’s a massive banger already, and it sounds incredible in an acoustic setting.

Tonight has been a huge victory for everyone involved, and it’s down to the combination of the excellent bands, mind-blowing venue, and the general atmosphere. It’s a night that will stay in the minds of every single person who attended. Bravo.