Pierce the Veil and Sleeping With Sirens

By on March 4, 2015

 

 

(photo Will Ogburn)

Vic Fuentes – Pierce the Veil  (photo Will Ogburn)

Cult followings and high-pitched noises ruled the day as Pierce the Veil and Sleeping With Sirens took the stage at the House of Blues on Wednesday.

 

Across the floor and strewn about the wooden surfaces of the House of Blues, you could see a wide range of emotions. Sleeping With Sirens was about to go on – the moment that many had been waiting hours to see. Wide-eyed high school girls with jet-black hair stared on in anticipation, smiles betraying their “yeah, whatever” demeanors. Unphased parents browsed Facebook on their phones in the back, hoping that they had enough Bejeweled Blitz coins to get through two more bands. Photographers paced back in forth in the corner, asking each other why everything was nearly two hours ahead of the provided schedule. “Man, my boss is gonna kill me.”

 

Tony Perry (photo Will Ogburn)

Tony Perry  – Pierce the Veil (photo Will Ogburn)

Somewhere in the middle of this circus, you’d find me. After missing the first two bands due to the aforementioned schedule mishap, I was excited to see the two headliners that I’d heard great things about.

 

First off, Sleeping With Sirens’ lead singer Kellin Quinn’s voice – passionate and nasally – can be described as an acquired taste. This is why “Kick Me” was a very solid choice to start off with. The track is high-energy, and easy to get into – I even caught myself, and the parents in the back, nodding along with the beat.

 

Sleeping with Sirens - Kellin Quinn (photo Will Ogburn)

Sleeping with Sirens – Kellin Quinn (photo Will Ogburn)

Another up-tempo song, “Congratulations,” was next up. These two lively tracks really made the crowd lose it.

 

Sleeping With Sirens have excellent band chemistry, as well as stage presence. Guitarist Jack Fowler played with the crowd and posed for photographers ­– Kellin jumped around and leaned over the barricade during the choruses. Rhythm guitarist Nick Martin (formerly of D.R.U.G.S.) was a bit calmer, but still looked like he was having fun on stage.

 

Sleeping with Sirens Justin Hillis (photo Will Ogburn)

Sleeping with Sirens –  Justin Hillis (photo Will Ogburn)

The next track, “Here We Go,” got a little too high pitched for my taste. Sleeping With Sirens has a way of making a show fun, and making their audience feel like they are a part of something bigger. On the flip side, Kellin’s vocals are much harsher in person – bordering on a nails-on-a-chalkboard pitch for some songs.

 

“Low” has a similar feeling to “Here We Go” – fast paced guitar and drums coupled with soprano vocals. These vocal tones were projected out of Kellin’s mouth, spun around, and returned back to him by the screaming fans that sang along with every word.

Sleeping with Sirens - Jac Fowler (photo Will Ogburn)

Sleeping with Sirens – Jack Fowler (photo Will Ogburn)

 

The next hit came with the acoustic “Roger Rabbit.”  Kellin really executed this song well, getting the girls in the crowd to hang on his every word as he introduced the song. Fans locked arms and swayed back and forth ­– nearly everyone in the house proudly belted out the alternative ballad.

 

As I’ve grown a bit older, I tend to look for musical perspective more in bands. What’s their musical legacy? How do they fit with bands of the past? I gotta say I was impressed by Sleeping With Sirens’ cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris”. I was also impressed by the hoards of high schoolers – many who were about as old as the song – knowing the lyrics to it.

Jack Fowler - Sleeping with Sirens (photo Will Ogburn)

Jack Fowler – Sleeping with Sirens (photo Will Ogburn)

 

From the distant past to the present, Sleeping With Sirens jumped into “Go Go Go” off of their upcoming (March 17) album Madness. Apparently the promotions are working, because fans eagerly identified it when I asked them for the name. “Go Go Go” is soft and happy, with traditional vocals instead of screaming. More mellow, less emo, I’m all about it.

 

Though the setlist was overall pretty balanced, Sleeping With Sirens saved their best two songs for last.

 

Jack Fowler & Kellin Quinn (photo Will Ogburn)

Jack Fowler & Kellin Quinn (photo Will Ogburn)

“If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn,” is by far the most popular song off of Sleeping With Sirens’ debut album With Ears to Hear and Eyes to See. This is the point in the show where all the “true” fans from day-one scream, “OH MY GOD KELLIN!” extra loud, so predictably the House of Blues reached a new level of near-deafening noise. Thank God for earplugs.

 

Finally, and following an extended dimming of the lights and some a cappella, “OH MY GOD KELLIN!” by the fans, Sleeping With Sirens played their biggest hit: “If You Can’t Hang.” The song, which tells Kellin’s relatable tale of unrequited teen love, is my personal favorite. It’s simple, emotional, catchy, and distinctly fits with their identity as a band.

 

Overall, Sleeping With Sirens’ performance turned out to be what I expected: their positive energy and fan interaction were countered by the vocals, which could be painful at times.

 

 Pierce the Veil

 

Vic Fuentes - Piercing the Veil (photo Will Ogburn)

Vic Fuentes – Pierce the Veil (photo Will Ogburn)

As time counted down to the headliner, a massive curtain was raised with Pierce the Veil’s spirit silhouette logo in the center. Anticipation hung heavy in the air ­­– looks of bliss, dehydration, and a need for urination covered the faces of those that had survived this long in the front. Roadies crowded the pit entrances waiting for their cue. Fans chanted “Pierce the Veil” louder and louder until it became a unified roar.

 

Suddenly, there was activity behind the curtain. Musical notes crept out from behind the veil as the band mates took their positions.  It soon became clear that they were playing “May These Noises Startle You in Your Sleep Tonight.” Spotlights kicked on from behind, rousing even more cheers as fans could make out their favorite members.

 

Tony Perry (photo Will Ogburn)

Tony Perry (photo Will Ogburn)

The curtain dropped in an explosion of lights and sounds as the intro track melted into its sequel, “Hell Above.” Confetti and streamers flowed out of launchers on stage like a waterfall as fans finally got what they came to see.

 

Pierce the Veil is a band that really understands how to put on a complete show. Photographers are allowed to be in the pit for the first three songs, and in general these first songs set the tone for the rest of the show.  By opening with three absolutely electrifying hits, Pierce the Veil not only guarantees great energy – but also quality pictures across all publications that cover them.

 

Jaime Preciado (photo Will Ogburn)

Jaime Preciado (photo Will Ogburn)

After “Hell Above” came “Caraphernelia,” a song that features strong vocals by both frontman Vic Fuentes and bassist/screamer Jaime Preciado. Vic’s vocals in general are high but smooth, and Jaime – despite looking look a super polite guy – seems to have a demon trapped inside of him when he screams. This yin/yang tandem, as well as crisp and powerful drums from Vic’s brother Mike Fuentes, got the crowd jumping on their weary feet.

 

The final track in the trifecta of hits, “Bulls in the Bronx,” is fast-paced song that shows off the quick fingers of guitarist Tony Perry. Since I started listening to Pierce the Veil, this has been my favorite track. It shows off each bands member’s skillset nearly equally, with a spotlight focusing on each member when they were in their element. In line with their style, “Bulls in the Bronx” seems to be several songs rolled into one – with Vic breaking into a Flamenco-style solo midway through.

 

Jaime Preciado (photo Will Ogburn)

Vic Fuentes  (photo Will Ogburn)

The next peak in the show came with the 2012 hit “Hold On Til May.” During this slower song, Lynn Gunn of (opening act) Pvris came out to sing the duet with Vic. Though this track had a little bit of Jaime, it mainly centered on Vic’s doomed love story. At the end of the emotionally charged song, Vic threw his guitar across the stage and transitioned to a softer sound.

 

Vic Fuentes looks every bit the part of the frontman/heartthrob that has come to rule this genre of music. With long back hair and a backwards snapback on his head and an acoustic guitar slung across his shoulder, Vic took the stage alone bathed in a lone blue light. He’s the kind of guy that can make his audience laugh just by smiling, I noticed. As he addressed his fans, he asked, “Is it ok if I play an acoustic one for you guys?” as if they might actually say no.

 

Jaime Preciado (photo Will Ogburn)

Jaime Preciado (photo Will Ogburn)

That song was “I’m Low On Gas and You Need a Jacket.”  Though he was alone, his performance was far from solo, as the voices of the audience echoed off the walls to form a chorus. Vic’s true talent lies not only in his musical skills, but his ability to build a bond with his fans, which makes make them some of the most loyal fans in the world.

 

At this point, Vic took a little break to thank the Orlando crowd for coming out – selling out both days at the House of Blues. He also led the crowd in wishing Tony a happy birthday before moving on with the show.

 

The next track, “A Match Into Water,” is both somber and hectic – as if an emergency room had a soundtrack. With a story focused on Vic’s female friend dying of cancer, the lyrics are often what draw people to the track. Though the powerful vocals tend to get most of the love, Mike is truly an animal from start to finish in this song. With his scraggly hair whipping around his head, Mike sends thunderous beats from his sticks that create the tidal wave described in the song.

 

Banging the drums - Piercing the Veil - Mike Fuentes (photo Will Ogburn)

Banging the drums – Pierce the Veil – Mike Fuentes (photo Will Ogburn)

In a routine that’s almost become famous by now, Vic called up a female fan and sang the opening verse of “Bulletproof Love” to her onstage. She grinned from ear to ear and laughed nervously as he held her hand, probably making her Tumblr dashboard come to life before her eyes. After the verse concluded, a stagehand escorted her offstage and probably reminded her that this was, in fact, real life. The band then danced around, harmonized, and played with the crowd a little more as the set come to a close.

 

As the lights went out, fans anticipation was never higher. They all seemed to know what was coming – either from message boards or context clues – the two frontmen were about to sing a duet. The darkness and silence were broken simultaneously by police sirens, as Kellin Quinn retook the stage to sing the opening vocals of “King for a Day”. OHMYGOD KELLIN – fans lost it. The friendship of Kellin and Vic is well documented, and their collective fan bases went crazy when “King for a Day” was announced. It quickly became both bands’ most popular song.

 

“King for a Day” was a perfect way to end not only Pierce the Veil’s set list, but also the show as a whole. Everything that is good about Pierce the Veil’s music – their personalities, talent, and sound – is only amplified when seeing them live. Even though I was more impressed with Pierce The Veil, I couldn’t think of a better touring partner than Sleeping with Sirens and Kellin Quinn – not only for their duet, but because fans absolutely love both of these bands together.

 

For more on Pierce The Veil and this tour: http://piercetheveil.net/

 

MORE WILL OGBURN PHOTOS

Vic Fuetes

Vic Fuentes (Will Ogburn)

Jack Fowler & Nick Mart - Sleeping with Sirens (Will Ogburn)

Jack Fowler & Nick Mart – Sleeping with Sirens (Will Ogburn)

Jamie Preciado (Will Ogburn)

Jamie Preciado (Will Ogburn)

Kellin Quinn (Will Ogburn)

Kellin Quinn (Will Ogburn)

Mike Fuentes (Will Ogburn)

Mike Fuentes (Will Ogburn)

 

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