Union Chapel in Islington is the venue for tonight. A church seems a very odd place to head to for a Sleeping with Sirens and State Champs show. It is a rare opportunity for fans of the bands to see their idols perform their hits acoustically and it was one they snapped up with tickets selling out within an hour as frontman Kellin Quinn mentions during the set. As I arrive at the venue, there is a massive queue and it’s obvious people have camped out overnight. There is a touching moment as the headline band emerge from the neo-gothic church with pizza boxes they give to the queue.
First up is State Champs, who are fresh from their sold-out headline show at the Underworld, the night before. Frontman Derek DiScanio’s vocals are very impressive from the get-go playing through tracks like Simple Existence and Losing Myself. The crowd react well and sing along. Derek is left alone on stage to perform If I’m Lucky, which he tells the crowd it was the first song he wrote when he was 15. Having admittedly not heard their acoustic EP released in 2014, but having seen the band live before, I am blown away by how well the album tracks turned out and the depth of talent in the band.
Sleeping With Sirens have some of the most dedicated fans and from start to finish, singing along to every word, with Kellin even saying at one point that he wasn’t going to sing anymore and just let the crowd do it for him. The crowd were literally eating out of the palm of Kellin’s hand throughout. His vocals are flawless. Between songs, the crowd interaction is consistent, with Kellin at one point reading out banners. Hits played included the energetic Go Go Go from their Madness album, the track that arguably gained them prominence, If I’m James Dean then you’re Audrey Hepburn. There are also some covers with probably the most covered acoustic song Iris and an acapella version of Killing Me Softly. During one of the chats between tracks, drummer Gabe Barham takes to the mic as his wasn’t projecting to the crowd, only into the band’s in-ears and jagerbombs are brought on stage before resuming performing their many hits.
Overall it is a great night full of talent as two of the most loved bands around right now gave their fans an incredibly intimate performance.