08 February 2018

While She Sleeps, 02 Institute Birmingham.

Blaring the roof of the institute in an insane performance of sweat, tears and actual blood at one point, While She Sleeps have been tearing up the UK on their latest tour with Counterfeit and Blood Youth, we caught up with the Sheffield metalcore band in Birmingham where they put on a phenomenal performance.

Blood Youth left a surreal atmosphere in the air when they opened the show, with fans springing into the air with the beat of Sam Hallett’s drum set. Liveliness flooded the room as soon as they hit the stage, as Kaya Tarsus clear, strong vocals demanded all the attention in the room and called for circle pits left, right and center. It was overwhelming to see the room change so drastically, from a calm audience having a drink and going about their day, to the whole room simultaneously leaping off their feet to songs like Closure or Making Waves. The band established a great connection with the crowd, resulting in the room booming with amazing energy for the next act, and although they only recently released their first official album, Beyond Repair, last year, it seems they’ve cultivated a strong audience of dedicated fans who sing the words back even louder. They really set the upbeat, high energy tone for the room and were a great first act.

Blood Youth, Shot by Damian John

Counterfeit stormed the stage immediately after and sent the crowd wild. With their punk rock sound, the audience’s tone heightened with chaotic moshpits and synchronized headbanging, Counterfeit truly stunned the crowd with an old school rock and roll vibe to their performance. The energy levels skyrocketed and their set honestly felt like an uphill rollercoaster, I also appreciate that their sound, which is a slower tempo and heavier bass that dawns back to influences of 90’s Brit punk, translates amazingly when performed live. Bassist, Roland Johnson, ripped through the room that brought a darker, heavier and edgier sound to their performance. My favourite part was their vocalist, Jamie Campbell Bower, throwing himself into the crowd and joining the moshpit to close their set, I couldn’t help but think “wow I need to see them again!”

Counterfeit, shot by Damian John

But truly nothing can top the show stoppers of the night, who commanded the stage, tore the crowd apart and left Birmingham in a state of music euphoria; While She Sleeps reminded everyone that night how to put on a real rock and roll show. Crowd surfers could be seen soaring through the air, whilst the whole floor was a huge moshpit of those who sang their heart out till they couldn’t speak. They had a moderate balance of songs from their new album and their older works, opening with “You Are We” that began with a simple acoustic guitar strum but as soon as the beat kicked in, the whole room screamed the lyrics and suddenly all hell broke loose. Whilst they played songs from their new album, “You Are We”, like “Feel”, “Empire of Silence” and “Steal Sun”, the boys also kicked it back with some old jams like “Brainwashed” and “This Is The Six (TITS)”, with fan favourites like “Brainwashed” and “Silence Speaks” peaking the levels in the room to new heights of insanity.

While She Sleeps, shot by Damian John

Vocalist, Lawrence Taylor, had a great interaction with the audience whilst Mat Welsh’s guitar and Aaron McKenzie’s bass kept a lively tempo and Adam Savage’s drum set kept a solid beat that everyone could bang their head to. A wave of emotion sank the audience as the show closed with “Hurricane” a song dedicated to the fans, and as Taylor had repeatedly thanked the audience of all their support and love, the ending was honestly bittersweet. Although it was mind-blowing, with insane crowd energy and Taylor even jumping from the drum set onto the stage, it was also very emotional for long-time fans who’ve supported the band from the beginning and have seen them grown into the rock stars they are today.

While She Sleeps, shot by Damian John

Fans who’ve yet to see them on their current tour should prepare themselves for pure insanity, with an unmissable performance that will leave you amazed, emotional and very sweaty.

Rating 9/10

Sweat levels: Extreme moistness.

See all our pictures from While She Sleeps show with Counterfeit and Blood Youth here:

While She Sleeps, Counterfeit & Blood Youth

And check out our interview with Blood Youth singer, Kaya Tarsus:

Blood Youth Interview, 06/02/18 – Yasmine Summan