LOCATION: THE LEADMILL, SHEFFIELD
While She Sleeps’ highly anticipated first hometown show since 2012. After selling out the 900 capacity venue within 24 hours, it was evident that there would be a crowd pumped to see the Steel City metal mob bring chaos.
Opening tonight Sheffield based 6-piece melodic-metalcore lads, ELEGIES (6) kick off the show to an already packed room. They are met with a crowd that isn’t very familiar with them but who still respond with light head banging and interest. As their set goes on the crowd becomes more and more responsive and the first pit of the evening opens up. Songs like Cocoon and Throne get the crowd moving with catchy guitar riffs and an interesting sing/scream vocal trade-off provided by the bands two vocalists. Overall a very good performance from Elegies, if only the crowd were more familiar with them beforehand.
Half Sight (7) hit the ground running with demanding immediate crowd participation, which is met with eager movement. Tracks ‘Know Hope’ and ‘The Strength In Us’ show what this band are all about with strong vocals from frontman Jordan Widdowson and interesting guitar pieces, really get the crowd moving and having fun. A good performance from Half Sight and with a debut album on the horizon, be sure to keep an eye out for these guys.
It’s not long until they finally turn up and play a home town show, and WHILE SHE SLEEPS (9) come flying out of the traps with the title track from their latest album ‘Brainwashed’. The second that opening guitar riff comes in a huge pit opens in the middle of the room, an instant pit starter? Well all of tonight’s set consists of these. This crowd are more than up for it, with savage vocals from frontman Loz Taylor and incredible gang chants, especially during the “We’re being brainwashed”, really sets the tone for what is to come. Huge anthems like ‘The North Stands For Nothing’ and ‘New World Torture’ are absolutely crushing, and both are with equally active crowd participation. Before we know it, a wild Loz Taylor makes his way through the crowd to stage dive from a balcony, demonstrating both his developed skills as a front man, and that deep down every single band that has played tonight is more than keen to be in the crowd with their fellow northerners. A fitting tribute to rock legend A final conclusion of a chaotic, yet every bit heroic, and in many ways stadium sized ‘Crows’ delivers one final blast of pure metal brilliance, and we’re left reminded just why both this band and the north well and truly stand for something.
WORDS: MIKE POTTER | PHOTOS: KEVIN WELLS
FESTIVILE will also be hosting the now sold out While She Sleeps tour in March.