Live: WHILE SHE SLEEPS // O2 Academy Brixton, London
Masterful from start to finish, While She Sleeps took metalcore to new heights as they stormed into O2 Academy Brixton with a visceral set.
Rising into genre giants, While She Sleeps brought their all to the enthusiastic London crowd on Friday night. Supported by Vein and Every Time I Die, the show was destined to be a real treat for any hardcore and metalcore fan. With an impactful stage design, it added a whole new layer to the thought-provoking messages While She Sleeps strive to convey in their music.
Never ones to compromise their vision, the band’s fourth studio album, SO WHAT?, released last year, saw While She Sleeps transcending the limits of metalcore, redefining the genre with a modern twist. Bold and visionary, the record touches upon vital social and political issues that resonate loudly with listeners on many levels. Watching the album being brought to life, it couldn’t be more obvious that the live format of While She Sleeps is unstoppable and unmatched.
Setting mayhem as the main theme for the night, the band owned the stage from the get-go. Adorned with a grand curtain hung down behind the drum kit, it vibrantly represented the concept and ideas behind the album. Packing a punch, ANTI-SOCIAL and I’VE SEEN IT ALL brought along a great dose of bone-crunching riffs and scream-alongs that filled the whole of O2 Academy Brixton in an instant.
With a tantalising energy and a set of hard-hitting songs, the band struck with a magnetic stage presence, making it impossible for anyone present in the room to look away. Sending shivers down your spine, Trophies Of Violence and Brainwashed easily hit the highest decibels, adding even more tension to the already gripping performance.
Swapping the curtain for a massive LED sign, the word S L E E P S brightened up the stage in the middle of the set, accompanied by two white flags underlining the band’s aesthetics. Balancing the set between the old school WSS catalogue and their most recent material, the group held nothing back, effortlessly keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats at all times. Their brand new single, FAKERS PLAGUE, seemed to be an absolute hit alongside THE GUILTY PARTY that kept ripping through the air with every guitar riff and vocal note. “I want to see your fire. It’s time to wake up!”, Lawrence Taylor shouted, addressing the restless crowd and charging up the atmosphere.
Rounding off the set with You Are We, While She Sleeps proved to be a dynamic and untamed force, uniting the masses with the help of their music. One can only wonder when they will grace a bigger stage, a festival main stage perhaps. Because as their biggest headline show to date beautifully showed, they are totally ready for that.
Photos: Kasia Osowiecka