SAN FRANCISCO - I started Shameless to showcase the unique elements of the music that everyone creates. I am, and always will be, a firm believer that everyone has something different to bring to the table. So instead of writing about only what is popular, I am going to write about what is popular, why it should be popular, and what else you should be checking out. Everyone deserves a chance. I try not to write any kind of negative reviews. Who am I to say whether or not a song is or isn’t the greatest or worst song in the world? Who am I to say whether or not an album, a show, a concert DVD are the greatest/worst things in the world? The music media has gotten everything wrong when it comes to music journalism today. Everything is extremely biased and marketed towards one group of people, when the fans are crying out for what they really want, and nobody is supplying it to them. I have always upheld the morals and principles that I would report honestly with this outlet, and I would stray away from negative reviews, focusing on the good in artists. With that being said, after a show that I recently attended, I feel that it is in the best interest of my readers and all music fans that I need to report on something that I feel is wrong. I saw something at a show this weekend: a way that a band treated their fans. And I despised it. As hard-working people of the public who pay bands, record labels, and their management teams their own hard-earned cash to drive out, park, eat, watch a concert, throw down $40 on band merch, and then wake up tired the next day knowing it was all worth it, you have the right to know if a band is abusing you. Which brings me to my show write-up: Sleeping With Sirens.
Let me start with the positives of this show first. Our Last Night, veterans of this music scene, put on an incredibly tight opening set. The first time I ever heard them was in support of their record “The Ghosts Among Us”. Their vocalist, Trevor Wentworth, was only fifteen at the time. Now he’s in his twenties. It was very cool to see them play to a bigger crowd that knew the words, and to have come so far in their career. (You can check out the interview I did with the band beforehand here!)
The next band up was Issues. They killed it; absolutely killed it. A band that truly gets better and better with every performance. Led by vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn, they led the band through a whirlwind of sounds. Songs like “Hooligans”, “Love Sex Riot”, and “Princeton Ave.” got hearts racing and adrenaline flowing. The band closed with their set with the single for their “Black Diamonds EP”, entitled “King Of Amarillo”.
Next up, my boys (okay well, now just ‘boy’) in Breathe Carolina. Again, absolutely tore the roof off of the place. Another artist that gets better and better with every performance and record he puts out. Originally fronted by both David Schmitt and Kyle Even (but now only fronted Schmitt, since Even left to begin a family and welcome the birth of a baby girl), BC proved once again that they know how to take a crowd, get its full and undivided attention, and bring a non-stop, all out party to a concert. I have to say, the house and dubstep drops in between songs really get BC’s crowds moving. It was insane, to say the least.
This brings me to the part that I was referring to in my introduction. The part where I would be honest with my readers if I felt there was something truly wrong with a performance and they way a band treated their fans. Sleeping With Sirens took the stage around 9:40 (approximately). Now, the problem wasn’t with their music, their sound, their musical abilities, anything like that. They’re very talented musicians. So what was the problem then?
They didn’t even play for an hour. They played for FIFTY minutes. If you are the headlining band, and you are charging your fans upwards of $80 a ticket, and you have three full albums of material, plus an EP and cover songs, you better fucking play for more than an hour. You owe it to your fans. You don’t pay to meet your fans (yes, I did the research; the $80 ticket was so you could meet the band. Again, I’m to reiterate this: YOU HAD TO PAY TO MEET THE BAND FOR LESS THAN A MINUTE. And at this particular show, it was only THREE members since their drummer had to fly home due to an emergency and guitarist Jesse Lawson left the band prior to the tour). I know that certain bands and tours will do VIP meet-and-greet packages where you pay, but the band will then come out afterwards to meet the fans. Didn’t see them doing that. At all. They played for less than an hour, NO encore, and left. Didn’t even say good-bye.
Oh and there was one other thing: it really seemed like the show was only about their singer, vocalist Kellin Quiin. Now, Quinn can sing; there’s no denying that. He has a very high vocal range, and he pulled it off live. Kudos. But he’s not the only member of the band. It really felt like I was getting “The Kellin Quinn Show, Feat. The Other Four Members Of That Band With The Word Sirens In It”.
This aspect of the show bothered me so much. I’m not there to see just him. I want to know what your other members are capable of. I don’t want to see you being an attention whore. I want to see ALL of you being attention whores. You’re on the stage! You have our attention! Your fans believe in you! You’re up there for a reason. You guys write good songs! (I enjoyed listening to your last record, “Feel”) But if you have the attention of so many fans that love and care about your music, and are willing to pay that much money to see you at a show that wasn’t even sold out, PLAY MORE THAN TEN OR ELEVEN SONGS.
I met a few fans before the show, and one girl told me how much Sleeping With Sirens’ lyrics and music helped her through so much in her life. I can only hope that the band sees this. They should know that their fans deserve much better for all that they give to them.