The Time is Now: The World Tour with Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens

pierce_the_veil_splash

No, the scene (still) isn’t dead. As hard as it is to sift through the fog of elitist Reddit threads and cancel out the decriers who man their posts with each weekly Warped Tour announcement, there’s still music being played here – and it’s resonating as loudly as ever.

Last summer’s monstrously successful Monumentour, featuring Fall Out Boy and Paramore, served not only as a credit to the depth of talent and longevity found in our world of post-alt rock, it also solidified the realm of possibilities laid before bands in this scene as more than just mere pipe dreams.

The World Tour is ground zero for bands on the brink. Yes, co-headliners Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens have already expanded their reach with moderate Billboard success and rapidly expanding fan bases, but they’ve taken this opportunity on the big stage to showcase some up-and-comers that aren’t far from nipping at their heels.

Last year’s first leg of the tour featured metalcore newcomers Beartooth and acoustic duo This Wild Life. This second leg, which will expand into Europe later this year, spotlights Cambridge rock act Mallory Knox and the explosive pop rock group PVRIS. While these acts are already on the rise, the big venues and sell out crowds serve as a larger proving ground for increasing their respective folds.

Truth be told, Mallory Knox already have the stage presence of a veteran band. Vocalist Mikey Chapman brings an animated energy to the band’s set as they power through a collection of amped-up, easy to sing along to songs. Last year’s Asymmetry packs an emotional punch that translates well to the band’s lively set.

PVRIS

PVRIS

The ascent of PVRIS has been a rapid one – and rightfully so. The Rise Records newbies dropped their debut, White Noise, late last year and sparked quite the buzz. The band’s brand of punchy power pop is full of melody and is as catchy as it is forceful. The band sets up their own equipment, receiving their opening cheers even before plugging in their amps – it won’t be long before they’ll be requiring a much more dramatic entrance.

Vocalist and guitarist Lynn Gunn sounds just as much a powerhouse live as she does on tape. The band opens with “Smoke”, a dark, dreamy track that builds like a slow burn, leading to an explosive moment from Gunn, who belts, “Don’t you try to run right now / Cuz baby I could burn you down”. You can tell that the band’s stage presence is still in process, but it’s no matter – the songs come across just as strong anyway.

Although the crowd sings along to catchy numbers like “St. Patrick”, it’s not until the pulsing “My House” that those in attendance catch fire, along with Gunn. When the song’s bass-filled breakdown hits just before the final chorus, the crowd pushes forward from the back and begins jumping to the beat. This isn’t your typical opening act. PVRIS may very well be holding down their own headlining tour before year’s end.

Of course, what makes this stage possible is the weight of Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens – two bands who have become intertwined in recent years, thanks in part to Sirens’ singer Kellin Quinn’s guest appearance on Pierce the Veil’s smash 2012 song “King for a Day”. Now, at the height of their popularity, both bands are able to enjoy the spoils of their status.

Pierce the Veil

Pierce the Veil

It’s been no secret for some time now that Pierce the Veil are one of the most exciting live acts in the scene. For The World Tour, they’ve left behind even a trace of their debut, A Flair for the Dramatic, and only play two songs off of their 2010 breakthrough Selfish Machines. This set is all about Collide with the Sky – an album nearing its third anniversary. With a new album in the works, this tour serves as Collide’s victory lap.

In some ways, Pierce the Veil are the spiritual successors of Chiodos in terms of theatrical production and performances. The band’s nu-screamo sound has leapt them to the front of the post-hardcore pack and singer Vic Fuentes has improved drastically, becoming one of the most recognized voices in the scene. He sounds flawless on this night as the band opens with the raucous “Hell Above”.

The band could be considered veterans on the tour circuit at this point, having developed a legendary work ethic with endless touring schedules. Bassist Jaime Preciado and guitarist Tony Perry bounce about the stage as drummer Mike Fuentes powers the band forward. When Vic stops for an acoustic rendition of “I’m Low on Gas and You Need a Jacket”, it serves as a breather for everyone in the room. That is, until Fuentes steps away from the mic and the crowd carries the song through the second chorus unprovoked.

The set ends with “King for a Day”, serving as the obvious transition to Sleeping with Sirens. For a band that seemed to be heading pop with 2013’s Feel, Sirens have responded with “Kick Me”, a song that functions as the set’s opener and the lead single for their upcoming album titled Madness.

Say what you want about Kellin Quinn – the band’s front man has a charisma that isn’t lost on the crowd. It also helps that the band’s performances are now anchored by post-hardcore vet Nick Martin, who made a name for himself as lead vocalist for hardcore heavyweights Underminded and also served as guitarist for D.R.U.G.S.

Sleeping with Sirens bulldoze through their set, letting off the gas slightly to play a cover of Goo Goo Dolls smash hit “Iris” midway through. Fans are treated to favorites such as “Low”, “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn” and “If You Can’t Hang” before the band’s set comes to a close.

In many ways, The World Tour is a microcosm of the scene, featuring star power and buzzworthy bands on the rise. For every naysayer who bemoans the old days, there are at least 10 to 20 rabid fans attending sold out dates across the country and singing along to every song. Like it or not, this is the scene in 2015 – and it’s as alive as ever.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

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