Review: JD Garrahy
Pictures: Dan Maynard
Welcome to the ritual. Are you comfortable? Good. Then let’s begin.
Ever since Sleep Token came to our country to support Northlane on their national tour last year, we’ve been chomping at the bit to see them return. Tonight, well, tonight was an experience to say the least. With no support band, we enter The Tivoli to the sound of music over the PA system. This only adds to the atmosphere within the establishment this evening.
As the lights go down, Vessel’s familiar visage stands front and centre amid a smokey background. Things are about to get damn good. The ambient music on the PA slowly morphs into the intro to Chokehold. It’s fair to say that if you haven’t seen Sleep Token before tonight, then this will solidly etch a tonne of positive memories in your brain. With no pause, The Summoning kicks in and the crowd erupts. This is definitely a ritual for the history books.
Hypnosis and Like That are perfectly executed and the light show that accompanies them is astounding. This band certainly knows how to use not only the audio to touch your soul but also visual wizardry to really compliment their music. Progressing through the setlist, Vessel projects their voice to further prove how much of a versatile artist they are. The middle of the set is laced with brilliant songs Nazareth, Granite, Aqua Regia and Atlantic just make for the perfect combination of haunting lyrics, grinding riffs and stomach ripping percussive work. The Sleep Token collective is certainly giving us an unparalleled spectacle this evening.
As we get close to the end of the ritual, it feels like a spiritual experience, and this is EXACTLY what a Sleep Token performance should be. Alkaline, The Love You Want and Higher make for a perfect trio this far into the set, with Vessel and the 3 backup singers in perfect harmony as the other band members give everything they have to really inspire the crowd into singing and thrashing to the melodies. What a sight to behold.
The show finishes on a high with The Night, and of course closing with The Offering. This has definitely been a ritual that we have all had our love of Sleep Token solidified. The chants of “One More Song!” ring through The Tivoli, but to no avail. What we just experienced was a band delivering every bit of a performance that didn’t need an encore, nor did it require a support band. It was just that resplendent.
Now that the ritual has concluded, you may go about your business, with a sense that you just bore witness to one of the most inspiring live performances of the year, or possibly even the decade.