Home Gigs Gig Review : While She Sleeps with Supports Polaris and Bury Tomorrow, Alexandra Palace,

Gig Review : While She Sleeps with Supports Polaris and Bury Tomorrow, Alexandra Palace,

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Review & Photography by Sian Connolly for MPM

So, tonight’s the night quite literally 10,000 people have been waiting for. It’s a big night for the lads and quite a big one for me too.

Alexandra Palace. Or better known as the iconic Ally Pally. Now for me, this was insane, the first time I’d ever been to the venue was back in 2021 before I started doing gigs and it was definitely giving the wow factor.

This building was quite literally like no other, it was the venue of all venues. So to be here, today, in the pit, shooting a band also from Sheffield, like myself, it felt quite special.

Anyway, enough about me and my little moment, let’s focus on the real reason why 10,000 metalheads have gathered here today. For the one and only, While She Sleeps.

Oh and of course, not forgetting the absolute monster support lineup, Polaris and Bury Tomorrow.

Hell yeah, let’s go. The day started for me at lunchtime, all camera gear packed and ready for the 4-hour drive down to London and boy was I excited. Finally turning up at the venue at about 6 ish, the place was crawling with the usual metal suspects.

I see Architects t-shirts, Lorna Shore, Sleep Token, Bring Me The Horizon. Alexandra Palace was full to the brim of my people, it was awesome.

First up is Australian metalcore legends, Polaris. Now these guys know how to put on a proper show; explosive, sensational, flawless.

What more could you ask for? From the moment they took the stage, the atmosphere just blew the roof off. The crowd roared as the band dived straight into their electric set unleashing a wave of energy (along with crowd surfers, obviously).

Vocalist, Jamie Hails is a beast on the stage, he knows exactly how to get people up and moving, his presence is impeccable.

The power in his vocals is just insane, one minute we’ve got “mad, guttural vocals” Jamie and the next we’ve got “soaring, melodic” Jamie and I’m here for it.

The way he effortlessly connects with the crowd is admirable, these guys love what they do and it shows. Even though the guys only had a short set time, we were still treated to some classics; Nightmare (from their recently released album, Fatalism), The Remedy and Inhumane.

Each one was a banger and was executed flawlessly. Do I even have to mention the moshpits? If this is what they look like now… I can only imagine the pit for WSS.

After just recently losing their beloved guitarist, Ryan Siew was adored by everyone and tonight, his initials lay proudly on the drum kit in the shape of a heart, it was really beautiful. Polaris, we all love you.

After a short break, up next are heavy metal juggernauts, Bury Tomorrow. They stormed the stage with no remorse and absolutely tore Ally Pally down.

With their signature blend of bone-crushing breakdowns and raw energy, this show was one like no other. The place erupted as they exploded into their first track with an absolutely astonishing light show to accompany it.

Vocalist Dani Winter-Bates delivers a relentless barrage of ungodly, guttural growls perfectly paired with sharp, clean vocals. These guys were on top form tonight and I mean, top.

The whole production was just incredible, the energy, the vibe, everything was executed to sheer perfection. The band’s stage presence was infectious as the crowd screamed the lyrics back at the top of their lungs.

And if it was even possible to make this set even better, in the second song, Dani says “I think I need to come down there and join you guys” and sure enough, he’s jumped off the stage, onto the barrier and the crowd goes WILD.

If there was ever a moment to crowd surf, now is the time to do so and boy did hundreds of bodies come flying over the barrier. It was mental or should I say metal.

Speaking of mental, it’s impossible not to notice the unrelenting onslaught of blistering riffs and earth-shattering breakdowns from the dual guitar assault.

With tracks such as Choke (my personal favourite), Abandon Us and Earthbound, head banging and moshing were a must.

In fact, you’d be at the wrong gig if you weren’t prepared to break your neck. The band’s tight musicianship is a testament to their insane talent and dedication and it definitely left me wanting more.

Finally, the break that always seems the longest eventually comes to an end and the time is here for the Sheffield legends, While She Sleeps, to take the stage. Or should I say, their stage because well, they owned it. This performance left me speechless, truly.

Every single thing was done to perfection, lights, pyro, stage set up, set list, everything was absolutely bang on. We wanted chaos and they goddam delivered.

If anyone can sell out Ally Pally, it’s these lads. Why you ask? Oh, only because they put on THE best show you will ever see. Do you want to feel breathless, craving more? WSS will gladly do that for you and it all began with one song; SLEEPS SOCIETY.

What an absolute tune. Easy in my top three and it was even better live. I mean, you can’t beat a good huge white curtain drop, can you? Especially when it reveals Loz Taylor up on some huge scaffolding structure clearly having the best view in the house.

What could be better than 10,000 bodies all collectively screaming in your direction? Next time I see him, I’ll ask him. While She Sleeps exploded (not literally) onto the stage with a force that sent shockwaves through the crowd, it didn’t take long for the mayhem to begin.

You’ve heard of the saying “break a leg”, well over here we take that quite literally, these pits were bone-breaking. Crazy beyond crazy. Away from the pit and up on the stage, Loz was showing off his intense, vicious vocals combined with his charismatic stage presence, effortlessly captivating each member of the crowd, including myself. In fact, I was so zoned in on this insane performance, that when he said “What’s up London”, I completely forgot where I was.

I thought I was still in Sheffield and in my head I was like, why does he think we’re in London… maybe all this travelling has sent me mad. But anywho, we’re here, in the depth of metal utopia and I’m loving every minute of it. Now the setlist, well that’s a different story.

This setlist was curated to absolute perfection; a mix of old and new bound to create bedlam and it sure as hell did. When my all-time favourite, Silence Speaks, began blasting through the speakers, I couldn’t contain myself.

I must admit, half of me did want Oli Sykes to come out on stage and do his little solo but Dani from Bury Tomorrow will do ey.

We were also treated to an insane live debut of SELF HELL, their latest release from just a week ago, with a couple of throwbacks too; Our Courage, Our Cancer (last time played, 2019) and Our Legacy (last time played, 2017).

The lads were definitely not messaging about when piecing together this set with an encore brewing that would blow your mind.

The final songs for While She Sleeps’ headline gig at Alexandra Palace 2023 were… ENLIGHTENMENT(?), Seven Hills and ANTI-SOCIAL. What a way to shut down the night.

The crowd went ballistic. This band perform with true and utter passion and unapologetic energy. While She Sleeps is a band that not only knows how to put on an unforgettable show but also to use their platform to ignite change and inspire.

Absolute legends (of course they are, they’re from Sheffield).

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