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Sleep TokenCarlswerk Victoria, Cologne, Germany
12th June 2023
Sleep Token - “United Kingdom & Europe Summer Rituals 2023”

They are one of the trendiest bands in the Rock business: SLEEP TOKEN. In January 2023, they already supported THE ARCHITECTS in Germany, and in June 2023, the intriguing band performs again at several festivals and concerts in Germany and neighbouring countries.

A few days ago, the band announced on social media that they will be giving concerts in Germany for a third time within a calendar year in December 2023. This seems necessary, because tickets for a SLEEP TOKEN concert are hard to find. The gig in Cologne, for example, has already been moved from the Essigfabrik to the larger Carlswerk Victoria, and this venue was also sold-out within a few hours. Only on a well-known sales portal tickets were still available at horrendous prices. And the number of ticket seekers outside the venue was also noticeably high.

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Music & Performance
There was no support act in Cologne. Thus, many fans squeezed into the first rows of the venue well before 8 pm. And there they were already sweating before the concert began, because it was damn hot. The air was still, there was no breeze. It certainly wasn’t the best conditions given the summer temperatures that day. Contrary to the info on the ticket, the band also didn’t start on time at 8 pm, but they made the crowd wait for another half an hour. The concert was not supposed to start until shortly after 8.30 pm. So, the British quartet around singer Vessel entered the stage under frenetic applause, three background singers positioned themselves at the far-left edge of the stage.

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With ‘Chokehold’ and ‘The Summoning’, singer Vessel and his three bandmates performed the first two songs from their new album ‘Take Me Back To Eden’ and rocked the stage. Those who know the music of SLEEP TOKEN, however, also know that generally every track of the band is not consistently only Metal or only balldesque. Variety and a wild mix of different styles is a trademark of the band. However, while the first songs focused more on Rock, the band switched down a gear or two after ‘Like That’ at the latest and struck more and more quiet notes. Those were the moments when guitarist IV and/or bassist III left the stage. In fact, Vessel and the three background singers were the only musicians permanently on stage.

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The anonymous men behind the drum kit, on the bass and on the guitar were always given the opportunity to disappear behind the stage. But when they made music all together, it had a lot of substance. Not only Vessel showed a high level of commitment, above all bassist III used the space at the front left edge of the stage for his very own show. Again and again, he and guitarist IV motivated the enthusiastic audience to clap along or wave their arms. And the mostly younger audience was happy to join in. The first two songs from their debut album ‘Sundowning’ closed the 90-minute show. While ‘The Night Does Not Belong To God’ was partly relaxed, ‘The Offering’ was really loud and heavy, much to the delight of the wildly dancing first rows in the Carlswerk Victoria.

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The negative highlight of the evening was the crew member responsible for the drone that flew above our heads. On its last flight, it crashed onto the back of the head of the fan standing directly in front of me. After the contact with the drone, the fan kept grabbing the back of his head for one or two songs to see if he had suffered a bleeding wound. Finally, his better half was able to clarify the situation with the torch of her smartphone. No blood. Nevertheless, this fan sought contact with the crew members at the mixing desk and ultimately ensured that the drone would not make another flight.

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01. Chokehold
02. The Summoning
03. Hypnosis
04. Vore
05. Like That
06. Nazareth
07. Granite
08. Aqua Regia
09. Atlantic
10. Alkaline
11. The Love You Want
12. Rain
13. Higher
14. The Night Does Not Belong to God
15. The Offering

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8.3 / 10

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All Pictures by Adamross Williams @adamrosssi

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