One of the last places you expect to host a concert is a synagogue, yet that is exactly where I found myself on July 15. Several blocks from the Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, DC, Sleeping With Sirens hosted their Chill Out Summer Acoustic Tour with support from The Rocket Summer and Kulick.
Opening the show was the singer-songwriter Jacob Kulick. Given the acoustic factor of this tour, essentially everyone remained in their seats for the entirety of his set. He played for 45 minutes, and by the time he was done I could see positive reactions from the crowd who were certainly unfamiliar with the musician in front of them.
The Rocket Summer was next, and being a veteran of the scene, almost everyone was familiar with at least one of Bryce Avery’s songs. The energy he brought to the stage delivered smiles to everyone’s faces. Using loop pedals, Avery wowed the entire crowd by building every song he played right in front of the audience using nothing other than an acoustic guitar and his voice.
Once The Rocket Summer was finished their set, I was surprised to see that the room wasn’t completely packed. The venue floor holds roughly 500 people and there was easily a hundred people less than that. Potentially being the fault of the tour being acoustic, I still expected more. Having five albums and an acoustic EP, it isn’t easy to formulate a setlist to appease everyone, though Sleeping with Sirens did an amazing job. The mix of old songs and new was practically perfect, playing “Scene One: James Dean & Audrey Hepburn” from the If You Were a Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack EP and “Gossip”, the title track from their new album.
The only critique I would give to their set is Kellin Quinn barely moved from one spot on the stage — I found myself getting bored from the lack of movement and engagement. That being said, Sleeping With Sirens gave a solid performance at quite the unique show.