When I arrived at The Fillmore Auditorium for the Denver date of the World Tour to find a line of excited fans so long that it literally wrapped around the block, I knew I was in for an exciting night. The anticipation was palpable, and by the time the doors opened and the crowd began piling in, kids were rushing to be right up front for undoubtedly one of the most anticipated shows of 2015. After all, the last time Pierce The Veil and Sleeping With Sirens were in Denver for the first leg of the World Tour, the show sold out before many fans could get tickets. The venue was an upgrade from the 900 capacity Boulder Theater (where the bands played in December) to the Fillmore Auditorium, with a capacity of over 5,000. Needless to say, fans were in for a real treat.
The first band to perform was up and coming PVRIS. With a lot of buzz around the band lately (and being a pretty big fan of them myself) I was definitely excited for them to take the stage, and within the first few seconds of their opening song, “Smoke” I wasn’t disappointed. Despite their lack of space to move around much (Pierce The Veil and Sleeping With Sirens’ gear seemed to take up much of the stage behind a black curtain) PVRIS were more than capable of putting on an incredible performance. On top of their borderline eerie melodies and huge choruses, vocalist Lynn Gunn’s voice sounded album quality and then some. Many of the fans up front seemed to be familiar with the band's music as well, and PVRIS definitely fed off of their energy. By the time PVRIS left the stage (sadly only five songs later) I wondered if anyone would be able to top their stellar performance.
Following PVRIS was UK group, Mallory Knox. I honestly had never listened to them before seeing them take the stage at The Fillmore, so besides having heard that they’ve been getting a lot of buzz overseas, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Once they took the stage, it was nearly impossible to take my eyes off of vocalist, Mikey Chapman, though. Not only did his voice sound great, but the happiness that he exuded on stage was contagious - he was all smiles throughout their entire set, and if I had to guess, it was probably due to the nearly sold out crowd giving Mallory Knox their undivided attention. While I hadn’t done my homework, it seemed that many fans in the crowd had, as they were singing along or bobbing their heads to the music. While they didn’t quite have the same energy as PVRIS, they seemed to have the crowd’s attention, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
As soon as Mallory Knox left the stage, however, the excitement in the venue seemed to skyrocket. Gear was loaded off of the stage and Sleeping With Sirens’ LED screens and equipment were revealed behind a black sheet, and within seconds, fans were screaming even though nobody had even taken the stage yet. When the lights finally dimmed at the band walked onto the stage, however, the room seemed to explode. Opening with their newest single, “Kick Me,” Sleeping With Sirens easily commanded the stage as LED screens lit up with lyrics to the song. It was sensory overload, but in the best way possible. Vocalist Kellin Quinn had the attention of everyone in the Venue, but that’s not to say that the rest of the band wasn’t performing to the best of their ability, as well. Bassist Justin Hills, for instance, was all over the stage, screaming along the lyrics and getting the crowd pumped up. Highlights of the band’s set were definitely in their cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” and their final two fan-favorite tracks, “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn” and “If You Can’t Hang.”
After Sleeping With Sirens left the stage, I wasn’t really sure how the night could escalate from there. The only downside of the excitement from their set was the aftermath - due to many fans trying to push their way up front, it seemed that security had to lift quite a few teenagers out of the front, where they had been pushed up against the barricade too hard. Before Pierce The Veil even went on, venue staff came over the PA system to urge fans to take a few steps back in order to give the people up on the barricade room to breathe. It was definitely unfortunate to watch many fans get lifted out of the crowd due to over exhaustion or the pain of being pressed up against the railing before the headliner went on, but thankfully, everyone seemed to be very respectful of the venue’s wishes. After their announcement, I didn’t see as many people being pulled out of the crowd or seeking medical attention.
After that little hiccup, it was time for Pierce The Veil to hit the stage. In between set changes, a huge white curtain bearing artwork from the band’s latest release dropped down in front of the stage, and the crowd went absolutely wild. And that was all before anyone even took the stage. Then, the lights dimmed and spotlights began to illuminate each band member from behind the curtain, prompting excited screams from the crowd. The curtain dropped as Pierce The Veil began to play the first few notes of “Hell Above” and it was absolute chaos. It was obvious that each band member was performing at the best of their ability - from Vic Fuentes’ incomparable vocal work to bassist Jaime Preciado leaping around the stage with a ridiculous amount of energy, they all seemed on top of their game.
Song after song, Pierce The Veil just seemed to outperform themselves, and with a huge lighting production to back up their already insane live performance, it was nearly impossible to look away. A highlight of their set was definitely when they played fan favorite, “Bulls In The Bronx,” though the acoustic rendition of “I’m Low on Gas and You Need a Jacket” was absolutely beautiful, and when Lynn Gunn came out to do guest vocals on “Hold On Till May,” I couldn’t help but be excited. It was also really heart-warming to watch Fuentes invite a fan on stage to sing the beginning of their final song “Bulletproof Love” to. The set couldn’t simply end there, though - not on a co-headliner with Sleeping With Sirens. After chants from the crowd for an encore, Pierce The Veil returned for one final song - “King For A Day,” with help on vocals from Kellin Quinn. Understandably, the reaction from the crowd was beyond compare.
When the show was finally over and the house lights came on, fans began to pour out of the venue and into the snow - but the drive home in a winter storm was definitely worth it. Being one of the first dates on the second leg of the World Tour, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect - sometimes it takes the bands a few shows to work out any kinks, after all - but none of the bands on the bill disappointed. Judging by the excitement and happy looks on the faces of the fans in the crowd, they had a great time, as well.