Sleep When I Die Tour @ The Black Sheep, 3/16/15

Photos & Review: Sleep When I Die Tour
Featuring: New Found Glory, Turnstile, This Wild Life & Turnover
The Black Sheep, Colorado Springs, CO. 3/16/15

Photos and Review by: Shannon Shumaker

Every time I’ve seen New Found Glory, I’ve always been amazed and surprised at the bands that they choose as support on their tours, but the lineup for their “Sleep When I Die” tour absolutely takes the cake. From acoustic to hardcore to pop-punk, the lineup covered all of the bases, and the best part was that the crowd seemed to support each band on the bill, regardless of their genre. Maybe it was the small room that the four bands were set to play (The Black Sheep has a capacity of merely 450) or maybe it was due to the fact that only die-hard fans were able to grab tickets before they sold out. Regardless of the reason, the show promised to be one for the books.

First up was Turnover, who provided a relatively mellow and laid-back beginning to the night. Even though the band played plenty of material from their upcoming sophomore record, Peripheral Vision, it didn’t seem like the crowd minded. Fans were swaying back and forth, singing along to the songs they did know and quietly enjoying the ones that they didn’t, however, it wasn’t until Turnover played fan-favorite track, “Most Of The Time” that the crowd really seemed to erupt. Suddenly, fans were shoving forward, screaming the words along with the band, and before Turnover’s set was through, the venue finally saw its first stage diver of the night.

Acoustic duo, This Wild Life followed after Turnover, and honestly, I was interested to see how they would fare on the bill. Though Turnover’s set was relatively mellow, it wasn’t acoustic, and with a hardcore band following them, This Wild Life’s placement in the bill was interesting to say the least. However, as soon as the lights dimmed and they began to play, I was relieved to see many fans singing the lyrics right back at them. It was a drastic change from the first time I saw the band back in March of 2014, when it seemed like nobody knew who they were, and one I have been waiting for. Both new and old songs were welcomed with love, and rightfully so.

The high point in This Wild Life’s set was definitely when they invited a couple on stage for their fan-favorite love song, “Puppy Love.” Having seen my fair share of on-stage proposals, I knew what was coming, but it was still adorable when, mid song, the whole crowd witnessed a stranger drop to one knee and propose to his girlfriend in front of everyone. As they left the stage, vocalist Kevin Jordan even joked about how it was the second proposal of the tour, which was only on its third date.

Following This Wild Life was the band that many fans in the crowd seemed to be most excited to see: Turnstile. Having just flown in from Japan, it was the band’s first date on the tour, and it’s safe to say that Colorado Springs did a great job of starting off their run with New Found Glory with a bang. Within seconds, fans were crowdsurfing, stage diving, front flipping into the crowd and singing along. The room seemed to erupt during Turnstile’s set, and the band was more than happy to share the stage with anyone who was daring enough to climb up. Vocalist Brendan Yates easily handed the microphone over to multiple fans as they passed across the stage before leaping into the crowd once more, and by the time their set came to an end, I was exhausted, and I was standing in the back of the room.

Despite the fact that many people seemed to be at The Black Sheep for Turnstile, I was pleased to notice that not many fans left after their set. Instead, nearly the whole crowd stuck around for New Found Glory, and with good reason. It’s not very often that you get to catch NFG in such a small, intimate room.

Needless to say, New Found Glory absolutely commanded The Black Sheep. While vocalist, Jordan Pundik sounded a little rough in the first song, by the time their second song kicked in, he seemed completely on top of his game. Within moments, bodies were flying, fans were crowd surfing, and guitarist Chad Gilbert was encouraging it, as the band seemed delighted to be playing in a room without a barricade. New Found Glory didn’t hold back, either. With a setlist of over twenty songs and an encore, the band kept pumping out hit after hit.

By the time the show was finally over, fans were bound to leave happy, regardless of which band they came to see. The night as a whole was an experience not to be missed, even for some fans who came from as far as South Dakota to catch the show.