I never realized how calming the smell of burning incense could be until it wafted through the photo pit at the House of Blues on November 8th. When the members of Tonight Alive emerged on stage full of smiles, lead singer Jenna McDougall was last to appear, incense in hand. She placed it in front her before proceeding to sing her heart out.
No matter how many times I see this band, I always leave with a smile on my face and a newfound reason to be confident in myself. “How Does It Feel?” kicked off their set, and it was great to hear one of my favorites off their newest release, Limitless. This Australia-based quintet prides themselves on being true to who they are and what they believe in, and these sentiments came alive during Jenna’s banter between songs as she encouraged the audience to never be afraid of who they are and to stand up for what they believe in too. As part of their Limitless cycle, they also performed “Waves” and “Drive.” However, long time fans weren’t disappointed as they were also able to jam to their old-school favorites, in the vein of “Listening” and “The Ocean,” mid-set.
This time around, Tonight Alive ended their half hour performance with the band’s most popular song, “Lonely Girl.” There’s nothing quite like being in a room full of like-minded people putting their middle fingers up. Energy levels of the crowd were certainly high while fans eagerly awaited the final two acts of the night. One could go so far as to say that the audience’s energy was elevated…
State Champs stormed the stage the next. Crowd surfers started to pour over the barricade as many fans sung along to tracks like “Elevated,” “All You Are Is History,” “Remedy,” and Secrets,” among others. By the end of their set, the crowd couldn’t contain their excitement for Sleeping With Sirens, the night’s headlining act.
With the Madness era coming to a close, Sleeping With Sirens certainly gave one of the biggest albums of their career a proper send-off. Almost half of their sixteen-song set was dedicated to the album as they played some of its best tracks, including “The Strays,” “Kick Me,” and “Better Off Dead.” Fans were in awe at the impressive lighting setup and production value of the show. A standout moment for me was seeing guitarist Nick Martin show up behind front of house and surprising two oblivious fans. SWS always have the most energetic shows. And with that, we bid the Madness era ‘adieu.’
If you live near one of these cities, you’re in luck! You can still catch Tonight Alive, State Champs and Sleeping With Sirens on the End the Madness Tour.
Nov. 16 – Cleveland, OH @ Masonic Auditorium
Nov. 17 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVA
Nov. 18 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
Nov. 19 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
Nov. 20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
Nov. 22 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
Nov. 23 – San Antonio, TX @ Alamo City Music Hall
Nov. 25 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Livewire
Nov. 26 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA
Nov. 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 28 – San Francisco, CA @ Warfield Theatre
Nov. 30 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
Dec. 1 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
Dec. 3 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Dec. 4 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY LEAH DICKERMAN