For over six years, Oh, Sleeper has been on hiatus. Occasionally,performing at one or two-day concert events. They have started touring nationwide once again to build hype for their first full album since 2011.
Touring with them are Earth Groans and The Agony Scene. Unfortunately, only Earth Groans could join Oh, Sleeper for the first portion of their tour, local bands such as Stronghold, No Loss No Regrets, and Your Last Chance opened for the two headliners.
Since these bands were local, they weren’t expected to necessarily be flawless. Additionally, to really leave a lasting impression on concertgoers, the audience and the band must feed off of each other’s excitement. Perhaps it was the venue location, perhaps not even Oh, Sleeper can garner enough of an audience to fill the room, but either way, the early acts suffered for it.
This is not to say the local acts weren’t musically solid. Each band performed well with minor gripes here and there regarding certain musical style choices. It was simply the fact the bands couldn’t get the crowd excited enough and it seemed to affect the impression of each act.
When Earth Groans took the stage, things started to heat up. The performance was solid and the audience seemed to finally get into the music. Their energy, their way of building the hype, exemplified a band worthy of touring across the nation. As somebody who had never heard of them before, I respect them both as musicians and performers after such an act.
The audience was finally ready to hear what they came for. Even as band members for Oh, Sleeper set up their stage equipment, a sense of excitement was building throughout the room. Micah Kinard, the lead singer, worked silently in a jacket with his hood up like a boxer in a tunnel walk and on the back was written “The storm shall pass.”
Smoke, lights, and like a boxing match, off came the jacket. Whatever the size of the audience actually was, it didn’t matter, as what previously felt like a small-time concert exploded into what could easily be mistaken as several thousand people watching a performance on a grand stage. When singers Kinard and Shane Blay stepped away from their microphones at any point and the room would finish the verse, it became clear everybody was here to see them. Oh, Sleeper knew this and they rocked it.
I briefly spoke with drummer Zac Mayfield after their performance and asked him what sparked them to awaken from their slumber.
“We all got jobs, and things grew busy. But as time moved on, the guys started wanting to make music again. But all of us, we aren’t the types to do things halfway. So, if we were to write music again, it would be a full album,” Mayfield said. “This tour is to rebuild the hype for our newest album, which I believe is some of the best music we’ve written.”
After a performance like theirs in a venue as small as it was, I certainly agree they don’t do things halfway and I expect their album will be of an equal caliber.