Worship. Upon hearing that word, most might think of Sunday morning church and religious experiences. Well, that's what Sleep Token is all about, as their recent show in Detroit was nothing short of religious. Not only does the masked ensemble have a cult following and an aesthetic that is religious in a sense; this live show was held in the largest masonic temple in the world, sitting at a capacity of 4.6 thousand. This date was the 6th date of their sold-out North American Tour and also manages to be their second largest headline date, the largest being the Wembley Stadium–which they sold out in 10 minutes.
Kicking off this ritual was A.A. Williams, a fellow British artist. Although I had no previous knowledge of them, as I had not listened to their music or even checked their genre, I thoroughly enjoyed their set. Their set had an almost spooky sense, creating a beautifully eerie atmosphere with both their music and stage setup. Even after having to momentarily stop the show to get help to a fan in the pit, they were still able to keep the energy the same as it had been before.
As the lights dimmed, the crowd immediately erupted into cheers as Vessel made his appearance on stage. Beginning with one of their massively received singles, "Chokehold", the entire crowd's energy skyrocketed immediately. After performing two other songs, there was a spoken word interlude as the band left the stage. Although it may not have been spoken directly by any of the band members themselves, what was said was personal and emotional, even if the band wasn't currently on the stage. There were another 3 interludes following this, a trio of songs played between each one.
Every performance was immensely emotional, and each member had an extremely strong stage presence. "III," the bassist, was very involved with the crowd, encouraging crowd interaction often, and even jumping into the photo pit at one point. Vessel's body language and energy projected onto the crowd. The interactions between the members as well, such as III and Vessel kissing, created an energy that was somewhat sensual, giving an even more emotional feeling to the whole performance. It truly felt like something religious—the energy from Sleep Token reflected into the crowd, the entire experience was so emotional and it was felt throughout the entire venue.
For each song, you could hear the entire crowd singing along, creating harmony with Vessel’s voice. The entire experience felt very intimate, even if the show was a sold-out, almost 5 thousand capacity venue. There was nothing quite like the experience this ritual gave, nothing to compare it to. The energy was unmatched, and their performance was impeccable.