Sleep In. and twentythreenineteen Visit Chicago, IL

August 27, 2019

Sleep In., a New Jersey quintet, offers a careful mix of midwest flavored emo and alternative pop-punk. The band vibrates energetically enough to make heads bob without leaving out “math-ey”; riffs that even the Kinsella brothers would smirk at. They just finished a summer tour with twentythreenineteen, a Philadelphia based pop-rock quartet. While not dissimilar in influence, adorn a heavier focus on texture and ambience.


The package played at Chicago Uptown Cafe and Gallery on August 15, 2019. The space, as its namesake suggests, is a modestly sized cafe but the show did not occur during business hours. In true DIY fashion, the space was BYOB and a PA graced the floor by the front windows. The show became a spectacle for passerby's; motivating onlookers to stay and watch for a minute or two.  


Twentythreenineteen embellished their performance with intimacy and friendliness towards the crowd. Only a handful came through the door but were treated with the familiarity of an old friend. Sonically, twentythreenineteen excelled in their softer moments. The performance gave way to the limitations of the space with vocals being cut under the wall of sound. Harmonies and melodies landed but lyrics were only audible enough.

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My only complaint was the ebb flow and the set. The songs shared such similarity sonically that abrupt stops between songs almost made sense but a lack tension release made it trying at times. 


Following twentythreenineteen was Sleep In. The band roared and glistened with precise playing. Sleep In. are well practiced and it shows. The band took notes on their peer’s set and assisted each other. Members were, at this point, assisting on stage volume to compensate for the room. What followed was a driving and fun set. 


The band lacked a bit of presence in their performance. It’s obvious Sleep In. are passionate and sonically sound. The set just lacked movement. No one is expecting a wild spectacle but it did need some extra energy. 

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The package was friendly, efficient and entertaining. The bands were not unfamiliar to Chicago and expressed motivation in continuing to chip away at this particular market. Sleep In. and twentythreenineteen are solid acts with room to grow. If given the footing and the opportunity, both acts are capable of landing with the DIY community and a grander audience.



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