Last night (Dec. 16), Sleep Token played the biggest concert of their career at the 12, 500-seat OVO Arena, Wembley (in London). About halfway into the show – whose tickets sold out in under 10 minutes back in June 2023 – vocalist Vessel had vocal difficulties; luckily, though, the audience was eager to help out by singing when he couldn’t.

Per setlist.fm, the band played three songs prior to “Interlude III”: “The Summoning,” “Granite” and “The Love You Want.” However, Vessel lost his voice during the trio of tracks, prompting the crowd to fill-in while he recovered. (According to setlist.fm, everything after “Interlude III” was performed without audience participation, implying that Vessel took the reins once again with “Atlantic.”)

As Revolver put it earlier today (Dec. 17):

Vessel disappeared from [the] stage for a couple minutes and then returned with one of his technicians. The stage-hand had a bombshell announcement to make. “So Vessel can’t sing. But you guys can. So you guys need to sing with us. We’re doing the set. [Vessel’s] staying on stage. Maybe he’ll do a couple lines here and there but he’s not well. So you guys gotta be loud, OK?” [T]he whole stadium erupt[ed] in an affirmative cheer to signal that they would do everything they could to make the show go on. And it did.

In contrast to setlist.fm’s implication, Revolver also stated that for roughly 10 songs, “Sleep Token continued to play, with Vessel stepping up to the mic when he could, and the crowd of devotees screaming along every word to show they had his back.”

Fortunately, Revolver added, “the masked frontman was even having a visibly great time despite his vocal hiccup. During an instrumental breakdown in ‘The Summoning,’ he was playfully lifting some weights onstage in time with the music, clearly having a ball up there.”

Kerrang! also attended the concert and reported that when the announcement was made, “Shell-shock turn[ed] to rapturous applause around the cavernous arena, as the faithful show[ed] their unconditional support for Vessel, and his courage to confront such a harsh truth, with the stakes so high.”

Kerrang! elaborated:

“[When “The Summoning” starts], the crowd immediately understand the task at hand, bellowing each and every lyric as Vessel extravagantly saunters around the stage, orchestrating proceedings, giving every ounce of energy he can muster. . . . Granite and The Love You Want follow, as Wembley descends into full-blown karaoke. During the final stages of the latter number, Vessel resumes duties on the microphone, as a sea of heart gestures bursts from the crowd. Making his way to the piano for the heart-wrenching Atlantic, his sobs can be heard over the speakers, as he battles through the starkness of the verse. Hitting some devastatingly high notes on Nazareth, it’s a powerful display of resilience, and one that almost feels fuelled by the power of the crowd.

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So far, Sleep Token have only posted a simple but heartfelt message (with photos) on social media regarding the situation: “The most sacred of times, captured by @Adamrosssi London. The night belonged to you. Now, he rests.”

That said, you can see some fan-captured videos of the performance below.

Earlier this month, Loudwire named Sleep Token’s latest LP – Take Me Back to Eden – the best metal album of 2023. Plus, Evanescence’s Amy Lee recently cited the enigmatic group as one that “gets your brain tingling,” just as Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda praised them for being “really adventurous”

Of course, Sleep Token’s 2024 international tour is set to kick off in Australia next April. You can see all of the tour dates and grab tickets here.

Fans Fill-in for Vessel During Sleep Token’s Huge Wembley Arena Show (Dec. 16, 2023)

The Rock + Metal Artists Who Have Sold the Most Concert Tickets (Five Million or More)

IMPORTANT:

All ticket totals below are from Pollstar‘s July 2022 report of the Top Touring Artists.

These concert ticket totals date back to 1981, which is when Pollstar began tracking.

Artists are listed in order of least to most tickets sold with five million tickets being the minimum threshold.

Only three rock artists have sold more than 20 million tickets!

Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita

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