Review by Jo Lloyd and photos by Mark Lloyd
After a break from touring to record their yet unreleased new album, Black Veil Brides kicked off their UK tour in Birmingham. With a queue that literally stretched around the block, clad entirely in black, ripped jeans and thick black eyeliner it was clear to see how faithful the self proclaimed BVB army are (even if the majority of them do come with parents in tow).
After queuing for what seemed like an eternity outside the O2 Academy, we finally got in to catch the last bit of Drama Clubs DJ set. The scene that welcomed me can only be described as the opening scene from Blade with flashing lights, flailing arms and a bass line that I felt reverberating in my chest. It was the first time I’ve seen anything like it for an opening act that were clearly a favourite amongst the young crowd lapping up every beat emanating from the decks.
Next up came fresh faced Fearless Vampire Killers. With their generic brand of pop punk making them easy to listen to, I couldn’t help but tap my foot along as I looked around at the eager crowd hanging on every word that came out of their mouths. Kier Kemp took vocal responsibility for the first three tracks before relinquishing control to Laurence Beveridge for the rest of the set, which gave the performance an interesting dynamic. The band obviously loved being on stage and brought a great energy and an infectious enthusiasm that works well alongside BVB. With a set spattered with a few technical issues, the band carried themselves professionally and ‘Neon in the Dance Hall’ was a clear favourite.
During the set change for the next band, Drama Club made a welcome return to the stage playing more of their electro beats and throwing obscure shapes over their decks.
Now this may make me sound older than my 30 years, but American “Deathcore” band Attila offended me (and I’m not usually easily offended believe me). Now I realise that the band won’t actually “give a f**k” about my opinion and what I have to say, but what I don’t understand is, did they not realise the demographic that they were playing to? The majority of the crowd were young teens (mostly with parents) yet they punctuated every sentence with as many F**ks and S**ts that they could fit in. Stating they had no rules so if people wanted to crowd surf they could and also demanding that a pit open down front resulted in several young girls escaping in tears. I’m pretty certain that the parents weren’t quite expecting songs like ‘Shots for the Boys’ and ‘About That Life’ promoting promiscuity and drinking. However, given that half of the crowd hadn’t heard of Attila when questioned by front man Fronz, they seemed to be won over and I’m sure that when they return to the UK for their tour next year, there will be a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. Just not me!
And so the deafening chanting of “Black Veil Brides, Black Veil Brides” began as the excitement in the crowd reached its crescendo. Diving straight in with new single ‘Heart of Fire’ the crowd went wild and it was clear to everyone that tonight’s show was going to be amazing. After admitting that he had been having some vocal issues and wouldn’t be able to sing to his usual standard, the other band members happily backed Andy Biersack up and in all fairness, the crowd did a pretty good job in singing over him at some points anyway. It in no way deterred from the rest of the high energy performance.
The old classics ‘Perfect Weapon’ and ‘Knives and Pens’ were welcomed with excited screams and ‘Knives…’ in particular showed off Jake’s and Jinxx’s amazing guitar talents with expertly executed solos and heavy riffs. Also playing additional unheard tracks from their yet unreleased new album was a risk as the crowd couldn’t get as involved, but they still went down a storm.
Andy prowled around the stage clearly loving every moment and there was barely a second all night where the band stood still. They are such an energetic band with an contagious passion and the young crowd were eating out of Biersack’s hand. Featuring an excellent 80s infused drum solo from Christian ‘CC’ Coma made for an interesting change to the dynamic but I honestly don’t think BVB can put a foot wrong when it comes to their adoring fans. Undoubtedly ‘Rebel Love Song’ was evidently a favourite with everyone and returning to the stage after more deafening screeches of “WE WANT MORE” with ‘In The End’ was magical.