REVIEW: Kerrang! Tour at the Guildhall
A quick Google for fan opinions of this year’s Kerrang touring bands suggests that they shrivel feebly in comparison to previous line ups which included household names like New Found […]
A quick Google for fan opinions of this year’s Kerrang touring bands suggests that they shrivel feebly in comparison to previous line ups which included household names like New Found Glory and Good Charlotte (at least, in households firmly rooted in pop punk sensibilities). I confess I only decided to attend as an escort to my younger sister; whose musical tastes first introduced me to this year’s headliners: Black Veil Brides.
To the uninitiated, BVB; as they’re known by the ‘youth’; are a skinny gaggle of youngish guys who dress like Kiss possessed by the spirit of Jared Leto: black and white with spikes all over. Yet despite the almost comically OTT outfits and all the trappings of being just another ’emo’ group, their music displays surprising (and welcome) sophistication, with brilliantly energetic sweep-picking solos, harmonies worthy of Thin Lizzy, thunderous drums and deep and mature sounding vocals that sound as out of place coming from the lead singer Andy as Shakira performing an opera. Definitely worth a look if you’re after some new metal sounds.
The long introduction is partly to make up for what little I have to say about the support acts beyond that they were forgettable. The first act were the charismatic but musically bland Fearless Vampire Killers (NOT Lesbian Vampire Killers, I will remind you) who passed by with some small excitement from their die hard fans. They were swiftly followed by Aussie outfit Tonight Alive- notable for tuneless lyrics and being a poor-man’s Paramore. The final support group were, in the same vein, a poor-man’s Alexisonfire, namely Chiodos (pronounced chee-OH-dose; not to be confused with any existing Pokémon). In the five years since I last stumbled on these guys at a show they appear to have done almost nothing to move away from being another utterly pedestrian screamo outfit with an almost instantly unappealingly shrill lead singer.
So then, the main event; and sadly the most memorable aspects of the performance were the negative ones. Either the kit was hideously unreliable or else the band members simply enjoyed toddling on and off the stage and getting felt up by roadies checking their various connectors. The minimal banter from the frontman didn’t help the audience connection and while there definitely wasn’t any animosity (and the crowd and band clearly enjoyed themselves) I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t as much … well fun I guess. The final gripe was the retinal-scorching intensity of the stage lights which frequently seared painfully across the crowd in the most distracting display I’ve ever witnessed at an event.
Unfortunately this article is undoubtedly giving a more negative impression than I intended. I had a pretty good time, and particularly enjoyed the searing guitar work of Jake and the shouty anthems Legacy and Wretched and Divine, along with their classic hit Fallen Angels were a real treat. Ultimately then, a not-unenjoyable evening let down in a few places by pesky niggles and crap support acts.