Black veil brides – Academy, Birmingham – 7th October 2014

Drama Club
Drama Club

There’s nothing like a Black Veil Brides concert to make you feel old.  Arriving at the venue, there was a long queue outside, with a large number of teenagers- in fact other than a few parents who had clearly been dragged along to the gig with their young daughters, there was almost nobody there over the age of 20.  The band do have a very dedicated following, and I saw more painted faces at today’s gig than at any other show I’ve attended before, including Kiss, king diamond, and any black metal band..

As soon as the doors opened, the crowd flooded in with girls racing to get to the barrier. Just ten minutes after the doors opened, the first act was on – a DJ set from Drama Club.  It’s a big spectacle – screens showing bright images as the two DJs wearing masks and long wigs play tracks and leap around – they’d got a Slipknot vibe, with that same energy and aggression, but did differ musically.  Musically it was LOUD, with huge bass beats, and really didn’t differ much from the sort of thing you’d hear in an Ibiza nightclub, just with a little metal mixed in.  it certainly went down well with the audience.

Fearless vampire killers
Fearless Vampire Killers


Next up was the first band of the night – Fearless Vampire Killers. The band describe themselves as “Death pop”, although I’d have described them more as a mix Indie-rock, death metal, and a bit of pop. They’re clearly a popular choice to support Black Veil Brides judging by the way the crowd reaction as they walked on. It’s a great set, but sadly not as long as they deserved. This is definitely a band worth seeing – although they’re not really my taste in music I still found myself enjoying their set and the variety of genres that you can hear in their music certainly kept it interesting.


Attila came next, and while they went down well with the crowd, I wasn’t impressed. Their energetic performance was good visually, but the generic cookie-monster vocals did nothing for me, and there seemed to be too much emphasis on a heavy bass beat rather than any tunes. Definitely a band that I won’t be aiming to see again.



Finally it was time for the headliners – Black Veil Brides.  It was at this point I discovered that the earplugs I was wearing may be good for protecting my hearing from the music, but they just weren’t good enough to protect against the hysterical screams from all the teenage girls in the audience.  I’ve never experienced anything like it in person – it’s the sort of response the Beatles got, or more recently, the sort of reaction fans give boy bands, but not something any other metal band gets.

Black Veil Brides
Black Veil Brides

BVB are definitely a marmite band – people love them or hate them (a bit like Nickelback in that respect), but no matter how many people hate them, it’s clear they have a large dedicated fan base.
The band came on stage and were all but drowned out by the initial screams, but these soon subsided and the band kicked off.
The band certainly know how to make a show visually interesting and enjoyable as well as musically – they had a raised platform across the front of the stage, which they all used regularly to make sure the fans further back got good views too.  They constantly run around the stage with them all spending time on there left, right and centre of the stage.  Only the drummer was stationary on a raised platform at the back of the stage.  It’s a great lightshow too – another element that just adds to the visual appeal of their performance.
At a couple of points, the band disappear off stage, and the choice of music to play while they wait to re-emerge was interesting – there was some classical violin music, then for another break, music I think was “Thus spake Zarathustra” as used in the movie 2001:A space odyssey – certainly not what I’d expected from the band.
I thought the only disappointing part of the set was the drum solo.  There aren’t many drummers who can make a drum solo stand out and impress me, and tonight was no different – it was a fairly average solo – in contrast, Mike Terrana is a drummer who does impressive solos.

I came away from tonight’s gig having enjoyed Fearless Vampire Killers, but most of all, having been very pleasantly surprised by BVB – I’d heard so many negative comments about them, but these were all proved wrong, and what I saw was a band who really do know how to put on a great show, and who have clearly earned their loyal following.

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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