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Review: BLACK VEIL BRIDES Live In Houston, Texas

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 @ 11:40 AM


Band Played The House Of Blues January 12

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I don't get surprised much by concerts anymore. After 30+ years of attending rock shows I've pretty much seen and heard it all. But when I decided to go and see the BLACK VEIL BRIDES on their Church Of The Wild Ones Tour at the House of Blues in Houston on January 12, I was about to be surprised once again.

Now I had barely even heard of this band before I saw the show announcement, and even though I had posted a news item or two on the KNAC.COM website about them, I had never even heard any of their music until about a week prior to the show when I browsed through YouTube and checked out some of their videos. My first impression was 'these guys remind me of early MOTLEY CRUE'. The look, the sound, the visual imagery all screamed CRUE influence. But some of the material I checked out sounded pretty good, so what the hell, the show might be worth going to. It was a miserable, drizzly night in Houston as I made the hour long trek from my home by Lake Conroe to downtown Houston where the House of Blues is located. I like the venue, but I think there needs to be better communication between the publicists, promoters and the people at HOB because on numerous occasions I have gone, I was expecting certain items waiting for me at will-call, only to encounter problems and have to make additional phone calls to get them straightened out. This night was no exception. Luckily, my partner-in-concert-crime Stephen was unable to attend with me, because I was only left 1 ticket and photo pass at the box office instead of the 2 I was promised.

The first sign that I was going to be surprised by the show was when I arrived at the venue. The usual parking lots that I park in for shows there were both full, as well as multiple other lots situated between the HOB and the Toyota Center, which is where the NBA Houston Rockets play their home games. I'm not sure, but there was either a basketball game or a Houston Aeros hockey game going also this night, as well as artist Tyler Hilton (who the hell is he?) playing a sold out show in the Bronze Room, also at HOB, which compounded the parking issue. After driving around several blocks for about 10 minutes I was finally able to secure a coveted spot and headed to the venue.

After obtaining the above mentioned materials, I headed into the main doors of the House of Blues and managed to get only about 5 feet inside before I came to a screeching halt. The place was fucking PACKED! Now, I have attended at least a dozen or more shows at this location from bands like QUEENSRYCHE, YNGWIE, CINDERELLA, STRYPER, GREAT WHITE and ICED EARTH, but I had never seen the place filled to capacity like it was that night. I though to myself on the way there that the place might be 1/3 full, if that, but no, this band is more popular than I thought. And BLACK VEIL BRIDES are evidently popular among the 12-17 year old female age group because there was an overabundance of pubescent young teens and pre-teens there. I was told the minimum age for this show was 10, believe it or not. I was probaly one of the oldest people there, other than the scores of moms and dads that got coerced into bringing their kids out on a miserable night to this show.

The designated opener for this tour was a band/person by the name of WILLIAM CONTROL. This band was a 3 piece outfit (singer, bassist and drummer) out of Seattle that was formed about 5 years ago and can best be described as electronic, techno rock. William Control, obviously the vocalist for the band, came out onstage looking like a cross between Elvis and the main character from the Breaking Dawn movie series, dressed in a priest robe, complete with sash. They played a longer-than-necessary 45 minute set of tracks from their 'catalog' and though I could hear a guitar in some of their tunes, it was apparently piped in tracking because no guitarist was to be found, either on or offstage. I was unimpressed with these guys, as most of their tunes sounded like something you would hear at a rave party in a cheesy, cheap Eastern European discotheque. Mercifully, their set ended before I had felt the strong need to slit my own wrists to avoid any more audio pain.

There was a nice 30 minute break before BVB were scheduled to start, so I made use of the time taking a cigarette break and deleting what few pictures I had managed to take of the first band, since most of the ones I had taken looked like shit because they were evidently allowed the use of like 3 stage lights. As it got within a few minutes of show time, I made my way into the barricade to position myself for pictures and noticed a small army of security personnel already in place. At most shows I have attended at HOB, there might be 1 or 2 of these guys there and most times they are positioned at either end of the barricade where the photpgraphers enter and leave. Now, there were about a half dozen or so spread out all through the inside of the barricade. Were they expecting a mad rush over the railing to the stage? Only time would tell. In reference to my comparison's of BLACK VEIL BRIDES to MOTLEY CRUE, I found it quite interesting that the second to the last song that was played during the set changeover was MOTLEY CRUE's "Bastard". Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not, though most of the youngsters in attendence probably had no clue what the song was or who performed it.

Finally, at 9:15, it was time. Anyone remember the 'Is it live or is it Memorex?' tape commercials from back in the day? Well, when the lights went down, if I had been holding a glass of any kind, it would have instantly shattered just like those commercials from the piercing screams of the girls that made up the bulk of the crowd. My eardrums were not pleased with me for not being prepared with some sort of protection. Amid the chants of "Black Veil Brides, Black Veil Brides" and after the brief intro "Exordium", the band launched into their 18 song, hour and a half set to screams of approval with "I Am Bulletproof", from the band's most recent release, Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones. The band did not slow down from there, continuing straight into "New Religion" from the band's 2011 release, Set The World On Fire, then coming up for air just briefly before jumping right back into the title track of the latest CD. The band only has 3 full length album releases, the first being 2010's We Stitch These Wounds, when the band were cutting their teeth as a post-hardcore, melodic metalcore band, then altering their sound on their second release to becoming more of a glam metal act. They did a great job of spreading the setlist across those 3 releases, with 4 coming from the first, 7 from the second and 6 from their newest. The only song in the set not included on any of their releases was the cover of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell". Only about a week into their tour, the band was very tight and energetic. The members were constantly moving around from side to side and were having a great time. Singer Andy Biersack interacted with the crowd throughout the show and appeared to be thoroughly impressed with both the turnout and the crowd's participation. Guitarists Jinxx and Jake Pitts were on the mark all night and quite often would go back to back onstage during solos. The band closed out their evening with 2 encores, "Fallen Angels" and, appropriately, "In The End", the first single from the new album, the video for which you can see below. It was a fantastic show and I was very impressed with these guys. Would I go see them again? Hell yes, but next time I'm taking earplugs!

Setlist:

  • "Exordium"
  • "I Am Bulletproof"
  • "New Religion"
  • "Wretched And Divine"
  • "All Your Hate"
  • "God Bless You"
  • "Children Surrender"
  • "Rebel Yell" (Billy Idol Cover)
  • "Love Isn't Always Fair"
  • "Overture"
  • "Shadows Die"
  • "Nobody's Hero"
  • "Youth And Whiskey"
  • "Rebel Love Song"
  • "Resurrect The Sun"
  • "Perfect Weapon"
  • "Knives And Pens"
  • "The Legacy"
Encores:
  • "Fallen Angels"
  • "In The End"
Upcoming BLACK VEIL BRIDES Tour Dates:
  • 1.15 in Jacksonville, FL, at Brewsters Roc Bar
  • 1.16 in Atlanta, GA, at The Masquerade
  • 1.18 in Baltimore, MD, at the Rams Head Live
  • 1.19 in Philadelphia, PA, at The Trocadero
  • 1.20 in Clifton Park, NY, at the Upstate Concert Hall
  • 1.22 in Cleveland, OH, at the Peabody’s
  • 1.23 in Williamsville, NY, at the Club Infinity
  • 1.25 in New York, NY, at the Best Buy Theatre
  • 1.26 in Worcester, MA, at The Palladium
  • 1.27 in Manchester, NH, at the Armory Ballroom
  • 1.29 in Pittsburgh, PA, at the Altar Bar
  • 1.30 in Toronto, ON, at the Opera House
UK Kerrang! Tour 2013
  • 2.3 in Cardiff, UK, at the Cardiff Uni. Great Hall
  • 2.4 in Manchester, UK, at the Manchester Academy
  • 2.5 in Bristol, UK, at the O2 Academy
  • 2.7 in Southhampton, UK, at the Guildhall
  • 2.8 in Norwich, UK, at the UEA
  • 2.9 in Liverpol, UK, at the O2 Academy
  • 2.10 in Glasgow, UK, at the O2 Academy
  • 2.12 in Newcastle, UK, at the O2 Academy
  • 2.13 in Sheffield, UK, at the O2 Academy
  • 2.14 in Birmingham, UK, at the O2 Academy
  • 2.15 in London, UK, at the O2 Academy Brixton
US Headlining Tour - Part 2:
  • 2.17 in Allentown, PA, at the Crocodile Rock
  • 2.19 in Louisville, KY, at the Headliners Music Hall
  • 2.21 in Chicago, IL, at the House of Blues
  • 2.22 in Pontiac, MI, at the Crofoot Ballroom
Central America
  • 2.24 in Mexico City, MX, at El Plaza Condesa
US Headlining Tour - Part 3:
  • 2.27 in Salt Lake City, UT, at the Rockwell @ Complex
  • 2.28 in Boise, ID at the Knitting Factory
  • 3.1 in Spokane, WA, at the Knitting Factory Concert House
  • 3.2 in Seattle, WA, at the Studio Seven
  • 3.4 in Chico, CA, at the Senator Theatre
  • 3.5 in Reno, NV, in the Knitting Factory
  • 3.6 in Sacramento, CA, at the Ace of Spades
  • 3.8 in San Francisco, CA, at the Regency Ballroom
  • 3.9 in Los Angeles, CA, at the House Of Blues
Europe Tour
  • 4.5 in Paris, France, at Le Trabendo
  • 4.6 in Toulouse, France, at La Dynamo
  • 4.7 in Madrid, Spain, at the Sala Caracol
  • 4.8 in Barcelona, Spain, at the Sala Music Hall
  • 4.10 in Zürich, Switzerland, at the Komplex
  • 4.11 in Milan, Italy, at the Factory Milano
  • 4.12 in Rome, Italy, at the Init Live Club
  • 4.13 in Cesena Forlì, Italy, at the Vidia Club
  • 4.14 in Vienna, Austria, at the Arena Wien
  • 4.16 in München, Germany, at the Backstage Halle
  • 4.17 in Poznań, Poland, at the Klub Eskulap
  • 4.18 in Berlin, Germany, at the Lido
  • 4.19 in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the Store Vega
  • 4.20 in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Klubben
  • 4.22 in Helsinki, Finland, at the Nosturi
  • 4.24 in Cothenburg, Sweden, at the Sticky Fingers
  • 4.25 in Hamburg, Germany, at the Grünspan
  • 4.26 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, at the Melkweg The Max
  • 4.27 in Antwerp, Belgium, at the Trix Hall
  • 4.28 in Köln, Germany, at the Live Music Hall


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