February 27, 2015 Black Veil Brides bring Black Mass to Long Island, NY 2-8-15 w/ Memphis May Fire & Ghost Town
After a blazing hot 2014, Black Veil Brides return to the touring circuit on the second leg of the Black Mass Tour in support of their fourth album, which was released in October 2014. The self-titled release landed at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart, topped the iTunes Rock Chart, and was in the top 10 on iTunes in over twenty countries. Initially hitting the road back in the fall of last year, Black Veil Brides had a supporting line-up including Falling in Reverse, Set It Off, and Drama Club during the first leg of the tour. Keeping matters exciting for fans, this time around The Brides take out Memphis May Fire and Ghost Town for a string of dates in the bitter cold portions of North America that even found the bands exploring Canada. While February is the shortest month of the year, it is also the most brutal weather-wise for many parts of the country, and on a bleak winter’s night on Sunday, the 8th of the month, the Black Mass Tour made an appearance on Long Island at the Paramount in Huntington, New York. Allowing their faithful followers to indulge once more, Black Veil Brides appeared at the venue for the first time since October 2013. This time around the buzz was even higher as the crowd stood before the light and smoke saturated stage as they waited for the night to begin.
Los Angeles’ Electronic Rock band Ghost Town opened that night at the Paramount. Having made a name for themselves in the past year with a spot on the We Are Savages,Red, White, & Black, and Van’s Warped Tour in 2014, this band has their pedal to the metal, so to speak. The band consists of Kevin Ghost on vocals, Alix Monster on guitars, MannYtheDrummeR on drums, and Evan Pearce working the electronics, along with official album artist, Alister Dippner, as an honorary member of the band. As the venue continued to fill, the band broke into their first song, “Trick or Treat.” It was apparent that the late-comers regretted their dawdling as they immediately raced to the stage to groove to Ghost Town’s energetic and unique performance.
With a keen sense of visual aesthetics, solid instrumentation, and a strong stage presence, Ghost Town whipped the crowd into a frenzy as they played nine tracks off of their two studio albums, Party in the Graveyard (2013) and The Afterparty (2014). During “I’m Weird,” their second song of the night, guitarist Monster grabbed the mic and added his vocals to the mix. Before beginning “Under Wraps,” Ghost requested that the house lights be turned on and asked the crowd to light the venue up further with their cell phones, which they waved back and forth to the rhythm of the song. They ended their set with “You’re So Creepy,” which recently saw a video release, but not before inviting audience members to visit them at their merchandise table. Judging from the number of people who left the floor as soon as the set was over, it was clear that Ghost Town made a lasting impression on the audience.
Contrary to what their name might imply, Memphis May Fire are from Dallas, Texas, and they brought their Southern Rock-tinged brand of Metalcore to the stage next. Having shared bills with the likes of Sleeping with Sirens, Yellowcard, and more, Memphis May Fire have gained the chops of veterans over the past few years. Now touring in support of their 2014 release, Unconditional, the band, consisting of Matty Mullins on vocals, Kellen McGregor on lead guitar, Jake Garland on drums, Anthony Sepe on guitar, and Cory Elder on bass, were thrilled to be on stage at the Paramount that evening.
Mullins entered the stage and screamed, “Long Islaaaaaaaaand!” The already pumped up crowd shouted right back at the band, clearly excited to see what was in store. Memphis May Fire played a nine song set with a high level of energy that was enhanced by an impressive light show featuring strobes and lasers against a near-black backdrop. As they played hits such as “No Ordinary Love,” “Vices,” and “Prove Me Right,” the crowd was mesmerized. Mullins frequently encouraged the audience to ramp up the energy level, engaging them in call and response and prompting them to give more. As the band broke into fan favorite “Miles Away,” the energy hit a fever pitch, ultimately resulting in the creation of a mosh pit during the final song, “Legacy.” Considering the crowd reaction at the Paramount and the band’s growing popularity, Memphis May Fire are sure to be a headlining act before long.
As the audience waited for Black Veil Brides to take the stage, energy was flowing through the air. The Los Angeles based five-piece, while wildly talented, are also lauded for their good looks, especially frontman Andy Biersack. Biersack is joined by Ashley Purdy on bass, Jake Pitts on lead guitar, Jinxx (formerly of The Dreaming) on rhythm guitar, and Christian “CC” Coma on drums. Since their inception, together, the band has been one of the most highly touted in modern Rock with four consecutive highly charted album releases. Along with winning awards as the best live band and with dedicated fans who have supported the band through the years, Black Veil Brides are here for the long haul, regardless of what some cynics may say. With all that said, as soon as these five fetching musicians came out under the lights, about a quarter of the packed floor of The Paramount suddenly rushed the stage. Igniting the fire, the band pointed and screamed at the crowd, seeming to enjoy the audience just as much as the audience enjoyed them.
The set was substantial, with nineteen songs, but these seasoned musicians maintained a rapid pace, keeping the energy going as they played hits from their four full-length albums, including “Fallen Angel,” “Knives and Pens,” “Perfect Weapon,” and “Rebel Love Song.” Songs off of the new album included opener “Heart of Fire,” “Faithless,” “Goodbye Agony,” “Last Rites,” and “Drag Me to the Grave.” After the seventh song of the set, “Drag Me to the Grave,” the band left the stage completely, but it was clear the show was nowhere near over as the strains of classical music could be heard. Jinxx returned to the stage, violin in hand, and the band played the beautiful track “Overture” from Act 2 of their 2013 concept album Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones. At different points in the show, audience members could be seen crowd-surfing, most likely in an attempt to get as close to the band as possible. The highlights kept coming, among them, a powerful drum solo by CC that had everyone screaming. His stick work justified why he won the Alternative Press award for drummer of the year in 2011. The cherry on top of the spectacular evening was an encore where the band played Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.” Biersack sang affectionately and the band’s instrumentation did the track justice. Saving most fans’ favorite song for last, the band concluded with “In The End,” which had everyone chanting along and bouncing up and down until the final note rang out.
Along with their opening acts, Black Veil Brides put on a great show that left the audience salivating for more. The band will wrap up the North American leg of the tour in San Diego on March 1st before embarking on the European leg which will begin in London on March 13th. Fortunately, Black Veil Brides are a busy band, and they will offer another US tour this summer, stopping at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on July 11th. As attendance of the Black Mass Tour indicates, however, their fans are a devoted bunch, so keep an eye on those ticket sales, and do not miss the opportunity to see this spectacular band play live.
Black Veil Brides will release their first ever live DVD in June 2015, which was recorded at the sold-out November 1, 2014 Halloween-themed show in Los Angeles.