December 5, 2014 Black Veil Brides dominate New York City 11-23-14
Black Veil Brides has been one of the most discussed Rock-n-Roll bands over the past five years. Love them or hate them, these guys provoke a reaction. Coming off the massive success of 2013 concept album Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, the band is back a year later with their self-titled follow up and fourth overall album. Conjuring a new buzz, on top of it all they announced The Black Mass Tour earlier this year prior to the album release. Teaming up with Falling in Reverse, along for the ride is Set It Off and Drama Club as the tour makes its way across North America. With the holiday season just about to kick off, with Thanksgiving days a way, on Sunday November 23rd they arrived at Best Buy Theater in New York City for a packed house of anxious fans. With both Black Veil Brides and Falling in Reverse having sold out shows at this venue on previous respective headlining tours, this was a sell out without even batting an eye, and the mood certainly fell like it.
The show opened with DJ duo Drama Club. An electronic powerhouse of remixes, Drama Club definitely got the crowd moving with their sample choices which were interesting to say the least. Most of the songs they sampled were newer Alternative Rock tunes; however, they did pull out a blast from the past with The Cure’s “Love Song.” It is understood that a lot of DJs nowadays wear masks or some sort of headgear to establish their identity, and Drama Club’s pseudo disguises were creepy to say the least. They were definitely worth arriving early to take a glimpse at and should have a promising future.
Tampa, Florida’s Set It Off kept the party going with a fun-filled, high-energy set with positive vibes from start to finish. Mixing Pop, Rock, and Metal, this band knew exactly how to strike interest in the audience. Every band member was full of smiles, interacted with the crowd, and made sure everyone was having as much of a good time as they were. Seeming to have a pretty large following attending, most of the crowd sang along with almost every song in their set from “The Haunting” to set closing single “Why Worry” which had everyone dancing. It would not be a surprise if they ended up with a spot on 2015’s Vans Warped Tour. Their sophomore album Duality is out now.
Next up was the highly popular Falling in Reverse. Formed in 2008 with vocalist Ronnie Radke at the helm, after departing from Escape the Fate, it has been a steady climb to the top for Falling in Reserve. Releasing their second album Fashionably Late in 2013, they spent most of 2014 on the road, including the summer long trek on Vans Warped Tour. Now returning to Best Buy Theater for the first time since February 2014, they were ready to put on another great show.
Playing an even-keeled set of mostly old favorites from their 2011 debut The Drug in Me Is You, with only a few selections from their most recent release, including “Bad Girl Club” and “Alone,” Falling in Reverse had everyone screaming in excitement. While the band did have energy, they almost seemed subdued, which is certainly not the norm for frontman Radke. Perhaps due to the very brief arrival and departure of bassist Max Green, Falling in Reverse could be finding their stride again with Jonathan Wolfe (vocalist of The Hollowed) doing a fine job filling in on bass. Radke did take a moment to remind the crowd of one of the most important rules of Rock shows: If someone falls, pick them up. With an interesting set design featuring full size basketball hoops stage left, center, and right, the band also had a short game of free throws for a t-shirt giveaway. All-in-all, Falling in Reverse did not play a bad set by any means. Taking a more relaxed approach did not seem to worry anyone at Best Buy Theater who devoured each moment until closer “The Drug in Me Is You.”
The time had come for the main event of the evening and that was none other than Black Veil Brides. Leaving their fans starving for more, after a break from the road to work on the new record, looking around Best Buy Theater, one could feel the tense anticipation. Having had a little over a month to dig into the new album, the audience pondered what Black Veil Brides would have in store for them with the set list this time around. With that said, as the lights went down a roar came over the room and so it began.
Opening with new song “Heart of Fire,” the set was impressively varied from there, including other newbies like “Faithless” and “Last Rites,” but also the beloved anthems “Perfect Weapon,” “Knives and Pens,” “Rebel Love Song,” and “Wretched and Divine.” Perhaps the biggest set surprise was “Sweet Blasphemy,” a track from 2010’s We Stitch These Wounds, which has not been heard live in years. As an army of one on stage, vocalist Andy Biersack, bassist Ashley Purdy, drummer Christian “CC” Coma, along with guitarists Jinxx and Jake Pitts were as high octane and on point as ever. Jinx himself was on fire throughout the set, putting on a intriguing visual display no one could keep their eyes off of. Labeled “The Mystic” and usually keeping a low profile, Jinxx was more of a madman than fans had previously seen. Running around to literally ever inch of the stage, using every riser, dancing behind his microphone, any reservations were completely gone. A welcomed change by the audience, Biersack sang his heart out, performing at a high level all night long until the closing number of “Fallen Angels.” Begging for more, the emotion pouring out was matched when the band came back out for an encore of “In the End.”
Black Veil Brides proved why they are still one of the hottest acts in all of Rock-n-Roll. They not only dazzle with their catchy heartfelt anthems, but they know how to bring each song to life on stage. The Black Mass Tour has sold out shows left and right this entire run. With only a little over a week left in 2014’s cycle, fear not as Black Veil Brides will continue on in early 2015, so do not miss out.