Date: October 12th, 2014
Venue: O2 Apollo, Manchester
Support: Drama Club / Fearless Vampire Killers / Attila
There aren’t many bands out there of late who have polarised opinions in the rock community to the extent that Black Veil Brides have. From day one of their career up to present day, the American rockers have obtained either devout loving fans or loathing haters. Regardless, with their popularity sky high and the release of album number four not long away, a stint across the UK before it drops is on the cards.
Masked duo Drama Club (**) are newcomers to British soil and though their selection of remixes provides some thumping exhiliration, spanning across acts like Bring Me The Horizon, Nine Inch Nails and even Die Antwoord, their long hair swirling and their suit bodies dangling over the bright DJ decks soon becomes a bit dull after the first ten minutes. The odd original offering comes into play, notably ‘Halloween 365’, but isn’t enough to maintain excitement.
The only British addition to the line-up, Fearless Vampire Killers (***), get off to a slightly rocky start, with a few seconds of feedback blasting through every couple of minutes for the first few songs of their set and the guitars drowning the vocals in the mix. But, soon enough, everything starts to stablise for the horror themed rockers, and the huge singalong for recent single ‘Neon In The Dance Halls’ is nothing short of impressive.
Despite being subject to a lot of e-hate following their decision to push back their own headline UK tour to get involved on the support line-up for this run, Atlanta’s Attila (***) aren’t a band to give a fuck, and as such opening with ‘Middle Fingers Up’ seems like an apt statement to begin their set. The deathcore five-piece are undoubtedly the heaviest export on this touring bill and, despite sticking out like a sore thumb against the others, they manage to incite a circle pit (albeit a thin one) around the O2 Apollo’s sound desk. This may be the start of a series of regular UK visits from the quintet.
Screams across the crowd are almost constant from the moment Attila leave the stage, with some fans literally screaming for the sake of, well, screaming. Of course, this pales in comparison to the unison of squeals the moment Black Veil Brides (***) make their appearance. Frontman Andy Biersack confesses early on that he’s not feeling on top form with his voice, and at moments during the set this shortcoming briefly breaks through, but credit must be given for his ability to plough through the likes of ‘The Legacy’ and ‘Coffin’.
Peeks at cuts from the new album, such as ‘Faithless’ and ‘Last Rites’, confirm that the quintet seem to have plenty more left in them to keep ascending the ladder of success, and though a mid-set solo from drummer Christian “CC” Coma certainly displays his skill, it seems a little unwarranted when this could’ve been replaced with another song. Still, fan favourites ‘Knives And Pens’ and encore closer ‘In The End’ still remains one of the strongest weapons in the band’s arsenal, and a bar to raise come the release of ‘IV’
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)