Saturday, June 22, 2024

Black Veil Brides return with a fiercely passionate show

Intensely beloved and fiercely defended metalcore band Black Veil Brides make their long-awaited return to Manchester armed with brand new music and support from Cemetery Sun and Lilith Czar.

Cemetery Sun

Cemetery Sun came on and they had a fairly mixed reception, a lot of their songs were fairly melodic and atmospheric but still had a number of songs that were genuine rock songs but not really enough to satisfy the metal crowd. The ballad ’19’ was a really nice track that had a fun buildup. The best way to describe Cemetery Sun is if a Soundcloud rapper became the frontman of an emo band and while that is probably already a genre, there isn’t really a name for it to my knowledge. If this description doesn’t sound appealing then their music likely won’t win you over but it certainly is an interesting project.

Cemetery Sun

Next up was the latest project from Automatic Loveletter front person, Juliet Simms, who now goes by the stage name Lilith Czar which is a really evocative and edgy name in the best way possible as works as a really edgy old-school rock pseudonym and matches her stage persona quite well. A vast amount of the more anal members of the audience around me were quick to point out that Lilith is Andy’s wife so they already had a built-in fan base waiting for them and they delivered a great show.

Lilith Czar

Lilith has really interesting mid-range vocals that always seem to service the songs well and she even managed to pull off a cover of ‘Edge of Seventeen’ by Stevie Nicks, a very difficult song to match the energy to. There were a few moments that fell flat or resulted in an anti-climax, but that’s largely due to how well she built the songs up – the opening monologue before ‘King’ was incredibly intense and the song just took a little too long to kick in but that’s probably a nitpick. Lilith Czar is an interesting project and will hopefully return to Manchester soon in perhaps a more intimate setting.

Lilith Czar

The venue was completely packed and so many people were covered in beads of sweat but at long last, Black Veil Brides came out to rapturous applause with ear-piercing screams managing to penetrate even the most effective earplugs. The band came out to the pounding double bass hard rock-inspired track ‘Crimson Skies’ which got people instantly amped for the show to come.

Black Veil Brides

The most glaring problem with Black Veil Brides set was the sound; I’m not an engineer or sound-minded person but from what I could tell the drums and bass were far too loud and it drowned out the guitars and occasionally Andy’s vocals. Most of the songs sounded like mush with only a few glimpses being audible on songs that I already knew, which was admittedly quite a few but someone with no prior knowledge of the band would be lost. The sound did get better towards the middle of the set and a lot of the big choruses on classics like ‘Rebel Love Song’ were carried by an incredibly passionate and enthusiastic crowd, even if it was hard to make out Andy’s vocals at times.

Black Veil Brides

The more simple chugging songs were the highlights of the show, ‘Wake Up’ was an incredibly brief song but contained a really reserved but effective riff and a scream-along chorus, a skill that Black Veil Brides have long since mastered. Andy Biersack has only got stronger as a frontman with age as he’d introduce the songs in this strange Elvis-like manner that adds a lot of fun character and colour to his stage presence.

Black Veil Brides

‘Shadows Rise’ featured guitarist Jinx on the violin and proved to be a really engaging showcase of just how talented the instrumentalists in the band really are with the dual guitar attack still going strong and at times, invoking Avenged Sevenfold. ‘Shadows Die’ had to be restarted due to someone in the audience fainting and to those who may be new to going to gigs, it’s incredibly important to stay hydrated and know your limits. These venues get incredibly hot and sweaty, especially when they’re sold out but all concert venues will provide you with free ice water when you request it. Everyone at the venue including the staff, audience and band is here to ensure you have a fantastic time and that you are safe throughout.

Black Veil Brides

The final stretch before the encore included some of the biggest tracks of the early 2010s and while BVB aren’t an emo band in the traditional sense, they are regarded as classics amongst the emo subculture. ‘Perfect Weapon’ and ‘The Legacy’ were songs that dominated radio play on Kerrang and Scuzz when they first came out and to see they have found a new audience with the younger crowd. ‘Knives and Pens’ was the last song played before the encore and this song really does mean a lot of things to a lot of people, it seemed to unite a lot of people back in the day and to see it doing the same almost 15 years later is really overwhelming and heartwarming to witness.

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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