So, I was one of the few who were able to get some tickets to the Black Veil Brides show at Altar Bar in Pittsburgh PA, January 2013.
The show sold out in 58 minutes once it was announced. They could’ve easily sold out a second show if their touring schedule could allow for it, but by selling out, it will practically guarantee that the next time they come to town, that show will sell out too. Only this time they’ll be playing at a bigger venue. Question is, will it be Stage AE (seating capacity of 2,400 indoors or 5,500 outdoors) or the Consol Energy Center (seating capacity of 19,758)?
Back to the show.
I hate to slam a band that I know is trying, but the opening act did nothing to leave an impression. Their name is “Tuesdays Too Late”. Nothing original or distinctive. Sounded a lot like Helmet, but without any of the passion. The most noise they made was when they mentioned the Black Veil Brides. So feel free to come a bit later and save your energy for the next group.
Before William Control went on, I ventured upstairs to the “drinking” section. (It was an all ages show, so that meant alcohol couldn’t be served on the “performance” floor. There were police to verify the activities taking place, more on that later)
I got a Captain and Coke – $7, mostly was ice. That’s ok because it was hot as hell in there. Only one shot that the bartender was completely guessing at. Here’s a tip lady. If you want me to drink more, add a little bit extra. That will encourage me to come back and feel like I am getting something.
After consuming the beverage quickly (as I wasn’t allowed back downstairs until the drink was gone), I decided to venture to the basement – where the men’s restrooms are located.
I made my way down and saw this:
That was cool, you typically don’t get to see those unless you are a VIP. It sounded like the band members were down there as well, and I was about to explore, but then what I am guessing is their manager came out and was talking about how he hated local bands not pumping up the crowd. Guess it wasn’t his idea to have “Tuesdays Too Late” on the bill, and I don’t blame him. They were terrible.
I got back up in time to take in the next act, William Control.
Prior to this event, I had never heard of them, but I can now say that I will be paying more attention. Had a very cool intro. Sounds a lot like Orgy/New Order/Depeche Mode but with balls.
There were only two guys onstage and most of the music was pre-programmed, but you know what?
It freaking rocked.
You can tell he’s inspired by Morrissey, as he mentioned having just been to Pittsburgh to see his show when he was in town. It’s funny, because Morrissey hates Pittsburgh, and William Control went on to say he hated Canada. Don’t know why, but I guess you gotta keep the hate train going.
He has a Bono (U2) type persona. By that I mean slow, deliberate gestures so that everyone in the crowd can see what he’s doing. I hope he comes back again as I would certainly like to see him again.
Here’s another reason why I like this guy. After his show as they were setting up for Black Veil Brides, he mingled with the crowd and stood with every person who wanted to get pictures. You could tell all he wanted to do was chill out, but there he was getting wave after wave of BVB fans getting pictures with him. It’s stuff like this that resonates with people, and in turn, good karma comes back around.
Here’s a video link:
Come Die With Me
William Control with a fan:
Now to the main topic: BLACK VEIL BRIDES
Here’s the BVB stage ready for action:
There was a longer than average pause between the sets as someone needed some tape for their fingers. Not that it bothered any of the fans waiting. There were a few chants for the band during the break, and when the lights finally went down, the cheers were quickly heard.
They seem to have a standard set list that they follow. Nothing wrong with that as it makes for performing better when everyone in the band knows what the sequence will be.
I can’t list them all, but here’s what I remember:
“I Am Bulletproof”
“Wretched and Divine”
“All Your Hate”
“God Bless You”
“Rebel Yell” (Billy Idol cover)
“Youth and Whiskey”
“Rebel Love Song”
“Knives and Pens”
“In the End”
Black Veil Brides Performing:
The best comparison I can make is to compare this concert against when I saw Falling In Reverse a few months ago.
It sounded like Andy Biersack (Lead singer) was sick. Seemed to have a growly voice when speaking to the crowd. Singing-wise, it was fine. I do have to complain about the sound in this building. There were some points in time where the lead vocals were drowned out by the backing vocals and guitar. Otherwise, I think he delivered on what the audience came to see: Him.
He had the obligatory “singer stage” which allowed him to be viewed by more people. Nothing wrong with that, just something that most bands do now. You could hear the screams and cries from teen-aged girls anytime he smiled or fist pumped or just about anything else he did. I always like it when performers talk to the crowd, and when personalize it too. My big takeaway from his talk was how you need to do your own thing, and not give a f&ck about what others think about you. True statement about life, really.
Now back to the cop. I asked him why he was there. He told me that since it was an “all ages show” there were some things that had to be in place in order make sure the Altar Bar was in compliance. The first (and most important) was the alcohol which they were doing well. The second was profanity. I asked him about the colorful metaphors being used, and he told me you can use the f-bombs as long as you don’t use it sexually. So, as an example, I could say “I think we live in a fucked up world”, but any reference that might be thought of as sexual, could cause trouble.
And that was the entire reason for the police presence. Talk about a waste of your tax dollars.
Now to my personal favorite part. The Guitarists.
Lead by Jake Pitts (Lead Guitar) and Jeremy “Jinxx” Ferguson (Rhythm Guitar), I think this is where the backbone of the band resides. For their entire performance, I wanted to hear more guitar, and hear what other licks and solos they could perform. It reminds me very much of the tandem attack that Slayer uses. Unless you are a polished artist, it’s extremely hard to have two people play the same or supporting notes on guitar simultaneously and pull it off without a hitch. And these guys did it.
I really hope for the next album they let these two shine with their chops on the six-string attack. Coupled with the lyrics that speak to many, could be the ticket to earning a place in history in the Rock N Rock timeline.
And of course, none of this works unless you have a bassist (Ashley Purdy) and drummer (Christian “CC” Coma) who humbly perform their roles without missing a beat, and provide the foundation for all the music the band represents.
Overall, it was a great show. Next time, in a bigger venue and better sound (The Altar Bar is named that since it’s a converted church, so there is a huge steeple in the middle where the sound escapes to) could really put Black Veil Brides on the map as a huge national band.