Any time Black Veil Brides announces a tour, you know that they are going to bring all they’ve got. The energy and hype for a Black Veil Brides show is outrageous, with fans waiting outside for three or four hours before doors open in freezing cold temperatures just to get a good view of their favorite band. With opening bands Drama Club, Set It Off and direct support Falling In Reverse added to the tour, the energy and activity inside Upstate NY’s Upstate Concert Hall this Friday was just where it needed to be.
The Black Mass Tour opened with duo Drama Club; the two performed a few originals as well as DJ’d some fan favorites by Bring Me The Horizon, Asking Alexandria and Sleeping With Sirens to excite the crowd and get the night started. The two were able to maintain your attention and have the room jumping and moving for their thirty minute set. They filled the room with energy to have a perfect crowd for the next opening band, Set It Off.
Set It Off has made many changes to their music style over the years. With the release of their third full-length album, Duality, in late September, being an opener for this tour was just what they needed. Their set kicked off with the first track off the record, “The Haunting” and lead into the next track off the album, “N.M.E.” Though the majority of the set was Duality songs, they did not leave old fans disappointed. They performed the popular “Dream Catcher” and “Nightmare” off their 2012 release, Cinematics. They continued on with “Tomorrow” and “Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing” before closing the set with their current biggest hit, “Why Worry”. Perhaps the best part about seeing Set it Off is the energy given by each member of the group. Whether it’s drummer, Maxx Danziger (with fabulous hair), standing on his drum set while playing, or front man, Cody Carson, walking through the crowd as fans hold him up and help him crowd surf back to the front, there is an undeniable energy by everyone in the room once they take center stage. The band has grown a lot since the release of Cinematics which is evident as they have all eyes on them whenever they are performing. Carson has always been one for keeping fans engaged in their performances whether they listen to their music or not, which can be a difficult task. During the bridge of “Wolf in Sheeps Clothing”, he had fans take their phones and lighters out making the room light right up. Set it Off is a band that tries to make everyone feel important, interacting with high fives, pointing people out, handing out pics, etc. All you see is a sea of smiling faces when they are front and center as the “wake up” the the crowd whatever comes next.
For fans of Falling In Reverse in the capital region, this show was a big deal. The last show they played in Upstate NY was early November of 2012. With the reaction from fans during the show over an issue including a band Falling In Reverse had dropped off that tour, the show had become chaotic; leading to front man Ronnie Radke walking off stage for ten minutes leaving the show at a stand still while he personally went into the crowd to throw out fans who were behaving inappropriately. As this being the first Falling In Reverse show in two years in the area and the last one going so chaotically, tensions were high in regard to their set. Luckily, all things went perfectly for the band as they played their twelve song set. With two backdrop pictures of a middle finger set up on stage, the place knew what they were in for. Fans were overjoyed as they opened with two songs off their first album, The Drug in Me is You, “Sink or Swim” and “Goodbye Graceful”. The crowd soon started up with people lifting boys and girls up as they crowd surfed to the front screaming along to the words of each song. Though at first the members of the band aren’t too interactive with the audience, they have a good energy when they play, and as the energy grows, they start to connect more with the crowd as Radke starts to give all crowd surfers high fives, shakes their hands, hands them the mic and etc. They continue on with tracks from their 2013 release Fashionably Late including “Fashionably Late”, “Rolling Stone”, and “Bad Girls Club”. He dedicated “Bad Girls Club” to all the bad girls and when it came to the chant in the middle of the song, Ronnie held the mic to the crowd as the entire venue chanted the words as loud as they could. They did three more songs off their first album, “Good Girls Bad Guys”, “Raised by the Wolves” and “I’m Not a Vampire” before going into their hit “Alone” off Fashionably Late. As if the crowd wasn’t more excited, Radke started to do a speech about how thankful he was to those who have followed his work for a long time which lead into singing two songs from his band prior to Falling in Reverse, Escape The Fate. He sang “Not Good Enough for the Truth in Cliches” and “Situations”, a big deal to those who were fans of Escape The Fate back when Ronnie was doing vocals. He then sang a chorus of the song “Asshole” he wrote with Andy Biersack, and began their final song, “The Drug in me Is You”. Perhaps the best part of Falling In Reverse’s set is the energy they gain throughout, perhaps it is for dramatic effect, but it’s nice to witness people get more comfortable on stage which leads them to become more active. All the guys appeared to be having a good time, including lead guitarist Jacky Vincent who’s performed his guitar solos during “Good Girls Bad Guys” and “Goodbye Graceful” without breaking a sweat. All the guys are equally vocally talented, sharing some of the screaming vocals among themselves so you will hear all of them at some point in the show show what they’ve got. Impressively, drummer Ryan Seaman was able to scream some lines back and forth with Radke while maintaining the beat on his kit. They manage to keep your attention throughout with them launching blow up basketballs into the crowd, blasting smoke in the air and using lights throughout their set. Perhaps the best part of the set was Radke pointing out the seven year old girl watching and jumping from backstage with her Falling In Reverse shirt, and thanking her but telling her she shouldn’t be singing along to most of the lyrics he was singing. My one show critique: Radke changing the last line of “Fashionably Late” from “sorry about having sex with all your friends” to, “sorry about having sex with all your kids”. Perhaps a bit much for room full of young teenagers being escorted by their parent(s) to the show, but it isn’t to be unexpected.
Almost five years and four full-length albums later, Black Veil Brides are still a band that remember who they are, where they’re from, and why they do what they do. As they open their set with “Heart of Fire”, the opening track to their release earlier this year, Black Veil Brides IV, you see the faces of everyone in the crowd light up. You already see front man Andy Biersack interacting with fans from all stretches of the venue. They then perform their opening track from their 2013 release Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones. As they break between the song, Biersack gives a thank you to the crowd for coming out in the freezing cold temperatures and thanks those who have attended a Black Veil Brides show at the venue in the past, and any first-timers that night. They then play “Coffin” off the 2011 Rebels EP. The crowd goes wild when guitarist Jake Pitts goes front and center and performs his masterfully crafted guitar solo without breaking a single sweat as the song comes to a close. The band then goes on to play “Faithless”, “Wretched and Divine, and the hit from their first album, We Stitch These Wounds, “Knives and Pens”. The room was filled with voices as everyone in the venue seemed to have the lyrics to the first albums song drilled in their minds. They then continued with guitarist Jinxx playing the violin instrumental “Overture” into “Shadows Die”, possibly the best track off the 2013 record. They then play newer release “Last Rites”, and two Set The World On Fire tracks, “Rebel Love Song” and “The Legacy”. Biersack then has the crowd start a “CC” chant as drummer Christian Coma comes out to do a three minute long drum solo which ends with a stage dive in the middle of the crowd. Biersack then gives a speech to the whole room talking about how Black Veil Brides are a band who want to remember how they started which leads to playing two songs off their first album, “Sweet Blasphemy and Perfect Weapon”. The band then closes with the popular, Fallen Angels” before coming on for their encore song “In The End”. Black Veil Brides are the most genuine of people which you can just tell from their stage presence. The band thanks the fans between every few songs for traveling to see them, staying by them through the years, and singing along to all the songs. They are filled with such energy when they perform, everyone has a smile on their face as they perform and shoot smoke, use light effects and etc. You don’t leave a Black Veil Brides show without feeling like you got your moneys worth and then some. They try to interact with the crowd as much as they can, Biersack running to every side and inch of the venue so no part of the audience goes without being noticed, posing for peoples pictures he can see they’re taking, grabbing peoples hands and singing to them, they try to do what they can to make you feel special and noticed. They are a quintet who know how to masterfully play their instruments and put on a spellbinding rock concert.
Black Veil Brides fans who attended the show were left with a night they are never to forget. With the high energy of the show and amazing performances, The Black Mass Tour appears to be a success for fans who want to come out and have a good time. Keep your eyes peeled for when a date shows up in your area so you don’t miss a chance to see any of the bands off this tour.