Bullet for My Valentine + Black Veil Brides Break Out the Energy at New Hampshire ‘Outbreak’ Gig
After kicking off at the end of September, the third annual hardDrive Live Monster Energy Outbreak Tour came to an end last night, but not before a weekend of memorable shows including their sold out stop at the Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, N.H. on Friday, Nov. 1.
The 2013 class of the hardDrive Live Tour combined the metal mastery of Bullet for My Valentine with the rock n’ roll debauchery of Black Veil Brides making for a hell of a night of music. Newcomers Stars in Stereo and Throw the Fight got the night started off right with two back to back solid sets showing bright signs for the future of rock.
Now, at first listen and perhaps first glance, it may seem that Bullet for My Valentine and Black Veil Brides don't have much common, and while that may be true on the surface, the two do share one common thread – a mutual love and respect for the bands that paved the way for them. Bullet for My Valentine drawing from their roots built on Metallica and Slayer while Black Veil Brides pull from the same era although perhaps a glammier sub-genre like Motley Crue and Kiss. At the end of the day, both bands have forged their own paths with their own successful brands of metal and rock all while paying homage to the forefathers that came before them.
Looking back over the two sets, the night played out like a tale of two frontman. Black Veil Brides bombastic leader Andy Biersack couldn’t be contained from the word "go," leaving everything he had on the stage, quite literally at some points as he dropped to his knees and laid down on the stage to belt out a song or two. For anyone longing of the quintessential “rock show” from the '80s and '90s, Black Veil Brides are keeping it alive and well, although ironically enough, the core of their fanbase (BVB Army – that means you!) probably weren’t even alive to remember that era of decadence. Biersack, along with the rest of the band – Ashley Purdy on bass, Christian "CC" Coma on drums and Jake Pitts and Jinxx on guitars, turned the stage into their own playground, feeding off of both the crowd and each other through their short but effective set.
With three studio albums under their bullet belts including their latest offering, 2013’s conceptual ‘Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones,’ the band showcased their newer material first kicking things off with ‘Shadow’s Die’ followed by ‘I Am Bulletproof’ and ‘Nobody’s Hero.’
At this point in the evening, the setlist dictated that the next song would be ‘Fiend Club,’ a Misfits cover BVB have been playing throughout the tour. However, Biersack threw a wrench into that plan, opting for Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell’ instead. I had never heard BVB perform the Misfits cover live and was really looking forward to that but how can you go wrong with ‘Rebel Yell,’ right?
Before calling it a night, their nine song set included fan favorite and perhaps the band’s own personal battle cry ‘Fallen Angels’ and their night closed out with ‘In the End.’ All in all, it’s hard to go to a BVB show and not have fun. The party-like atmosphere is contagious and Biersack is the perfect master of ceremonies.
Like a parting of the Red Sea, as soon as BVB left the stage there was a changing of the guard at the venue. The BVB Army left their posts and made way for Bullet for My Valentine’s fans to make their way up front.
In stark contrast to Black Veil Brides entrance, Bullet for My Valentine quietly took the stage. Frontman Matt Tuck was sporting sunglasses as smoke and blinding strobe lights set the mood. With zero fanfare Tuck quietly saluted the audience and Bullet immediately ripped into ‘Breaking Point,’ the first track on their latest disc, 2013’s ‘Temper Temper.’
This set the overall tone for the rest of the evening, a no-frills approach to in your face metal served up with precision like style and melodies, making it clear that the music was the star of the show. Tuck did pause long enough to encourage a circle pit and command that the crowd-surfing commence, much to the chagrin of the security staff, but hey, that’s metal, folks.
Tuck was surrounded by his comrades - lead guitarist Michael ‘Padge’ Paget on one side and bassist Jason James on the other. Right behind him was Michael ‘Moose’ Thomas playing some beastly percussion, the four of them combining for a brutal mix.
The setlist was well-balanced, mixing songs from all four of their albums dating back to 2005’s ‘The Poison’ with songs like ‘4 Words (To Choke Upon)’ and ‘The Poison’ showing up early in the set along with newer tunes like the metal anthem ‘Riot,’ ‘Temper Temper’ and ‘Dirty Little Secret.’
About halfway through the show, Tuck took the stage solo to kick off a softer, gentler version of ‘The Last Fight,’ showing off the diversity of the band from raging metal and blazing guitar riffs to soaring vocals and the raw emotion that can come from the simplicity of just a man and his guitar.
The night ended in fitting fashion as fans yelled out for ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and the band obliged, closing out the night with one of their biggest hits. Bullet for My Valentine continue to quietly carve out their niche in the history of modern metal and with the band already recruiting producer Terry Date to work with them on their fifth studio effort, it's likely they have a very long career ahead of them.
With the Outbreak Tour now in the rear view mirror, Bullet for My Valentine are heading overseas for a short run in England while Black Veil Brides will embark on a more extensive tour of Europe.
Photos From the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour Stop in Hampton, N.H.
Bullet For My Valentine:
Black Veil Brides:
Stars In Stereo: