Live Review: Black Veil Brides & Asking Alexandria

O2 Academy, 25/01

To The Rats and Wolves are playing when I enter the already packed O2 Academy. Initially worried that I was going to be the only person in attendance over 18, I am very relieved to see lots of older faces. I have never encountered the support before and am sure most of the crowd hasn’t either, but this does not deter them as they have a great time leaping energetically around the stage. They attempt to engage the audience as much as possible and get them moving with shouted questions such as “How many girls we got here tonight?!”, which prompt a lot of high pitched screams.  To The Rats and Wolves consists of two main vocalists, which works well for their blend of euro pop and metal core – a concept I can definitely get behind.

Asking Alexandria is the first headline act to perform, a triumphant return for lead singer Danny Worsnop after having left the band for a little while. The audience is extremely responsive to all of the songs including the more recent ones, dancing and moshing intensely.

Then comes the final headline: Black Veil Brides. The band have come a long way from their extreme glam rock days with masses of hair spray and dramatic make-up, presenting instead a more mature look that nevertheless retains plenty  of black and various studded embellishments (I don’t know if the mullets a few of them have opted for are much better, though). The crowd seems to have thinned out a bit as Asking Alexandria fans have dispersed, yet there is still plenty of enthusiasm for Black Veil Brides – a few members of the audience are even dressed as mini Andys while many others have painted their arms black in true BVB fashion. Bassist Ashley Purdon seems slightly put out, asking where the ‘Here We Fucking Go’ is; it’s a somewhat desperate request, however the room complies.

Despite having released their new album Vale two weeks prior to the concert, Black Veil Brides only perform two if its songs. ‘When They Call My Name’ is a particular favourite as the large screen behind the stage plays vintage videos of BVB at the height of their big hair and make-up days. Jinx even pulls out his violin, adding to the nostalgic feel. They also play all of their old scene kid classics – ‘Knives and Pens’ and ‘In The End’ get the most response from the crowd who are singing back just as loudly as they had done for Asking Alexandria, although the dancing and moshing seems to have died down. The only thing that brings down the performance is Purdon’s overly sexual behaviour on stage, mostly aimed at the girls in the front row who can’t be over 16 (he’s obviously passionate about performing but could do with simmering down).

Overall Black Veil Brides deliver a great show full of reminiscence of my own old emo days. Biersack does not disappoint either, his voice as good as it is on record -as the BVB army says, “He sings like an angel and screams like a demon”.

[Maxine Smith]

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