04 February 2013 (gig)
06 February 2013
The Kerrang Tour juggernaut rolled into Manchester on Monday night filled with its usual array of scene leading bands and promising upstarts. This year it’s the turn of Black Veil Brides, Chiodos, Tonight Alive and Fearless Vampire Killers.
With the room rapidly filling (mainly with teenage girls) Fearless Vampire Killers get proceedings underway. It’s rare for an opening band to get much reaction at all from the crowd but the screams that greet them would lead a casual onlooker to believe they were headlining. Their performance is far from flawless and it’s easy to describe their sound as ‘My Chemical Romance-lite’ but they clearly enjoy the show. A cover of Elton John’s ‘Still Standing’ feels like a nod to the older members of the audience, the ones who have been made to come to the show by their younger children.
Next up are Tonight Alive and with their merry pop punk sound they’re the obvious sore thumb in the line-up but do they care? Do they hell! From the moment they hit the stage the band led by vocalist Jenna McDougall bounce across the stage firing out their catchy nuggets of music.
While the last few years have been rough for Chiodos it’s easy to see that they’re in a good place at the moment, Craig Owens is back in the band and they’re seeing resurgence in popularity. Their set spans the length of their career to date and as a treat they even delve into Owens ex-band D.R.U.G.S material for a run through of ‘The Only Thing You Talk About’. They’re an exciting live band and never have they sounded so good. It’s great to have you back guys.
It’s a testament to Black Veil Brides popularity that on only their third tour of the UK they manage to headline Kerrang Tour and sell out the majority of dates. Before they even take to the stage the screams for the band are deafening and when they finally burst onto the stage the atmosphere is reminiscent of the scenes that greet One Direction and Justin Bieber. The girls begin crying and surge towards the barrier as they start their set with ‘I Am Bulletproof’. It’s easy to write Black Veil Brides off as a bunch of Kiss wannabes but there’s no denying that they have the material and live show to make a huge name for themselves. Tracks like ‘The Legacy’ and ‘Wretched & Divine’ are absolute belters and every member of the band is supremely talented at what they do, guitarists Jake Pitts and Jinxx can shred it with the best of them.
The band seem to feed off the energy of the crowd and never let up, they leave the stage briefly before returning for a triumphant encore of fan favourites ‘Fallen Angels’ and ‘In The End’. Love them or hate them, Black Veil Brides are here to stay and with tonight’s show in mind we’re firmly in the ‘love them’ camp.