An entourage of face-painted teens (and not-so-teens) showed up to Backstage Live in San Antonio, Texas, en masse on Jan. 11 to catch the Black Veil Brides on their 2013 headline tour. They performed in support of their latest effort, "Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones," released last week. Fans chanted "Black Veil Brides" frequently during the evening, it was obvious who the crowd were there to see.
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William Control had the unenviable task of performing before BVB took the stage. He gave a solid 40-minute set, joined onstage by bassist Nick Wiggins with an otherwise electronic accompaniment. His vocal-centric show was heavily influenced by 80s modern rock artists such as New Order and Modern English.
Black Veil Brides took the stage shortly after 9:30 p.m., opening with "I Am Bulletproof" from the new album. Their presence was met with raised fists and tween shrieks that instantly took the room's electricity to another level. Frontman Andy Biersack worked the crowd while perched along the front of the stage, clad in a sleeveless Smiths' t-shirt, with one foot balanced on his monitor.
The relatively narrow Backstage Live stage seemed a constrained environment for guitarists Jake Pitts and Jinxx Ferguson. They frequently swapped positions to expel built-up energy. Bassist Ashley Purdy pounded out the rhythm and kept pace with C.C. Coma on drums. Purdy wore a head mic for backing vocals, allowing him to roam freely. Coma, the musical pulse of BVB, was confined to the shadows near the rear of the stage. Lighting fell off quickly from center and though his beat reverberated throughout the venue, Coma's silhouette of flailing arms was barely visible.
Their set was an even mix of music from their three studio albums, while also getting in Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" from their "Rebels" E.P. Included were early hits "Knives and Pens" and "Perfect Weapon," while they capped off their main set with "The Legacy."
After a brief break, Black Veil Brides returned to play an encore of "Fallen Angels" before closing with latest single "In the End." Walking away, they had hammered out over 90-minutes of fist-pumping metal that demonstrated why they earned Revolver Magazine's "Best New Artist" with a Golden God award in 2011. Some may call it kitsch-rock, but the glam makeup and leather continue to work for both KISS and Motley Crue.
Black Veil Brides setlist:
I Am Bulletproof
Wretched and Divine
All Your Hate
God Bless You
Rebel Yell (Billy Idol cover)
Love Isn't Always Fair
Youth and Whiskey
Rebel Love Song
Resurrect the Sun
Knives and Pens
In the End