Kerrang Tour @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Thursday 14th February 2013

Kerrang Tour @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Thursday 14th February 2013Kerrang Tour @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Thursday 14th February 2013Kerrang Tour @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Thursday 14th February 2013Kerrang Tour @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Thursday 14th February 2013Kerrang Tour @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Thursday 14th February 2013Kerrang Tour @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Thursday 14th February 2013Kerrang Tour @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Thursday 14th February 2013

Steve Gerrard Photography

The Kerrang Tour is now an established rock tour around the UK, responsible in the past for performances from high-demand bands such as New Found Glory, Biffy Clyro and Bullet For My Valentine. This year is was the turn of Black Veil Brides, Chiodos, Tonight Alive and Fearless Vampire Killers to fly the flag for the worlds rock acts.

Fearless Vampire Killers are a five piece rock band from London currently signed to Goremount Records on their debut album Militia of the Lost. Regardless of many people being dressed up as an ode to Black Veil Brides tonight, it’s obvious that many have also followed the steam punk ideals of Fearless Vampire Killers and come dressed in an attire not too different to the band themselves. The attire certainly relates to the music the band creates, a strange concoction echoing Disney soundtracks and theatrical ideologies whilst still being definitely in the rock side of proceedings with both vocalists Laurence Beveridge and Kier Kemp keeping energy levels high throughout. The crowd responds warmly to familiar tracks, whilst the addition of Elton John’s I’m Still Standing is a strange but wonderful choice of cover song to attract new fans.

Steve Gerrard Photography

Next up are Australian pop punkers Tonight Alive, fronted by the magnificent vocal talents of Jenna McDougal whilst the rest of the band more than contribute to the excellent sound this band produces. Being the band I would most consider my cup of tea of this tour, I was glad to see crowd energy levels high for songs such as Wasting Away and closing track Listening. Although the music and image can be led towards obvious comparisons, there’s no reason to compare this band to that band. Sonically and energetically engaging, it’s all that is needed from a pop punk band and I couldn’t have asked for more.

Steve Gerrard Photography

The penultimate band for the evening is experienced post hardcore folk Chiodos, recently joining back together with capable vocal man Craig Owens who left the band in 2009. With the majority of material being from Bone Palace Ballet, Chiodos sounded like a band on a ferocious mission to slay the world or dragons or something. The crushing rifts coupled with the screechy screams from Owens’s mouth make for an exciting performance however when the band leave you do get the impression that tonight wasn’t their strongest performance or it could just be the songs. However my head was banging and hips were shaking, making for an enjoyable experience.

Steve Gerrard Photography

Black Veil Brides, the Justin Bieber of the rock world. I will say that before tonight’s performance I was very aware of the stigma placed upon them, however I believe that the music is well written and produced and it’s only the image they put forward that I had reservations about. But for all the teen’s here tonight, donned in Black Veil Bride costumes and paints, it’s immediately obvious of the passion that their following have. The screams that greet the band upon their arrival are sonically above the pitch humans should be able to hear. How the band don’t yet hear that in their sleep I do not know. Opening with new song I Am Bulletproof it becomes apparent that tonight will be based around new material which is a good thing, as the new album is possibly Black Veil Brides best effort to date. The stage is littered with BVB logos, a huge backdrop of the album cover and skulls on microphone stands, making the evening more of a show that just your standard gig.

Steve Gerrard PhotographySteve Gerrard Photography

Vocally and musically the band are outstandingly tight playing hits such as Fallen Angels and In The End as good as on record. The only negative aspect I have really is that the songs all seem to sound the same, however you couldn’t hear them anyway for the crowd singing too loud. Joined by Aiden frontman and DJ on this tour William Contro for two tracks, it’s obvious that this band prides itself on being outcasts and this is the promotional tool they use. All in all, Black Veil Brides are a very good live band however for me it’s all a little too exclusive and scene orientated and once their time is up I cannot see them becoming credible artists for a long period of time.

Review by Dan Earl

Photographs by Steve Gerrard

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