This was not my first show of the new year, but it was the one I looked forward to for days in a state of nervous, fluttery happiness. It was also my second Black Veil Brides event in one week; the first one was a viewing of Legion of the Black, the movie that accompanies / amplifies their new record, Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones.
I say accompanies/amplifies because the movie both illustrates and provides a narrative structure for the record. You can listen to and enjoy the record without ever watching the film, but it’s somewhat like listening to the official soundtrack of a Broadway show and never seeing the stage play itself.
I got watch five minutes of the movie at the listening party in December; having now experienced the rest I can tell you it is interesting, conceptually and thematically, but I’m holding off on making detailed commentary until I can watch it again when it gets a wider re-release in the spring.
Meanwhile, onwards to the show:
Wildstreet, of New York, were up first. They have a new record out. Here are some pictures of (most of) them:
Next up wasWilliam Control, aka William Francis (Aiden), who is also the voice of F.E.A.R., a character in Legion of the Black. He temporarily pushed the tone of the evening in the direction of goth-industrial dance music.
He sounds so much like Rogue from The Cruxshadows that I spent the last half of his set seriously wondering if I had missed a memo and Rogue had cut off his dreads and renamed himself. (And if he was going to play Marilyn My Bitterness because I love that song.)
Anyway, minor case of identity confusion aside, I did dig Mr. Control’s grooves, so if goth-industrial dance music is your thing, check him out.
There is only one picture of him because singing in a pit of sp00ky darkness periodically illuminated by strobing red and purple light: excellent for atmosphere, bad for photography.
And then it was time for the main event: the Black Veil Brides. Despite the occasional rough patch – I really hope someone got Andy Biersack some hot tea liberally mixed with whiskey afterwards – they were really great.
I thought the new material mixed well with their older songs. They stuck mostly to the heavier, growlier, thrashier end of their range, this time around, but there were some softer moments. I was particularly pleased that they made room in the setlist for Jinxx (guitar) to play Overture, the instrumental track from Wretched and Divine – I have a weakness for big burly dudes playing the violin, okay – and also did their cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell.
Here are some pictures of them: