Another night another brand new tour that kicks off in Cardiff and yet again another cracking line up that consists of the best up and coming, the gritty veterans and the teenage heart throbs.
Many Creeper shirts consume the hall early on, fans waiting in glee for the young ones to emerge and when they do it’s a welcoming crowd. It’s been a long cold wait in the queue and everyone’s elated.
They buzz around the stage like little punk Hamsters confined to a small cage. The guitarist and bassist chase each other around in circles playfully. The vibe of pride and hope jitter off the crowd, they feel the bands energy and react accordingly. Despite a few songs feeling vaguely similar their set never looses appeal, their energy sets them apart.
And just like that the mood swings as letlive bring the more serious side to a rock show with them. Frontman Jason reminisces about the 90s, how back in the days bands used to say something meaningful and if it were the 90s letlive would probably be considerately more popular than today, but right now it’s exactly what we need in these dark times.
Jason takes a tumble into the crowd rolling over the young heads to inspire and engage and once out it doesn’t take him much longer to jump back in spending an entire song in the pit. Where Creeper left off letlive grab you unwillingly into the unknown – their intensity at live shows shines through the darkness they play in.
“We wanna make things clear. We don’t believe in walls”, Jason brings the crowd down a notch to talk about Brexit. “We will fight with you against that hate anytime” – the realities that the US/UK are in similar states seem to have brought the rock community closer together. A strong set, one that lusters power.
A projection onto a sheet starts the set off as girls scream and cheer over the top. Pierce The Veil appear in jumpsuits amidst their space themed set for all of 10 seconds before properly kicking the party off with a blast of confetti. Screams around the hall shatter earlobes.
The band are lively and interact playfully with the crowd causing many a girl in the front row to smile with delight. Many are taken out due to exhaustion as medics can be seen running about side of stage snowed under and overworked. Despite their good nature a few rehearsed moments feel too banal but most are having too much fun to notice. It’s a care free night and the crowd is having a great time.
As they break away into the set a playful use of remixes/narrative fill the gaps and creates a nice fluid set. Midway sees the acoustic number come out before bringing the crowd back to reality with some good ol’ rock. “Fuck You Vic” shouts the crowd upon instruction from Vic himself. Such power and influence the band have over an adoring crowd.
Jason of letlive joins them on stage for Tangled In The Great Escape, his vocals dominate as PTV become a blur in the background.
As they end on biggest hit King For A Day the entire crowd sing along so loud and devoted they drown out Vic’s vocals. Co2, ribbons and confetti all fill the hall. What could come across as too gimmicky has worked in favour of their lively show. It’s been a whole night of passion and as he hurls his guitar into the air it’s been a triumphant first night of their UK tour.
Pierce The VeilCardiff Great Hall - November 25th 2016.
Photographer: Nadine Ballantyne - www.nadineballantyne.com