Live Review #1:
I went to see Bullet For My Valentine perform in London last week. It was a gig that I've been looking forward to for a while just due to the fact that they're one of my favourite bands and also because I've never seen them live before. Despite their newest album 'Temper Temper' not being that great, it didn't change the fact I was still excited to hear their older tracks live.
Also, the Camden Roundhouse is by far my favourite venue. The acoustics in there are brilliant and you can still get a good view of the musicians wherever you stand. Whether you prefer to be right in amongst the mosh pits, or just on the sideline, you'll still have a great time.
So the first support act of the night was a Metalcore band called Miss May I. They burst onto the stage, filled with adrenaline and made an instant impact. They got everyone in the crowd jumping and head-banging as soon as the first song kicked in. Miss May I were undeniably heavy, and had a strong mix of shouting and melodic vocals, each from the front man and the bass player. The band really knew how to put on a good quality show, as well as being able to actually perform live. The guitar playing was scorching, especially the solos. Although they were only on for a short time, they still rocked the house.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Shortly after Miss May I departed the stage, Halestorm came on to perform. I've heard a couple of tracks from them before and they are a good band, basically what Paramore should have been. Female fronted bands often get criticised, particularly in the live scene, but Halestorm are a different kettle of fish. Opening with their classic 'Love Bites', it immediately sunk in that they were here to put on a stunning show. Everybody in the crowd warmed to them straight away, and we were stunned by how front woman Lzzy could hit them screeching high notes with absolute ease. They were energetic on stage and this reflected in how the crowd acted in accordance to the music. Again, they too were only playing for about half an hour or so, but they put on a fantastic performance and by this time the crowd were definitely pumped for Bullet.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Finally, at around 9:15pm, after a humorous sing-a-long to 'Delilah' by Tom Jones, the headliner, Bullet For My Valentine took to the stage, brutally opening with 'Breaking Point'. The crowd erupted in chaos from that moment onwards, and it was more or less non-stop from then on. But for me, the show truly started when 'Breaking Point' ended and the iconic riff from 'Your Betrayal' started. That's when the ball got rolling. The band sounded tighter than ever playing through the classics, and Matt Tuck's voice is the strongest it has been since the early days. It was indeed noticeable that the newer songs such as 'P.O.W' didn't have the same impact that the hits like 'Her Voice Resides" had.
A nice 'surprise' was Lzzy Hale joining Bullet to sing 'Dirty Little Secret', it provided a new depth for that song. Also I got partially excited when they played an excerpt of 'Take It Out On Me', all to not much avail. The main highlights for me were 'Waking The Demon' basically tearing the roof off of the venue, it was ridiculously heavy and had the place heating up. Of course, another strong point of the show was the sing-a-long during 'Tears Don't Fall', proving how loved that song is by the majority of ... the world. Bullet keeping 'Alone' in their set list was a brilliant move, the song fits in so well in their live set and is one of their best songs of recent times. Overall it was an extremely good gig, and you know a concert is great when you come out of it sweating. It shows how Bullet can take to any crowd and how much they have achieved over the years. I am looking forward to seeing them again at Download Festival, and it will be interesting to see if they can entertain a crowd that was much bigger than the one in London. Also I will be expecting pyro this time round. Here's hoping.
Rating: 9 out of 10
(Picture from rocksins.com)