A Black Veil Bash

By on December 12, 2014

 

ANDY BIERSACK - BLACK VEIL BRIDES (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

ANDY BIERSACK – BLACK VEIL BRIDES (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

Black Veil Brides, Falling in Reverse, Set It Off, Drama Club at the Orlando House of Blues

Walking into Downtown Disney, I could see the line from the parking lot; it looked like a Halloween party was about to start on the water taxi. Everyone in line was wearing elaborate makeup, dyed hair, and even some vampire teeth. Soon I remembered that when a show draws a crowd like this, the House of Blues in Orlando splits the line in half, diverting masses of fans to the water taxi line. That was when I knew that this crowd was no joke, and by the end of the night, they would prove it to me.

Opening acts are often like cafeteria food; you know what to expect. However, there are always a few times a month where your mind gets blown and you walk away questioning what you’ve just witnessed. That adequately describes Drama Club. Drama Club took the stage early and promptly put an end to any fans’ plans of ordering some food and relaxing until the headliners.

DRAMA CLUB (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

ZERO DRAMA-DRAMA CLUB (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

First off, Drama Club’s stage presence is unique. The two DJ’s came on the stage in horror movie style doll masks with dirty dreadlocks. Their gear was on a table about five feet high with a big LED screen in front of it. Behind them, another huge LED screen; both synched up to provide visuals that went along with their tracks. The show was very visual, with two GoPros mounted on the table capturing it all.

(PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

DRAMA CLUB (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

Between messy-dread-slinging bass drops, the duo slipped in messages of acceptance and love that really made you want to root for them to make it big. The high point of the show came when the leader of the two yelled “This one’s for the ladies!” and dropped into a dubstep remix of “If You Can’t Hang,” by Sleeping with Sirens. The fusion of the two genres not only showed why Drama Club belonged, but also elicited a high-pitched scream from fangirls across the House.

CODY CARSON - SET IT OFF (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

CODY CARSON – SET IT OFF (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

Next on the card was hometown (Tampa) favorite Set It Off. Of the people I talked to, it seemed like everyone had a personal connection with this band. “My buddy used to manage them before they got big!” “Oh, dude, I used to see them all the time at the Orpheum in Tampa in high school.” Their drummer, Maxx Danziger, underscored this. He smiled from ear to ear as lead singer Cody Carson announced that Maxx has always dreamed of playing this venue. Then the Orlando native stood up, revealing a Magic jersey, and took a bow to the roar of the crowd. From that point on, the five friends had the audience eating out of the palms of their hands.

The friendship between members of Set It Off carried through the microphones and into the crown as their set carried on. It looked like they were really having fun, and it was easy for the audience to have fun with them. During the track “The Haunting,” every member of the band was jumping around, waving their arms, and playing with the crowd.

CODY CARSON - SET IT OFF (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

CODY CARSON – SET IT OFF (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

As the set carried on, Set It Off would rely on that trust they built with their audience. The final song of the set was the energetic “Why Worry.” About midway through the song, vocalist Cody Carson jumped the barrier and stood on the hands of his fans. He navigated through the crowd, crooning to them with each step. The performance, light and fun, was a great bridge to the two heavyweights to come.

“Ronn-ie! Ronn-ie! Ronn-ie!” I could hear the chants growing louder and louder as I waited in the photo pit; everyone from preteen girls to grizzled old men were calling for their villainous champion. Ronnie Radke is as close as the music industry (outside of Fozzy) comes to the WWE. He’s become more of a character than a person, more heel than hero.

RONNIE RADKE - FALLING IN REVERSE (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

RONNIE RADKE – FALLING IN REVERSE (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

Ronnie burst onto the stage with a roar and the crowd returned it, then he kicked off the show with “Sink or Swim.”  Falling In Reverse’s show played heavily on sex, starting with “Fashionably Late.”  He smiled and winked at girls in the crowd while jumping around, sweat pouring from his face. The crowd was mostly underage, and to end the song, Ronnie smirked as he changed the lyrics to “sorry about F—ing all your kids”.

The sex-soaked serenade continued with “Bad Girls Club,” and “Good Girls, Bad Guys,” as confetti, streamers, and some mystery liquid rained down on the crowd from everywhere. The audience knew the lyrics to every song, it often became a duet with Ronnie singing one line and holding out the microphone for the crowd to finish it.

Midway through Falling In Reverse’s set, Ronnie called for a beach ball that looked like a basketball, and invited members of the crowd to shoot it into the goal behind him. This would prove to be a herculean task, as no one came anywhere near the hoop. Though he laughed at a few fans for bad misses, Ronnie still gave out free shirts to everyone who played his game.

(PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

RONNIE RADKE – FALLING IN REVERSE (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

The second half of the set featured a mix of old and new. First, they broke into the controversial hit “Alone,” from their recently released mix tape. Screams echoed around the House of Blues when Ronnie said “I think we’ll play a couple Escape the Fate songs for you guys” referencing his old band. First, they played “Not Good Enough For Truth And Cliché,” followed by “Situations.”

Black Veil Brides took the stage in a flurry of teased hair and makeup, lead by their frontman, Andy Biersack. Andy plays a great foil to Ronnie in that under his makeup and tattoos, he seems like a genuinely likable guy. His interactions with the crowd were early and frequent, showering them with smiles and laughs as he sang.

ANDY BIERSACK - BLACK VEIL BRIDES (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

ANDY BIERSACK – BLACK VEIL BRIDES (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

The show felt like a slightly scaled down version of the stories I’ve heard about bands like Twisted Sister and Quiet Riot in their prime. The first glimpse of a show of that magnitude I caught was during their 2010 hit “Knives and Pens.” You could still feel the angst as Andy recounted the story of his high school years as Bassist /backup vocalist Ashley Purdy and guitarist Jinxx jumped around the stage, energizing the crowd.

One of the things that make a Black Veil Brides show so exhilarating is the feeling of being a part of something. The BVB Army, as they are known, is a loyally devoted faction of followers that has led to the band’s meteoric rise to success. During songs such as “Faithless” and “Fallen Angels”, the crowd was performing almost as much as the band, screaming nearly every lyric at the stage with impeccable timing.

ASHLEY PURDY - BLACK VEIL BRIDES (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

ASHLEY PURDY – BLACK VEIL BRIDES (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

In addition to their standard repertoire of hits, Black Veil Brides made a point to showcase the totality of their musical talents to the Orlando crowd. The setlist included an animated drum solo by CC Coma, Jinxx breaking out a violin, a partially a cappella rendition of “Savior,” and a modernized version of Danzig classic, “Mother.”  Of the three, “Savior” seemed to go over the best with the crowd. This sober hit touches on the issues of self-harm, suicide, and self doubt in general.  Midway through the performance, the band took a brief intermission; the bright lights gave way to muted LED banners with BVB’s star-shaped logo. Biersack returned to the stage to lead the crowd in a hand waving chant that built and morphed into “Shadows Die.”  After “Last Rites” and the aforementioned Danzig cover, the band flowed seamlessly into their hit “Rebel Love Song,” to the eruption the female fans (whose vocal chords were surprisingly intact).

JINXX - BLACK VEIL BRIDES (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

JINXX – BLACK VEIL BRIDES (PHOTO WILL OGBURN)

As the end of the show approached, it became clear what the encore was going to be. The lights dimmed momentarily, and the non-experienced show-goers started to complain. I could see an aura of unrest in the audience as the lights kicked back on and the band emerged out of the darkness. Andy took the stage – the Cincinnati native now clad in a Jermaine Gresham Bengals jersey. The entire House of Blues seemed to shake as the words “In the ennnd” came gushing out of his mouth. The crowd eagerly chanted “Oh oh oh ohhh” right back at him. The final track brought the house down and served as a star atop this Christmas-time show.

 

 MORE PHOTOS FROM THE SHOW BY WILL OGBURN BELOW

RONNIE RADKE - FALLING IN REVERSE

RONNIE RADKE – FALLING IN REVERSE

JACKY VINCENT - FALLING IN REVERSE

JACKY VINCENT – FALLING IN REVERSE

DRAMA

ZERO DRAMA-DRAMA CLUB

DRAMA CLUB

DRAMA CLUB

JINXX - BLACK VEIL BRIDES

JINXX – BLACK VEIL BRIDES

ANDY BIERSACK

ANDY BIERSACK – BLACK VEIL BRIDES

JACKY VINCENT - FALLING  IN REVERSE

JACKY VINCENT – FALLING IN REVERSE

 

 

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