Well, once a week turned into periodically. However, school is back in session, which means I have more homework to
avoid take a break from.
Last night I went to Bullet For My Valentine and Halestorm the Fillmore. Overall great show, lots of energy from the bands and the audience. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many simultaneous “circle pits” (as the Brits call them) in an enclosed space before. I was safely off to the side, since I find mosh pits to be a bizarre and unpleasant way to “enjoy” the music. How can you enjoy the nuances of a live performance while trying to not to fall/get hit or tripped or punched/are otherwise not focused on the music? But I digress…
The first opening band, Stars In Stereo, are apparently from LA, though I figured they were a local band judging their early start time and somewhat clichéd presentation. Overall, high energy but honestly felt like a local band still learning the finer points of live performance. Hopefully they will learn from their very qualified tour mates!
The second opening band, Young Guns, hail from Britain. Sonically a weird fit for the evening, though they have a popular single currently on active rock stations. For me, they were meh, but (as you’ve probably gathered) I’m a bit picky. And I was eager for Halestorm and they were in the way. 😉
Halestorm. I was impressed. They were tight, talented, and fun. Lzzy (not a typo) has an amazing and powerful voice, is a great guitar player, and plays piano. You go girl! And her brother is the exceptionally talented drummer. I haven’t seen a drummer that talented and charismatic since Mikko Siren of Apocalyptica. Personally, I can’t imagine being in a band with my brother – we would kill each other by the end of the first set (we love each other dearly but have our, uh, differences of opinion) – so I’m even more impressed by that dynamic.
Bullet For My Valentine, from Wales, was solid. I’ve struggled with their musical direction – I feel that they have yet to fulfill the promise of their first album (the brilliant The Poison) and instead veered in a more blatantly commercial direction. It is good music – they are exceptionally talented musicians – but the structure and lyrical content definitely feel “stock”. How does this tie into the live performance? It has the same feel as the albums. Well-rehearsed and satisfying but not mind blowing. The highlights: Lzzy came out to help sing “Dirty Little Secret“, once again highlighting her talent. And they did, of course, end with “Tears Don’t Fall”, whose deceptive complexity was awesome to witness to live and even the die-hard peeps in the pits had to stop and sing along.
Using Michelle’s Arbitrary Scoring System, I would give Halestorm a 9.5, BFMV an 8 and the whole show a 7.5. Four bands may be a way to pull people in, but I prefer 2-3 unless it is a festival or all the bands are worthwhile. And while I am a more enthusiastic fan of Halestorm now, I was not sold on the opening bands and Bullet didn’t blow me away.
As I am typing this, I realized that it might seem that I’m really judgy when it comes to shows. And then I realized that dammit, after 500+ shows, I have every right to be. 🙂 We pay a lot of hard earned money to go to shows, so I will give you my honest opinion. Please let me know yours by adding your comments below. Thanks!
Unfamiliar with these bands? Check out some vids:
Halestorm: I Miss The Misery
Bullet For My Valentine: Tears Don’t Fall
PS 16 days til HIM’s new album! \m/