BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
Metro City, Perth WA
October 20th, 2016
Supports – Atreyu, Cane Hill
2016 has certainly been a trip down memory lane; particularly the case for bands coming to Perth. Welsh rockers Bullet for my Valentine haven’t played a headline show in the west for about six years if calculations are correct. Even more to the point, direct supports Atreyu hadn’t visited Perth since they toured with Bullet and Avenged Sevenfold at the very same venue almost a decade ago. Punters dusted off some very old band tees for this banger of an evening.
Metro City had a queue down the street and around the corner to get in early and catch opening support band Cane Hill who are pretty new on the scene in the grand scheme of things. Signed to Rise Records, the Louisianans delivered an energetic set with great production and gothic grunge. Vocalist Elijah Witt (read our interview here) was impressed at the turn-out and encouraged some head-banging to hits off their EP and more recent tracks from album ‘Smile’. Witt sounded a lot like Marilyn Manson and contributed to the band’s demonstrated potential as the next era’s Motionless in White. The set was punchy as the band clearly capitalised on their efficient timeslot.
Reigning from California, the almighty Atreyu burst onto the stage, ready to play to a shoulder-to-shoulder venue of excitable fans with arms outstretched. Pleasantly, the band were just as pumped, if not more so than the crowd throughout the set. Vocalist Alex Varkatzas jumped into the crowd from the get-go and stayed there for most of the set to let fans scream lyrics to hits like ‘Bleeding Mascara’ and ‘Becoming the Bull’. While he crowd-surfed and ran through the mosh, drummer Brandon Saller absolutely killed it on vocals. The OC outfit were on point throughout the set and filled with sustained euphoria. At one point Varkatzas ran up to the balcony of the nightclub and roared from up there, before coming down to get a quick drink from the bar. In case it wasn’t clear enough from their Bon Jovi cover and sing-a-long ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’, Atreyu are the ultimate entertainers for rock and roll.
After a significant bucket-list-tick for many younger fans in the crowd, the proceedings for the evening were certainly not over just yet. The lights ceased in sync with the house music changing to some bad-ass Motörhead. Immediately after, the B-F-M-V lettering backdrop appeared as intro to ‘V’ began in the background. Bullet for my Valentine emerged on stage with a hunger for riffage and heavy metal in their eyes. With a fresh hairstyle, vocalist Matt Tuck emulated the ultimate rock and roll star, with his clean-cut look but brash outfit of torn jeans and sleeveless denim jacket. Belching into ‘No Way Out’ from their latest record ‘Venom’, Tuck led the band through an opener filled with all the right sections of a Bullet track.
The mosh pit had been detonated, bodies were flying and devil-horns were united. For the minority of the crowd that may not have jumped on board to the band’s new material, the Welsh-man transitioned straight into anthem ‘Your Betrayal’ from the ‘Fever’ era. That devilish intro was complemented by synced strobe lights and the perfect timing between chords. Immediately after the song ceased, Tuck bellowed a massive thank you to Australian fans for bringing their most recent album to #1 in the country.
Older and more traditional fans of the band were also treated to some of the band’s earlier work like ‘4 Words (To Choke Upon)’ and ‘Hand of Blood’ The pleasant surprise for the evening was how polished the backing vocals were delivered from lead guitarist Michael “Padge” Paget. His growls were unbelievably crisp and perfectly echoed throughout the venue each and every time he leaned into the microphone, for material old and new.
Most of the band members disappeared for a breather, and left drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas to blow our minds with an incredible drum solo. While under the limelight, Moose stood up from his kit and lifted his hands up, smiling as he teased the crowd for me. He kept the solo going for a little longer before transcending into the opening beats of ‘Raising Hell’, as the rest of the band re-joined him on stage.
Highlights for the evening included optimal performances of ‘the Last Fight’ and ‘Scream Aim Fire’ which naturally ignited the pit. Having seen Bullet for my Valentine for the most part playing festivals, there is a different kind of appreciation for their club-show delivery of such bangers. Each note is so-well polished and it was abundantly clear that the band were in their zone.
With humility, the band left the stage to informally close their performance, but Perth fans were not going to let them get away that easy. Punters were striking the word “Bullet” with a double-syllable-repetition until the quartet returned to play a back-to-back fantasy of ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and ‘Waking the Demon’. It’s truly amazing how timeless these tracks are, as regardless of their maturing sound and maturing musicality, these songs always hit hard. Seriously Australia, look out for this show, it will most definitely bring the goods.
Review by Ricky Aarons (rickysaul90)
Photo Gallery from the night courtesy Jerika Faithfull
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The remaining dates of the tour are as follows:
Friday, 21st October
HQ, Adelaide – 18+
Monday, 24th October – NEW SHOW
170 Russell, Melbourne – 18+
Tuesday, 25th October – SOLD OUT
170 Russell, Melbourne – 18+
Thursday, 27th October
Big Top, Sydney – Lic A/A
Friday, 28th October
Eatons Hill, Brisbane – Lic A/A
Tickets via Destroy All Lines