Photography by Josh Groom @JoshGroom
“It’s been a long time in the works, and we’re so excited that it actually came together! We had plans to come down at this time anyway and so did Pierce The Veil, and I think we actually have the same agent. He went ‘Hey guys, by the way you could combine the tour and it’ll be better’, so here we are.”
The Californian post-hardcore outfit have been storming world stages since the release of debut album A Flair for the Dramatic nearly 10 years ago. Armed with a round of hefty supports at Big Top last Wednesday, including Melbourne metalcore boys Storm The Sky, and US heavyweights Beartooth and Silverstein, Pierce The Veil continue their live-stage dominance.
There weren’t too many gig-goers who knew the Melbourne-based group, but those who were fans of Storm The Sky since they formed back in 2011 were a little disappointed with a set mostly consisting of tracks off latest record Sin Will Find You (2016). One fan in the mosh called for the band to play ‘Common Kings’, a hard-hitting track from their earlier years. While still playing tightly overall, the lack of heaviness reflected the departure of unclean vocalist Daniel Breen, with the group missing their signature dual vocal attack.
Watch our full session with Storm The Sky here.
Meanwhile, many punters were holding out for Beartooth, who came out firing on all cylinders and reinforced just how strong of an Aussie fanbase the Ohio four-piece have. Leading man Caleb Shomo particularly brought the performance home with his contagious energy, with the group dominating overall on a wave of both old and new favourites.
Then, although there was a lack of cheering for Canadian five-piece Silverstein as they kicked off, that’s certainly not how it ended for the post-hardcore heavyweights. Supporting the headliners has been “a long time in the works” according to guitarist Paul Rousseau, and it was well worth the wait.
The precision of frontman Shane Told’s screams was a clear highlight, as was the overall flow of the set as the band transitioned from a melodic start to brutality with ease. Cuts from latest record I Am Alive in Everything I Touch (2015) went over particularly well, with third track and album single ‘Face of the Earth’ an early highlight of the set.
‘Sacrifice’ from fifth effort Rescue was also a favourite, capturing the best of the group’s heavy side later on as they got the crowd headbanging to blistering guitar rhythms and Told’s seasoned screams. Coming full circle with a few melodic songs, Silverstein delivered one tight performance, resulting in a reception more than making up for the lack of crowd energy at the start.
Punters were now pretty riled up, and there was no better way for Pierce The Veil to open their set than with the atmospheric intro and great mosh tempo of ‘Dive In’, one of the best tracks on latest banger Misadventures (2016).
Tony Perry’s guitar prowess was immediately felt as he stood atop the stage’s monitor speakers, shredding the hell out of the opening track and other highlights from the new record including ‘Texas is Forever’. Meanwhile, bassist Jaime Preciado’s charisma shined through the most, with frenzied punters particularly feeding off his energy.
Now ‘Bulletproof Love’ off sophomore album Selfish Machines (2010) was definitely a heartfelt throwback, yet it was the story and acoustic brilliance driving ‘Kissing in Cars’ that brought the night to another level. During this brief reprieve from the brutality to come later on, vocalist Vic Fuentes divulged that the tune was never supposed to be heard by “anyone outside the band” before delivering his rawest vocals of the night.
With the band awash in blue light, solidarity was felt in spades as the frontman reminded us that There’s no such thing as too young/When second chances won’t leave you alone. It wasn’t the first time we felt united that night, with the vocalist’s love for Aussie fans obvious as he adamantly promised that the band would be coming back down here as often as possible.
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The clapping soon reached its peak for ‘Bulls in the Bronx’, and Perry’s light touch during the song’s flamenco-style guitar solo halfway through drove the whole room to dance in between wild moshing.
Another set winner was ‘Circles’, and while its alt-rock feel doesn’t sit so well on Misadventures, with its infectious chorus and the band’s consistent energy it clearly resonated with fans. This was ultimately offset by the chaotic ‘King for a Day’, an older banger solidifying that the group are still well on top of their game.
Pierce The Veil, you certainly didn’t leave us “sleeping like a dog on the floor.”