Bullet For My Valentine announced their European tour dates over six months ago. In between there was the release of their most recent record ‘Gravity’ on June 29th, two US tours and several festival appearances.
Fast forward to October 28th, Bullet For My Valentine are finally back in Munich. This time in a much bigger venue with a capacity of a little less than 6000 people. That’s a big step up from a venue with 2000 people max. But then, Munich doesn’t have anything in between, though a place that size would definitely make sense.
There were four bands on the set-list for that night. General information was, that the show started at 7.30 pm (as was shown on the tickets), but for whatever reason someone decided to start earlier, a fact that was shared on facebook about five hours before show start. So the UK based band Shvpes had the unpopular job of being the first band to play in front of not too many people, since everyone thought, that show start would be far later. It’s hard enough to be amongst the opening bands, because many people arrive later, since they aren’t that interested in the other bands. Nevertheless, the band performed as if the room was bursting with people. Griffin Dickinson, their vocalist, had hurt his leg during the tour. A fact he himself seemed to have forgotten while performing. Though they played only a short set and people were still pouring into the place, the bands’ performance wasn’t bothered by that. I hope they come back to Germany soon to play their own headliner club show. Surely that’s going to be a party.
Nothing More from San Antonio, Texas were next. They are quite popular in the United States, but haven’t been to Germany that often to gain a bigger fan-base here. Last time the band played a headliner tour in 2015. It was a club show with a much more intimate atmosphere. They started around 7.30 pm, just in time for the show start according to the tickets. The band also had to struggle with a crowd that was still pouring into the venue. The people already in the venue were scattered, not everyone was pushing towards the stage. If you have ever been to a Nothing More show, you probably know the powerful performance the band has, esp. their vocalist Johnny Hawkins. Since the band is not very well known, not too many people could really sing along to their songs. They mostly played tracks from their recent record ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves`, like ‘Do You Really Want It?’ and ‘Go To War’ and two songs from ‘Nothing More’, ‘Jenny’ and ‘This Is The Time’.
At about 8.20 pm, Of Mice And Men entered the stage. They are regular guests here, sometimes as headliners, but also as special guests like this time. Since the departure of their former front-men Austin Carlisle, who left the band in late 2016 due to medical issues, they are working as a four-piece band. Their bass player Aaron Pauley, who did clean vocals in the past, took over the singing job entirely. Every vocalist change comes with doubts about the future of a band. But Of Mice And Men so far showed that they are still rocking. The bands’ latest record ‘Defy’ was released in early 2018. This was the first record with solely Aaron Pauley on vocals. Four songs on the eight song set-list were from that record, amongst them ‘Unbreakable’ and the title track ‘Defy’. They also played songs from ‘Restoring Force’ like ‘Would You Still Be There?’, ‘Bones Exposed’ and ‘You Make Me Sick’. By the time of the performance much more people were in the venue and the audience finally came to life, fists and metal horns in the air and singing along.
9.30 pm, lights out, the big white curtain that was drawn up before, is highlighted from behind, the silhouettes of the band appear and the first tunes of ‘Leap Of Faith’ blast through the boxes. The crowd starts cheering and when the curtain falls, the band is greeted with loud cheers and applause from the audience. On stage there are three risers, the highest one with the drums and two lower ones, where from time to time Michael Padget (guitar) and Jamie Mathias (bass) take position. In addition to front lights, there are lots of smaller movable lights on stage. The bigger the venue and the stage, the more you need a big light show for effects. They played 17 songs from almost all of their records, starting out with tracks from their latest one ‘Gravity’. The crowd was very much into the newer songs, like ‘Over It’, ‘Piece Of Me’ and ‘Letting You Go’, but I think they still like the older stuff a bit more like ‘Your Betrayal’, ‘Four Words To Choke Upon’ and ‘The Last Fight’. Before the drum solo they played the slowest tracks of the night ‘Venom’ and their newest single ‘Not Dead Yet’. It’s not that those songs were disliked, but the quiet notion of the songs cooled down the crowd a little bit. After the solo from Jason Bowld, the show continued again with an older track ‘Scream Aim Fire’, which lit the crowd up again. There were three songs for encores, at least two of them were to be expected – ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ (no Bullet show without this remarkable song) and to close up an incredible live performance ‘Waking The Demon’.
For more information on the bands, follow their social media
Bullet For My Valentine
Of Mice And Men
~ Contributed by Alex Bock, https://twitter.com/abphotomjp