Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bullet for My Valentine

The touring combination of Drop Dead, Gorgeous, Bullets and Octane, and Bullet for My Valentine struck me as somewhat odd because of the different crowds that each band naturally plays to. Drop Dead, Gorgeous are definitely geared towards the modern scene kiddie crowd. Bullets and Octane are a punk infused rock band that plays like it is still 1989, thus attracting the older, rock crowd. Then there’s Bullet for My Valentine who will attract scenesters, but also lend themselves to the radio metal and older metal crowd. With this in mind, the St. Paul stop of the tour at Station 4 was sold out, with each of the aforementioned groups of fans making up a healthy chunk of the crowd.

Opening up the show was Drop Dead, Gorgeous with their brand of scene trendy metalcore. All of the 14 year olds in girl pants and eyeliner were apparently here for this band as they started to jump for joy as six undeniably fashioncore kids took the stage. The kiddies definitely enjoyed their set, but it needs to be noted that the band played extremely sloppy. The only time you could hear any semblance of a song structure was when the band was in the middle of a clich├ęd, over-the-top breakdown or when everyone stopped playing so the keyboardist could peck out a simple melody. Every song sounded about the same as the last – muddled guitar playing with a simple rhythm section leading into a breakdown for the kids to hardcore dance to. The band was also very uninteresting to watch as they all stood around looking scene, with the occasional movement to and fro on the stage. It was all pretty boring to watch and hear.

Thank the Almighty Spaghetti Monster above that the follow up to a band that should drop dead was the always rocking Bullets and Octane. Every time I see these guys, they’re just as fun as the last, if not more so. With a packed front row crowd of little scenesters, the majority of the people didn’t get into the punk flavored rock and roll of B&O, but there were a few of the older rock crowd that beat down the little kids to get up front and sing a long, which is something you can actually do with a B&O song seeing as their lyrics are understandable. Plowing through about 40 minutes of songs, the band was consistently captivating and jokingly messed around with the crowd on their in between song banter. This band is fun. End of story.

After an abysmally long 45 minute set change break, the headlining Bullet for My Valentine took the stage and ripped right into their set. Because both of the guitarists and the bassist all perform various vocal duties, there weren’t many opportunities for the band members to move away from their respective mic stands, but they still managed to rock the crowd out. It was a sight to see when the hardcore dancing scene kiddies got in the same pit as the older, heavier, heavy metal kids. There was much violence to be had, along with a couple of small fights to behold.

Bullet for My Valentine’s style of 80’s thrash shredding mixed with modern breakdown laden Gothenburg worship actually works quite well in a live environment with songs such as “Hand of Blood” and “4 Words (To Choke Upon)” getting the largest response. The slower songs “Tears Don’t Fall” and “End” actually worked to change the pace of the show up, and give the band a chance to slow the shredfest down. Ending the show with “End” might not have been the best choice in the world, though, but it worked well enough. The band ended up playing a good majority of their release, The Poison, throughout the 50 minutes they were on stage.

Given the diversity of this tour, you’re bound to like at least one of the bands, hopefully one of the last two, or both of them even. It would be nice to see a little more love for Bullets and Octane on some stops as there was not nearly enough at the St. Paul stop. It’s worth the money, people, so get out to see this tour when it rumbles through town.

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