Brandon Bethune tells us why the rock band’s latest show in Glasgow wasn’t his favourite…
I don’t know what it is about Black Veil Brides, and lead singer Andy Biersack specifically, but there’s something about their live performances that doesn’t quite mesh together well.
When I saw Andy Biersack perform solo in 2019 at The Garage, I was thrilled to see one of the cornerstones of my music taste live for the first time. Yet, his actual performance disappointed me greatly. Biersack was also completely outperformed by his raucous opening act Adore Delano, which certainly didn’t help my thoughts on his performance. Unfortunately, I found that the same issues which plagued Andy in the past took hold again when I went to Black Veil Brides’ 2023 UK Tour. His wife and opening act, Lilith Czar, killed it in a far more vibrant and alive show before Black Veil even took to the stage. It very much felt like Black Veil were going in largely cold and directionless after what feels like their 2018 peak.
I fear I may be coming off as harsh towards a band I’ll always have love towards. Some of the tracks on the setlist such as ‘Coffin’, ‘Wake Up’, ‘Perfect Weapon’, ‘The Legacy’, and perennial closer ‘In the End’ all reminded me why I love the band in the first place. I also think Andy felt more in his element performing with Black Veil Brides than he did solo, which could be down to his comfortability in an act that has been around far longer than his solo performances under the moniker of Andy Black.
Andy’s screams were electrifying alongside stellar performances from the rest of the quartet of Jinxx, Ashley, and Christian on guitar and drums. However, the night fell back into that area of comfortability when I started to sense a feeling of repetition throughout the set. Back-to-back shredding, a seemingly emotionless lead vocalist, and the bland, limited presentation of newer tracks made me leave the show fearing the worst for the future of the band rather than revelling in a nostalgia-fuelled buzz.
Maybe this says more about my subjective thoughts on the band compared to the wider audience of Black Veil Brides. The unfathomable line wrapped around Glasgow’s nearly sold-out O2 Academy for the gig, with the crowd bellowing along with each and every track throughout the night.
Maybe Black Veil Brides have peaked, or maybe they’re just tuned in to what their audience expects from them now, and all sides are okay with that. I for one, am not convinced.