Black Veil Brides | 12.09.14

blackveil sqThe band was certainly entertaining in a physical way; if only their sound had been up to par.

w/Drama Club, Set It Off, and Falling in Reverse
The Pageant, St. Louis

Tuesday night saw the St. Louis date of the Black Mass tour at The Pageant in the Delmar Loop. Sponsored by Hot Topic, the tour featured headliners Black Veil Brides with special guests Drama Club, an electronic duo with a penchant for the dramatic: progressive rockers Set It Off’ and Ronnie Radke’s latest effort, Falling in Reverse.

With a massive crowd packed inside the venue, Drama Club got the show off to a dramatic and insane start. Coming together 2013, the “twins” Zero and Andromeda prefer to stay anonymous behind their porcelain-doll masks and long black hair, leaving them free to lose themselves in the music. While they only have one single out, the insane track “Halloween 365,” they have done remixes for many artists, including BVB lead singer Andy Bier sack under the moniker Andy Black. Drama Club may not seem like they belong on such a tour, being as most of the bands on the bill are hard rock, but the electronic shock-pop act fit in like a dark puzzle piece. Their set was well received, ensuring many new fans.

Next up was Set It Off. Hailing from Tampa, Fla., the five-piece is touring behind its latest release Duality. Playing a rocking set, the band were well-loved by the crowd. Vocalist Cody Carson delivers a fine vocal, even when jumping into the reverent crowd. Overall, the band played a hot set of hard rock tunes from their catalog, including their first CD, Cinematics.

Falling in Reverse is a fan favorite. They canceled their last St. Louis date; perhaps not coincidentally, the band’s latest release is appropriately titled Fashionably Late. Playing selections from their two albums, the aforementioned new CD and their debut LP, The Drug in Me Is You., hardly a song went by to which the crowd didn’t know every word. Rocking their biggest hit, “I’m Not a Vampire,” they made quite a splash. Although they are not my favorite band, I must say they quite entertaining, even tossing balloons into the crowd.

And now, the reason for the evening: Hollywood-based Black Veil Brides is a great rock band. Melodic and heavy, their sound is unique and Biersack is a vocal powerhouse. The band is proficient, if not a collection of virtuosos. However, you could not tell this by tonight’s performance.

Why? Simply put: Their sound was mixed horribly. The guitars were barely audible, as were drums, bass, and backing vocals, most of them courtesy of bassist Ashley Purdy. Biersack was great…when you could hear him. It was so bad that you could hardly tell which song the band was playing. While tracks such as “I Am Bulletproof” and “Wretched and Divine” came across semi-hearable, the newer songs, like set opener “Heart of Fire” were barely discernable. A grave disappointment in my book.

BVB is hard rock at its finest, yet this live performance lacked the professional and varied mix required to bring their catalog to life. With a killer stage setup, complete with large LED screens and a huge backdrop sporting the cover of new album IV, the visuals did not take away from the poorly mixed music. The band was certainly entertaining in a physical way; if only their sound had been up to par.

As for the lineup, though, this was a fabulous show, eclectic and with something for everyone. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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