Shock horror I was in a balcony seat for this gig. By choice. Kind of. Little Miss is showing an interest in real music, particularly Halestorm, and she’s too young for the downstairs at the Academy. So, as a birthday present, we got her a ticket for this little noise-fest.
Openers Miss May I are a band I’ve never heard of before. A large number of the crowd definitely had, though, judging from the noise when they came on. A five-piece from Ohio who are on their third album, they came on stage full of confidence and didn’t let up for their half-hour set.
The sound wasn’t too good for them (this is the Academy, so that wasn’t a huge surprise), but they battled on regardless and did a good job of getting the fists pumping and the ground floor warmed up. Musically they sounded OK, nothing special to my ears, but as a live act they’ve got a decent stage presence. Good luck to them.
Next up were the band we were there for – Halestorm. I’m a little gutted that we were up in the gods, mainly as it meant my photos were a bit rubbish. The only band of the night that got decent lighting were the headliners, so their pics are far better. On the other hand, it was worth it to get Little Miss into a decent gig instead of, say, The Wanted or One Direction. Or Bring Me The Horizon.
The only disappointing thing with the Hale family’s set was its brevity. Oh, and the sound to a small degree. An improvement on that for Miss May I, but still pretty poor. Regardless, they kicked out half a dozen tracks or so to a very enthusiastic welcome and probably left with a few more fans than when they arrived.
As ever, Arejay Hale demonstrated how to be one of the most watchable musicians currently performing on stage. While sister Lzzy is a great example to girls everywhere that you can have internal reproductive organs and still front a rock band purely on the basis of talent not boobage, Arejay destroys the myth that drummers should just sit at the back and hide from the audience while they hit things.
Another great – though far too short – set from a band with a huge future. I’m sure they had the same time on stage as MMI, when I would have expected longer but we’ll take what we can get. Roll on the next headlining tour.
Finally, Wales’ finest current export Bullet For My Valentine strolled casually on stage at around a quarter past nine and proceeded to blast the roof off the Academy. With no real frills other than an excellent light show (credit to the person on the many-buttoned keyboard) they ripped through almost ninety minutes of real head-banging tunes.
At one point, the couple in front of us were moshing in their seats – though I also have to pass them a quick “thanks” for sitting as far apart from each other as they could for a fair bit of the gig to make sure that Little Miss could see! Really, thank you whoever you were! Lovely gesture for our daughter :)
While I’ll be honest and say that BFMV sound fairly generic on album – enjoyable but not really outstanding – they put on a hell of a live show. Energetic and fun, they communicate well with the audience and rip through plenty of tunes to keep the fans happy.
Highlight of the night was about the only song I recognise, “The Last Fight”. The opening verse was done at a lower volume and performed at a slow speed by front man Matthew Tuck while the crowd did most of the singing, before the rest of the band joined in and launched into it at regular speed and intensity.
Even better, some lovely person managed to video it and has popped it on the InterTubes. Sound quality is pretty good as well.
Lzzy Hale also joined the boyos on stage for a rendition of “Dirty Little Secret” which was a pleasant surprise. Nice to see touring bands doing stuff like that.
I honestly didn’t expect much from Bullet For My Valentine. They have a reputation for being one of the bands that all the kids like because of the image more than anything. I’m very happy to say that I can hold my hands up and apologise. They’re a great live package, and I’ll definitely be considering getting a ticket again the next time they come round.