Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria made a stop at Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, NE last night (5-14) along with tour mates Blessthefall. About 1,000 excited fans turned out to shriek, dance, and fist pump to the trio of metal-core acts.
Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria began touring together in early 2018. Apparently, they were having a lot of fun, because they decided to extend the co-headline run through the middle of May, wrapping up with a performance in Ohio at Rock on the Range May 19.
Black Veil Brides have been making a name for themselves over the past several years, releasing 5 albums and an acoustic E.P. More recently, the band’s lead singer Andy Biersack starred in the thriller/horror film “American Satan”. The film follows a young band who make a deal with the devil for fortune and fame. As expected, things don’t go as planned and some chaos ensues. The film was directed by Sumerian Records founder and CEO Ash Avildsen. Sumerian is home to Asking Alexandria, Between the Buried and Me, Born of Osiris, From First to Last, Palaye Royale, and even Omaha rockers Through Fire.
On this second leg of the tour, Black Veil Brides are supporting their new record “Vale,” which was released in early 2018. Asking Alexandria is supporting their self-titled record, which was released in late 2017, and tour mates Blessthefall released a new record “Hard Feelings” on March 23.
Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria have been experiencing some success at modern rock radio, each releasing two singles from their last records. Black Veil with “My Vow” and “Wake Up”, and Asking Alexandria with “Into the Fire” and “Alone in a Room”. I know my local station 89.7 The River has both bands in heavy rotation.
Shout out to The River for being bold enough to play music outside of the Top 40 rock selections. I know Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria lean a little more towards radio rock or alternative, but if you look deeper into their catalog, there are some heavier tracks, which The River would have no issue playing upon request. The River even has a listener submission segment aptly titled “The 4 at 4”. During the weekday afternoon show “Amplified Afternoons“, host Corey will play whatever you send his way. It can be heavy tracks, pop, or even country. For those four songs, the listener controls the airwaves!
Anyways, sorry for the tangent, back to the concert! As I approached the venue there were kids lined along the building and all the way down the street! I talked to so many people who said this was their first show. I saw multiple families in the crowd, Mom, Dad, and kids all rocking out together! It was amazing. One mom had a custom Black Veil Brides battle jacket. My mom took me to my first rock show (Aerosmith) and dropped me and my friends off at shows, but man, a battle jacket mom takes the cake!
One fan I talked to Livie, was at the show with her mom. They were both wearing war paint and ready to rock. She was super excited for her first show. I asked her how she first got into metal/hard rock music. Like many other fans I talked to, Livie cited My Chemical Romance as a huge influence. It’s amazing how many people still gravitate toward MCR even though they’ve been broken up for over 5 years. I felt old when I tried to explain to several fans, that I saw MCR at the Ranch Bowl. I have a good feeling the majority of kids I talked to were in preschool when the Ranch Bowl was living out its final days.
As I watched from across the balcony I could see Livie and her mom having a great time, singing along to every word.
So apparently I was late to the game on the war paint scene. I saw a lot of people walking around with black streaks on their face or the BVB logo on one cheek. Two girls I talked to Paige and Liz, were totally done up in black paint and black band shirts. I asked if they had been to many shows before or if this was their first. They said they had been to quite a few and they actually met at a Motionless in White show a little over a month ago. They hit it off, and now they’re roommates! It’s crazy to see how music can bring people together.
As I walked through the crowd of mostly teens, one guy called me out for my Deftones shirt. TJ was in his late 50s and wearing a tie-dye Megadeath shirt. I said, “Yea Brother, Deftones are my band!” “What’s an old guy like you doing at this show?” TJ said he goes to a ton of shows and likes everything from metal to country, to pop. TJ said
“I just want to hear some wicked guitar solos”
I heard TJ loud and clear. To quote my hero Jamey Jasta, “There’s nothing better than loud amps in the face.” TJ went on to explain that he was going to Minneapolis next week with some buddies to see Slayer, Lamb of God, and Anthrax on the Slayer Farewell Tour. I said “That would be insane!”. TJ told me he and his buddies usually get into some crazy stuff when going to shows. A while back when Danzig was in town he came down with his friends and they stayed at the Marriott downtown. Well one of his friends got so drunk at the show he ended up pulling the hotel fire alarm! Police showed up to kick them out of the room and they were stranded in Omaha. Luckily his daughter lives in town and was able to bail him out. I wished TJ luck in Minneapolis and to let me know if anything wild like that happens while he’s up there seeing Slayer.
The venue was starting to fill out when Blessthefall took the stage. They came out swinging, playing fast metal mixed with melodic vocals. Even though I was a bit unfamiliar with their music, they apparently have a rabid following. The lead singer jumped in between the stage and the barrier at one point causing everyone to push forward trying to grab that stretched out high-five or just get a better glimpse. There were a few circle pits that broke out during their set. The lead singer claimed that the circle pits were some of the best he had seen on the tour so far (I doubt it). Don’t get me wrong, the crowd was pretty pumped, but I’ve been in the middle of a Hatebreed circle pit at that very same venue. Let me tell you, it can be a scary place. Blessthefall played about 10 songs before thanking the crowd for a warm welcome.
Asking Alexandria was up next. By now the venue had started to really fill up and you could feel the additional body heat in the room. The crowd started chanting “Asking, Asking!” as they waited for the band to arrive. As Asking Alexandria stepped out the crowd went wild pushing forward and brandishing cell phones for a digital keepsake.
The band played a little over an hour, hitting both singles from their latest self-titled release and even playing what they claimed was “their oldest song”. The fans went crazy when that song started. I don’t really know any Asking Alexandria songs aside from their radio singles, but I thought they put on a pretty good show. There was a good mix of heavy chugging riffs and breakdowns and melodic vocals. Lead Singer Danny Worsnop showed a lot of vocal range hitting some scream parts along with a few high notes.
One peculiar thing I did notice about Asking Alexandria was the abundance of dick jokes. I don’t know if they were just playing to the younger crowd or what, but several times in between songs singer Danny and the lead guitarist would exchange some remarks about taking dick pics or pubic hair or something. Oh well, maybe I’m just too old to get it.
After a small encore of two songs from Asking Alexandria it was time for the main event, Black Veil Brides. I was hanging out at the merch booth when a security guard asked a few of the fans if they could back up, as they would be bringing the band in soon. I stood by and watched as Black Veil Brides entered the side door. For a moment I was transported to the late 80s. The band walked in with dark feathered hair, spiky denim jackets, and big black boots. Of course, the drummer needed to stand out, so he came in howling with his shirt off. It was quite a sight.
After a few minutes, the lights went down and Black Veil Brides came out to a room full of screaming fans and blasting cryojets. Had this been a bigger venue, I’m sure there would have been huge flames or explosions.
Right away, lead singer Andy Biersack established himself as the star of the show. Wearing tight black skinny jeans, a white tank top, and slicked back jet black hair, you could tell he had that little something extra that makes a great front man. He swaggered around with a black bandana in his back pocket, looking like a young Tommy Lee. On several occasions, the fans just screamed when he got close to the crowd.
The band played for well over an hour giving the crowd a good mix of new and old songs. One of the highlights for me was when one of the guitarists came out with an electric violin and top hat. It was very theatrical and over the top, but coming from a band I would consider “Motley Crue Light” it didn’t seem too out of place.
Andy thanked the crowd for all of their support and as the final song played, everyone was singing from front to back. I wasn’t familiar with the track, but it reminded me of “Shout at the Devil” by Motley Crue. Again, the band’s influences shine through.
As I left the venue I talked to Destiny who couldn’t have been older than eight or nine. I asked if this was her first show. She told me it was her first indoor show and that she had been to several outdoor shows before. I asked her mom when she started going to shows. She said she started going when she was only 5! Destiny has seen Five Finger Death Punch, Incubus, Rob Zombie, and many others. I remarked at how cool that was and I wish I had started going to shows when I was 5. I told her mom to keep up the good work.
Get em started young, Mama!
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