Words and Photos by Catherine Patchell
Bullet For My Valentine is set to release their sixth album next month on June 29th. Having listened to the two songs that have been released from the new album, “Over It” and “Piece Of Me”, I reckon that throughout the album tracks we’ll get a bit of a new flavor to the classic, heavy BFMV sound. Releasing the new album under Search and Destroy/Spinefarm Records, combined with the colorful album art that strays from their brand’s previous dark, black and red hues, I anticipate that this will mark an exciting new chapter for the band.
At the end of April, BFMV kicked off a three week US tour at Fort Rock festival in Florida. It is quickly coming to an end and will conclude with their stop at Rock on the Range in Ohio next week. The shows on the tour that weren’t part of major festivals have included support from Trivium and Toothgrinder.
On May 11th, I headed up from Boston to the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in New Hampshire for the sold-out show. I arrived about 20 minutes before the show would start and the line to get inside STILL ran all the way along the front of the building and even around the corner a bit. It was clear that BMFV had successfully brought along two bands that the crowd was just as excited to see and showed up early for.
Toothgrinder kicked off the evening, delivering the same high energy performance that got me hooked when I saw them for the first time a couple years ago at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival in Worcester, MA. Though their time slot on this tour is short, it proved ample time for the band to fit in a solid set. They wasted no time introducing the crowd to the variety of their sound, starting off with “The Shadow” (my favorite track from their recent album, Phantom Amour) which successfully highlights both the soft and heavy sides of the band. It’s been fantastic to see this group grow their sound and mature over the last couple years, while still maintaining the explosive energy that caught my attention at the start. Seriously, don’t sleep on Toothgrinder.
Trivium took to the stage next. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the tracks in their set were from their newest record, The Sin and the Sentence, which was appropriate because if you check out their “Popular” section on Spotify, over half of the tracks are from the recent release. The album’s title track was the first song that they ripped into and they made sure to highlight some of their older hits as well. Whether in a headlining or opening spot, I can always count on Trivium to deliver a solid set.
Up next was the main event – it was time for BFMV to take the stage. The audience burst into a wave of screams as the first notes of “Don’t Need You” came over the speakers. One by one the band came out and without wasting a moment, dove into the first verse. Though I’ve only seen them live a couple of times, BFMV always brings on a wave of nostalgia and I can’t help but sing along.
From “Your Betrayal” to “Scream Aim Fire” to “Waking the Demon,” the rowdiness of the crowd only continued to grow through the duration of the set. What the venue’s sound system seemed to take away from the performance (sort of muffled), the band put right back in to keep the crowd engaged. Even both of the new tracks off of their upcoming album Gravity had a good portion of the audience singing along. Sometimes artists seem bored when performing the songs that they’ve been playing for years, but BFMV gave it their all for every track as if it were the first time they’d played them live. This show proved that this band isn’t slowing down any time soon and that they will continue to be a force to reckon with in heavy music.
Bullet For My Valentine
Bullet For My Valentine will be spending the majority of the summer appearing at European festivals in addition to some stops in Canada and Japan. But don’t fret, they’ve already announced that they will be back to the US this fall for another run.
Fall 2018 US dates:
9/13: Kansas City, MO @ Harrah’s
9/15: St. Paul, MN @ The Myth
9/18: St. Louis, MO @ The Paegant
9/20: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
9/21: Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
9/22: Austin, TX @ Emo’s
9/24: San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater
9/25: Houston, TX @ House of Blues
9/27: Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
9/30: Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
10/2: Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
10/3: Syracuse, NY @ SI Hall
10/4: Boston, MA @ House of Blues
10/7: Detroit, MI @ Fillmore Detroit
10/9: Wichita, KS @ Cotillion Ballroom
10/10: Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre10/12: Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
10/14: Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival*
10/16: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues