Exclusive Review: Pierce The Veil

Pierce the Veil has experienced a steady rise to fame over the last few years. Their latest co-headlining tour with Sleeping With Sirens–dubbed The World Tour–has been one of their most successful tours to date. Leg one of the tour featured a run throughout the US in late 2014, and the band has kicked off 2015 with leg two, which started on Friday night in their hometown of San Diego at the Viejas Arena.

With support from alternative up-and-comers PVRIS, and UK darlings Mallory Knox (for whom friday night was their first ever US show), and co-headlining support from Warped Tour juggernaut Sleeping With Sirens, the massive Viejas arena was packed with fans, itching for the show to begin.

At any Pierce the Veil show, the fans are die-hard. When the stage was being changed over for PTV, even the glimpse of a rogue foot under the massive curtain that hid the stage was enough to elicit shrieks from the crowd (which, for all they know, could have been the band’s guitar tech). The band finally took the stage at 9:45, with massive spotlights projecting silhouettes of each band member on the white curtain used to hide the stage. The curtain dropped and the band launched into “Hell Above,” the first track off of their 2013 hit Collide With the Sky.

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If nothing else, Pierce the Veil are seasoned performers, and their production was on point. Blasts of confetti, fog cannons, neon-lit risers, and a stage full of lights made the show engaging and showed a particular attention to detail that the band has been known for. But more than that, the band uses live shows as an opportunity to showcase their impressive musicianship and creativity. Throughout their ten-song set, singer/guitarist Vic Fuentes and guitarist Tony Perry traded off solos between songs. Fuentes ripped his way through a solo in the bridge of fan-favorite “Hold on ‘Till May” and the audience was treated to a beautiful Mexican folk-dancer during the Spanish-guitar style solo in “Bulls in the Bronx.”

About halfway through the set (at the beginning of “Props & Mayhem”) the black and white backdrop fell to reveal a new, galaxy-patterned background complemented by black lights onstage. The band slowed down for the next song, with an acoustic rendition of “I’m Low on Gas and You Need a Jacket” that Fuentes urged the audience to sing along with.

Seeing a band play their hometown is always a special experience. The bands playing at home always seem to have a unique connection with their audience, and the show at Viejas Arena was no exception. Fuentes remarked between songs that he had attended San Diego State University (the home of Viejas Arena) for three years before Pierce the Veil toured, and he remarked how he had “never thought” that he would play at that venue. From the looks on the band’s faces, it was clear that they were experiencing a special milestone performance. Their energy and excitement poured over into the audience, creating an intimate setting even in an arena with the capacity to hold thousands.

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The band closed out their ten-song set with their first ever gold-certified single, “King For a Day” featuring a special guest performance by Sleeping With Sirens front-man, Kellin Quinn. Once the show was over and the lights were turned on in the arena, it became easier to reflect on Pierce the Veil’s success as a band. It’s a rare occasion when a band that became famous playing Warped Tour has the draw to attract crowds filling arenas. For a music scene that has been so often relegated to fringe culture, it’s clear that PTV is a band that is steadily making their way to the kind of success previously only known to mainstream radio bands. Though they don’t fit the musical mold of mainstream success, they’ve become trailblazers in their own right, which is exactly why they are, and will continue to be, a band to keep watching.

You can still catch leg two of The World Tour in the US through March 4th, and in the UK and Europe from March 20th through April 4th. Check out theworldtour.info for tour dates and ticket availability.

Check out our complete gallery of Pierce The Veil’s performance below!

 

Author: Alex Messick

I am a music photographer and journalist, currently located in the Baltimore/D.C. area. I own Monster Moments photography and my work has been published in ads and magazines both in the US and internationally.

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