On a Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Bullet For My Valentine brought the final show of The Gravity Tour to the House Of Blues. In support were melodic metalcore bands Bad Omens and We Came As Romans.
Bad Omens took to the stage first and did an outstanding job setting the tone for the night. Bad Omens is an American metalcore band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2015 by frontman Noah Sebastian, guitarist Nicholas Ruffilo, and bassist Vincent Riquier. The band added guitarist Joakim "Jolly" Karlsson, and drummer Nick Folio, and the group released their critically acclaimed debut self-titled album in 2016 off Sumerian Records. Vincent Riquier recently left the band due to a back injury, and Nick Ruffilo has moved over to bass duties. This band is one that should be really blowing up in the metalcore scene. Their debut album contains so much great music, and their live performance really backs it up, and Noah Sebastian is a very charismatic front man with a powerful mix of harsh and melodic vocals. They have a new single out called "Careful What You Wish For", and if it is any indication of what their follow-up album is going to sound like it should be every bit as good as their debut!
Bad Omens Set List:
The Worst in Me
Careful What You Wish For
Bad Omens photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
We Came as Romans is an American metalcore band from Troy, Michigan., formed in 2005, and the band has gone through one name change and multiple lineup changes. WCAR has released two EPs, and five full-length albums, Cold Like War the most recent in 2017. WCAR is Dave Stephens (vocals), Joshua Moore (guitar, backing vocals), Lou Cotton (guitar), Andy Glass (bass, backing vocals), and David Puckett (drums). On August 25th, WCAR suffered the tragic loss of co-vocalist Kyle Pavone,
from an accidental overdose, he was 28 years old. WCAR decided to continue with their scheduled tour just weeks after his passing, and are using the tour as a platform to promote The Kyle Pavone Foundation, set up in honor of Kyle.
Stephens took time to address the audience regarding Kyle's struggles, and to encourage anyone who was struggling with depression or addiction to speak up and seek help. It was a powerful and emotional moment, and was the only point in the evening where the rowdy crowd fell silent. It didn't take long for WCAR to get the crowd moving once again as Stephens starts off the song "Foreign Fire", screaming some very poignant lyrics, "Every year goes by, never ending change and I start to miss the ones Iíve kept the closest to me!" "Foreign Fire" is a song about heartbreak and loss, and a fitting track to follow such an emotional speech. Following their hit song "Hope", Stephens once again pauses to explain that the reason they continued with the tour was to keep Kyle's dream alive, and he went on to talk about The Kyle Pavone Foundation (kylepavonefoundation.org). They finished off
the night with "Cold Like War", the title track of their most recent studio album. While Stephens doesn't quite have the high register that Pavone did, he and the others did a fantastic job of handling all of the vocals, keeping the sound as authentically WCAR as possible under the circumstances. I applaud the band with how they've handled such a difficult situation, and they've most certainly gained considerable respect from their fans, as well as the metalcore community in general.
We Came As Romans Set List:
Vultures With Clipped Wings
Lost In The Moment
To Plant A Seed
Tracing Back Roots
Cold Like War
We Came AS Romans photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
The headliner of the night took to the stage to the chant of "Bullet, Bullet..!"... Bullet for My Valentine are a Welsh heavy metal band from Bridgend, Wales, originally formed in 1998 under a different name (Jeff Killed John). In 2005, due to a significant change in musical styles, the band decided to change their name and Bullet For My Valentine was born. The band is currently composed of Matthew Tuck (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Michael "Padge" Paget (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jason Bowld (drums) and Jamie Mathias (bass guitar). The chants for Bullet quickly changed to the lyrics of the song "Don't Need You", and the audience immediately began to sing along to the opening track. Song after song the crowd continued with a very vocal sing-along to all of their favorite BFMV tunes, ending each one with a raucous cheer and often reverting back to the "Bullet, Bullet..!" chants. Tuck's vocals were on point all night long, never more apparent than when they slowed it down a bit for the melodic tune "Venom". He sounded fantastic! If you've ever been to a BFMV show you will know that one of the high-lights of their show is a nearly three minute drum solo. Jason Bowld absolutely shreds the skins with mind-blowing speed both with his drum sticks and with his double-bass kick pedals (I understand he doesn't like to use triggers, so his kick speed IMO is even more impressive). Not to be left out, Padge is not only an amazing guitar player but he is an absolute character on stage, often making faces at people in the crowd and hamming it up for the photographers in the pit. BFMV has long been a favorite band of mine and having the chance to photograph them was an honor, especially with this being their final North American show for The Gravity Tour. They brought everything they had for this show and left it all out there. In my opinion, this concert was one of the best of 2018!
BFMV Set List:
Don't Need You
Letting You Go
Not Dead Yet
Scream Aim Fire
Piece Of Me
No Way Out
BUllet For My Valentine photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos