PIERCE THE VEIL, MMF, LETLIVE & ISSUES Rock Upstate Concert Hall on March 24th

PHOTOS BY CHRIS PATTI

After playing the Upstate Concert Hall on Halloween of 2012, Pierce the Veil returned on Sunday, March 24th with a whole new lineup of supporting bands, and came back with a vengeance. Lead singer Vic Fuentes said himself  during the show that the crowd was not only much rowdier than that of the Halloween show, but they were “the best crowd on the entire tour so far”. A statement like this leaves us to wonder: who’s responsible for that? Did PTV leave a good impression on the crowd last time, or are we Upstate metalheads just the best crowd in the world? I’d like to think it’s a little of both, and that Vic wasn’t just saying that.

Rapcore/postcore rising stars Issues opened the show, and got things moving to a quick and fun start. They played their new EP, Black Diamonds, in its entirety, which is a good enough length for an opening set, but left many of us dying for more. There were some minor flaws with the sound, including very dull and quiet guitars, but they played it off well with their charisma and rhythmic unity. Clean vocalist Tyler Carter and unclean vocalist Michael Bohn are like perfect alter egos of each other, and co-dominate the stage with a band that plays a unique blend of catchiness and heaviness.

Following them was letlive.Epitaph Records’ unstoppable postcore quintet. This band certainly kept the momentum going, and any audio troubles were certainly worked out by the time they took the stage. Frontman Jason Butler was bouncing all over the stage, and at a few points was singing hanging upside down from the rafters. Displaying high intensity and musical prowess, they served as a great segway for Memphis May Fire. These Rise Records veterans really brought the metal, and the crowd loved every minute of it. They played a fairly long set, and no one in the crowd was tired at all, it made it all the more exciting in anticipation for the headlining band. Of course, the excitement got to quite a few people, as the incessant mosh pits of each act caused numerous slight injuries. Props to the security at Upstate Concert Hall for being on top of things.

Pierce the Veil took the stage at approximately 9:45 with confetti cannons, light and sound effects, and a very appropriate chanting of “this is the Street Youth Rising Tour!” They played eleven songs, including many fan favorites, and most of their hit new record, Fearless Records’ 2012 smash Collide With the Sky. I, along with nearly every other person in the room, sang every lyric to every song, and the room seemed to be on fire with music and spirit. Vic conversed with the crowd, as did hyper-energetic bassist Jaime Preciado, and they were joined onstage by their good friend Jason Butler of letlive. for their collaboration song, “Tangled In the Great Escape”. The band and the crowd gave each other a continuous cycle of energy that blew the roof off the venue. It’s no wonder Vic said we were their greatest crowd of the tour.

In the weeks prior to the show, we attempted to contact PTV‘s management so I could do an interview with them, but we were never contacted back. This was very disappointing to me, as I had hoped to capture some of their famous friendliness and connection with their fans, and the fact that we were ignored made me feel quite the opposite. However, when I saw them live, I started to understand. Their connection with the fans is still strong through music, and they are out to help the fans, never hurt them. Anything could have gone wrong with the interview through the publicist, so I shouldn’t blame them for something that is possibly out of their control. I also came to realize that some bands do in fact think they’ve gotten too important and that is ridiculous. These bands would be nowhere without us (the fans), because everything in this scene stems back to the fans; we are its backbone. Pierce the Veil and friends played that night like they haven’t forgotten this, let’s hope they never do.