The opening night of a tour can be one of the best or worst times to catch a band live. At shows like this, voices need warming up, kinks in the sound and lighting are being worked out and this is generally the time when tours figure out what to fix for the remaining dates. However, there were no (noticeable) kinks from Bullet For My Valentine‘s nearly-sold out tour kick off at the Fillmore Auditorium on Friday.
Following much lighter opening sets from Halestorm, Young Guns and Stars In Stereo, BFMV awakened a somewhat restless crowd at 9:30 p.m. when they took the stage, guitars blazing, to “Breaking Point.” This was followed by a quick transition to one of metal’s most recognizable guitar intros on “Your Betrayal.” The fast and heavy riffs kept coming with “Waking the Demon” and “Riot,” which finally got the front sections of the Fillmore moving like a metal crowd should.
Sonically, Bullet’s live show rivals any metal band for volume and vigor, but the Welsh four piece has a cool, laid-back swag that is undeniably their own. There’s no lack of energy in their delivery, but they made their hour-and-a half set appear effortless, particularly the standout solos by lead guitarist Michael “Padge” Paget. The band didn’t even break a sweat.
There were breaks between the heavy tracks that showed off BFMV’s more melodic side, including a memorable cameo from tour mate Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) for a duet with Matthew Tuck on “Dirty Little Secret.” The downtime didn’t last long, however, as the regular set concluded with a head-banging rendition of “Scream Aim Fire.”
The night ended with a two-song encore and the track that set the path for BFMV, “Tears Don’t Fall.”
Jason Bullinger is a graphic designer, illustrator and photographer and a new contributor with Reverb.