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BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE HEAVY-WEIGHT CHAMPS RETURN (FINALLY)

CONCERT REVIEW HOUSE OF BLUES – DALLAS, TX | September 21, 2018

bullet for my valentine

© Cherri Bird Photography | OnTourMonthly |Bullet For My Valentine

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE (BFMV) is Matthew Tuck (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Michael Paget (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jason Bowld (drums) and Jamie Mathias (bass guitar)

Amid the scampering excitement at the inception of the UK band, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE (BFMV) metal fans could hardly keep themselves grounded as the band flitted around like new butterflies from their cocoon. The year was 2005, and somewhat newly renamed metal band from the UK, swarmed the US with their Valentine’s Day release of The Poison and stole the hearts of metal fan’s girlfriends…ok, ok, not just girlfriends of metal fans (even though that’s how I became a fan anyway), but how could we not pay attention to these crispy Brits when they made their debut? I mean, let’s be honest, when you see a bunch of dudes in metal bands in the late 90’s, don’t you think of things like of like cut off pants, musty band t’s, long-ish hair, and black work boots? BFMV didn’t, at all. In traditional British form though, BFMV gave the mid-2000’s metal genre a makeover along with the reaction from female fans of “OMG who are they?”. With the combination of Euro-sheik and rockstar girth of their image with the fresh pedigree of MICHAEL PAGET’S slaying guitar riffs and MATTHEW TUCK’S blistering vocals, created a combination for a perfect storm to shake things up here in the US.  

GROUNDED WITH GRAVITY

June 2018 BFMV released the highly anticipated sixth full-length record, GRAVITY from Spinefarm Records and shook it up once again with the lead single, Over It. (You can read the review of GRAVITY here, on the just in case it hasn’t jumped into your ear holes yet. And if that is the case, then shame on you. Go buy it now! Go!) The GRAVITY World Tour was announced in the late spring with support from BAD OMENS and WE CAME AS ROMANS.

Surprised by totally impressed by the simplistic set up on stage consisting of the graphics from GRAVITY on a huge backdrop behind JASON BOULD’S kit and the couple of simple, but probably complicated amps, and that was it. So happy that there didn’t appear to be any backlighting that created what I think some bands think of “mysteriously metal” because they perform virtually in the dark. I dig that BFMV wanted the audience to actually see their performance and not have to imagine wtf was actually going on up on stage.

MATT, MICHAEL, JASON, and JAMIE (MATHIAS) jumped right in with a quickness as fans blew up with screams and flew the hand horns while trying to contain themselves behind the barriers. Where BFMV excels is how they deliver their music to fans on stage. There is a sincerity and a true reciprocal love with the band and fans. I love watching this connection fuse as a song is literally channeling from band to fan, almost downloading and uploading; there is for sure something you can see happening between the two. On stage and for the first three songs, I loved feeling the grit of that BFMV from their beginnings that perked the attention of those rebellious youngsters back then mixed with that unsuspected reservation that comes with age as it hovered a bit above us all. But honestly, the edgy, sharp, and metalcore delivery that is synonymous with a BFMV performance, was still there, it just relocated itself to different corners of everybody’s rooms.

MICHAEL sort of shocked the hell out of me honestly. His skills on the guitar were far superior than I imagined them to be which makes watching a show even more fun. I appreciate a player’s technical ability, as well as the way they can mime it in a performance so the audience understands it as well, does that make sense?

Now backed by MATT’S rhythm behind MICHAEL’S was silky smooth, grindingly heavy AF where those parts should be and gave just amount of lead to allow JAMIE and JASON to blow out the bass and percussion pieces with a force that carried that bullet to land where it did in, around, on, and possibly in front of that Valentine.

There was a much-needed release that needed to escape from fans in the BFMV show for reasons that I won’t expand on here. If you haven’t read my WE CAME AS ROMANS special review, feel free to read it on my Facebook Notes page. It touches on the importance of this tour for not only them but fans and BFMV and BAD OMENS.

The audience was full of core fans from all three bands on the bill. It is always dynamite to see NOAH SEBASTIAN of BAD OMENS. He is one of my favorite new rock stars. In 2016 when BAD OMENS self-titled debut via Sumerian Records, I interviewed the then twenty-something-year-old and was so impressed with the way he viewed his place within music as a conduit of sorts, to showcase the emotional drawstrings that either held up people’s pants or let them fall. Their debut LP is pretty sick, with Reprise (The Sound Of The End) being my standout off that record. With over 15M streams on Spotify cumulatively while still working their debut release is pretty f’ing magnificent. They do have a new single that was released this September (of 2018), entitled “Careful What You Wish For” that remains in their style while showing a ton of growth all wrapped up the 4m33sec track. Check it out on Spotify or other digital music services.

Live, BAD OMENS relates angst, anger, and the heavy feelings that come with the marbles that are sometimes too loud, clanging around up there in everyone’s steel trap as the music becomes what comes out from time to time from any of us. His obsession with detail about himself and his music impressed me for his age, not to mention his composer-like ideas for music. I can’t wait to see where his music leads him and BAD OMENS. They’re also like watching sound punch through paper walls on stage. You think you can anticipate when they will all come through, but it’s never at that same place in a performance. The band has an innate style of not mincing feelings or and will always bring exactly who and what they are feeling at every performance.

House of Blues – Dallas is a prime place to watch a show and leave the way you walked in. There’s always comfortable temperatures, it’s easy to get drinks (unless concert-goers decide to stand in front of the bar, in the not-so-obvious walkway), there is balcony seating that provides an aerial view in the comfort of a cushioned seat. There’s also table service and box private seating for those that like that kinda stuff, and who doesn’t like the VIP treatment? I love going to shows here!

If you haven’t followed these three bands via socials, please go like, follow, share, you know all that good stuff and check out each band’s latest releases. The remaining dates for this tour line up are below. You have about 5 more dates to catch this tour before BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE heads back to the UK for the remaining tour dates this winter:

10/7: Detroit, MI @ Fillmore Detroit
10/9: Wichita, KS @ Cotillion Ballroom
10/10: Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
10/12: Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
10/14: Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival*
10/16: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues

TIL NEXT TIME – MLMR – Cherri

About the Author

Creating, continuing, and casting connections between bands and fans. Record reviews, interviews, show review, candid photography. Rock Journalist for the NuMedia!