Pierce The Veil at New York's Irving Plaza
Photo credit: Adria Llerena
2016 has been Pierce The Veil’s breakout year. Quite a few dates on their “Misadventures” tour sold out, they were interviewed by “Rolling Stone”, and their highly anticipated fourth album, “Misadventures”, debuted at #4 on the Billboard charts --- the highest any of their albums have ever charted. The “Misadventures” tour took them through New York City’s famed Irving Plaza, where this writer had the opportunity to catch their June 15 show.
Upon approaching the venue, it was clear that Pierce the Veil’s dedicated fan base had shown up. The general admission line nearly wrapped around the block before the doors were even close to opening. Once inside, concertgoers could grab a Coke or, if they were of age, a drink from the bar located at the entrance. Irving Plaza had featured drinks based off of Pierce The Veil’s songs from “Bulls In The Bronx” to “Hell Above” to “King For A Day”. There was a small bar area off to the side where patrons could sink into chairs or couches to enjoy their drinks.
There were also two women walking around selling VIP upgrades, one of which included being able to move to the photo deck to the right of the crowded pit area. It also included one drink all for only $25, a steal by every stretch of the imagination. Attendees had to go upstairs to get to the venue proper, but it was cool because you felt like you were entering a secret club.
The stage area had a large projection screen that showed upcoming concerts happening at Irving, a unique way to promote said shows. Whoever put together the playlist of songs that played in between sets deserved high praise as well. Those songs were a varied mixture of similar artists in the genre and because of this, they inspired crowd sing-alongs, as happened when All Time Low’s “Dear Maria, Count Me In” played. It created a fun atmosphere that anyone would want to be a part of.
Bands Movements and I, The Mighty, opened the show and got the crowd energized and excited for Pierce The Veil. The lights dimmed and you could feel the anticipation radiating off the crowd as they waited for Pierce The Veil to take the stage. What made this tour in particular so special was that it was the only time the band would play their new album “Misadventures” in its entirety.
Sometimes it’s nice to see a band put on a raw punk rock show with few, if any, frills. Punk rock is at the core of what Pierce the Veil does, so it was cool to see a more established band get back to its punk rock roots with a scaled down version of what their live show normally looks like.
There were some songs of the set where you could tell the band hadn’t yet figured out how to incorporate backing vocals or other more computerized elements because the material was so new. This wasn’t a bad thing though since the instrumentals and vocals were still well executed.
The moment the first note of “Dive In”, track one off of “Misadventures”, played, there were deafening cheers and screams. Each song after got a similar reaction, along with mosh pits and crowd surfing during their faster songs. The crowd knew almost every word to every song and enthusiastically shouted the words back, making the environment even more fun and energetic.
By far, the best songs of the set were “Floral and Fading”, “Gold Medal Ribbon”, “Texas is Forever”, and “Bedless”. The best thing about Pierce The Veil is how you can tell that playing shows just makes them happy. Their passion shows the most in their live set, where they get to show off the full spectrum of their talent.
Usually rhythm guitar blends or fades more into the background, but Pierce The Veil bucks that trend by having a prominent rhythm guitar riff that defines songs such as “Bedless” and “Circles”. After the last note of “Song For Isabelle” played, they left the stage, presumably to change before coming back for an encore, where they played fan favorites “King For A Day” and “Bulls In The Bronx”.
An interesting thing about drummer Mike Fuentes is that he uses a single kick in a genre dominated by double kicks. If you listen to the breakneck speed at which the drums in “Texas Is Forever” are played (and know a bit about drums are played in post-hardcore), you’ll understand why this is so impressive. Both “Bulls In The Bronx” and “King For A Day”, off 2012’s “Collide With The Sky”, are also fast paced songs that feature Fuentes’ skilled drumming. The songs also have relatable lyrics that are so much fun to scream out at the top of your lungs.
The lights came up after the end of “Bulls In The Bronx” and the house music started playing, a signal that the show is over for real and to start making your way to the exits. Most people began filing out of the venue and going back to their respective modes of transportation. Those in the know, though, walked around to the back of the venue hoping for a glimpse of the Pierce The Veil guys. The band has always been one of those who has a great/appreciative relationship with their fans and as such, lead singer Vic Fuentes and lead guitar player Tony Perry came out to meet fans after the set.
They were on the way back to catch an Uber back to their bus but still took the time to take selfies with fans, sign things, talk to some, and even give hugs if asked. They are gearing up for their Made To Destroy tour with Neck Deep and I Prevail, which starts on Sept. 3rd in San Francisco.
For more information on Pierce The Veil or Irving Plaza, please visit their respective websites.