The Black Veil Brides, VV (Ville Valo of HIM) and Dark Divine are the EMO bands of past present and future. This was a night for the left out kids, for the standout kids, and the army of fans dressed in their blackest blacks. Even though both BVB and VV are both veterans of the music industry, VV has just released his first solo album, Neon Noir. Dark Divine has been on the scene for only a couple of years and are gaining traction within the metalcore community
The venue was filled with screaming girls and women of all ages awaiting the show to start. As I glanced at the audience from the photo pit there was one lone man in the front row. There have been several articles lately how fan girls are keeping the music industry alive and this night was a perfect example. I had not heard of Dark Divine prior to this show announcement so I wasn't sure what to expect. They hit the stage with great energy, creepy face paint and a great sound. They split their 8 song set between their two albums, "Deadly Fun" and "Halloweentown". It was apparent that the crowd knew who they were as they were singing along and having a great time. The Dark Divine is a band to watch as their fanbase grows in a sub-genre that is currently exploding.
Next up was VV (Ville Valo) formerly the lead singer, writer and mastermind behind the Finnish band HIM. I was excited to finally see VV perform as I missed the final HIM tour. VV has one of the most distinctive voices in the music industry. It's smooth, it's haunting and has tremendous range. VV performed for just over an hour, mixing songs from his current album "Neon Noir" and songs from HIM. VV walked out on stage with the absolute biggest smile, he was greeted by screaming and cheering fans that were anxiously awaiting his performance. He opened his set with Echolocate Your Love from his solo album. It was a bit more of a pop groove than his past work but it fits his personality. VV stood at the edge of the stage and performed straight to his fans, smiling, reaching out and extending his mic. His first HIM song he performed was Poison Girl. It blended perfectly into his solo song though the musicality was definitely heavier and his vocals were reminiscent of David Bowie. VV went back and forth between solo and HIM songs for the remainder of his set. The fans seemed to be entranced the entire time. They had an hour and a half build up to the Black Veil Brides set and they were ready and waiting.
The Black Veil Brides formed in Cincinnati in 2006 and went hard through 2018. After a bit of a hiatus they are back and just as strong as ever. They released their last full length album, "The Phantom Tomorrow" in 2021 and have since released a couple singles including Saviour II and most recently Temple of Love ft VV.
BVB hit the stage in their signature black. Lead singer Andy Biersack was wearing leather bell bottoms and his signature tank top under a leather vest. The fans were going absolutely nuts as the went into Crimson Skies. This song is fresh in my memory because it was a huge hit on Sirius XM Octane and they played the song for at least a year in solid rotation. Their second song was Rebel Love Song from their 2011 album "Set the World on Fire". With this the band and fans engaged in a huge energy exchange. Andy ran back and forth across the stage, Jinxx, Jake and Lonny equally exchanged stage places while jumping on and off the risers on the front of the stage. The band was super tight and were visibly having the time of their lives, their interactions made the show truly enjoyable.
BVB played a truly amped up and special show. They performed 13 songs over their hour long set. The fans had a memorable and intimate experience that they will not soon forget. I am so glad that I finally got to see them perform together as I have only seen Andy perform solo prior to the world ending with Covid. This is a tour that should not be missed. They several more dates before the tour comes to an end.