Bullet for My Valentine fire up the metal masses with support from We Came As Romans and Bad Omens.
Bad Omens from Los Angeles get the night started with a blazing set of metalcore. The large crowd that has arrived early obviously know what these guys are all about. From the opening notes until the end they have the crowd screaming and bouncing. On top of that, an endless stream of crowd-surfing bodies fly over the barrier up front, keeping security on their toes. Lead singer Noah Sebastian works the stage rapidly from side to side, whipping the fans into a frenzy. He leads the band through a set that includes “Reprise (The Sound of the End)”, “The Worst in Me”, “Feral”, “Glass Houses”, and “Careful What You Wish For”. What a killer opening to set the pace for the bands to come.
Next up is We Came As Romans hailing from the metro-Detroit area. There is a huge following of fans and most likely many friends and family here tonight. This show is special being the first one in the area since the passing of vocalist Kyle Pavone in late August. They get the crowd moving early with “Vultures With Clipped Wings” and “Wasted Age” from their 2017 album Cold Like War. Several other songs from that release, including the title track, are in the set tonight.
With plenty of back lighting including vivid reds, yellows, greens, and strobes, the band are often silhouetted within the haze of fog filling the air. It makes for a cool setting for the mostly fast-paced songs. The band members make use of the whole stage and platforms near the front, with bassist Andy Glass regularly joining singer Dave Stephens front and center. Joshua Moore and Lou Cotton provide the hard-edged guitar sounds.
Before launching into the 2009 song “Plant a Seed”, Dave recalls some of his memories of Kyle from the early days about making sacrifices like living on $2 a day while touring. They follow that up with “Foreign Fire,” “Tracing Back Roots,” and one of the their most popular songs “Hope” that has everyone singing along.
Dave also announces a special show with guest musicians at the end of October to pay tribute to Kyle with tickets now on sale. The huge round of applause shows just how much the fans miss Kyle and love this band.
A 30-minute break gives fans a chance to refuel before the headliner takes over. The venue is near capacity and the area on the floor near the stage is packed. The lights dim and lead-in music plays before the Bullet for My Valentine takes the stage to deafening applause. They tear into “Don’t Need You” and “Over It” from the 2018 release Gravity. Fans are once more losing their minds with many fans crowd-surfing again. Then the familiar opening drum beats of “Your Betrayal” have them screaming and a mosh pit breaks open on the floor.
The twin guitar attack of Matthew Tuck and Michael Paget power the songs along with Jason Bowld on drums and Jamie Mathias on bass. Digging deep into their discography, they rip into “4 Words (To Choke Upon).” The fans love it and respond with huge applause and fist pumps. After a few more ripping tunes, they slow it down a bit with “Venom” from the 2015 album of the same title. This song has fans lighting up their phones and waving throughout the song. Jason Bowld shows off his drum skills with a solo before launching into one of their most popular songs “Scream Aim Fire” that showcases Michael Paget’s fretboard mastery. They close out the main portion of their set with “You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War)” and “Piece of Me.”
Returning to the stage after a short break, they get the crowd-surfers and mosh pit flowing with the ripper “No Way Out”. Reaching back to 2006 again, they pull out “Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow (What Can I Do)” to the delight of fans. This song has Matt and Michael shredding together. Not slowing down a bit, they keep the hits coming with “Tears Don’t Fall” that has fans clapping, waving, and singing along. They close out the set with the rapid-fire “Waking the Demon”. What a great evening of metal by all three bands tonight.