On Tuesday 29th September British metalcore band Bullet For My Valentine returned to Dublin, for the first time since playing The Ambassador in 2008, to play a headlining show in The Olympia Theatre. Support on the night was Japanese alternative rock band Coldrain and fellow British metalcore band While She Sleeps.
I would like to take a brief moment out of this review to thank MCD Productions and The Olympia Theatre for providing us with passes for this show via a small donation to the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, for more information on the help they provide to children in Vietnam and Mongolia please check out http://www.cncf.org/.
Coldrain took to the stage to a relatively full room for how early it was, kicking things off with ‘The Revelation’ introducing the crowd to their high energy mix of alternative rock and post-hardcore with small hints of nu-metal bounce. The next few tracks were similar, with a sizeable mosh pit kicking off during their 3rd song. The bands energy was contagious with almost all the members jumping around the stage and the bassist constantly spinning around. New track ‘Gone’ changed things up with its plain alternative rock sound, confusing some of the crowd while doing so, it is however a very strong track sounding somewhat like newer Tonight Alive. The set finished on ‘No Escape’ which I found to be relatively lacking live, it would have made more sense to play it earlier in the set. All in all the set felt shorter than it was but a high energy performance overall wins them some praise: 7/10.
While She Sleeps took to the stage next to deafening chants of their bands name, showing just how much their large Dublin fanbase has missed them since they last played here in January 2013 in The Academy, making people wonder when will they be back for their own headlining show? They kicked things off with the title track off their newest album ‘Brainwashed’, which was released earlier this year and the crowd sprang to life. Following it up with the title track off their previous album ‘This Is The Six’ the crowd begun to sing and scream every lyric right back at them. One of their heavier cuts ‘Death Toll’ followed this up increasing the energy of both the band and crowd even more. Frontman Loz Taylor is bundles of energy as usual putting his all into the set, running all over the stage, jumping up and down, screaming at the crowd to get them involved. Before starting ‘Seven Hills’ Loz tells the crowd to get on each others shoulders with a few doing so, during the song he throws himself over the gap between the stage and barrier screaming into the crowd before diving in and getting carried around for about 30 seconds before making his way back to the stage, collapsing and lying on it for about 10 seconds before getting back up and performing a feat of athletic talent by balancing himself on top of the drum kit while continuing to scream the words of the song. All of this which occurred during ‘Seven Hills’ is exactly why While She Sleeps is a band you have to see to understand just how much energy they put into their performances. Playing a couple more off ‘Brainwashed’ they finished the set to a huge applause from the crowd. An easy: 9.5/10.
As it got closer and closer to Bullet For My Valentine‘s stage time the room filled up more and more, by the time they took to the stage it was a packed out house. They kicked things off with ‘No Way Out’ off their new album ‘Venom’ the sound of which is more like ‘The Poison’ instead than recent albums, the new songs fit well into Bullets set which is filled with hits from their back catalogue, thankfully they are now completely ignoring everything off their 4th album 2013s ‘Temper Temper’ which was not well recieved by their fanbase or critics. They followed this up with one their oldest tracks ‘4 Words (To Choke Upon)’ off both their debut EP and ‘The Poison’ which was very well received by the crowd as you would expect. The set continued on with hit after hit with ‘Raising Hell’ into the title track off their 2nd album ‘Scream, Aim, Fire’ into ‘Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow’. Frontman Matt Tuck started off the more ballad like ‘The Last Fight’ on his own before the band joined him after the first chorus. Second guitarist ‘Padge’ got his moment to shine with his own guitar solo later in the set. New addition bassist Jamie Mathias fits in well with the band, show casing that he was in fact a frontman himself in Revoker before joining the band by singing the occasional verse and providing a lot of the screamed vocals live, as such he is a strong addition live in my opinion. Their biggest single ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ seemed like it was about to end their main set, which left me thinking that the set needed just one more older song off ‘The Poison’ or ‘Scream, Aim Fire’, when an even older song makes its first full live appearance in over two years, a cut from their first EP, their debut single ‘Hand of Blood’. As the opening riff kicked in the nostalgia and it sealed my rating for their set: 10/10.
Moose cameback on first for the encore, bright white lights going on around him as he began drumming the intro to ‘Your Betrayal’ as the other members of the band made their way back to the stage one by one, it made for a surprisingly strong encore choice before they finished things up with ‘Waking the Demon’ leaving the crowd still screaming for more.
A high energy crowd and equally as high energy sets from all three acts made this one of the strongest metal shows I have been to all year. Bullet are back and they want you to know it!