Bullet For My Valentine
w/ Asking Alexandria, While She Sleeps
The Warfield Theater
San Francisco, CA
February 3, 2016
The Super Bowl is upon us. Well, at least it was upon us at the time I was taking a Lyft from the train station to the venue on a Wednesday. The streets and sidewalks were flooded with people trying to get a spot in Super Bowl City, conveniently located right down the street from the venue. Regardless of the traffic, I made it on time to the start of the British Invasion Tour, headlined by the one and only Bullet For My Valentine.
First up were two support sets from Britain's very own While She Sleeps. I had seen this band once before, but it was so long ago that I couldn't really remember what kind of set they had offered. This time, I definitely remembered, considering the fact that each member thrashed about the stage with intensity as though a bomb had been set off at their feet. It was pure chaos from the first note, but a controlled chaos that was great fun to watch. This is a band that, while I loved watching them play The Warfield, would be incredible in a venue the size of something like 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley or Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. I can already see the kids stagediving.
Next up was perhaps the most anticipated act of the night: Asking Alexandria. I say most anticipated because this was their first Bay Area show since the departure of long time vocalist Danny Worsnop, who departed from the band back in January 2015. The band have since recruited Denis Stoff, a Ukranian vocalist who had prior experience performing in a band called Make Me Famous. The band carried out their traditional, high-intensity Asking Alexandria set, and Stoff shows promise as a vocalist. He was able to take command of the crowd, he was on-key, and the band sounded good. I think that the band's newest album, The Black, should be a good step forward for them.
Bullet For My Valentine takes the stage about thirty minutes after Asking Alexandria finishes, and it's everything you could hope for. Pure metal and rock & roll. No gimmicks, no big flashy production. A large lighting rig formed the backdrop to the band's performance, but that was it. It showcased the music, and proved that Bullet For My Valentine truly are a talented group of musicians.
The band's setlist traversed the band's entire discography, with several tracks coming from the band's most recent album, Venom, a strong effort in the band's career and their fifth full-length studio album. Fans got a nice surprise when the band played "The Poison", a track from the band's eponymous first album, which is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year. Other tracks from the album included "4 Words To Choke Upon" and the always-powerful, encore favorite "Tears Don't Fall".
The band closed the night to a roar of applause after shredding through the ferocious "Waking The Demon" from their sophomore record, Scream Aim Fire. We were then cast back into the madness that was Super Bowl City (well, the surrounding area of Super Bowl City), but it's clear that everyone just wanted the night to continue.
For more information, music and tour dates from Bullet For My Valentine, who are currently taking America by storm on the British Invasion Tour, visit www.facebook.com/BulletForMyValentine
This has been another Shameless Promotion.