Bullet For My Valentine at House of Blues Chicago 02/19/16
The British came and conquered this past Friday at the House of Blues. Hundreds braved the extreme wind to see the sold out British Invasion tour, a show that brings together While She Sleeps, Asking Alexandria, and Bullet For My Valentine. Though it was clear much of the crowd was there to see headliners BFMV from the seas of t-shirts, rubber bracelets, and hoodies sporting their logo, all of the bands successfully won over the crowd.
Openers While She Sleeps got the night started with their intense song “Brainwashed.” All it took was frontman Loz Taylor pumping his fist and chanting “Brainwashed! Brainwashed! Brainwashed!” to get the crowd on his side. With his screaming pushing his voice to the limit, you wouldn’t guess Taylor had throat surgery just last year. His voice never cracked as the band blazed through “This is Six,” “Death Toll,” and “Trophies of Violence.” The band engaged with the crowd joking about no one wanting to see them because they’re the openers, thanking them for coming early, and even crowd surfing. Before the end of their 45 minute set the band had the entire venue on their side following their demands for fist pumps, circle pits, and devil horns. They did what most opening bands fail to do: get the crowd interested.
The cheers and screams got louder when Asking Alexandria took the stage. Opening with the brutal track “I Won’t Give In” new frontman Dennis Stoff howled and the crowd put their devil horns in the air. This is actually Stoff’s first US tour with the band since taking over the role as singer last year. Fans seemed to embrace him as they cheered on his every kick, jump, and command. Even if you know nothing about the band, you can’t help but be impressed by Stoff’s vocal range. During songs “Run Free” and “Closure” Stoff went from melodic singing to screeching vocals and brought it back down for a guttural style. He never missed a beat. He easily swapped between ranges sometimes in the middle of a song.
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