Last night before an enthusiastic sold-out audience at House of Blues, singer-guitarist Vic Fuentes, front man for the post-hardcore outfit Pierce the Veil, told the crowd that the band’s current tour provided a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for fans. “We’ve never played an entire album in its entirety,” he said mid-way through the 75-minute concert. “But we thought you waited long enough for us and wanted to do it this one time.”
, the album to which he refers, represents a huge step forward for the group. The band’s first studio release in four years, it features more mature lyrics and vocals that at least one critic has appropriately called “operatic.”
The band’s live performance of the album didn’t feature the same kind of nuanced approach. Rather, the group played the songs a bit more aggressively. Still, this is the kind of breakthrough album that you can imagine the band will revisit ten years from now and play again in it entirety on the inevitable anniversary tour. The fans who sang every word of every song in unison with the group certainly behaved as it is a career-defining work. You can see a slideshow of photos from the concert here
Playing on a stage that featured large cutouts from the album artwork, the band ripped into songs such as “Dive In” and “Texas is Forever” before settling into a groove for “Floral and Fading,” a track which benefited from a plodding drumbeat. The band took a more aggressive approach on “Circles,” the catchy single that Fuentes said is the first of the band’s songs to make to commercial radio.
Fuentes showed a softer side on “Today I Saw the Whole World,” which he performed on acoustic guitar without the accompaniment of the band. His crisp vocals sounded sharp on the song, and the somber performance effectively silenced the rowdy crowd.
“Bedless,” which the band performed under swirling blue lights, featured slower interludes and a particularly melodic bridge. At the song’s end, bright white lights bathed the group as it delivered the final shimmering guitar parts.
Throughout the set, we couldn’t help but think that energetic band members (the guys regularly leaped atop risers at the front of the stage to beckon the audience) were using this short small club tour to gear up for playing bigger venues. They certainly have the onstage charisma (and now the songs) to justify the graduation.