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Bullet for My Valentine @ The Fillmore with Asking Alexandria and While She Sleeps.

March 4, 2016

DSC_0596Text by Vince Bellino. Images by Erin Marhefka.

The British invaded Philadelphia on Wednesday night when Bullet for My Valentine appeared at The Fillmore with Asking Alexandria and While She Sleeps.

While She Sleeps set off the aptly-named “British Invasion” tour with a high-intensity set. No one on stage could stay still, running and jumping onstage throughout each song. Vocalist Lawrence Taylor interacted heavily with the crowd, even climbing on top of them at one point in their set. He encouraged moshing and expressed gratitude to the crowd for coming to see them. Taylor mentioned that he didn’t care what people had heard or said about While She Sleeps before because they were at the show anyway. He encouraged fans to come talk to the band and get to know them because they appreciate all of their fans.

Entering to a flashing, dazzling light show, English metalcore giants Asking Alexandria followed, promoting their forthcoming album, The Black, due for a late March release. It will be their first with new vocalist, Denis Stoff, formerly known for his work with Make Me Famous and Down & Dirty.

Stoff was energetic and appreciative of Philadelphia and nearby areas, saying they would always be home to Asking Alexandria because the East Coast was where they first arrived in the United States. The band played a mix of new music, including new single “The Black,” and older music, including “A Prophecy” and “The Final Episode (Let’s Change the Channel),” which drew a massive roar of excitement from the crowd as Asking Alexandria’s closing song.

Stoff and lead guitarist Ben Bruce both bantered vulgarly to the crowd throughout the night, hyping the show and Bullet for My Valentine. The two members heckled each other, even getting the crowd to chant about each other, including that Stoff is a dickhead, which their fans found incredibly funny.

Bullet for My Valentine controlled the crowd most intensely of the three bands on Wednesday. The band released its album Venom less than a year ago, playing many songs from that album, including their first three songs. It didn’t take long for Bullet to return to their classic metalcore songs, mixing songs like “4 Words (To Choke Upon)” and “Scream Aim Fire” into their setlist.

Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Matt Tuck took a moment to make the crowd aware that Bullet’s usual drummer, Moose, could not be at the show because he was expecting a child at home in Wales. Instead, Jason Bowld, who played drums in Axewound with Tuck, filled in. Bowld performed an intricate solo after the announcement that launched into their song “Raising Hell.”

Tuck thanked fans new and old for their support, saying anyone had a spot in Bullet’s “fucked up family.”

The band finished their set, thanked the other bands on the tour and walked off stage to chants of “Bullet” and “Tears Don’t Fall,” their hit from their debut record, The Poison, that Tuck noted just turned 10 in 2016. A few moments later, they came back on and played “Tears Don’t Fall” and “Waking the Demon,” a single from Bullet’s second album, Scream Aim Fire. These two songs had the largest crowd reactions, with fans singing along at a level comparable to Tuck’s vocals.

The floor remained packed until the last song, satisfying both new fans and old.

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