Written by Jonelle Mandseth
If fans unintentionally break the barricade within the first ten minutes of the night, you know that something impressive is in store.
Emos and non-emos alike pooled to Edmonton’s Starlite Room Sunday night to see the Emo King himself, Andy Black, perform debut solo album The Shadow Side. Black, who is more commonly known as Black Veil Brides’ lead singer Andy Biersack, debuted his first solo compilation in May of 2016 as a side project to the widely popular metalcore group. Beginning touring for the album in the same month as it’s release, Edmontonians were among the last to catch the tour, hence the “Curtain Call”. Lucky ducks.
Pretending that hurricanes and concert crowds are an accurate comparison, it’s an exceptional shock that the 1000-capacity historic concert hall is still standing. Seriously. All three acts of the evening expressed their awe for the concert-goers, genuinely impressed with the energy the fans ricocheted back towards the stage. Reflected in their performances was such energy, with screams and chords continually duelling for the top spot on the decibel-meter until the final fall of the stage lights.
Nevada-based newcomers Palaye Royale and dark wave synthpop artist William Control kicked off the night; certainly fulfilling their roles in warming up the crowd. As an artist, what’s more motivational than a group of angst-y teens and 20-somethings completely collapsing the metal divider preventing you from sweating all over them?
However, the majority the praise must be directed to Biersack. Blending his swoon-worthy deep voice with upbeat rhythms and edgy guitar tracks into a heavenly combination, no human can see him perform and not completely fall in love with him. (Seriously, it’s practically impossible.)
Even without the help of circulating fog and a wonderland-esque light display, Biersack holds the capability to win over anyone he pleases with just an hour-long set. Opening tracks “Stay Alive” and “Ribcage” get fans up ‘n bouncing across the dance floor, generating positive vibes that last through Billy Idol cover “Dancing With Myself”. Heart-wrencher “Paint It Black” makes a cameo for the un-admitting softies, and “Beautiful Pain” and “Put the Gun Down” allows Biersack to connect with fans on deeper means.
It is obvious that the charisma Biersack possesses and uses with fans between songs is a charisma of pure authenticity. There is none of the artificial interest that’s shown by numerous artists who make it big-time; no scowling expressions, no quieting of the cheers, only pure admiration for those who show him endless love and support. Mixed with this admiration appears to lie an actual desire to want to know what these people have to say, and whether it be a simple “I love you Andy!” or “You saved my life!”, the response is always in the form of a smile.
Finishing the set with “The Shadow Side[‘s]” opening track “Homecoming King” and single “We Don’t Have to Dance”, Biersack brought forth every element any half-decent live act should have. From engaging opening acts, soaring levels of crowd interaction, and a setlist of various tempos, other artists should take notes. Biersack deserves all the credit he can muster, and fingers are crossed that this won’t be the end of Andy Black.
Have you seen any shows on this tour?
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