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DSC 9995Rockhal, Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg
7th November 2018
Bullet For My Valentine, Of Mice & Men, Nothing More, Shvpes

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE rolled into the Rockhal on Wednesday night with SHVPES, NOTHING MORE and OF MICE & MEN. Plenty of time for the audience to warm up. Promoting their latest album, ‘Gravity’, the Welsh proof, that the heavier side Rock music is still alive and kicks ass!


Shvpes

The band was founded in 2009 under the name CYTOTA. Under this name the band released the EP ‘The Prosecutor’ in 2012, which was produced by Jim Pinder and Carl Bown. A year later, the band performed at the Download Festival and played concerts as support act for bands like FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, WHILE SHE SLEEPS, and RISE TO REMAIN. In July 2014 singer Joby Fitzpatrick left the band because of musical differences. His successor was Griffin Dickinson. He’s the son of Bruce Dickinson, the singer of IRON MAIDEN. In January 2015 the band changed their name to SHVPES. The new name comes from the song ‘Shapes’, the first composition with Dickinson as singer. According to Griffin Dickinson, the “a” was replaced by a “v”, as the band would be easier to find on Google and YouTube under this spelling. While the band under their old name CYTOTA was more in Metalcore or Post-Hardcore, the band changed their style after the renaming to Melodic Hardcore, which is enriched by influences of Metal, Alternative Rock and Hip-Hop. In 2016 SHVPES released their debut album, ‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.’ on Spinefarm Records in October 2016.

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Music & Performance
First to perform were SHVPES. The crowd took a little bit of time to warm up, but once the band had them on their side it was clear that they were making a genuinely positive impression. The guys present a variable mixture of Nu-Metal and Post Hardcore with influences from Rock and Alternative. A very good beginning to the night, so keep an eye on SHVPES - they’ll probably do a lot of impressive stuff in the future.

Setlist
01. Undertones
02. State Of Mine
03. Skin & Bones
04. Someone Else
05. Afterlife
06. Calloused Hands

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 6
Total: 7.3 / 10

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Nothing More

NOTHING MORE is an American Rock band from San Antonio, Texas, United States. Formed in 2003, the band spent much of the 2000s recording independent albums and struggling to maintain a steady line-up or attract record label interest. Towards the end of the decade, the band’s long-time drummer, Jonny Hawkins, decided to switch to being the band’s front man and lead vocalist, stabilizing the band’s core line-up along with other long-time members Mark Vollelunga (guitar) and Daniel Oliver (bass). The band self-funded and recorded their fourth studio album, ‘Nothing More’, over the course of three years and used it to gain the attention of Eleven Seven Music record label, who signed the band to a five album record contract upon hearing it.

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Music & Performance
We continued with NOTHING MORE. At 7.20 pm the four-time Grammy nominees from San Antonio were on stage. Singer and frontman Jonny Hawkins is a real eye-catcher: sick-pack with a fuzzy mane. He’s a real whirlwind on stage. Has he taken anything? Probably not. In their songs the band often treats mental illnesses as well as alcohol and drug abuse. And Hawkins points this out expressively. The crowd didn’t have to wait long to celebrate the famous song ‘Go To War’ which was the soundtrack of the movie ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ and experience a grand finale on the self-built dubstep machine, called “the Scorpion Tail”, with which singer Jonny Hawkins distorted beat and vocals equally. They also impressed with a lot of energy and swept across the stage and earned a lot of applause for their show, which also offered a lot of naked skin.

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Setlist
01. Do you really want it?
02. Let ’em burn
03. Don’t Stop
04. Go to War
05. Jenny
06. This is the time
07. First of the Year (Skrillex cover)

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

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Of Mice & Men

OF MICE & MEN (often abbreviated OM&M) is an American Metalcore band from Orange County, California. The band’s line-up currently consists of lead vocalist and bassist Aaron Pauley, guitarists Phil Manansala and Alan Ashby, and drummer Valentino Arteaga. The group was founded by Austin Carlile and Jaxin Hall in mid-2009 after Carlile’s departure from ATTACK ATTACK! Since 2009, the band has released five studio albums. Carlile departed from the band in December 2016 citing that a long term health condition prompted his exit. After Carlile’s departure the band continued to pursue creating music with Pauley as the band’s bassist and lead vocalist.

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Music & Performance
The show starts at 8.05 pm, the Southern Californian Metalcore rising stars OF MICE & MEN climb onto the stage. They stared with a lot of power and energy. The hall is well filled, although not nearly full, the sound is neat and powerful. By the second song ‘Warzone’ it was time for a complete frenzy on stage and in the audience. Even a mosh pit could be spotted in the crowd. At the end they actually played ‘Instincts’ and the classic ‘The Depths’. But it was noticeable that OF MICE & MEN is not the same band without frontman Austin Carlile at the last song. The Hardcore voices are missing a bit. The internal band change, where, as already said above, bassist Aaron Pauley took over the vocals from Austin.

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Setlist
01. Defy
02. Warzone
03. Unbreakable
04. Would you still be there
05. You make me sick
06. Bones exposed
07. Instincts
08. The Depths

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 7.3 / 10

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Bullet For My Valentine

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, often abbreviated as BFMV, are a Welsh Heavy Metal band from Bridgend, Wales, formed in 1998. The band is currently composed of Matthew Tuck (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Michael Paget (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jason Bowld (drums) and Jamie Mathias (bass guitar). BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE’s debut album, ‘The Poison’, was released on 3 October 2005 in the United Kingdom. The album entered the U.S. Billboard 200 at number 128. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. On 29 June 2018 the band released their sixth studio album, ‘Gravity’. The band has sold over one million albums in the United States and over 10,000,000 albums worldwide and are the most-successful act in the “Kerrang! Awards” category of “Best British Band” with three wins.

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Music & Performance
At 9.15 pm the audience stood in front of a white cloth that covered the whole stage and with the electronic ‘Leap Of Faith’ intro, the band members appeared in shadow plays and disappeared. To the chorus, the cloth fell, and it feels like we are at a concert of a 1990’s boy group, because of all the teenagers screaming. After the ‘Gravity’ opener followed of course the song ‘Over It’, whereby the band proves again that they still have it after all these years and give us a perfect mixture of Nu Metal, Metalcore and the travelling chorus. ‘Your Betrayal’ is the right song for the energetic crowd. The song is made for head-banging and circle pits. In fourth place followed ‘4 Words’ and the boys show that they celebrate with their fans the old stuff just like 13 years ago. Afterwards BFMV mainly dedicate themselves to the past albums like ‘Fever’ and ‘Venom’.

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In ninth place was the newly released song ‘Not Dead Yet’ where the band for the first time developed towards Alternative Rock / Indie / Pop. As soon as the Welsh play the first notes of this song, the audience choir sings “Woooohoho”. But this song isn’t made for moshing either. Anyway, drummer Jamie Mathias now shows what he can do. In an extensive drum solo the drummer skilfully and rhythmically beats the drums like a machine. The art of this solo is that here and there the concise drumbeats of ‘Scream Aim Fire’ can be heard and so of course this song follows the solo. The song ‘Piece Of Me’ is much better in a concert atmosphere than on a hi-fi system (or other systems) at home, because it doesn’t sound so smooth. Quite surprising was the presence of singer Griffin (front man of SHVPES), who performed the song ‘No Way Out’ with the band. With ‘Suffocation Under Words Of Sorrow’ the band says goodbye behind the stage.

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Of course the four musicians come under loud encore and ‘Bullet’ calls back on stage. The encore can be seen as a summary of the whole performance. At the end of the concert there were of course classics like ‘Tears don’t fall’ and ‘Waking the Demon’ on the setlist - at the latest here the fans overstretched all their vocal chords.

Setlist
01. Leap of Faith
02. Over It
03. Your Betrayal
04. 4 Words (to Choke Upon)
05. Worthless
06. Letting You Go
07. The Last Fight
08. Venom
09. Not Dead Yet
10. Drum Solo
11. Scream Aim Fire
12. You Want a Battle? (Here’s a war)
13. Piece of Me
14. No Way Out
15. Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow
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16. Don’t Need You
17. Tears Don’t Fall
18. Waking the Demon

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 10
Total: 8.3 / 10

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All Pictures by Elena Arens
You are here: Home Artists A-E Live Review: Bullet For My Valentine - Esch sur Alzette 2018