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PHOTOS/REVIEW: Pierce The Veil - Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, SCO. 9/4/24

Photos by Stacey Auld. Words by Lukas Neilson.

Over the last couple of years, Pierce the Veil have returned to full-time status as a band after an extended hiatus. Before 2023’s “The Jaws of Life”, it had been just shy of 7 years since their last studio release, and their live performances also took a considerable pause between 2017 and 2022. This UK tour is their second in recent years that has come up north, but it’s also their biggest yet, bringing their emo-tinged post-hardcore to the Barrowland Ballroom for two massive sold-out nights.

This tour is supported by a pair of acts that have been growing considerably in recent years, with the first band on the bill being the Cardiff-based alt-rock outfit Holding Absence. Due to issues gaining entry, Music Box Unwinds unfortunately missed the vast majority of their slot. By the time the band approach the end of their set, they’ve gathered a considerable crowd and they could easily be mistaken for a band that were further up the bill. On top of that, they generate mountains of energy and buzz in the room, with many in the audience being familiar with their material. Needless to say, the future is looking bright for the Welshmen.

Dayseeker have a similarly healthy following, and their extensive support slot is fawned over by a large percentage of the crowd. The Californians combine post-hardcore with melodic metalcore sections to create a sound that has the technicality of Architects and the melodic essence of Beartooth or Novelists. Their style isn’t completely dissimilar from the opening act, with Lucas Woodland from Holding Absence joining them on stage for their track “Starving to Be Empty”. The band impress throughout their set, entertaining their lively audience (and overenthusiastic crowd surfers) with massive tracks like "Without Me" and "Burial Plot", but it’s in the final moments that things really take off. “Sleeptalk” is undeniably one of the bands biggest tracks, and from the moment the electronic introduction kicks in, many in the crowd repeat every word back at the band. The powerful “Neon Grave” is an emotionally brilliant note to end their set on, and they’ve no doubt won over some new fans with the strength of their performance.

The first night of their two-night stint in the Barrowland Ballroom sees Pierce the Veil take to the stage with well-merited aplomb, basking in their warm Glaswegian welcome. They are no strangers to Glasgow, but these sold-out shows prove that their upwards trajectory hasn’t lost any momentum in their extended time off. Tonight’s show is packed with old favourites and material from their comeback album, and it’s easy to forget how many hits they’ve had in their long time together as a band.

Their set is tailored towards material from “The Jaws of Life”, with the heavy hitters like “Emergency Contact” and “Pass The Nirvana” providing stand out moments in their lengthy headline slot. Their most recent material is a change of pace that incorporates newer alternative sounds into their established post-hardcore formula. That being said, their classic albums “Collide With The Sky” and “Selfish Machines” are far from overlooked tonight. After a few newer songs and an interesting cover of Radiohead’s “Karma Police”, the metalcore intro of “A March Into Water” shifts proceedings into a more familiar gear, with crowd surfers launching themselves eagerly towards the stage.

A staple of a Pierce The Veil show is the band getting a female member of the crowd onstage for the emo anthem “Hold On Till May”, and tonight is no different. While previous performances have seen the chosen fan serenaded by vocalist Vic Fuentes, tonight the fan selected has been identified as having been at various shows on the tour, and Fuentes has a special gift for her – his guitar. The moment is as endearing as it is cringe-inducing, but the young girl seems delighted about being selected and it’s wonderful to see how much tonight means to her.

As the curfew approaches, Pierce The Veil are still deep in an acoustic section and have left a few of their bigger hits omitted. The worry about these being left off the bill fades away as the band disregard their scheduled finishing time and fire into the brilliant "Hell Above". The house lights drop and stay down as 11pm comes and goes, but the crowd wants more. The band return to the stage as people continue to shuffle out for buses and trains, but those who are able to stay are treated to "Besitos" and their career-defining anthem "King For A Day".

Pierce The Veil have gone through some tumultuous times in recent years, but tonight’s performance is evidence of their ability to overcome the difficulties they’ve faced. A couple of years ago, it would have been easy to assume that their best days are behind them, but the band are still able to pull remarkable live performances out of the bag with (what seems like) relative ease. Their natural charisma and presence on-stage will hopefully carry them forward for years to come.


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