Dead End Drive-In: Now Showing - Black Veil Brides - 'Alive and Burning' Print E-mail
Written by Gaz Tidey   
Sunday, 27 September 2015 03:40



Black Veil Brides - 'Alive and Burning' (Eagle Rock Entertainment 2015)


There's a moment before Black Veil Brides tear into the song 'Sweet Blasphemy' that I almost become as enchanted with Andy Biersack as the hymen-intact horde of fans hanging on his every word. Speaking passionately about rock 'n' roll not being anywhere near dead, and of how he craves good times for his fans, and seems genuine about it all, Andy strips away the gloss of modern metal and bares an honesty oft-degraded by the trappings of fame. And there's a lot of gloss to work through on 'Alive and Burning', the band's first ever filmed performance just released on DVD and Blu-ray.




Recorded at L.A.'s Wiltern Theater on 1st November, 2014, during the band's "Black Mass" tour in support of their fourth, self-titled album, 'Alive and Burning' captures as slick a show as you're likely to find from a band of this stature.


Amid the fake Marshall stacks, video screens, flames, pyro, confetti bombs, balloons and poseur platform, there is a pretty badass modern rock show that echoes the ones that music fans my age grew up with - cool looking band, massive hooks, crowd full of impressionable teens - yet refashioned to fit the musts of this era's hard rock superstars and pin-ups.


Bassist Ashley Purdy's Sammy Hagar-like headset mic is fooling nobody when a choir of angels sings back-up vocals on every song, and that electric violin that guitarist Jinxx is supposed to be playing during 'Shadows Lie' isn't really getting played at all, is it? Yet, despite the obvious flaws in modern rock shows in general, this is photographic proof of a cultural movement, of that there is little doubt.




The Monster Energy product placement - cans atop every fake cab, Biersack wearing branded sweatbands - will do nothing but work against the braces coating the teeth of at least a third of the show's audience members, but it matters little because, even with a (thankfully short) drum solo, 'Alive and Burning' motors along at some pace, with even the twin-guitar reworking of encore 'Rebel Yell' not as horrible as it could be. Oh yeah, and William Control appears for several seconds during final song, 'In The End'.


My review DVD - region-free and NTSC - sparkled with both visual and audio quality when upscaled and, with an eight-minute 'Meet The Fans' bonus feature (basically a fly on the wall glimpse at just how many teenage girls cry when meeting the band at a Las Vegas Hot Topic signing session), this release will disappoint not one BVB fan. The cool comic-book-style cover art wraps around the DVD booklet too; each page devoted to multiple photos of each band member. Swoon.