The line of punters waiting to get into the sold-out Birmingham Institute was snaking around several buildings, and the atmosphere outside felt really happy. I don’t think anyone cared because they knew what awaited them later in the evening, a night of entertainment from Black Veil Brides, Lilith Czar and Cemetery Sun.
Black Veil Brides / Lilith Czar / Cemetery Sun
Birmingham Institute – 16 February 2023
Words and Photography: Andy Shaw
Black Veil Brides
As the intro played, the noise from a packed Institute was deafening. The band came on, and when frontman Andy Biersack appeared, the crowd almost took the roof off the venue. Tonight’s set was a real crowd-pleaser with a complete range of material from all aspects of their career.
Black Veil Brides opened with Crimson Skies from their latest and most successful album, The Phantom Tomorrow. They were off and running, and the crowd was in a state of fevered excitement. Next was Coffin, followed by Rebel Love Song before a brand new song Devil.
Ably supported by Jinxx, rhythm guitar and his amazing violin playing and Jake Pitts, lead guitar, together with Lonny Eagleton on bass, they were then back to their Black Veil Brides album for Faithless, then into Vale.
“We missed you,” Biersack said, “and last time in the UK, we thought was the end of us, but we thought fuck that and carried on,” and we are glad they did.
Before Wake Up was followed by I Am Bulletproof and Scarlett Cross. The set was becoming a real triumph, and you can see why they have had such longevity. Next was a couple from their Wretched And Divine album, which they are celebrating the 10-year release, in Overture and Shadows Die. The new song Shadows Rise followed, which saw Jinxx in fine violin form.
After taking photos, I made my way to the balcony and looking around, I could see to a man, woman and child, everyone knew every word to every song, with everyone smiling and happy to be in the presence of such an amazing band.
Then the title track from the Wretched And Divine album followed. During The Legacy from their latest album, the song was prematurely stopped after Biersack spotted someone in the crowd who had passed out. He asked the crowd to make room so they could be removed safely. “Thanks, guys, for doing that.” The crowd started to chant ‘Black Veil Brides’ over and over. “That meant so much,” he said, “the community around us and you protecting each other.”
The set ended with their first single, Knives And pens, and the band left the stage. The crowd were screaming and begging for more. The band obliged and returned with Lost It All, Fallen Angels and fittingly In The End.
A brilliant night by a band at the height of their musical powers.
American musician and songwriter Lilith Czar, married to Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack, cuts a striking figure dressed in a figure-hugging black catsuit with long black hair.
They kicked off with Feed My Chaos and immediately had a rapidly filling Institute in raptures. Next was Unholy, then 100 Little Deaths, which saw Lilith playing guitar.
Lilith’s voice is amazing and she was prowling the stage feeding off the crowd. Lola was up next followed by a Stevie Nicks cover, Edge Of Seventeen. A really good set finished with King.
Cemetery Sun were up first and hail from Sacramento, California. They were returning for a second visit to these shores to give us a taste of their alternative, pop and rock sound. It was a short and sweet set, but they really threw everything into every second of it.
Frontman Josh Doty gave it everything, screaming, shouting and singing his way through their songs. The only disappointing part was that due to the queue outside, the crowd was quite sparse.