Of Virtue, RXPTRS, Colosseums and Second Cities – Devil’s Dog, Digbeth

A great night of Heavy Metal in its various genres at the brilliant Devil’s Dog in Digbeth, Birmingham saw Of Virtue, RXPTRS, Colosseums and Second Cities thoroughly entertain. The only shame was venue could have been fuller.

Of Virtue, RXPTRS, Colosseums and Second Cities

Devils Dog, Birmingham – 9 July 2023

Words and Photography: Andy Shaw

Of Virtue

Of Virtue - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Of Virtue – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Headliners tonight are the vastly underrated Of Virtue from Michigan. This was the last night of their foray into Europe. Their set is made up from tracks from their last album, What Defines You and Omen, their new album due out in September.

Of Virtue kicked off with new tracks, Hypocrite and Cannibals, which are really powerful tracks and wonderfully highlight this band as brilliant exponents of Metalcore.

Of Virtue - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Of Virtue – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Vocalist Tyler Ennis is excellent and even takes time for a quick mid-set selfie with someone in the crowd. Next is the new single Cut Me Open, followed by Cold Blooded with vocals shared with guitarist Damon Tate who perfectly compliments Ennis’ rasping vocals.

Of Virtue - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Of Virtue – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

A.N.X.I.E.T.Y. followed, then it’s into No Control and Suffer. The bijou crowd loved the set, which finishes with Alone then Sinner, where their powerhouse of guitarist Michael Valadez and drummer Kyle Pruehs came to the fore.

Join Hillbilly Vegas on Tour This July

Of Virtue - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Of Virtue – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Of Virtue come back for an encore of Thanks For Nothing and Surrounded, capping a fabulous set and a brilliant evening.

Of Virtue - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Of Virtue – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

RXPTRS

RXPTRS - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
RXPTRS – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Fresh from a set at the 2000 Trees festival, RXPTRS provided the main support tonight. However, they were missing guitarist Ian Chadderton due to a family emergency but decided to plough on regardless with their set, and I am glad they did.

RXPTRS - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
RXPTRS – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Starting with Burning Pages from their Living Without Death’s Permission album, frontman Simon Roach was straight into his trademark energetic performance. Demons In My Headphones was next, followed by a slightly older track ROT, with the rest of the band, guitarist Harley Watson, Bassist Sam Leworthy and drummer Mat Capper making up for the loss of Chadderton.

RXPTRS - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
RXPTRS – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

New single, The World On My Tongue, followed, which is a really powerful track live with Roach, at one point, on his knees, then lying prone on the stage, absolutely giving it everything.

RXPTRS - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
RXPTRS – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

A bit of crowd participation during The Frail then their fantastic set ended with You Me And The Devil Make Three. Despite being slightly hampered by the reduction to a quartet, this was a storming performance.

RXPTRS - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
RXPTRS – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Colosseums

Colosseums - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Colosseums – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Second on the bill were another local band, Colosseum, who started with their brilliant new track Designer Antichrist. With frontman Billy Douglas resplendent in a pink balaclava, these guys know how to dish out some excellent Metalcore.

Colosseums - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Colosseums – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Putrid was next, followed by the powerful Satanist with guitarist Charlie Newbury and bass player Will Mckeowns being a real powerhouse for Douglas’ excellent vocals.

Colosseums - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Colosseums – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Steezy, then Hate Myself went down really well with the crowd, then Jealousy and drummer Liam Bridgen was in flow. The brilliant set ended with Last Time I Cried, then the fantastic Neck Splitter.

Colosseums - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Colosseums – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Colosseums are a band that we will be seeing more of in the future.

Second Cities

Second Cities - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Second Cities – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

First up was the local band Second Cities, who made a really strong start to the evening with their variety of emo Metalcore. Kicking off with Blur In Time, they immediately set out their stall for their short but sweet set.

Second Cities - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Second Cities – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

The small but perfectly formed crowd loved it. Then they were into Friend Of Mine, followed by MSRY and Chewing Teeth. Frontman Jamie Martin showed his vocal dexterity and is the perfect foil for guitarist Tony Mac.

Second Cities - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Second Cities – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

This marriage of styles was perfectly shown during the next track, Sacred.

By now, despite a few early technical problems, Second Cities were in full flow, with Martin loving his time on stage. The set ended with Like A Moth, Divide and Say Goodbye.

Second Cities - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Second Cities – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

A great start to the evening, these guys are well worth seeing,

Second Cities - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Second Cities – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
Of Virtue - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Of Virtue – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
Colosseums - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Colosseums – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
Second Cities - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
Second Cities – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
RXPTRS - Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham - 9 July 2023.
RXPTRS – Devils Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – 9 July 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

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