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LIVE: Pierce The Veil – Utilita Arena, Cardiff, 12/04/2024

It’s only been just over a year since Pierce The Veil were last on UK shores, which saw them tearing up some of the country’s smaller venues. So much so that when this arena run was announced shortly after that tour concluded, there were some (myself included) who simply believed that they would come nowhere close to filling out these shows.

Upon entering Cardiff’s arena on Friday night I was proved incredibly wrong, just like the other dates on the tour, it was a complete sell out. It was a mixed crowd to say the least, a clear clash of nostalgic Kerrang-reading twenty-somethings mingling in with a new, younger fanbase, many of whom had likely discovered them as a result of the band’s rampant resurgence from various Tiktok trends.

Gracing the stage with a musical nod to the band’s Hispanic heritage, the quartet positioned themselves before breaking into ‘Death Of An Exectutioner’, a pulsating, ripper of a track from the band’s latest effort ‘The Jaws Of Life”.’ For some bands, stepping up to arena-sized venues alongside new albums can be a tricky line to tow, because while the classic fan favourites become huge singalongs, newer tracks can fall completely flat. Luckily for Pierce The Veil, this was far from the case, with old-time tracks like ‘Caraphernelia’ and new additions like ‘Pass The Nirvana”’ both evoking huge responses from the audience, turning the arena into a massive karaoke room with ease.

As the show progressed it becomes clear to see just how seasoned the band are at their live shows. They have an undeniable stage presence and the crowd interaction was turned up to the maximum (it’s not often you see a band invite a crowd member on stage, before gifting them a guitar), and there was plenty of theatrics to accompany this too, with guitars flung and thrown at every opportunity.

That being said, the showed lacked production, severely. Confetti and CO2 cannons are now commonplace at shows of most sizes, but with the band lacking any digital backdrops or visuals it was certainly far from a spectacle. Maybe this is more of a personal issue, as I’ve been particularly spoilt with the production some band’s have displayed so far this year, but it would’ve been nice for the Pierce The Veil to celebrate their new home in arenas with as much attention to their stage show as they give to their stage presence.

Another questionable decision comes in the form of a cover of Radiohead‘s ‘Karma Police.’ I’m usually a huge advocate of a band doing covers, and while it’s a cover that the band have performed elsewhere before, it didn’t quite resonate with the crowd and was probably a slot that would’ve been better filled with an original.

There were particularly evocative renditions of ‘Hold On Till May’ and ‘Bulletproof Love’, before the eruptive final run of ‘Hell Above’ and ‘The Jaws Of Life”’ had the Welsh crowd clambering for more, to which the band obliged. While the rousing ‘Besitos’ was well-received, it was never going to garner the response that the final song, and the band’s all-time most popular song ‘King For A Day’ did, a track that everyone young and old knew, and gladly sang along to.

It’s hard to deny that Pierce The Veil are a band that seem effortless on stages so big, but it’s clear that some work is required on their stage show as a whole if they’re hoping to continue this sort of trajectory. But after two lengthy tours in the UK in such a short span of time, when we’ll get to see them next is anyone’s guess.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.