Bullet for my Valentine

The Hard Drive Live tour has always put together an incredible hard rock tour package every year for the past several years, and this year is no exception to that. The Hard Drive Live tour rolled into Pomona, CA, a city known for having some of the best crowds in the country, and featured Stars in Stereo, Young Guns, 2013 Grammy winners Halestorm, and headlined by Welsh rockers, Bullet For My Valentine on April 19, 2013. HALESTORM (2)

Upon arrival, we caught the ending of Stars in Stereo set, but what we saw was promising for the bands career. A short stage change later and we get into Young Guns short, but exciting set. Young Guns is easily described as Rise Against, but heavier. The crowd welcomed the English band, as everyone clapped along and harmonized with lead singer Gustav Wood. This was not only a great way to get excited for the night, but also a fun way to get introduced to a going and talented band that will no doubt make an impact, soon enough.

Halfway into the Hard Drive Live Show and it seemed to be going by quick, but now came the heavy hitters of the tour. This was Halestorm’s first US tour since winning the 2013 Grammy for Hard Rock/Metal Performance and after the set, it was easy to see why they had won such a honorable award. The set started off with drummer Arejay Hale dressed up in a blue marching band uniform and total skull bandana, hitting a snare drum and hyping up the crowd. Soon after, we could see singer, Lzzy Hale walking out with a guitar in hand and the band went into the song Freak Like Me. One of the years most talked about bands are now in front of our eyes and rocking out, making sure old and new fans enjoy the catchy music. HALESTORM (3)

The set came and went in almost an instant. The talent this band has is truly incredible and very underrated. Lzzy Hale’s and Joe Hottinger’s duel guitar solo during I Miss the Misery is absolutely mind blowing, and it’s a nod to the great 80’s metal bands that’s made listening to this sort of music addicting. One other highlight from the set was Arejay Hale’s jaw-dropping drum solo. The way he plays makes him look like The Muppet’s Animal, which is highly amusing considering you can consider him to be a beast when it comes to drumming. At last, we saw the drum solo finish with Arejay using his hands, and finally bring out gigantic drum sticks, which didn’t stop him from putting on a great solo.

The band is truly amazing and needs to be seen before passing judgment. Sure, they aren’t truly “metal,” but they have a lot of elements that make them heavy and entertaining. Songs of the night include Love Bites (So Do I), Rock Show, Familiar Taste of Poison, I Get Off, I Miss the Misery,and more.

Bullet for my Vanetine (9)Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for; Bullet For My Valentine! Not to take anything away from the rest of the night’s performers, but one could feel the electricity and excitement in the air as Bullet’s set was being set up and once it was finally completed, the Fox Theater exploded. Queen’s We Will Rock You started playing, quickly followed by O Fortuna (always a great way to hype up ANYTHING) and the crowd was beyond anxious at that point. Soon after, the band was on stage and started performing Breaking Point, a song that has been highly anticipated to see live since its release a few months ago. If that didn’t get you pumped enough, then the following fan favorite song, Your Betrayal, would have done the trick, and then some. At this point, those in attendance were singing word for word, and enjoying everything that makes Bullet for my Valentine an incredibly enjoyable live band. Bullet for my Vanetine (10)

Summer may be only a few months away, but the atmosphere brought in by the crowd and band made it feel like the summer festival season has begun. Memories of the 2009 Mayhem festival came to mind and how it was exciting to walk into the main stage area and hearing the guitar riffs of Bullet’s monstrous sounds. This summer festival-like atmosphere at the Fox had a lot of people body surfing and moshing to the band’s 15 song set list, with many hits off their latest album Temper, Temper, including Tears Don’t Fall, Riot,  Temper Temper, and Dirty Little Secret featuring a collaboration with Lzzy Hale. Hearing Bullet For My Valentine with a female singer is like hearing a whole different band. It’s completely fresh and special, and something we wished would have been out on the new Temper Temper album as a bonus track. If this tour is coming to your town, buy a ticket, because this duet itself is worth the price of admission.

Bullet for my Vanetine (5)The newer songs worked in perfectly with the older songs, as the set list is a perfect example of what Bullet For My Valenitne has always represented. Some songs played tonight are Waking the Demon, 4 Words (To Choke Upon), Scream and Fire, Pleasure and Pain, and many more including a face melting guitar solo by guitarist Michael Paget.

Overall, this tour date at the Fox Theater was highly successful in putting on a show worthy for a Pomona show. You had your diehard fans, a great sounding venue, and even greater sounding bands. The Hard Drive Live tour with Headliner Bullet for My Valentine continues until May 22nd, 2013 so make sure you pick up a ticket and enjoy one of this years best metal tours.

Review by: Alex Lucero


Bullet for my Valentine