It’s been a while, right? Six years, in fact, since Pearce last played The Veil on the UK stage. But, with their new album – The Jaws of Life – just months away, the legendary emo quartet is back and long overdue to prove they’ve got it all. And they pulled out all the stops.
Pierce the Veil took to the stage of the O2 Forum Kentish Town to the first two tracks from their legendary 2012 album, Collide with the Sky – May this noise unsettle you in your sleep and hell above. As soon as that clichéd first intro hit the latter, the room exploded. Obviously, fans were dying to see this amazing group play again, and that was just plain obvious.
Singer Vic Fuentes’ voice, a decade after these songs were released, is somehow built more on his performance. After another decade of experience and vocal flexibility, this is the best a Top 30 superstar has ever heard.
Pierce the Veil soon released on their new single, Pass the Nirvana, a great showcase for the way they always – and still do – lead their style with a unique sound that can’t be replicated. Considering it was probably the second time the band had played the track in the UK, it fell flat. Their sold out show devoured this new morsel from their upcoming album.
It also proved a point to pierce the veil. After experiencing Pass the Nirvana playing in real time, no one can tell that the band relied on older material to get by. Sure, there’s a lot of nostalgia in their music and in their fandom, but this is a sneak peek into their future. And they know it too. Vic couldn’t stop smiling through the track, because he knew it was worth yelling at. Same goes for Emergency Contact, another single from their upcoming fifth studio album. While much slower and more reserved, it showcased the fluidity of the singer’s voice, as well as the poetic flourishes in the band’s lyrics that have always been present since their debut in 2007.
Of course, some of the band’s classics—like the amazing Caraphernalia—have completely dropped the house. There are few bands in the world that can pull off such a super majestic sound with so many vocal changes and nuances, but PTV has – once again – built a perfect home for themselves and settled in. This was also a particularly strong display of drummer Loniel Robinson’s creativity and stamina. While he may not have written these songs, he elevated them in a new way. He dropped hints about his personality and became a true member of the band.
Fewer Songs of the Night reacted more than Hold On Till May, the treehouse sonnet that gave the band room to step back and see the nearly 2,500 people take over their private group in front of them. Vic and the team’s machines were overwhelmed by the cheers of the hardcore crowd, and Pierce the Phil looked like they couldn’t believe it.
Vic wrapped up the appearance with an audio version of Stained Glass Eyes and Color Tears (allowing him to prove that, yes, he still had more and was willing to use it), before going to King for a day. The generation-defining song is still as good as it was when it was released, and in some ways perhaps even more exciting as the energy crisis approaches.
Audiences could have dissected another hour of songs, but somehow, it just wasn’t about it. The Veil Piers looked like they had taken the stage with something to prove; It’s easy to imagine why. As mentioned, they hadn’t been in the UK for six years, and their comeback tour sold out in a matter of minutes. This is also the first series of shows with a new drummer and a new album being promoted at the same time. Vic also dropped that he’s expecting his first child in February, too. There will likely be a lot of pressure on the band from different angles. With that in mind, Vic, bassist Tony Berry, and bassist Jaime Preciado performed with every ounce of energy and finesse they had—and it paid off. It was as if the room could sense their passion and longing to show how they and their music are still worth our time.
In the end they succeeded. Pierce the veil was a triumph. They put on one of the best performances of the year, welcoming everyone back into their family and, most likely, whet the appetite for the release of their new album, which will be released on February 10, 2023.
And if Pierce the Veil returns to the UK in 2023, there’s no doubt they’ll sell out another tour in a matter of minutes.
Pierce the Elephant is on tour now. Get tickets here.
Pierce the Phil’s new album, The Jaws of Life, will hit store shelves on February 10, 2023.