By Grace Wartman
Pierce The Veil took The Espee’s stage in San Antonio on Nov. 10 with openers Destroy Boys, Dayseeker and L.S. Dunes on their Jaws of Life tour. This concert marked the second of three times the band will be visiting San Antonio in the span of three years.
The Sacramento four-piece, Destroy Boys, has had a loaded year, from performing at Coachella to opening for Blink-182 and now opening for Pierce The Veil. With the same “teenage dirtbag” feel that PTV has, it was immediately clear why they chose Destroy Boys as an opener. Their political activism and rockstar stage presence work beautifully together in a way that both clearly acknowledges timeless preceding punk sounds and keeps listeners intrigued in what is currently being brought to the genre of punk. Destroy Boys had incredible crowd work, keeping the eyes of everyone in the venue locked in on them for the entire duration of their seven-song set.
The energy shifted for the Orange County act that followed Destroy Boys, Dayseeker, whose energy reflected the bluest shades of the punk genre. With moody stage lighting to accompany the already melancholy spirit set by their music and stage stillness, their seven-song set most evidently struck concertgoers where it hurts. Their glittery eye makeup and utilization of 80s synth sounds in their songs added a lot of ambiguity to their overall performance, but it’s always fascinating to see groups experiment with multiple genres. Dayseeker has a clear interest in being experimental, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for this band.
The next group up was L.S. Dunes: a supergroup consisting of Saosin, Circa Survive, and The Sound of Animals Fighting lead singer Anthony Green, My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero, Cambria and Coheed guitarist Travis Stever, bassist Tim Payne, and Thursday drummer Tucker Rule. Before even realizing the high status that was performing in front of me, I was blown away by their musicianship. Green was an excellent showman from the time he stepped on stage to the end of the band’s set. His presence instantly drew the crowd in, and I could tell the crowd was ecstatic to see all of the big names present on the stage. L.S. Dunes carried the crowd with them in a way that beautifully brought the audience and performers into one and set the energy high in anticipation for Pierce The Veil.
Having had Twenty One Pilots, Paramore and My Chemical Romance phases as a tween, I heard about Pierce The Veil quite often as they circulated within the same fanbases as the ones I identified with. After going to two Twenty One Pilots concert and one Paramore show, it was clear the loyalty their fanbase had for them, and I was expecting the same audience-to-artist devotion at PTV’s show. Those expectations were exceeded – the fanbase made their allegiance to the San Diego three-piece evident before the band even stepped on stage, with shrilling cheers as the lights dimmed and filler music playing over the venue’s PA system came to a halt.
Lead singer Vic Fuentes began the set with a certain reluctance, as though he was taking a moment to take the crowd in. However, this pause did not waver the crowd’s high energy. The reluctance then exploded into the headbanging, screaming post-punk sound that Pierce The Veil is well known for as they played their hit song,”Caraphernelia.”
Once the first three songs were done and it was time to leave the photo pit, I hung out backstage for a bit in an attempt to regain as much of my hearing as I could (unfortunate show to forget my earplugs). After sitting for a bit with a muffled Pierce The Veil growing louder as I regained my hearing, I then went and watched the remainder of the show. PTV’s energy that had built up in “Caraphernelia” stayed consistently strong throughout the majority of the show, exhibiting the band’s performance skills and stage presence savvy. Their set had an excellent balance of picks from their recent album, The Jaws Of Life, signature songs such as “A Match Into Water,” and deep cuts for the long-term fans, which seemed to make up the majority of the crowd.
The love their fans have for them was clearly mutual, as Fuentes picked a fan from VIP to come up on stage, sang a song to her, and gave her his guitar – a sweet and, I’m sure, surreal moment for that lucky fan that swept the entire audience away.
The ceaselessly smiling faces with rosy noses from the cold across the audience and ear-damaging anticipation screeches from the crowd all showed me the dedication and love PTV’s fanbase has for them. I could feel the love the fans had for them and vice versa as much as I couldn’t feel my fingertips by the time I was leaving the venue.
Regardless of how big or small a PTV fan you are, they put on an incredibly enjoyable show for all concert attendees. All four bands put on an excellent show that gave concertgoers an experience filled with late 2000’s, early 2010’s postpunk emo tween nostalgia that many Millennial and older Gen Z folk can resonate with.
Written by: Preethi Mangadu