Bullet For My Valentine/Bring Me The Horizon/Atreyu - Cardiff, International Arena - 11th December 2010 Print E-mail
Written by David Whistance   
Tuesday, 28 December 2010 05:00



Unfortunately I was unable to catch opening band Atreyu here tonight, yet I was reliably informed by various friends who got into the CIA early and witnessed the Orange County metal core warriors that they put on a blinding performance. And by the time I enter the arena, Sheffield's finest metal core mob Bring Me The Horizon are taking the stage. Now I don't believe there is any band in the metal scene at the moment that divides such strong opinions as these young metallers. As equally loved as they are hated, as the band take the stage in the Welsh capital I can only assume that the Welsh crowd tonight are lovers not haters by the overwhelming response that greets them before they even have chance to play a note.


This response doesn't go unnoticed by heavily tattooed frontman Oli Sykes as in true tongue in cheek fashion he promptly announces that "Cardiff are the best crowd on the tour".  Now before you sigh at the stereotypical statement on offer he quickly adds "because this is the only venue that we haven't been booed at".  And why should they? When they deliver a fantastic performance, enhanced by their charismatic frontman who bounds across the stage at every given moment screaming his lungs out with sheer vehemence.  Bearing in mind the band's latest album 'There Is A Hell Believe Me I've Seen It, There Is A Heaven Let's Keep It A Secret' is in my top 10 albums of the year I was really looking forward to hearing the tracks from it, and the lads did not disappoint me by playing a fantastic rendition of album opener 'Crucify Me'.  Yet it was the songs from their previous album 'Suicide Season' such as 'Chelsea Smile' and 'Diamonds Aren't Forever' that fully won the crowd over including yours truly.


At the start of 2010 certain fans on various metal forums were outraged by Bullet For My Valentine frontman Matt Tuck's comments that the band would been headlining arenas on the back of their latest album 'Fever'. Where his claims could be wrongly portrayed as arrogance they were simply the words from a proud man whose band had just released the finest rock record of 2010 (again see my list), a perfect blend of infectious hooks and pop sensibilities without losing their edge that became a global sensation on its first week of release.


Back to tonight and as the huge curtain covers the stage and the lights in the venue go down, to the chants of "Bullet" I have that feeling of pride inside me as I patiently await the arrival of the Valley's band that I have loyally followed across the UK ever since their days trying to crack the toilet circuit.  Back in those days the band were called Jeff Killed John before a line up and name change saw them playing before a sold out crowd at Cardiff Barfly in 2005 and now look at them, they are headlining the same arenas that would house their idols.


As the opening drum intro of 'Your Betrayal' begins the band bound onto the stage and any negative perceptions on whether the band deserve to headline their own arena tour are soon forgotten as the band prove the arena stage is where they truly belong.  Flanked by huge fifty foot screens along with as many pyrotechnics money can buy, the band look so comfortable on stage you'd swear they've been playing these size stages all their lives.  With three great albums under their belts the band have the ability to cherry pick a near perfect set list from the incredible 'Tears Don't Fall' from the debut album 'The Poison' through to 'The Last Fight' from 'Fever'. The band have claimed that they weren't entirely happy with the second album 'Scream Aim And Fire' but when they play the title track from the album along with 'Waking The Dream' I'd have to disagree with such claims. 


Mid set, lead guitarist Michael 'Padge' Padget has his moment in the spotlight with a blistering solo spot remaining on the right side of self indulgent concluding with 'Land Of Our Father' the perfect number for the Welsh capital and further proving that he is one of the finest guitarists in British metal.


On the band's debut album Matt Tuck penned a number aimed squarely at all the critics that knocked the band during their rise to fame, from record companies, certain other local bands to past associates.  So when bassist Jay James spits out the words "Four Words To Choke Upon" to the sold out crowd never have the words "Look At Us Know" felt so apt.


The band may have brought pyrotechnics to the party but they needn't have bothered as they were simply on fire tonight. Bullet For My Valentine conquered the CIA and you now have to ask yourselves "Where can they go next?" Main stage festival headliners I hear you cry? .... Who am I to argue with that?