Last week, thousands of fans filled New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom anxiously waiting to see Pierce the Veil on the We Will Detonate Tour. Just seconds before the band arrived on stage, the sound of a ticking clock echoed from behind a white curtain. As Mike Fuentes took his place behind his drumkit to keep time with the clock, an alarm rang out, dropping the curtain to the floor and revealing the stage to the audience. At center stage, where you would expect to see frontman Vic Fuentes, stood a figure disguised in an illuminated demon mask. Seconds later, the rest of the band appeared on stage. Wasting no time with introductions, they jumped right into the aggressive opening riff of “Texas Is Forever.” The audience erupted into loud cheering and applause as the mysterious figure clutched a TNT detonator box and cued a series of sparks and confetti to fly into the air just in time for Vic to take his place behind his mic for the first verse. The chemistry between the band and the fans could be felt immediately. Every lyric echoed behind me in the audience as I made my way around the photo pit, dodging crowd surfers and the hands of fans reaching out towards the stage.
The energy only continued to grow with “Bulls in the Bronx” and “A Match Into Water” from the group’s 2012 release Collide with the Sky. While Vic and bassist Jaime Preciado prompted the crowd to scream “We will bring the tidal wave,” things got so intense that our time in the photo pit was cut short. As I made my way to the back of the venue to enjoy the rest of the show, I remember smiling to myself seeing so many young kids, probably at their very first concert, with a look of pure joy and amazement on their faces.
Throughout the night, giant LED screens behind the band transitioned between various images and lyrics to fit the mood of each song. Highlights from the rest of the show included the acoustic track “Stay Away From My Friends” with Jaime on keys and a mash-up of The Pixies‘ “Where Is My Mind?” and Pierce the Veil’s hit single “Floral and Fading.” With their relatable lyrics, accessible melodies, energetic live performances, and an overwhelmingly dedicated fanbase, Pierce the Veil has nowhere to go but up. Kudos to the band, crew, and management for making this tour a truly unforgettable experience. Get tickets to see it for yourself here!
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All Photos by Ali Brant Photography