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Pierce the Veil review: Sonic exuberance with one fatal flaw | Music | Entertainment


Pierce the Veil have been stalwarts in the alternative/emo/scene industry for decades at this point – but they are by no means old hat.

Just last year they released their fifth studio album, Jaws of Life – their first record since 2016 – to critical acclaim.

Despite the fact they have been out of commission for a while, it seemed relatively easy for them to write a few more bangers, release an album, and hit the road touring once again.

For me, they are one of the few classic noughties bands who have not just been feasting on their earlier successes; or indeed become victims of their legacy. Until now.

Pierce the Veil played their largest UK show ever on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at London’s Alexandra Palace. And while their musical prowess and attention to detail were flawless, they were in dire need of an injection of something bigger.

In December 2022, Pierce the Veil returned to the UK for the first time in over half a decade to play the O2 Forum Kentish Town, and it was utter chaos.

Frontman Vic Fuentes was on top form, new drummer Loniel Robinson was a beast at the back of the stage, and bassist Jaime Preciado rocked so hard it looked like he actually injured himself.

That performance was (as you can see from the five stars we gave it) utterly perfect. They were simply too big for Kentish Town’s meagre stage. They needed a step up.

Alexandra Palace is certainly the step up I believe they deserved – but their performance didn’t join them in that transition.

Now, I want to be clear: Vic, Jaime – the entire band and crew – were flawless. No bad notes, no cracking voices; a pristine performance. What brought down Pierce the Veil’s show at Ally Pally was their lack of showmanship.

Between a large portion of their songs, the band’s stage simply faded to pitch black to reset before starting a new song. And the frequency that this happened made it feel like they had no other plan to break up their set.

Maybe it’s an unfair comparison, but my mind couldn’t help but be drawn to Neck Deep’s Alexandra Palace headline set last month. While it was a one-off show to cap off their album cycle, the Wrexham Wonders pulled out all the stops. Fire, explosions, lights, graphics – you name it, they had it planned.

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