Article and Photos by: Wendy Podmenik Darugar
NORFOLK, VA – This must be a taste of what the reaction to a Beatles concert was like, and- how did that confetti get in my camera bag?
We walked inside the NorVa on Saturday night, and the first thing that caught my eye was the line for the merch table for Pierce the Veil – a line that snaked around the corner, down the hall, and into the depths of the venue. A line of giggling, anxious teen girls and gray-haired fathers- all while the opening band, Movements, had already started their set. Nobody’s budging from their space. It’s all about PTV.
The acoustics at the sold out NorVa featured intermittent shrieks of high-pitched excitement whenever someone new stepped on stage- thirteen year olds hoping to catch a glimpse of a favored heartthrob- a cutie featured on a glossy poster high on a bedroom wall at home- someone who sang of teenage angst and understood the pressure and pulling of what their life is, right here, right now- “ Dad, can you take me to the Pierce the Veil concert?”.
First up at bat: Movements, the start of a trio of Emo/pop/punk bands all hailing from California. A bit of an understated performance compared to the following acts, Movements only had approximately 20 minutes of performance time, and as I mentioned earlier, a good percentage of the crowd was queuing for PTV merchandise. Movements is definitely worth a listen if Emo is your flavor of choice.
I the Mighty is second up at bat, made a good swing and connected, the audience sang along, and offers of gifts were called out to band members during the quick sound check. “Brent (Walsh), I have a present for you!” called out one adolescent. “Blake! Blake! I have a gift!”. Drummer’s dreadlocks swinging- what photographer doesn’t love long dramatic hair? San Francisco represented well that night.
But the highlight was yet to come that night, young bodies pressed against the barricade, some as young as eight, ten, twelve, the older folks hung out in the back. For these are my idols, and they understand me, and I love them. PTV have the appearance of being in their twenties, but make no mistake, they are older than that. Soon that magical pull will have to make an adjustment and a shift, because we don’t live in Neverland, but right now, at this moment, the magic works just fine.
Emo is defined as a style of pop-punk that is emotionally expressive, appealing to those who throw unanswerable questions at life. A genre derived from 80’s bands of yore, for example, The Smiths and The Cure. The old Emo is the new Emo. The kids even dress the same, twenty-odd years later. Did it ever go out of style?
PTV’s latest album “Misadventures” was released to a devoted fan base on May 13, 2016. Vocalist Vic Fuentes told the crowd, the album was written and recorded while on the road, “a long and crazy touring process” recorded in “studios all over the world”. “This tour is something you will never see again”, Vic announced. “We wanted to play everything at once”. The album is played in its’ entirety for each stop on this current tour. It was an excellent show and I enjoyed it. And again, now how did confetti get in my camera bag? Congratulations on a homerun, PTV.