It had been over a year since Beartooth headlined a venue over here, and since then the band had a lot going on with the release of their second (and very-awaited album) “Aggressive” along with several festivals including a set at Download Festival France’s first edition last June. This time the band from Ohio brought along Trash Boat and Vanna and so far the tour had sold out many places. The bands were coming to Paris, ready to have a lot of fun with all the French heavy fans for a special show at La Boule Noire.
It was the last date before the UK leg of the tour and we could tell everyone was psyched! When the clock hit showtime we were all excited to not only catch Beartooth again but also to discover (or rediscover) Vanna and Trash Boat.
Trash Boat hit the stage first and it immediately got pretty intense. Everyone in the venue seemed just happy to be here and catch every band playing. We had already caught Trash Boat at other shows, playing with As It Is or Roam. To be honest, it seems like they grow a bit more each time we see them and it’s always a great feeling to witness that. What was even more special on this tour was that the band wasn’t playing in their ‘comfort zone’, facing a crowd of mainly heavy fans, not as pop-punk as they could be used to. It surely wasn’t an easy task to do, yet the Brits did very well and put on a nice performance, playing most tracks from their newest release and first full-length ‘Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through’. On the setlist we could find How Selfish I Seem, Tring Quarry and Catharsis off their recent album along with the older tracks Perspective, and Eleven, before ending with Strangers. The energy was on going, there was a good response from the crowd, and it was a good band to kick off the night with. So what more could we ask for? Well, it was just a start…This set reminded us how much we enjoy this band and for a recent act formed, Trash Boat has come a long way and done incredibly well. Luckily it wouldn’t take long until we see them again!
Up next was Vanna… and the crowd kept growing! We had the opportunity to talk to Davey Muise (Vanna’s singer) and we had a rough idea of what to expect. But (spoiler alert) it was a real slap in the face! The band fits perfectly with Beartooth, with the same kind of energy, vibe and presence onstage. Davey owns it, with a real heavy attitude instantly wanting to level the energy up and wake up the crowd and that’s the type of performance we love. In fact, second song in Vanna had the crowd in control. It felt like a very intimate, family show where everyone is welcome. Vanna was 100% into their performance and have a very communicative energy, which makes you LOVE it whether you already knew the band or not. The band made sure we would feel good and had an amazing time. So, to describe the set in one word I’d have to go for: Chaos!
The band mainly played songs off their most critically acclaimed and successful albums “Void” and “All Hell”. As newest tracks we happily heard Paranoia Euphoria, Pretty Grim, Leather Feather or Circle The Flame. It was well mixed with the following tracks from “Void”: Toxic Pretender, Piss Up A Rope and Digging.
A highlight that night was Flower, a song about second chances, with the meaning behind it that everyone is great and deserves things. To perform this song, Davey joined the crowd and was surrounded by fans, clapping and singing along. It was an intense and beautiful moment of union between Vanna and everyone in the venue, which made this song just as unique and special as it was already on the record. Also, we can’t end this review without mentioning Mutter, one of the last tracks played. Muise’s goal was to let the crowd prove it was the loudest of the tour. He wanted the crowd to lose it entirely, as soon as the song kicked in… and he got it! The crowd, already getting intense through the set, lost it even more on that song and shouted the lyrics back to them. It was a remarkable performance, ended with Digging and inspirational words from the singer: ‘We’re here to show you, we love you. Music can change you; music can save you. This world is a scary place but they cannot break us. We’ll pull through ». What we’ll keep in mind from this set is that if you love Beartooth, there’s a very high chance you’ll love Vanna.
So now, we were all warmed up and ready for the headliner to walk on that stage. Beartooth kicked in with Burnout, followed by Aggressive, hit single off their latest release. As a super fan of their debut album “Disgusting” I knew the show would be absolutely sick but I was a bit scared the band would focus on the newest tracks. They proved me wrong and offered a setlist well-balanced, with hits such as Beaten In Lips, Sick of Me, Dead, Fair Weather Friend, Hated or The Lines, conquering both old and new fans. The band hadn’t really had the opportunity to play a full show and this comeback made a lot of happy people, at least that the vibe we were feeling n the venue. As we told you before there are a lot of similarities between Beartooth and Vanna. Apart from the music that has similar vibes, Beartooth’s frontman Caleb Shomo, really has a strong charisma onstage, he wants chaos, and kicking and requests a lot from the crowd. This strong and communicative energy puts you into it straight away. That’s what I love about those heavy shows; you can notice a lot of passion and envy from the musicians to have a great time with the audience. On their debut album, the band had many songs with sing-along parts and intense, meaningful choruses. Beartooth went even further on that with “Aggressive” wanting an album a bit more ‘violent’ that would get the crowd sing even louder. And it worked! I had enjoyed so much “Disgusting” and appreciated the new one but I didn’t think I would know the newest tracks so well and that’s where Beartooth did a great job putting out singles that were catchy enough, with simple and meaningful lyrics to stick to your brain almost instantly.
Surely, “Aggressive” is a nice follow-up and it was really cool to finally hear the new tracks live, even if However You Want It Said would have really kicked ass. By the time Beartooth hit the stage, the room was already going nuts all excited by the opening bands. From start to end the crowd was singing along to every single song. On I Have A Problem, we witnessed a pretty cool moment: the voices singing “We are the sons, we are the daughters, the generation of disorder” were joined by Davey Muise and we noticed a true connection and friendship between Beartooth and Vanna’s vocalist, really making us feel part of the family and part of an awesome night. Although Keep Your American Dream was missing and the choice to play King Of Anything a calmer and intimate song off “Aggressive” was questionable, we still got to hear the tune In Between and the classic Body Bag that, when it kicked in, made everyone agree.
All in all we had one hell of a night, all bands were on point killing it, the crowd gave out a lot of energy and voice and it’s shows like this that we truly enjoy. Some people may disagree but that show was one of my favourites through 2016. And what these shows highlighted was the importance of live music. So if you ever need a reminder as of why live shows are important, and why you love heavy music so much, just go watch Beartooth or Vanna. And if you miss pop-punk, keep an eye on Trash Boat. Either way you won’t be disappointed!