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LIVE: Pierce The Veil @ Utilita Arena Cardiff

It's been nearly ten years since my last encounter with Pierce The Veil, at The Great Hall in Cardiff, where they shared the stage with Letlive and Creeper. However, that wasn't their last appearance in the capital. Just two years ago, they graced The Great Hall once again as part of their Live In The UK tour, captivating a crowd of 1500 fans. Fast forward to now, and they've taken on Cardiff's Utilita Arena, drawing in a crowd of 6000 enthusiastic fans, some of which had been waiting since the early hours of the morning to secure that coveted barricade spot. 

The lights go down, signalling the start of the night, a celebration of their fifth studio album The Jaws of Life which was released early last year. They run on to a full arena, cheers erupting and tears running down the faces of the fans who’d been waiting for months for this moment, all to the sounds of Death of an Executioner - a bold and immersive track that envelopes their listeners in a hauntingly emotive, incredibly raw introspective as the band weave a narrative of self-reflection. 

Fan favourites including the ever-so-popular Caraphernelia and the stomping Hell Above, as well as an acoustic version of Bulletproof Love which was tinged with raw tenderness that left a lasting impression that night, kept the crowd on their toes. Mid-set, the band even surprised the audience with an unexpected cover of Radiohead's Karma Police. While the crowd's reaction may not have matched their anticipation, the band delivered a rendition that honoured the original track with respect. There was just one thing missing, and I’m sure many would agree as many phones were held to the ceiling with ‘Where's Bulls In The Bronx?’. Perhaps next time, the band will oblige! 

A very special moment during the night was their performance of Hold On Till May, a track vocalist Vic Fuentes dubbed 'our song,' as he describes the meaning had changed over the years. It unfolds as a heartfelt three-minute ballad, revealing Pierce the Veil's poignant side and musical depth. With arms raised and torches illuminating the arena from every corner, fans erupted with emotionally charged screams. During the performance, Vic invited an audience member onstage, serenading them with the song's lyrics while gifting them one of his guitars—a moment frequently captured across social media from every show this tour.

As quickly as it started, the end was now in sight. The band leave the stage for the typical encore and return to the chants of ‘we want more’ and ‘one more song’. Besitos, taken from their record Selfish Machines, brought them back out with a bang, a song that truly comes alive on stage. However, the crowd's ultimate desire was fulfilled with the arrival of King For A Day; with its massive choruses, thunderous riffs, and irresistible lyrics, Pierce The Veil unleashed their prowess in crafting anthems that resonate deeply with fans, leaving the audience craving for more even as the night came to a close.

The evening was a celebration of unity and camaraderie, with fans of all ages coming together to share their love for the music. Whether long-time devotees or recent converts, everyone in the crowd was united by their passion for Pierce the Veil. The San-Diego band proved they aren’t just musicians, but performers, commanding the stage with boundless energy. They engaged with the audience, making direct connections with enthusiastic points and waves, creating a memorable experience for all. And as the final notes faded into the night, it was clear that Pierce The Veil are very much on top of their game. But the question is, how long will it be until we get to see them step foot on UK soil again? 

Stream The Jaws of Life here

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Words: Tate Powell [@tatepowellx]


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