Despite the high being 48°F on October 26, fans gathered outside of Mission Ballroom in Denver to see Bullet For My Valentine on their 2023 North American Tour. The last time Colorado saw BFMV was on their 2018 headlining tour, taking place at Ogden Theatre. After 5 years, is it only fitting that they would come back bigger and better than ever.
Accompanying BFMV on this run were Vended and Of Mice & Men. Formed in 2018, Vended are bringing new life to the metal scene. For a moment, I forgot they were the ones opening this show. They owned the stage with aggressive riffs and an overall untamed performance. Vocalist Griffin Taylor is an absolute madman and I mean that in the best way possible. He expressed his gratitude multiple times for being so welcomed on this tour and thanked the crowd for showing up early for them. This band is insanely fun live and I hope to see them back in Colorado soon.
Of Mice & Men followed up Vended with an incredibly powerful set. After touring with Bullet For My Valentine in 2018, the band was excited to share the stage with their friends once again. One of the most memorable moments of their performance for me was during their second song, ‘Would You Still be There’ from their 2014 album Restoring Force. After only a few seconds, this song quickly turned into one of the largest sing-alongs I have ever witnessed. I watched fans on the barricade scream the lyrics as members of Of Mice & Men watched in awe. In this moment, I also noticed Guitarist Phil Manansala toss a guitar pick to a passionate fan. After the song had ended, Frontman Aaron Pauley made note of how impressive Denver sounded and how thankful he was that their fanbase proved to be going strong in this city.
Nearing 9:30pm, it was finally time for Bullet For My Valentine to play. As soon as the house lights shut off, the crowd erupted. There is no other way for me to describe their set other than badass. This. Band. Rocks. Since their first shows in 2004, BFMV have continued to outdo themselves every night and prove their worth in the scene. Matt Tuck took a moment during the show to recognize Denver as the first-ever American city they played in. The audience cheered loudly. This special connection led to the band closing their show with something a little different. They played the song ‘Hearts Burst into Fire’ from their 2008 album Scream Aim Fire. The song details being away from someone you love and the emotions that arise when you reunite again. At one point in the song, it raises the question “Do you remember me at all?” In response to this, I think it is clear that Denver will never forget Bullet For My Valentine.
Gallery and review dedicated to Layla. Forever and Always.
All Photos of Bullet For My Valentine, Of Mice & Men, and Vended via Lex Caiola.