We were stoked to be in attendance at The AP Tour 2011, not only because Black Veil Brides and Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows were both playing, but for the support too, which included: I See Stars, VersaEmerge and Conditions! The date we attended was at Mojoes in Joliet, IL, which was the closest date to Chicago, but a significant drive from the city. Read our review of the evenings events after the break.
Upon arrival to Mojoes, I was very curious as to what this venue was going to be like ’cause it was surrounded by a ghost town of haunted looking buildings and an old jail, but the outside appeared to be just another venue. Once I was in the venue, I looked around like a kid in a candy shop. I was in shock at how much money, time and thought was put into this venue. FINALLY, something that was worth paying for and a place to feel comfortable and safe!
I took a spot in the middle of the balcony because I knew that within a matter of minutes this show was going to be packed from the huge line outside and before I knew it, the first band of the tour was taking stage. The band was called Conditions! As a opener of the tour package there surely was no warming up needed for the crowd. Immediate clapping, screaming and jumping. Great high energy and extremely tight musicianship. The backup vocalists were dead on. I wouldn’t have even known they were backups if I wasn’t watching. The vocalist had a great higher range to his vocals that really pierced through the music and had amazing melodies. The guitarists used their effects wisely and brought a very ambient feel to some parts, while the drummer was extremely creative and kept the pace and the energy up. The best part was during the song “When It Won’t Save You” when the vocalist had the crowd put their hands in the air and with the ambience going on it was a worship-like feeling. It was great to have a opener sound this good!
Next up was VersaEmerge and like many others, my first time hearing about this band was from MTV’s show, World Of Jenks. The performance started very epic and ambient while they took the stage. Into the first song the vocalists voice was very shaky, but she poured her energy into the crowd and they didn’t seem to mind one bit! She quickly gained confidence thankfully after she got used to the sound on stage. I don’t want to forget to mention that during the entire set the crowd screaming was nearly louder than the music! You could tell once the vocalist would go near the crowd and they were like old aged people reaching for the fountain of youth. It seemed to be their goal to just at least touch the vocalist, which was pretty awesome to see such dedication from fans.
I had never heard I See Stars before, but I was about to be awoken by everyone that has! Right as the first song kicked in, a malfunction happened with the guitars, but they got it handled right away professionally without anyone really noticing. They had a great blend of structured chaos, heavy breakdowns and catchy melodies. It really helped keep the crowd on their feet. One second everyone was moshing, then the whole crowd would have their hands in the air and while all that’s going on they still managed to sing along to their favorite parts. They ended their set with the first song ever recorded called “3D” and unlike many bands first recorded song, it was a hit and every fan knew exactly what song this was. It started with nearly every single person jumping and next thing I know, the screamer of the band jumped into the crowd for an epic ending.
I was anticipating seeing D.R.U.G.S., everyone in the audience clearly was as well because while the techs set up the equipment, the crowd starting fiercely chanting “ WE WANTS DRUGS” over and over again. The next thing I knew, the lights went down, the band walked out and started playing, but the most anticipated person had yet to walk out… Then, walking out with a smirk on his face to what he had created, Craig Owens (Ex. Chiodos) and the crowd went out of their minds! Without even saying a word, the crowd was already controlled by his presence. What a incredible site to see! One of the best songs (in my opinion) was “If You Had A Sex Life”, which as it started the crowd took over singing the intro! What a sight it was to see a crowd sing at the top of their lungs “If you had a sex life would even worry about mine…”! I was blown away by crowd participation and the energy from the band. It was so hot at one point and while looking down at the crowd it seemed like we were in a microwave. The entire crowd was jumping and it was as if we were all just popping from the intensity! And if it doesn’t get better than that image in your mind, imagine a packed crowd split down the middle during their last song.. It was like Moses parting the sea. With a command of “let me see a wall of death”, then entire crowd turned into a 8th grade dance with people on each side of the room and next thing I knew it was like magnets being pulled together and complete chaos!
While a suiting band blasts over the speakers (Motley Crue), the crowd starts chanting for the headlining band, Black Veil Brides! While they ere setting up, they had a black curtain veil the stage so no one knew when they were onstage or when it was going to start. I really feel that bands like this are starting to bring back true entertainment! With the drop of the curtain, bright flashing lights and a venue full of screaming fans, the band kicks off their first song with a bang! With 80’s blaring guitar duals leading songs off, modern singing and screaming, breakdowns, and a image that brings back what entertainment is all about, I don’t see how someone couldn’t find something in this band that they don’t like! During the middle of the set came a unexpected drum solo as the band randomly walked off stage after a song and the lights went black. The new drummer was incredibly impressive and even during the solo he had crowd participation sections! Once the band kicked back into the set, the vocalist climbed over the railing to the stairs to greet some fans during a song, but he had to run back before the fans mauled him out of excitement! I really enjoyed the song “Sweet Blasphemy”. The crowd nearly sang louder than the band during the entire song!