Almost five years had gone by without a Pierce The Veil (PTV) headliner in Toronto, let alone multiple dates all around Canada and parts of the US. So when they announced that they would be playing not one, but two nights at the Danforth Music Hall; I knew I had to attend both shows, as well as purchase vip perks for both dates.
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 could not come fast enough. My friend (who i was going to the show with) and I were practically bouncing off the walls. We arrived at the venue just after 7:30 a.m., as we wanted to be the first people in line (which we were!!!). We waited for approximately 10 hours before being handed our VIP lanyards and let into the venue for the VIP Meet & Greet. Now when I say Pierce The Veil is the nicest band to meet, I really mean it. Prior to this show, I had met them once before but they were even more lovely and kind than they were the last time. After a quick convo and picture with the band, I was handed a VIP exclusive poster and pack of patches. After the Meet & Greet, we had to go back outside to collect our tickets, but it was only a short amount of time before we were being let back inside.
My friend and I were able to get right to the barricade in front of stage right, which we were both super excited about as that’s Jaime’s side and he is quite notorious for interacting with the audience. At about 7:00 p.m., the lights went out and the first opener, Crown The Empire, came on. They played a short set of 6 songs with the sounds of post-hardcore and punk influence.
Shortly before Falling In Reverse came on, I started to feel extremely ill and unfortunately, passed out. A security guard scooped me out of the crowd, away from my perfect barricade spot, and sent me on my way to the paramedics. My time in there took about an hour, which meant I basically missed all of Falling In Reverse’ set. They sounded great from the upstairs medical room, though!
After that, I was back in the crowd, not quite as close as I was before, but still at a good point. The time had come for Pierce The Veil to take the stage and you could basically cut the anticipation with a knife that’s how thick it was. If you’ve ever been to a PTV gig, you will agree with me that it truly is a theatrical performance; the 2 minute short that they project on a white sheet obstructing your view from the stage, and as it drops down it reveals an elaborately decorated stage littered with space-themed paraphernalia. The boys emerged out of what looks like a broken spaceship wearing astronaut-esque outfits, only to de-suit and grab their instruments, as the intro to their opening song Dive In counts them in.
Usually bands wait for the very last song to set off the confetti canons, well not Pierce The Veil! During the first chorus of Dive In, red confetti littered the crowd. After an exciting opening song, they follow up with their classic song Caraphenelia and their fastest song Texas is Forever, to which a circle pit broke out. Following that was The Divine Zero; a song about Vic Fuentes’ (lead vocalist) struggle to find a voice as a kid, then Bulletproof Love had everyone (including myself) screaming the lyrics like there was no tomorrow. They even chose a lucky fan from the audience to be brought on stage for Vic to serenade at the beginning of the song!
Then it came time in the setlist for my personal all-time favourite Pierce The Veil song, Floral and Fading. Then they did something completely new; an acoustic song. The band decided to slow it down a bit, playing Stay Away From My Friends acoustically; straight from the ‘Selfish Machines’ album, piano and all! They picked it back up with the energetic song Bulls in the Bronx gave a little throwback homage to ‘Flare for the Dramatic’ with Chemical Kids and Mechanical Brides. The band “ended” their set with the ever tear-jerking Hold On Till May before teasing us with a goodbye, only to come again for two more songs. They finished off the night with the radio-worthy song Circles and their most popular song King For A Day.
After their ending song, drum sticks, guitar picks, and set lists were thrown into the crowd before everyone dispersed through the exits, the room still buzzing with excitement and mutual love for music.
I had such an amazing time that night and I couldn’t wait to do it all again the next night!
Photos by: Sammy Roenfeldt