It was August 2016, just a few months before my year-twelve exams were due to start. However, I decided that instead of studying, I would travel two and a half hours to Melbourne to see Andy Black in concert.
We were just across from the MCG, so you can imagine the sight of a bunch of Hawthorn and Essendon fans walking on one side of the road whilst a bunch of emo/goth/alternative teenagers stood on the other. I was by myself but quickly made friends with a fellow loner with blue hair, which helped ride out the wait in line.
I had been to a concert before (Katy Perry’s PRISM tour, which I enjoyed) but I will always consider Andy Black as my favourite (so far…)
I greatly preferred the smaller crowd and a more personal show, especially since I was actually able to see Black instead of a tiny dot in the distance. The set itself was also very simple, the show focused entirely on the music instead of stunts and special effects. Black performed a range of songs from his album ‘The Shadow Side’ including Ribcage and Stay Alive, even including a separate single entitled They Don’t Need To Understand.
Black also allowed his backup musicians to speak and interact with the crowd between songs instead of focusing entirely on himself, adding a lively and inclusive personality to the show. He also had a wonderful engagement with his audience and was genuinely hilarious with his topics ranging from Pokémon GO to an Australian airline that gave him and his wife bad service. The live music itself was a treat, he even sang a cover of Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing with Myself’. The energy from the people around me was amazing with the crowd screaming out each lyric with him at the top of their lungs, the passion for the music filling the room. This passion reached a high when he performed a single from his band’s (Black Veil Brides) second album entitled Saviour, a song directed towards BVB fans who are going through tough times.
The Kindness of Strangers
One of my personal highlights was in the middle of a song, noticed my new blue-haired friend slipped further ahead of the crowd. I’m 5’10 so I can’t exactly get away with sneaking up in front of the crowd but luckily my blue-haired friend was just on 5’1 (if memory serves me right) so no one would mind if she squeezed in front. That night I discovered the true kindness of a fellow music fan when she turned to the person in front of me and said: “oh, I’m sorry, do you mind if my friend comes and stands with me?” and I got to take a full step closer to the stage. (If that girl is reading this, that was the nicest thing anyone had done for me in a long time. Thank you.)
Overall, Andy Black was a treat to watch live with his personality and understanding of difficult topics creating a unique concert experience. Clearly, this experience has left me praying that Black Veil Brides will bring their upcoming album VALE to Australia in 2018.