Bullet for My Valentine, Of Mice & Men, Vended @ The Fillmore Silver Spring
On October 13—a Friday the 13th no less—Bullet for My Valentine played a spectacular sold-out show at the Fillmore Silver Spring in Silver Spring, MD. In my ten-years as a concert photographer, out of all the venues I’ve shot at, the Fillmore—no matter the size crowd they draw in—it’s always bound to be a wild time. And that’s one of the many ways to describe this show.
The first on the bill was Des Moines, Iowa’s very own, Vended, fronted by Griffin Taylor, son of rock legend, Corey Taylor. Last I saw him—at the Fillmore touring with Jinjer—Griffin had longer hair. This time, it’s shaved, and he wore more face paint and didn’t appear shirtless under his leather jacket right off the bat. As part of their set, they played songs released last year, and their more recent single, “Am I the Only One?” And let me tell you, the crowd thrived off their energy, going as far as chanting the band’s name at the end of the set, as they walked off the stage. Even a few minutes after they began to clear the set for Of Mice & Men.
Now, Of Mice & Men, I haven’t seen since Rock Allegiance 2016. This was a couple months before former lead vocalist, Austin Carlisle, left the band. Aaron Pauley—having been with the band since 2012, would accompany Carlisle with some of the heavier vocals and mostly did the clean ones—showed the crowd how easily he can do both, and so effortlessly. Their impeccable set contained songs from their older, classic albums and their newer records like Echo and Tether, both respectively released 2021 and 2023. It was no wonder why Bullet for My Valentine added them to their roster. I have to give the Of Mice & Men some serious points. During their set, they gave a shout out to the security guards for catching the rowdy crowd surfers and keeping everyone in the venue safe.
Yet this was not the only noteworthy thing that happened that night.
As for the main band, Bullet for My Valentine—I had not seen them since 2015 when they toured with Griffin’s father’s band, Slipknot, as part of the massive summer Be Prepared for Hell tour. And they didn’t disappoint at all. To refer to my earlier note, right before Bullet started their second song, they paused their set, noting that a fan had possibly fainted. They walked around on stage, checking the reaction of the rest of the crowd to give them an update. Once those nearest the fan in question gave the band a thumbs up, they resumed. All 1,700-plus attendees sang along with every single song the band played, even out-singing front-man Matt Tuck during “All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me).” Their set was beautifully heavy and perfectly crafted to play a few of their songs from their 2021 self-titled album and the rest from their older, heavier albums. It really was a night to remember.
The tour has two weeks left on this leg, so my suggestion is run, do not walk, to Ticketmaster and get your tickets for this show. You don’t want to miss it.