San Diego has always been known for taking care of its hometown heroes. From Unwritten Law to Slightly Stoopid, this city has a proud tradition of making sure that its native sons and daughters are always well-received when they make it back home. So, naturally, it was only right that Pierce the Veil Saturday night at SOMA be greeted on the last stop of its first headlining tour to a packed house and a line out the door at Soma.
Pierce the Veil represents the end product of a short dynasty of musical endeavors from the Fuentes brothers, Mike and Vic. These two have created an intricate and distinct brand of post-rock that has manifested itself in bands such as Early Times and Before Today. After 10 years of juggling musicians, adjusting their sound, and long sets of break-neck tempos, the Fuentes’ have finally settled on a band that is not as aggressive as earlier projects, but is more so musically and stylistically sound.
Despite the music’s complexity and challenge to play, Pierce the Veil still performs its set with a contagious energy and grace. All four members are fantastic showmen, as they do not neglect a single corner of the stage.
Drummer Mike Fuentes still maintains a presence on stage even though he is confined to his kit for the entirety of the show. Exaggerating myriad accents, embellishing rolls, and quickly moving around his set, Mike looks more like rocking octopus on stage than a human.
The pace of a Pierce the Veil show is interesting as many different styles of music are brought together in the synthesis of its sound. From metal breakdowns, to poppy riffs you can dance to, the show spoke to almost every different person in the audience. Pierce the Veil even goes so far as to include a few short covers in its set, including its own version of Beat It, which can be found on their Myspace.
Frequently changing the pace of the crowd from mosh pits to dance parties is a hard task to accomplish but somehow it worked last night. Pierce the Veil should be careful about varying the sound of their set too much as it allows for certain demographics in the audience to become disinterested. It’s the same problem Thrice is having on its Alchemy Index Tour. In any case, the gamble paid off Saturday night, allowing for this show to turn out as an experience completely different from any of the previous projects that spawned into what the band is now.
Pierce the Veil represents some of San Diego’s hardest-working and most-persistent musicians. The fact that its show was not only moved to SOMA’s main stage last night, but sold-out main stage, is a testament to the fact that after so many years the band’s efforts are finally gaining some well deserved notoriety.
With the amount of musical talent afforded by this band it’s no question it will continue to produce quality music. But whether or not they can keep people coming back to their shows, will be a revealing thread on the success of Pierce the Veil for the next few years.