Tommy Vext returns from the hospital for a powerful performance with Bad Wolves. 10/10
It’s been a bit of a stressful week here at The Metal Report but it’s safe to say Bad Wolves are having a far worse time. The Platinum certified LA crew are in the UK for their first ever European tour and front man Tommy Vext develops a chest infection which hospitalises him. Despite his best attempts Vext hasn’t been well enough to perform which has resulted in As Lions singer Austin Dickinson and Stars of Bang Bang Romeo filling in. Also this gig in Bristol has been advertised for the wrong venue, but luckily The Marble Factory is around the corner from the advertised venue so fans find their way there. Most importantly, Tommy Vext is there. John Boeklin confirms to us that Tommy is going to perform but he’s still very sick and his strength comes and goes in waves. This sounds frankly worrying and I’m sure fans would rather not see Tommy perform than make himself worse.
The Marble Factory is an awesome venue, possibly one of the best I’ve been to and it looks to be sold out, even the balcony is full and there seem to be a lot more Bad Wolves shirts in the crowd than Three Days Grace, even though TDG are the headliners.
As the band takes the stage it’s hard to imagine Tommy has been seriously ill – he’s a whirlwind of motion, the one sign of the high fever he’s had is the sweat pouring from him. There’s no compromise here, he isn’t taking it easy and the Bristol crowd is getting Bad Wolves at 100%. Two songs in, the band pause for Tommy to introduce No Masters which has been released as a video earlier that day and the crowd erupts into a pit. Not to be outdone, guitarists Doc Coyle and Chris Cain, and bassist Kyle Konkiel are all over the stage too and it’s hard to know where to look.
We’re given a chance to take things a little easier with Remember When, a song which is one of the most powerful of 2018, then we’re back up into high gear with Better the Devil and the pit is back. Hear Me Now gives the pit a breather and nothing against Diamante but it’s awesome hearing the song performed by Vext only.
Vext tells the crowd that there’s one song left, asks for the lights to be turned out, the crowd to light The Marble Factory with mobile phones, lighters, vape pens or anything at hand and tells the fans that every voice needs to sing loud so Delores O’Riordan can hear in heaven above. It’s an eerie but inspiring sight to see the venue lit by the crowd and needless to say Zombie is both electric and emotional. A song that was powerful and brave in 1994 which was has even more gravity now following O’Riordan’s death.
As the band throw picks, drum sticks and set lists to the crowd, Vex is doubled up exhausted. He straightens up seemingly leaning on the mic stand for support while wiping tears from his eyes. He has given absolutely everything to the crowd tonight and takes a moment before thanking the Bristol audience for coming to support real music and allowing them to “live a life beyond our wildest dreams”.
Bad Wolves are undoubtedly one of metals biggest success stories of this year but they still remain humble and are grateful to the fans who support them. Tonight’s show is proof of that, it would have been easy and totally understandable for him to have taken it easy but all five Wolves have killed it.
Bad Wolves? More like Fucking Amazing Wolves.
Words and photos (c) Morgan Evans.
Metal Report Editor.
Ex guitarist in Zenopede, ex vocals for a goth covers band that was hailed as the future of Welsh music, former DJ, promoter and nightclub director. Writer for Gear4Geeks’ Blog4Geeks and owner of Gear4Geeks ltd. First published music critique was Kerrang letter of the Week.
Definitely has never been the future, present or past of Welsh music.