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Going in-between the lines of a rock concert experience


     The In-Between Tour, featuring bands Ded, Black Veil Brides (BVB) and In This Moment (ITM), was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had since before the pandemic. The loud music and theatrical performances had me OFF my feet with each band delivering a performance in their own way.

     It all started with the BVB meet and greet. Upon entering the National in Richmond, VA, where the event was held, my boyfriend and I walked up to a guy who asked for our names and then handed us our signed

meet and greet photo.jpg

Photo by Liv Carpenter

posters and BVB masks. We were fourth in line, which meant we would be one of the first to meet them. A man came down and explained the rules: No hugs, handshakes or touching the band. Keep masks over the nose. No selfies, videos, phone or video calls. Et cetera. It was all very different from what it would be if COVID-19 didn’t exist. We probably would have been allowed to have some form of physical contact, but I understand why we didn’t. 

     Once it was our turn, we walked down a very narrow hallway that led to the meet and greet room. I could hear lead singer Andy Biersack talking and laughing with fans. I was so excited and anxious; I recall my Fitbit recording my heart rate at 116 BPM (my resting is 68). My boyfriend comforted me and assured me it would all be great. I felt myself tear up because I could not believe I was about to meet the people who have helped me so much just through music. 

     Once our part of the line made its way into the room, I saw bassist Lonny Eagleton and lead guitarist Jake Pitts first. I got my last little bit of mini jumps out before feeling sudden relief. I told myself that I was going to speak to them like people and not gods. However, once it was our turn, that idea left my brain. 

     “Hello,” I recall Biersack saying. 

     I greeted him back but had to listen to my voice whimper as I did so. I listened to my boyfriend joke with the boys by saying he was a “second-hand fan” — he only listens to them when I play them.

     “That’s cool too,” Biersack responded. 

     I continued on with a sobbing speech about how much their music meant to me and included how Eagleton has been motivating me to practice guitar more. After getting a “thank you,” Biersack softly asked if we wanted a picture.

     After the meet and greet, we went back outside and stood some more before being let in the venue early for the show. We managed to get a spot at the barricade right in front of the stage. After a long time of waiting, Ded came on stage. Their set was very engaging, and lead singer Joe Cotela was very social with the crowd. 

     Ded’s set didn’t last too long — next up was BVB. It began with a dramatic playing of “The Phantom Tomorrow (Introduction)” as the members ran onto the stage. The crowd roared when they began their set with the song, “Scarlet Cross.” 

     I swear when Biersack sang, “it spirals as I ache,” he looked directly into my camera and widened his eyes. I leaned back into my boyfriend in disbelief of what was going on. That wasn’t the only attention I got from the band, I rolled up my poster given to me from the VIP and yelled into it, getting Eagleton to look down at me and smile. 

     Their show rocked! I knew the words to pretty much every single song, and I had no problem with screaming them at the top of my lungs and annoying the people around me. BVB felt like they were only there for five minutes; I needed to hear more. 

     After ending with the song, “In the End,” my boyfriend and I decided we needed to sit down. I get incredibly anxious in crowds and everything there felt wall-to-wall; I don’t think I would’ve survived standing there one more hour. 

     We grabbed some merchandise and some water and headed to the very top of the “peanut gallery” on the balcony. We had a good view of the entire stage, and that made ITM’s show so much better. 

     It started again with another dramatic introduction. The lights blinked rapidly which reminded me of a haunted house. The stage was pagan-themed, and they used a lot of religious symbolism. The first song “Fly Like an Eagle,” which is a cover of the Steve Miller Band but was performed in an occult-like way. Lead singer Maria Brink was covered up completely with a white sheet. Her voice was pure and so beautiful; she was an example of a vocalist who sounded the EXACT same as their studio records. 

     Each song had its own stage performance. Brink had to leave after each one to change into a new and better outfit which ranged from white or red sheets, to wolf masks, to red kinky boots. It was all so amazing, and each set had an emotional and surprising twist to it. 

     Their final song was titled, “Whore”, and before performing, Brink spoke on her inspiration for it while standing on top of a stand that had the title written on it. She said that she had been called that word ever since she was a little girl, and this was her owning up to it. It all ended with smoke guns, big red balloons with pentacles on them and confetti cannons. It was so beautiful that I sobbed my eyes out. 

     The In-Between Tour should get an award for how amazing it was. The experience seemed very well planned and put together. BVB was very polite and fun to hang out with. I will definitely do all of this again next year. How could I ever pass this up?

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