The internet kind of blew up over the weekend when Jorma Vik, drummer of The Bronx, posted a picture his friend took of Black Veil Brides’ stage setup at the Warped Tour. The shot shows the band’s guitarist performing in front of two fake Marshall stacks with the caption “A friend of mine took this photo at warped tour. This is what the kids are calling “rock n roll” these days. I’m lighting fire to every drum I have and becoming an investment banker.”
Say what you will about Black Veil Brides, but this is hardly a new practice. It’s not like every one of Slayer’s upside down cross stack of amps is powered (if any of them), and even in the photo thread, one of Vik’s contacts posted a picture of Immortal doing the same thing. BVB frontman weighed in on the non-controversy via Twitter, saying “Hey guys, we use staging in our stage show. Also these are tattoos, I wasn’t born with the batman logo on my arm. #uselessnews.”
At the end of the day, sound technology has advanced enough in recent years that anyone with a 60 watt amp could play an arena if it’s mic’d well enough. If you’re a band of BVB’s caliber that’s probably playing 2,500-capacity venues even when not on the Warped Tour, you’re going to want to have staging that looks like the bands you grew up emulating. And sure, The Bronx are punk enough that they won’t do that, but if a band wants to use staging to appear larger than life, that’s really on them.