Mike Kessel

Pierce The Veil’s “Jaws of Life” Tour Sells Out Des Moines’ Newest Venue

Music Scene Media
Dec 4, 2023
6 min read

Pierce the Veil headlined Des Moines, Iowa’s newest venue, Vibrant Music Hall, on their Jaws of Life Tour on December 2nd, celebrating the release of their newest studio album Jaws of Life. This was a long awaited headline tour for them, with the band’s last headlining North American tour taking place in 2017. The “Jaws of Life” Tour has sold out many of its dates, and Des Moines was no exception.

The show took place at Vibrant Music Hall, a brand new, state-of-the-art concert venue owned by Live Nation in Waukee, Iowa (15 minutes from downtown Des Moines). The venue has been open for less than a month. I was excited to see what this new 3,500 cap room has to offer to the community. 

As I arrived, it was apparent no expense was spared in creating this new venue. The room was equipped with a clean stage design, impressive artwork, a huge balcony, and decorated with their signature red neon lines found throughout the venue, inside and out. The staff was extremely friendly and accommodating from parking to security, and coat check. As a previous tech, I was immediately impressed by the acoustic quality of the room.

Destroy Boys kicked off the show, igniting the stage with their unapologetically fierce performance. Their punk-infused sound paired with assertive vocals creates an atmosphere charged with rebellious energy. Their physical energy matched the energy of the music. Each member brought a unique presence that upped the feeling in the room. At one point the vocalist even collapsed on stage and laid on the floor finishing the performance. In addition to the energy they put off, they also provided an empowering theme, spending many breaks talking about standing up for yourself in the face of adversity. 

Dayseeker's live performances are always fun to catch. Their vulnerable lyrics allow the audience to relate and resonate deeply with the music. Dayseeker's ability to blend post-hardcore intensity with the softer sadder side seamlessly is unmatched. Having caught them a few times over the years, I could definitely see an evolution within the band. Rory (vocals) even spoke on how a few years ago he thought the band was near its end and how amazing it was to have overcome the hurdles they were facing and now perform at sold out venues more than twice the size of the past.

Fronted by Anthony Green, LS Dunes, a supergroup composed of members from My Chemical Romance, Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive & Thursday) cranked up the energy level. The band's years of experience were apparent by how easy they made it look to create an immersive atmosphere. While all the members were polished professional musicians, Anthony’s performance was my favorite. He is one of those musicians you can watch him get lost in the music as if he is transported somewhere else while he’s on stage. It was particularly cool to hear Vic (PTV vocals) talk about LS Dunes later in the evening. He stopped to talk about how cool it was for him to have them perform side by side each night because each band the supergroup formed from has influenced Pierce the Veil’s writing.

Now I’m not going to lie here, while I grew up in the scene during Pierce the Veil’s rise, it was never really a band I gave a ton of attention to. I remember A Flair for the Dramatic and Selfish Machines, the bands freshmen and sophomore releases, coming out and I gave them each a spin or two but at that age I was more interested in the heavier end of the scene than the Vic Fuentes’ & Kellin Quinn’s of the scene. 

All of that considered, I was surprised how thoroughly I enjoyed the show. They still had all the key characteristics you would expect to see from the band but they seem to have evolved into something more mature with the latest release. Their energy level was 10x every other band on the bill. With cyro and confetti each going off multiple times, they had production to match. 

The fans' energy and connection mirrored the craze from 15+ years ago. The crowd was a sea of faces screaming every single word. You could see by the emotions (and even some tears) how much this meant to many of the audience members in attendance. About halfway through the performance Vic pulled an audience member on stage, sat her on a stool and put his hand on her shoulder, as he thanked for her support stating, “we can never repay you for what you have done for us.” He gifted her his guitar and proceeded to sing the next song directly to her as tears streamed down her face.

It’s no wonder that this tour has been selling out each night. This entire show was on point. Performance, production, and crowd connection were all top notch, exceeding my expectations. It’s safe to say, if Pierce the Veil continues to provide an experience like they did that night, they are only headed upwards.

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