VAMPS have been around for less than a decade. The band is huge in Japan but a well-kept secret here in the States. Considered a duo between vocalist Hyde and guitarist K.A.Z. VAMPS pack a punch. Their sound is aggressive rock with a mix of punk. I’ve always found them to have that early Mötley Crüe feel. Ironically, one of the first times I saw them they covered “Live Wire.”
I have enjoyed their work for quite a while now and, like I mentioned, I’ve seen them before so the opportunity to see them again and in my own town had me stoked. They are touring in support of their latest record, Underworld. For a Saturday night, it was a small crowd but they were rabid. The lights went down, the assembled masses erupted, and when Hyde hit the stage I went partially deaf.
VAMPS opened the set with “Inside of Me” off the new record so you immediately got a taste of what they’re doing now. They followed that up with “Lips” and “Evil” off their last album, Bloodsuckers.
After leaving the photo pit, I could stake out a nice place in the crowd, zone in, and that’s when VAMPS crushed out nearly the entire new record, highlighted by the songs “Calling,” “Bleed for Me,” and “Underworld.” It was pretty rad watching them work the crowd and watching the respect that was shown back to them, including lingerie thrown on stage.
“Devil Side,” “Bloodsuckers,” and “World’s End” brought a close to the main set. I took this time to explore the crowd more closely. There were fans with huge VAMPS flags, scarves and posters. It was almost like going to one of those hardcore European soccer matches. The crowd kept chanting their name until they came back out and the encore was on.
The encore was my favorite part of the show because it featured the songs that I was most attached to, starting off with “Revolution” from the Beast record. It was followed up by “B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Blood)” which is my favorite, and I think the standout track of the new record. VAMPS brought it home with “Sex Blood Rock N Roll.”
All-in-all, they show was exceptional. It was high energy and left a lasting impression. It’s hard to get some of these over-seas bands to the States, so go and see them whenever you can. Show the band, the record label, and venues there is a demand here, so they can come back.