Bullet for My Valentine
Bullet for My Valentine performing during the River City Rockfest at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas on May 29, 2016.
Since their inception in 2003, Welsh quartet Bullet for My Valentine have been taking cues from '80s metal bands and the punk-infused metal of the new millennium to make melodic, metallic, dark rock songs. Originating from Bridgend, South Wales -- a breeding ground for like-minded groups like Funeral for a Friend and LostProphets -- the group consists of childhood friends Matthew Tuck (vocals/guitar), Michael Padget (guitar/vocals), Jason James (bass/vocals), and Michael Thomas (drums). Everyone in the group, with the sole exception of James, previously performed together for a few years in Jeff Killed John. One day before entering the recording studio, though, Jeff Killed John's original bassist abruptly walked out, effectively breaking up the band with his exit.

The Poison Regrouping under the new name Bullet for My Valentine (with James on board), the guys reworked their sound and were signed at their second gig by London's Visible Noise. They released a self-titled EP in the U.K. in November 2004, and their debut album, The Poison, appeared the next fall. One year later they partnered with an American label, Trustkill, to begin releasing their material in the U.S. As a result, Hand of Blood -- essentially a deluxe version of the band's first EP -- was issued to American audiences in August. That same year, Bullet for My Valentine won Kerrang!''s Best British Newcomer Award and headlined the magazine's XXV tour. The U.S. release of The Poison followed in early 2006, as did a nationwide tour in support of Rob Zombie, and the album eventually sold more than 500,000 copies in America alone. Meanwhile, Bullet for My Valentine headed back to the U.K. in June for a third appearance at the annual Download Festival.

Scream Aim FireScream Aim Fire appeared in 2008, marking the band's second full-length album and cracking the Top Ten in multiple countries (including the U.K. and U.S., where it peaked at numbers five and four, respectively). After touring, the band headed back into the studio, this time choosing Linkin Park producer Don Gilmore to helm the recording sessions. The result was 2010's Fever, another high-charting album with a slightly more mainstream sound than the band's previous releases. In 2012, Tuck took a quick break to record with his side project, AxeWound, but returned to the band to release Bullet for My Valentine's fourth album, Temper Temper, in 2013. The following year saw the group head back into the studio with producer Colin Richardson to begin work on its next long-player. The resulting Venom arrived in summer 2015. (Source: AllMusic)
The fourth annual Bud Light River City Rockfest was held over Memorial Day weekend and had over 27,800 in attendance. This surpasses last year's attendance of 26,000 and 23,000 and 14,000 the previous years. The festival had four stages.

Fan Duel Stage
Lynnwood King & The Revival, Mud River, Donella Drive, The Heroine, Wild Throne

AA Best Bail Bonds Stage
Red Sun Rising, Devildriver, Texas Hippie Coalition, The Sword, Hatebreed, P.O.D., Sevendust

Bud Light Stage
Avatar, Pop Evil, Hellyeah, Sixx:AM, Bullet For My Valentine, Megadeth, Scorpions, Disturbed

In addition, the festival included the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow that had three performances throughout the day.

Bullet for My Valentine contact:
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen:
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