I headed up to the Town Ballroom this past week to catch Trivium and Devil Driver because if you like metal, you really have little excuse not to hit up this tour. Touring with support from After The Burial and Thy Will Be Done, the show was set to be a throw-down for sure, considering that for the metal crowd, this is kind of the last hurrah for the Ballroom before spring.
However when the Rock Show Critique team arrived, it appeared that the buzzing crowd was small in attendance. They were a mixed bag audience of all different types and sizes, but the seemed eager to start. First up was Thy Will Be Done. They played an interesting and heavy set including “A Solemn Oath” and “Unto the Sanctified.” They were very solid throughout and the audience seemed to find them respectable.
Second on the bill was After The Burial, and I had been hearing a lot about this band. They are a “djent” style band which derives a technical style from legendary bands like Meshuggah with a Born of Osiris kind of feel to it. Musically, this band was very skillful live. They played through their set with the technical prowess of an older band playing such songs as “Berzerker,” “Aspiration” and a new song from their forthcoming album Wolf Amongst Ravens which sounded fantastic. My only real concern is that their physical stage presence left something to be desired for the first half of the set, lest the vocalist who seemed charged up throughout. All of my reviews are critical of the frontman because I consider the frontman to have more freedom of movement and the responsibility to engage, and Anthony Notarmasu didn’t disappoint. The rest of the band seemed a bit rigid until halfway through the set where they came alive to finish out with their newer music.
Next up was always exciting DevilDriver. The crowd grew and got really hyper for their set. They came out to the tune of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Mr. Crowley” tearing into “End of the Line.” They also played an AWOLNATION cover of “Sail” along with “Ruthless” and “Oath of the Abyss” off their new album Winter Kills. In addition they also played fan favorites “Clouds Over California” and “I Could Care Less.” Fez Ferrara and the rest of Devil Driver were absolutely phenomenal from start to finish. Fez even spoke to the crowd in words of appreciation and humility keeping level with the crowd giving a message of honesty about staying true to the music and playing for the fans. Truly it was a caliber of honor for this band that keeps them going playing show to show, and for a little over an hour they seemed completely untouchable. In my opinion, they stole the show from the moment they took the stage and if it had gone on the rest of the night, nobody would have been upset.
Finally closing out the night as the headliner of the festival is thrash/metalcore band Trivium. They came out to “Divinity” which made it seem like the summoning of the Gods to the stage. They opened up with “Throes of Perdition” and the crowd loved it. For the rest of their set, they didn’t play much off of their new album except for “Strife” and “Brave This Storm.” They did however play a little bit from every album with “Down From the Sky,” “In Waves,” “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation” and “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr.” The two surprising song choices were “Becoming the Dragon” off The Crusades album and the title track “Shogun” in its entirety. The set was good, but it was an odd mix of songs. I was surprised not to hear “Kirisute Gomen” or “Like Light To Flies,” but then again, the crowd itself looked drained that adding that to that set might have left the crowd beyond destroyed. Although for a consummate Trivium fan, it was an unusual combination of songs with a few you never get to hear. Trivium is on tour in support of their new album which is spectacular throughout called Vengeance Falls.
Throes Of Perdition
Down From The Sky
Becoming The Dragon
Brave This Storm
A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation
Capsizing The Sea
Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr
One Winged Angel
End Of The Line
Hold Back The Day
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Before The Hangman’s Noose
Oath Of The Abyss
I Could Care Less
Head On To Heartache (Let Them Rot)
Dead to Rights
Clouds Over California
Meet The Wretched