Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Trivium - Ulster Hall

On Sunday night (March 5th 2006) I went to see "Trivium plus guests" at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. Usually you would expect "plus guests" to mean "crap local group(s)", but we were wrong. Very wrong.

The guests happened to be God Forbid, a well-known name in the metal genre in their own right and ironically the band that Trivium supported last year before they became so famous.

Now I've been to many gigs - more than I can easily count - but I felt that God Forbid were probably the best group I had ever seen in terms of audience interaction. They were very personable and everyone in the band was obviously having fun and really enjoying themselves, which made them so much easier to enjoy in return. I haven't got any God Forbid albums yet, but they played such a blinder of a set that I will certainly be seeking them out at some stage in the not too distant future.

My only complaint would be that they played a very short set: they started close to 8:30pm (after a 1½ hour wait from the "Doors open at 7pm" rubbish) and they were off by 9pm. Other than that I couldn't knock them at all and I recommend that you check them out if you are able to.

Then it was on to Trivium and they were worth every penny. How cheesy would it be to open to Queen's "We Will Rock You" at a metal gig? Not at all is the answer, especially when you have a packed Ulster Hall's worth of fans chanting along with it! I don't know how many thousands of people were stamping their feet and clapping to each verse, but if you know how the song goes (and I'm sure you do) you can probably imagine that the poor Ulster Hall's century-old foundations were being very heavily tested!

Despite their vocalist having throat problems (he'd been singing day after day for weeks now due to a heavy touring schedule they still managed to open with my second favourite song from the album and close with my favourite an hour and a half later. They only have 2 albums out so far, so they played most of their new one and the best of their last album as well as some songs they were creating for their next release.

Some could say that the down side to Trivium's performance was the fact that their vocalist Matt Heafy had to stop singing half-way through but, like he said, "Trivium have never and will never cancel a gig unless we die". But how to you continue when your vocalist isn't able to sing? You find a fan that knows your songs and can sing, and you get him to take over of course! While he was choosing a new singer the rest of the band broke into a few minutes of Dio, Guns n Roses and a few other classics, followed Pantera's "Domination" – a very cool tribute to Dimebag Darrell , the Pantera guitarist who was shot dead during a gig last year. It was amazing to see a band so young (Heafy is only 19) pay so much homage to so many other established bands.

Speaking of which, our local lad hand-picked to sing with Trivium did a spectacular rendition of Metallica's "Master of Puppets". A very cool way to remember a gig by from an audience point of view, but obviously the most memorable concert of your life if you're hand-picked to sing for the band you love!

All in all I don't think I could really fault this gig on any front. Sure the 1½ hour wait from doors opening to the music starting will have irritated a few people, but that's a management issue. It was a pity that Heafy lost his voice, but getting a local person to take over was a stroke of genius and it really improved my opinion of Trivium and my enjoyment of the night.

Both bands played so well and obviously loved their jobs and the crowds they play to. I would be lying if I said I could give Trivium/God Forbid anything less than the full 5 headbangs out of 5 for providing me with the best gig of my life. If you get the chance to see them you will be doing yourself a disservice if you don't check them out.

[Article by KA. PA will return tomorrow]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the concert. I personally thought that Trivium dragged on a bit too long - were all those metallica covers really necessary??
Also I enjoyed standing outside for a few hours with the crowd, it was fun,
Good review, man

8:28 am  

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