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Trivium - Manchester Academy 20.04.2018

So I will start with little story for you.

In 2006 when I was a mere 16 years old, back when I attended gigs as just an audience member and not a photographer, my uber cool mother took me to see Iron Maiden because there was no one else to go with me. All was going well until the main support Trivium took to the stage, which resulted in the crowd surging. My mum wasn't down with this and had a little bit of a panic attack. Needing to get away from it she ended up crowd surfing from about 4th row to the barrier. I was left to enjoy the show by myself and apart from the initial panic for my mum's sake, ended up discovering a band I'd never heard before and instantly fell in love.

Fast forward 12 years and my love for the band is just as strong and when ever they're played it always raises the talking point of 'That time my mum crowd surfed at a Metal concert'.

So with this in mind tonight was always going to be a special one, even if I did have a lingering thought of 'Would the band be able to live up to the memories, that I now hold so dear?'

Before I answer that question, let me take you through the evening.

Tonights opening act is Venom Prison, a brutal five piece from South Wales offering up Heavy Metal with bite. Think Arch Enemy meets Employed To Serve. Vocalist Larissa Stupar commands her audience as she spits lyrics in a truly refined guttural scream, in control but never over imposing the band chug through a strong half hour set to a sizeable audience. The early doors and beautiful weather thankfully didn't hinder the masses ascending upon the Academy and whilst it is worth noting there appeared to be some rather disinterested faces amongst the crowd, I think overall the band put on a great show and have no doubt added a few more fans into the fold.

Next up is Power Trip, (a personal favourite of Trivium's Matt Heafy who has often been spotted wearing their merch). Much like Venom Prison before, I had previously never heard of these guys. The following assault of my senses soon changed that and I am thankful it did. There is always something of worth in a band that can be both incredibly brutal, yet melodic. The guitar work on display intertwined with the vocals of Riley Gale are a perfect combination and it really doesn't take long to see why Matt is such a big fan of the band. More than worthy of their slot on tonights bill, I intend to keep an eye on these guys from here on out.

The final support of tonight comes in the form of Grammy nominated Code Orange. From here it is quite hard to put into words the band and their set. Violent may be a good word to start with, especially focusing on the bassist, who seconds into the set decided to tear through the pit, pushing his way through 10 odd photographers with little to no regard for their safety or their gear and then managed to hook my t-shirt with the neck of his guitar and rag me through the pit. I understand their genre, I understand stage persona, I didn't and still don't really get the lack of respect towards those doing their jobs.

From here it was hard not to see the band with a somewhat jaded outlook for the remainder of their set. But as I sit here now, having vented my frustrations it is worth noting that the band are certainly very good at what they do. They cover their bases from brutal to melodic well, with vocal duties shared amongst the band (with slightly more focus on their drummer taking most of the lead) and a stage presence that is captivating (when kept to the stage). Never really staying in one spot for more than a second the band are pure energy. Fully atmospheric and clearly only just getting started, I believe despite my misgivings on the night, what you have here is a band that are worth paying attention to.

Finally it is time for Trivium and time to answer that question I have made you wait a whole review to answer. Yes they lived up to the memories and more so.

As a band they have gone through year after year of adversity. Shooting to stratospheric heights so early into their career they always had a lot to live up to. But despite those who choose to be-little and berate the band and their career, they have pushed on and have aways come out the other side swinging. Simply put they fucking rock. As a unit they have never sounded better. With Matt's vocals sounding the strongest they ever have, the band is tight and their shows reflect that. With many albums and even more hits under their belts, tonights set allows for a celebration of the bands material, new and old. Tonight is sold out and that shows as the atmosphere of the room, never lets up. Well worth every penny the band tear through the evening with huge smiles on their faces, of which they are given a sea of smiles in return.

12 years ago I was introduced to these guys. In 12 years they have never let me down as a fan and tonight just reinforced that feeling.

Review & Photos - Friswell Photography

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