Trivium GTF Sideshow (Canberra, ACT)

4 December 2019 at UC Refectory

The first time I saw Trivium was at the hot, sweaty dustbowl called Eastern Creek Raceway in 2010 during Soundwave and I was hooked by the intensity, frantic pace of the music and the pure showmanship and connection they were able to make with the crowd. They became my favourite band and have remained that way since then and Shogun is still my quintessential favourite and, in my opinion, the single greatest album of all time.

Nearly a decade later, Trivium finally came to Canberra. I couldn’t wait to see them once more live having seen them every time they had come back to Australia since 2010 along with my dad, my brother Sam (who introduced me to Trivium) and his friend James. Attending concerts and seeing bands has become a family tradition for us.

The UC Refectory was the venue for the concert and upon arrival, was around half full. By the time Trivium hit the stage, I would say there was around 700 people. 

The opening act was Eye of the Enemy, a Melodic Death Metal band from Melbourne. They grabbed the metaphorical musical testicles of the crowd from the first song and did not let up with their entire thirty-minute set. The lead vocalist, Mitch Alexander, demonstrated a wide spectrum of screams and signing from guttural to very tight cleans. For the first song, the crowd was essentially motionless and cold. Eye of the Enemy brought energy and a whole lotta headbanging and by the end of the set, the crowd was very much into them. The final song The Shift had an acoustic opening which took me by surprise before getting back into the heavy riffing. By the end of the set, I couldn’t wait to check more of their work out on Spotify. I was very impressed by how well they played, the showmanship of the individuals within the band and headbanging as a collective group. 

After a short period for the sound guys to do their “CHECK ONE TWO’S” and “YEEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHS”, Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills blasted over the P.A. Naturally the crowd began signing along as if a call to arms for those in attendance to get ready to go insane. 

Trivium opened with The Sin and the Sentence, the title track of their latest album and right out of the gate, they brought the same power and intensity that they brought nearly 10 years ago. I was very impressed that Matt Heafy was able to match the vocals from the album, and able to continue to match the vocals for the entire set. Corey “fresh out of the shower” Beaulieu is a master of his craft whilst doing his best impression of Roman Reigns levels of wet hair. 

The second song of the night, Beyond Oblivion brought the crowd all the way in and the mosh pit began to match the energy of the band. Along with the crowd interaction and the vocals and the crisp and clear tones, Trivium were able to confirm that Beyond Oblivion is one of my favourite tracks from the new album.

Like Light to the Flies was next, bringing out what was left of the fan boy in me, playing some classic Ascendancy and Matt and Corey intertwining screams in near perfect harmony. They were able to blend the rawness and energy that I really enjoy about the songs from Ascendancy with the dark and heavy tones from the newer albums.

The other favourite of mine from the new album, Sever the Hand was next and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. They brought the near frantic pace from the album and coupled it with a “grab the crowd by the balls and don’t let them go” attitude. After the song, Matt told the crowd that someone threw beer onto the Paolo’s bass rig and it had gone out during the song, thankfully they were able to hook up a backup rig and get right back on track without missing a beat.

Forsake not the Dream and Shattering the Skies Above were next representing the In Waves era of the band and Trivium stayed true to the albums sound during the songs. The breakdowns in Shattering made the crowd head bang and throw up the horns. Until the World Goes Cold was treated as an anthem for the crowd, singing along with the harmonies and the choruses and Corey’s solo at the end of the song was much more impactful and emotional than what was on Silence in the Snow.

Throes of Perdition is another favourite of mine and nearly brought the house down with how much the crowd got into it. Thrown into the Fire and Betrayer seemed to be crowd favourites and showed off the bass-y sound of the newest album. 

Down from the Sky was the song that got me into Trivium and I never get tired of hearing it live. This time was no different with the Elephant Riff getting the mosh pit going again. Down from the Sky again adds to the point made at the start that Shogun is the best album of all time. Paolo’s backing vocals during the chorus demonstrated the sonic width that Trivium covers with their music. 

Heart from Your Hate had the crowd mixed between headbanging and moshing to dancing which I was a big fan of, always fun to have a little dance. Strife proved to be the perfect Woah-a-long song connecting the band with the crowd. 

Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr began the crowd surfers with the band ending on Capsizing the Sea/In Waves for the finale.

All things considered the venue was not the best choice for acoustics, there was quite a lot of reverb. Fellow concert goers told me they prefer better sounding venues in Canberra, but they are smaller capacity. I would have liked a bit more Ember to Inferno, Ascendancy, the Crusade and Shogun representation of Triviums reportedly last headlining concerts “for a while”. But I had a great time, Trivium have never disappointed me from a performance point of view and the band controls the crowd excellently.

Matt finished off by saying “We will always come back” and I’ll be there when they do.

Line-up: Trivium, Eye Of The Enemy

Reviewer: Alex Kerr
Photocredits: Hold Still Photography