Live Reviews : Trivium, In Flames & Lo! @ UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney 21/11/2014
Words & Images: Martin Michea
Trivium. In Flames. On the same billing. Taste on that one for a second will you. Beforehand I was not sure at all what to expect from this evening. I guess one could say that I expected Trivium to be the exclamation mark and In Flames to be the question mark. I have a pretty long and complicated relationship with In Flames, and I was actually worried about what I was about to witness. But anyway, let’s start from the beginning!
Lo! was tonight’s sole supporting act. One might think that opening for two huge international acts would be a terrifying thing, but if it was, it didn’t show. Lo! play a mix of sludge and hardcore, that’s about as much as I knew about them before they entered the stage at the UNSW Roundhouse this Friday evening. I didn’t expect too much from them to be honest, most of the hardcore bands can’t really do their sound justice live. Lo! however, managed this brilliantly.
The groove in their sound and many interesting bass lines kept it interesting through the entire set. Only having one guitarist is something that I found really interesting and it showed that less is definitely sometimes more. They also have a really great stage presence, using the whole stage to their advantage and especially vocalist Sam Dillon has some crazy stuff going on, his facial expressions reminding me of a randomly selected character from an asylum. I really think that Lo! grabbed the attention of some of the Sydney crowd today and they took at least me by surprise. Very musically gifted and I would definitely recommend you to check them out!
So, then the time had come for act one of the main event. Every release since Come Clarity has been way below the usual In Flames standard in my opinion, so I was dreading that the setlist which featured mainly newer material would not only make me disappointed, but also that the audience wouldn’t approve of the material.
It turns out I didn’t really have to worry. From the get-go In Flames set a high standard with fan favourite The Quiet Place. The thing that surprised me was that I really liked every song In Flames played, even from their latest release Siren Charms which I barely could get through a single time when it first came out. Full speed ahead, some of the classics were incorporated into the set, Trigger along with the mandatory Cloud Connected and Only For The Weak. Take This Life finished In Flames’ hour long set. I knew beforehand that the songs from 2006 and backwards would blow my mind as they usually do, but the way my fellow countrymen gave life to some otherwise pretty bland tracks was impressive and unexpected. I was afraid that this evening was about to mark the end for my relationship with In Flames, but it turns out that they are very much alive still.
And then, just like that it was time for the main event of this brilliant evening. It had been good so far. Really good in fact, the audience really showed In Flames heaps of love and it made me wonder, considering that 8/10 people seemed to be wearing Trivium t-shirts, exactly how insane the next 75 minutes would be?
Every once in a while a gig comes along where I forget to take notes. This was one of those times. I remembered after four songs that maybe I should write down SOMETHING. The only thing I could come up with right there and then was “Trivium *explicit* epic.”
I could really sum up the whole set with just those words. Everything was perfect tonight, from the high octane opener Strife to Brave This Storm, and to some more rare stuff like Into The Mouth Of Hell We March, just to finish it off with In Waves. It was a very well balanced setlist, mixing old and new. The whole band seemed really happy to be there, the crowd was extremely happy to be there. I think the only people who might not have been too happy about being at the Roundhouse on a night like this were the security at the barrier. Countless crowd surfers were pulled from the audience throughout the night. Matt Heafy said on more than one occasion that the Australian audience treat them better than the crowds back at home, and I don’t have a hard time believing him.
Heafy also sent out a very sincere thanks to In Flames, saying that Trivium wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for them, and how honoured he was to share the stage which such legends. It goes to show how influential In Flames has been over the years, and even if their golden days are behind them, they are still one of the bigger names in metal today.
Trivium’s set was simply flawless. Even new drummer (and former drum tech of the band) Mat Madiro was like a furious beast at the back, playing everything to perfection. The sheer amount of quality on stage was reflected on the audience which never seemed to tire.
Heafy informed the crowd that the band had taken bets on which city that would have the best crowd. Melbourne will really have to conjure something special to beat this, because this was a one of those rare concert evenings when everything just felt so right.
Thanks to Soundwave Touring, Trivium and In Flames are currently on tour. They hit 170 Russell this Sunday (23/11/2014) for the SOLD OUT show in Melbourne. Tickets for the two final dates available via the usual outlets.
SUNDAY 23 NOVEMBER – MELBOURNE, 170 RUSSELL – 18+ – SOLD OUT!!
MONDAY 24 NOVEMBER – MELBOURNE, 170 RUSSELL – 18+
TUESDAY 25 NOVEMBER – ADELAIDE, HQ – 18+