Trivium, Heaven Shall Burn, Black Tide @ Club Capitol, Perth (19/5/2009)

Trivium proudly fly the flag of traditional metal in the last show of their Australian tour.

At the slated opening time of 8 pm, the line outside of Club Capitol stretched all the way down Murray Street to Fast Eddies - and even as door staff did an efficient job of checking IDs and getting punters through the door, more were joining the end of the queue faster than they could be let in.

Inside, door tickets were still available as we came thorugh - although I don't know if ticketless latecomers would have had the same luck. If this show didn't sell out, as many of the others on this tour did, it must have been very, very close to it - well done, Perth!

By the time we got inside, openers Black Tide were well and truly into their set. Given what I had heard about these Miami youngsters, I wasn't surprised at all at their level of confidence and professionalism on stage - these kids could show a thing or two to bands twice their age (that is, bands who don't need parental consent forms signed to get tattooed).

In addition to tracks from their debut album Light From Above, Black Tide premiered a new song, Redefined, as well as throwing in a few covers - a sure-fire way for a new band to get punters on side. An unusual but gutsy choice was Foo Fighters' Everlong - and while this song gave the drummer a chance to show off, it was not as well received by the crowd as early Metallica thrasher Hit The Lights, which gave each of the guitarists an opportunity to show off their not-inconsiderable shredding prowess, or the Iron Maiden classic which finished the nearly hour-long set.

A quick set change later, Heaven Shall Burn began their assault. This German band had brought a large contingent of fans out of Perth's woodwork, eager to show their appreciation at what can only be described as a brand of metal-tinged hardcore characterised by extreme Teutonic earnestness. This was metalcore as only the Germans could do it.

Before the start of the second song of their set, frontman Marcus Bischoff set about  encouraging a large circle pit. Unfortunately this also encouraged the kind of antisocial moshing behaviour that tends to characterise metal of this genre, which continued throughout Heaven Shall Burn's slightly shorter bracket.

The stage set up for headliners Trivium included two free-standing screens and an absolute ton of dry ice smoke. Lights dimmed as an instrumental introduction started, garnering roars of crowd approval, but Matt Heafy, Travis Smith, Corey Beaulieu and Paolo Gregoletto did not appear through the smoke for nearly another five minutes. When they did, it  was to launch into Kirisute Gomen - unexpectedly accompanied by the venue's fire alarm.

The band and most of the punters at the front of the club probably did not notice the siren, but those at the back could be seen nervously checking the path to the exit. Within a minute or two the scrambling staff had silenced what was thankfully a false alarm, and the show continued uninterrupted.

The second song, Down From the Sky, had the entire audience singing along - a trend that continued as Trivium played songs spanning their entire catalogue. 'Do you guys have Ascendency?' enquired frontman Heafy, instructing those who didn't to go download it before playing He Who Spawned the Furies. Fast and furious Fugue from debut release Ember to Inferno got an airing, as did We Are The Fire.

The sound quality thorughout the set was good, and energy high - crowd surfers and mosh pit participants alike managing to do their thing without invoking too much wrath from security. Heafy spent time between songs thanking the bands, promotors, crews and fans as well as complaining of the heat on stage and inciting Perth to be louder and more energetic than previous Australian cities had been - pretty much standard rock concert banter, but delivered with a seriousness that somehow made it both forgiveable and genuine.

Into The Mouth of Hell We March, an energetic number annouced as 'the closest thing we have to a dance song', finished the bracket. The punters cheered enthuiastically and were rewarded with the expected encore. Rain was finished off with a promise: that Trivium would keep coming back to Perth if the punters kept showing up. Pull Harder On the Strings of Your Martyr capped off the hour and a half show, with members of Black Tide and Heaven Shall Burn joining the headliners on stage to help belt out the big chorus.

And that was the night: a promising young band in Black Tide;  a popular if not overly distinctive metalcore act in Heaven Shall Burn; and a suitably kick-arse headlining set from the torch-bearers for modern traditional metal, Trivium; a satisfying end to a very successful Australian tour. And not a bad way to spend a Tuesday at all.


Ed's note: yes, the thumbnail image is from the Adelaide show... we didn't have a photog at Perth... these things happen.