Trivium @ Fulton 55, Fresno CA 02/02/16

Weeknight shows are tough to attend and I had missed out on seeing trivium the last occasion they were in the Valley, a Modesto gig with Volbeat. Attending this particular show was a no brainer: local and super inexpensive, with early bird tickets costing around 10 bucks and full price coming out to 19 after fees, leaving more cash for shirts and drinks. Local FM station 105.1 The Blaze was promoting this show and provided an onstage intro. Trivium to me, are equal parts Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Opeth – power metal with seasonings of thrash and Swedish black metal…sophisticated black metal, teetering on Progressive Metal. You can hear the aggressive, guttural characteristics mixed with the epic, sweeping qualities, with a strong playing ability. There are growls, screams, and actual singing. Personally, I prefer the songs with clean vocals, Matt Heafy has a great singing voice. Add a triumphant hook and you can’t help but raise your fists and sing along. I was hoping to get a semi-decent position at this gig, unfortunately the venue was mostly full by the time I arrived. Fulton’s a flat room and the stage isn’t elevated all that high, there was going to be a lot of neck straining. After the opener’s set, I managed to squeeze my way up to the 5th or 6th row. Just my luck, I was stuck behind a guy that smelled like a meth head, that sour odor that’s a cross between ammonia, burnt plastic… and cat urine. There was no way I was going to enjoy that show, so I resigned myself to the very back of the venue. There I enjoyed the occasional fresh breeze from the main entrance doors opening and closing. The show kicked off with Iron Maiden’s “Run To the Hills” on tape. And of course, a rousing sing-along ensued. We added a lot of nut to the operatic “ruuun foorrrrr youuurrrr liiiii-iii-iiiiives!” part.

Trivium’s set was blistering. It was an aggressive set they put on, with lots of chunk. The redeeming factor to moving to the back of the venue was the sound mix. The sound was unique at the rear of the venue. The rhythm section stood out, with Paul’s drums coming in with a thunderous amount of punch and clarity. Every nuance and ghost note could be heard. The micing as well as the room made for a unique sound, making everything about the drum mix excellent, the kicks, snare and hats especially. That double thumping backbeat got us going, and the snare sound was sick, nice and tight but natural sounding. Mic’d snares can sound so dead at times, the drummer may as well be pounding away on a cardboard box or a bucket. On the contrary, I could hear Paul’s snare in all its glory. But if there was one piece of gear that I coveted it was the hi-hats. Damn, they sounded so crisp and had an almost trashy quality to them. Paolo’s bass rumbled with the same clarity and power. Those bass lines practically galloped, reminding me of the way Steve Harris plays for Iron Maiden. With all this glorious low-end, consequentially, Matt and Corey’s guitars and vocals were semi-burried by the bass and drums but it didn’t take away from the performance. Matt and Corey played their tails off and executed their guitar parts with an impressive amount of dexterity, while trading off on the growls and screams on songs like “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr.” Their riffing and soloing was eye-opening, the sweep picking and harmonized parts especially. The guitarists in the group have this thing for playing technically impressive solos that end in compelling harmonized parts, like a cherry on top. Paolo provided the clean backgrounds, often singing in counter to Matt’s vocal lines as well as harmonies. I’ve read criticism about Paolo’s backgrounds and even Matt’s lead singing. While they’re not always executed perfectly like that on record, they’re still quite strong considering the guitar and bass work they’re doing while singing. High points for me were witnessing “Strife,” “Built To Fall,” “Into the Mouth of Hell We March,” and of course “Until the World Goes Cold.” Power and emotion, no other way to describe those songs live. I tend to like bands that possess a lot of technical ability. But MORE isn’t always a good thing. Technical ability and wankering can become boring, uninteresting and lacking in soul. Not Trivium. Their playing ability doesn’t stand in the way of well-crafted songs. This group has a knack for fusing chugging metal with guitar wizardry, as well as memorable and catchy hooks. Great recipe.

Heafy was super appreciative of the turn-out, noting that the show was a sell-out. He went on to say that Fresno has been a longtime supporter of Trivium and thanked the audience for their dedication and love. Fulton 55 was packed to the gills, making for a sweaty, humid environment inside, a crazy contrast to the 38 degree frosty weather outside. Despite the cramped conditions, a pit erupted during several selections. It amazes me how within a couple seconds, the audience parts and a human turbine erupts. Props to the petite chick who jumped in and took part in the mayhem. How she didn’t get thrown around like a rag-doll or punted onto the stage, I can’t be sure. These pits weren’t for the faint of heart. As physical and aggressive as the moshing was, no one got hurt, everyone seemed to support each other, for the most part. It’s a turn off when a pit isn’t a pit and just a collection of drunk douche bags with an excuse to get rowdy. Props and respect to the security staff, they were definitely on their game and ejected a couple people who had too much to drink. PD was called in midway through the show and made contact with some of the offenders. The security staff are very active and conscientious, they always ensure a safe concert experience at Fulton 55. Quality group with a very strong live show, perfect for an intimate club date where the band is practically in your face.

  1.  Silence in the Snow
  2. Into the Mouth of Hell We March
  3. Strife
  4. Rain
  5. Tread the Floods
  6. Built to Fall
  7. Like Light to the Flies
  8. Insurrection
  9. Dead and Gone
  10. Becoming the Dragon
  11. Down from the Sky
  12. Until the World Goes Cold
  13. Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr
  14. In Waves

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Posted on February 9, 2016, in Concerts: 2012 - Present, Trivium and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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