Trivium Concert Review Van Buren Theater Phoenix AZ 11-09-22

Trivium Concert Review Van Buren Theater Phoenix AZ 11-09-22

Review and Photos By Jess Beck

Metal shows are weird.

You either get one of two outcomes:

First, the unbathed curmudgeons that crawl out of their basements to come rock out to their favorite band that has a logo that looks like a tumbleweed stuck in deer antlers.

Admittedly those are some of the best shows, even though it’s difficult to inhale the blend of oxygen and body odor.

The second type tends to draw both really tall dudes AND really short dudes. No middle ground here. These are more often than not the casual fan variety who attend shows not out of obligation, but because of what social aspects might prevail at such a gathering of eclectic humans.

A night out with the boys. The prospect of a great show. Perhaps the faint chance of meeting some one really special.

The show that graced the Van Buren stage on Wednesday 11.09.2022 was certainly the latter, although hardly anything could be mentioned of “casual” fans here.

Oh yeah, one more thing.

S.T.R.O.B.E.L.I.G.H.T.S.

Khemmis:

Opening the show was Khemmis – and although they were on first, they were an early fan favorite as guitarist and vocalist Phil Pendergast (side note – this is probably one of the best names in all of music history) was highly interactive with the audience. Often times during their set he would crouch down low to the stage and aim his guitar at the fans which was readily received with the horns (you know, that thing where you make your hand into a horn – they didn’t have a fan section on saxophone, although that would be amazing to see sometime), shouting, and “YEAH!” chants. This doom metal band hails from Colorado, and if you’re a fan of metal stuff, Khemmis should make a welcome addition to any playlist you might already have.

Whitechapel:

 Second up on the bill was the Whitechapel – another big name emerging in the metal scene. From their 2007 debut up to now, they’ve changed up their style a bit, but they still deliver a CLEAN performance. Vocalist Phil Bozeman (this wasn’t a battle of the Phil’s, but it might be one day) encompasses both hauntingly beautiful growls with melodic and soaring cleans, and the audience was HERE FOR IT. Using a stage within a stage to get those guttural growls down, Whitechapel damn near stole the whole show as the crowd was as hyped as any moment during the entire performance spanning all four acts during their set.

Between The Buried And Me:

The band, Between The Buried And Me was the direct support for this one, and listen…

These dudes are weird.

Not weird in the sense of “Hey look at that weirdo over there!”

No no…it isn’t that simple.

Are they a metal band? Are they an experiment by the CIA? Are they an experimental metal band put together by the CIA? No one knows for sure, but one thing you CAN label them is experimental in every sense of the word. You could tell that there were a few die-hard BTBAM fans in the audience. But there were also some very confused human beings that shared that same space. In fact, every single photographer in the pit was confused as to when they needed to leave because the first three tracks blended together into one long discography.

Imagine for a moment if System of a Down was good and then had a baby with Tool. That’s basically what these guys are.

Jazz?

Yep.

Keyboards?

Check.

S…synthesizers?

Yeah buddy!

This ambient-goth-country-jazz-metal band sure put on one hell of a show that’s for sure.

Trivium:

After a 30 minute change over, the giant curtain was raised across the stage as Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills” was blasted through the PA speakers. Waltzing onto the stage in a glorious dragon covered bomber jacket was Matt Heafy with all the swagger of a newly minted college kid.

Matt Heafy-Trivium

Their stage set up was rather elaborate, harkening back to Heafy’s Japanese roots. Two giant serpent statues guarded either end of the stage while drummer Alex Bent was positioned perfectly in the middle of what seemed to be a sprawling pagoda from whence came an illuminated, red-eyed golden dragon medallion. It was quite the visual spectacle not including the throbbing of lights and pulsating guitar riffs.

Trivium, a darling to critics everywhere, plastered the whole show with a number of theatrics. “To date, on this tour, Montreal French Canada has been the best audience,” Heafy said to the crowd packed full of Arizonites.

Arizonites? Yeah…we’ll go with it.

“BOO!” the audience shouted in unison.

“Well, do you want to be the best crowd or not? We’ve only got a few more shows on this tour, but I think Phoenix has what it takes to be the best crowd. What do you think?” Heafy prodded.

Well, duh, Phoenix wants to be the best.

And for the record, Phoenix won. Perhaps Arizona will consider concert going a sport since their pro-level teams have left so many fans bereft of a win, but that’s an article for another time.

Suffice it to say that Trivium absolutely rounded out an already stellar lineup, and this will be a show not soon forgotten. From mosh pits to crowd surfers, insane light displays, elaborate stage set ups…this show had it all. And you could sense genuine pride emitting from Heafy.

“You know,” he said during a moment on stage. “We had 27 people come to our first show. But look what we’ve built thanks to you guys. THANKS TO YOU GUYS!” he shouted before continuing to melt faces of the sweat-soaked spectators.

And really, right there is reason enough to get out and support your local bands. Everyone starts somewhere, and you never know…maybe the next local show you attend could end up being the next Trivium.

As always, a HUGE thank you to the Van Buren staff for ensuring the safety of the patrons and for all the hard work that you guys do that goes unnoticed or unappreciated. It’s not for naught. Remember to treat each other with excellence, wear deodorant, and to keep headbanging. We’ll catch ya at the next show!

Get into Trivium Here!

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