Despite being regular visitors to the UK over the years, it turns out that this is the first time in eight years that Trivium have deemed Belfast worthy of their presence. No wonder then that this gig had sold out quite a while ago and excitement was building well in advance!
However, those who had waited a long time for their heroes long overdue return first had to put up with Shvpes and Sikth first. Shvpes  were first to take to the stage and had a reasonably sizeable crowd to impress but, alas, failed badly. Frontman Griff (son of Bruce) Dickinson rapped and yelped his way through their short set and not even an extensive use of backing tracks could help them. The crowd had little interest in them and they came across like an even poorer (if possible) One Minute Silence. Next up were Sikth  and at least they managed to get some sort of reaction from the now rapidly expanding crowd. A handful of people at the front seemed to be enjoying the tech metallers racket but it quickly became repetitive and the scattershot vocals of Mikee Goodman and Joe Rosser also grated and found them sounding like a phlegmy version of the cookie monster.
After a half hour changeover, the lights went down and “Run To The Hills” blasted out over the PA, which just ramped up the excitement of the now capacity crowd even further.
Trivium (9/10) then entered to a heroes welcome and it took no time at all for the first of a constant stream of crowd surfers to go over the barrier. To be honest, while always enjoying Trivium interviews – they always come across as genuine, grounded guys – musically they’ve never been this writers cup of tea.
Seeing them live however, was a different matter entirely!
From the opening “Rain” to the closing “In Waves” 90 minutes later, Trivium were in ferocious but playful form. Despite only being the second night of the tour – and second ever show for new drummer Alex Bent – the band were tighter than a gnats chuff. There were a few sound gremlins for the first few minutes but these were quickly ironed out and after which the sound was clear and suitably devestating…..the drums alone washed over the crowd like blast waves from a nearby explosion.
Matt Heafy has made no secret of his love and admiration for Metallica and while they are miles apart musically, he has become a frontman of Hetfield like proportions, toying with the crowd and goading them into an increased frenzy. His habit of sticking his tongue out every few minutes was highly fucking annoying though! The rest of the band are no slouches either with guitarist Corey Beaulieu contributing a lot of vocals especially on the older tracks.
All told, Trivium really delivered the goods with the likes of “A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation” and “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr” prompting the biggest circle pits in here since Machine Head decimated the same venue nearly a year ago.
One thing is for sure, Belfast was witness to an exemplary performance by a band at the top of their game. Catch Trivum on this run of dates if you can!