Gig Review: TRIVIUM / KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – 02 Academy, Glasgow, 4 February 2014

Trivium - O2 Academy, Glasgow, 4 February 2014

This tour had originally been billed as Trivium with support but at the eleventh hour Killswitch Engage were added to the bill with ‘co-headliner’ status. Not sure what went on behind the scenes but suffice to say the late addition added value for money and provided the prospect of a very heavy and highly entertaining night.

Due to other commitments I unfortunately missed the first two bands, Battlecross and Miss May I, although our photographer for the night, Iain Scott, described them thus, ‘hair spinning, fast licks and screamo vocals, very animated and they had the crowd bouncing’, sounds like a good start then.

As I arrived the stage was being set for Trivium and it looked as though the guys had gone to some trouble with iceberg-like covers around the monitors at the front of the stage and two large suspended ‘T’ logos flanking both sides of the stage, it looked impressive.

Trivium - O2 Academy, Glasgow, 4 February 2014

I have seen Trivium on four previous occasions and they had yet to convince me of their live credentials. Don’t get me wrong, they always put on a good show and are entertaining, but for me there had always been something missing to turn a good show into a great one, I have the same issue with Megadeth.

In fact the last time I saw the guys was a couple of years ago when they had In Flames as support and that night Trivium struggled to follow the Swedes’ intense performance and with KSE added to this bill I feared more of the same.

How wrong could I be, Trivium played a blinder! Perhaps the guys had a point to prove as they appeared to have a new sense of purpose and launched into opener ‘Brave This Storm’ like men on a mission.

Trivium - O2 Academy, Glasgow, 4 February 2014

Matt Heafy was on good form whipping up the crowd from the off and the crowd responded in kind. From my vantage point it looked as though the whole of the Academy were 100% behind the band and bounced their way through the set. The band were also welcomed onstage by large dry ice cannons firing jets into the air at the front of the stage to great effect.

‘Like Light To The Flies’ and ‘No Way To Heal’ followed in rapid succession, the guys only had an hour and appeared determined to fit in as much music as possible, Matt also kept the between song chat to a minimum. ‘Strife’ followed which was one of three tracks aired from the band’s latest excellent album, ‘Vengeance Falls’,  again accompanied by more icy blasts and a great light show.

Trivium - O2 Academy, Glasgow, 4 February 2014

After a blistering ‘Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation’, which caused chaos with circle pits and flying bodies, the guys ended the main set with ‘Shogun’ which was a stunning track complete with snow falling from the lighting rig during the quiet mid-section.

The stage then went dark and the familiar strains of ‘Capsizing The Sea’ boomed out of the PA leading into ‘In Waves’ complete with the crowd chanting along. The set was then rounded off by the classic ‘Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr’ with yet more blasted dry ice.

At last Trivium had proved themselves to be the band I hoped they would. This was a fantastic performance which went down a storm with the Glasgow crowd. If the band were out to prove a point they most certainly did, and then some.

Killswitch Engage - O2 Academy, Glasgow, 4 February 2014

The question then was how could Killswitch Engage top that performance? It turned out they couldn’t although they gave it a good go. I had only seen KSE once before with Howard Jones at the helm but with the return of original vocalist, Jesse Leach, I was interested to see what he brought to the party.

The stage for KSE was a much more stripped back affair after Trivium’s show, relying mostly on a frenetic lightshow which, Iain Scott assured me, was a photographer’s nightmare.

Arriving on stage to Survivor’s ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ the band kicked off with ‘A Bid Farewell’. I was quite surprised at the subdued reaction of the crowd greeting their entrance compared to the response Trivium had received.

Things did warm up as the set progressed but it never reached the same level of intensity. On stage though things were all go. Jesse was stalking the front of the stage spitting out the lyrics, he is obviously happy to be back in the fold, whilst Adam Dutkiewicz ran around the stage like a man possessed. Whether you find Adam’s antics amusing or annoying is down to personal taste, I am in the latter camp I’m afraid!

Killswitch Engage - O2 Academy, Glasgow, 4 February 2014

The set contained a good mix of new tracks from the band’s latest album ‘Disarm The Descent’ and old classics which were delivered with passion. Unlike Trivium, KSE split the set up a bit with lulls in between tracks and, at one point, a lighting issue which did cause a loss of momentum and made the set a bit disjointed. The music though was as hard and heavy as ever with tracks like ‘Always’ and ‘The End Of Heartache’ going down well with the masses.

Killswitch Engage - O2 Academy, Glasgow, 4 February 2014

Rounding off the evening with ‘My Curse’ KSE completed a solid, hard and heavy set which went down well. However the real stars of the night were Trivium who finally delivered the goods and judging by the crowd reaction I am sure the other 2000+ people in the hall would wholeheartedly agree.

Review by Dave Wilson
Photos and Gallery by Iain Scott


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