LIVE PHOTOS: Beartooth, Trivium, Malevolence, Archetypes Collide
By Greg Maki
Is any tour better than a co-headliner when you’re a fan of both bands? Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something heartwarming about knowing musicians you appreciate also appreciate each other. And of course, there’s the more bang for your buck that you get with seeing two acts that can easily carry their own tours together on the same night.
Beartooth, one of today’s leading metalcore acts, and Trivium, which synthesizes a variety of modern and classic metal sounds, do not seem like a natural pairing—which is exactly why the package worked as well as it did. Judging from the merch lines, Beartooth appeared to be the bigger draw and closed the show, with nearly all of the close-to-capacity crowd sticking it out until the end.
I’ve seen Beartooth several times since 2014, and this was easily the best performance I’ve taken in from the Columbus, Ohio, quintet. Part of it was the songs. With each new release, Beartooth’s catalog has gotten stronger, up to and including recent singles “Riptide” and “Sunshine!” Crowd singalongs were almost deafening on fan favorites such as “In Between” and “The Past Is Dead,” and the band brought the thunder on heavier hitters such as “Devastation” and “Bad Listener.” As frontman Caleb Shomo told the crowd, they came to “rip your faces off with high voltage rock ‘n’ roll and heavy fucking metal!” And they did exactly that.
Shomo himself was the other key part of the equation. Looking trim and healthy, his showmanship has risen to another level. In the past, he sometimes would get winded and have to rely on bassist Oshie Bichar to fill in some of the gaps. While Bichar’s backing vocals still are a valuable part of the formula, Shomo remained strong vocally throughout the set. The band is bigger than ever, and Shomo is rising to the occasion bigtime.
BEARTOOTH SET LIST: “Devastation,” “Disease,” “Body Bag,” “Sunshine!,” “The Lines,” “Beaten in Lips,” “Bad Listener,” “In Between,” “You Never Know,” “Hated,” “Riptide,” (encore) “The Past Is Dead,” “The Last Riff”
At this point, I’ve written so much about Trivium, a band Live Metal has covered since our earliest days, that I’m running out of ways to describe its greatness. However, this was the first time I had seen the band live since 2018—i.e. the days before vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy became a star in the streaming world. Just like Beartooth, Trivium was better than ever on this night, and it’s hard not to think that the countless hours of performing for an audience, whether they’re on tour or not, have sharpened the band’s chops.
Heafy and his bandmates—guitarist Corey Beaulieu, bassist Paolo Gregoletto and drummer Alex Bent—also seemed to have reached a point where they’re comfortable simply being themselves. Whereas in the past, some of the band’s stylistic twists and turns felt a bit forced—“Here’s our classic metal album! Here’s our prog metal album! Here’s our heavier album! Here’s our melodic album!”—now everything is coming together naturally, and it all fit into a topnotch set list, beginning and ending with songs from the now-classic 2005 album “Ascendancy.”
Trivium never has been the cool buzz band and has received virtually zero mainstream attention over the years. But with 10 albums to its name—all ranging from good to great—and live performances as consistently stellar as this one, they are one of the greatest metal bands of the 21st century.
TRIVIUM SET LIST: “Rain,” “Like Light to the Flies,” “Strife,” “Feast of Fire,” “Built to Fall,” “Down from the Sky,” “The Sin and the Sentence,” “Until the World Goes Cold,” “No Way Back Just Through,” “The Heart from Your Hate” (with Josh Baines of Malevolence), “In Waves,” “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr”
As for the openers, it was easy to tell which headliner was responsible for the inclusion of each one. Archetypes Collide started the evening off with its Octane-ready sound and got the crowd going early with a cover of Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer.” Malevolence brought a heavier, much more metallic sound to the stage, and guitarist Josh Baines later made an appearance with Trivium. Both went over well with the crowd and are well on their way to headlining tours of their own.
MALEVOLENCE SET LIST: “Malicious Intent,” “Life Sentence,” “Still Waters Run Deep,” “Self Supremacy,” “Higher Place,” “Keep Your Distance,” “On Broken Glass”
ARCHETYPES COLLIDE SET LIST: “Parasite,” “Destiny,” “One Step Closer” (Linkin Park cover, “My Own Device,” “Fade Away,” “What If I Fall,” “Your Misery”