Trivium — Mayhem Festival, Gexa Pavilion (Dallas, Texas) ~ August 10th, 2011
So much has changed since the last time I saw them that cold, winter night in December of 2009, and I'm not just talking about the burning 100+ degree heat. I'm referring to the band's vibe, which is transferred into the quality that the put into their presentation, besides that, their fifth studio album “In Waves”, has just been released.
My “adventure” began when the one and only Matt Heafy contacted me via twitter a few days before the show to ask me for my information. It was his idea to get some passes for me and my husband, though he couldn't promise anything. To our surprise, when we went to the will call and they gave us our VIP wristbands, wow! I never in my life imagined anything like this!
Upon entering the venue we explored a little, we visited different booths and then we went to the Roadrunner Records booth for our wristbands and the Trivium poster for the autographs (which was to happen at 3:15 PM).
Although despite the fact that we went back stage, we didn't run into any of the band members before the show due to how these types of shows are organized. We saw their dressing room and even the clothes that they would use during the show, but no sign of the boys. We realized that remaining there would get us nowhere, so we decided to go to the signing. When we got back to the Roadrunner Records tent, the line was already long. That made us happy knowing that people were lining up to take home a memory...that was amazing!
Finally, the signing began a bit late, but the sad thing was that the organizers told us that they'd sign just one thing per person, and no time for pictures. The line moved relatively quickly, and then, there I was, face to face with Matt... “Hola, cómo estas?” (“Hello! How are you?”), he said in Spanish. I thought “He remembered me!”, and Corey smiled when I said to him “Hola” (Hello) in Spanish. Matt told one of the ladies working there to let us into the booth with them. As we entered, Nick hugged me, then Paolo did likewise. I felt that this moment would go on forever, and yet it was over way too fast. My husband and I remained there with them as they signed. After they finished we could chat briefly and Matt told us that he'd see us at the soundboard around 5. That didn't pan out, due to the way things were set up. But he suggested that if our VIP passes would allow, that we try to get onto the stage (Stage left with the sound monitors), talk to the person in charge of sound, and see the show from there!
It was now 4PM, and Trivium's show doesn't start until 6:20, so we went to take it easy a bit and then catch a little Machine Head. After that, we went to the backstage area again. When we got to where Matt had told us, fortunately security let us in. We walked through the door and saw the great auditorium, full of people waiting for the show to start! We asked for the Trivium monitor person, and when we found him, he said that there's no problem. Such a nice guy! :-) After explaining what we can (and can't) do, we waited for the show to start...
Honestly I had no idea what to expect, since they weren't the headliners of the festival, however I had a good feeling from observing that the amphitheater was slowly filling up before show's start, to see people of all ages wearing Trivium shirts, anxiously shouting, bearing the brutal heat of Gexa Pavilion that evening...
Well then, the show started with the intro “Capsizing the Sea” to lead explosively into “In Waves”. To see people singing along new material after nearly three years without new stuff was inspiring. When they performed a pair of songs that are a staple in their shows (“A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation” and “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr”), even the pillars of the amphitheater moved, not just for the music, but also due to the fans putting their heart and their all into it: Circle pits, mosh, screams, fists in the air, etc.
Maintaining the intensity, Matt announced the next song “Built to Fall”, and that they would soon record a video of the same. There was a strong and immediate response. They followed with “Down from the Sky”, “Dusk Dismantled”, and finished with “Throes of Perdition”. You can imagine the crowd as these three tracks thundered down. It's now or never... and obviously, they connected with the Texan fans that wanted more from the young quartet. I am sure that they won over a lot of new fans.
Unfortunately, security kicked us out after Trivium's show, as Megadeth was next, and I suppose that they're more careful with the bigger bands. We had to leave the backstage area, and we couldn't meet back up with the guys. It was devastating to me and my husband. We were anxiously awaiting the chance for days to hang with them :(. We knew they would do a one-off show the following day in Jackson, Mississippi, more or less an eight hour drive from Dallas. The thought of going was crazy, and we weren't certain that we'd be able to go. Just in case, we decided to end the show early, about halfway through Megadeth's set (I know, a capital sin, but necessary). I even sent Matt Heafy an e-mail to let him know that we'd probably go to Jackson, and he said to let him know. We missed Godsmack and Disturbed, and when Trivium went back up on stage along with many other members of the other bands performing that day. They did a Pantera cover “Walk”, in honor of Dimebag. Missing all that hurt, but it was worth it. You'll soon see why...
Trivium – Club Fire (Jackson, Mississippi) ~ August 11th, 2011
My husband John and I woke up at 6:30 AM on Thursday morning, and although we were a little tired from the previous day, we decided to hit the road and head to Jackson, Mississippi. I advised Matt that we'd be there, and a couple of hours later he replied, saying he'd see us there, and we have free tickets and passes. I didn't feel too bad since the tickets were only $10 a piece.
It was a long and tiring trip, and as soon as we got there, we set out to find the Club Fire. The first thing we noticed was that the band's tour bus was parked around back, but it was still a bit early so we decided to grab a bite to eat and get a hotel room to rest a bit, so we could survive the night. I had already sent Matt another e-mail, and he told us that when we go to the bar, to show our IDs, and they'd let us in. So around 6 PM we went back to the place, which was about 5 minutes from the hotel. As we're pulling in we see Matt crossing the street, like nothing. My husband honked at him, and Matt smiled from ear to ear when he saw us there. We said we'd see him in there during the show. Once we could get in after showing our Ids, the lady in charge of ticketing told us to ask the merch guy about the stage passes. We did, but the guy didn't know anything about that, so we decided to watch the first band that was just beginning to play. I sent an e-mail to Matt thanking him for all he's done, and I told him about what had happened. He replied back quickly saying that they're waiting outside for us. We went outside, and there were Matt, Corey, and Paolo standing outside their bus. They greeted us, and Matt had us go inside the tour bus! I felt weak in the knees, and by some miracle I did not faint. As soon as I was aboard I felt like I was in heaven. One would imagine a trashed out rock star tour bus with clothes and bottles strewn all over, but actually the place was impeccable clean and ordered. Matt said that he is the one that cleans it, and that makes sense because he's obsessive like that. Corey would say “he's a clean freak”. About then, Nick came out, and said that he had been sleeping (to which Corey said that since Wacken, he'd been a tad sick). They offered us a drink, autographed the stuff we brought, and we talked a good while. Matt was the most gregarious at that point. We commented on the new album, life on the road, and above all, the fans that so want to see them in Mexico and other countries. They assured us that they know, and they wish with all their hearts to be able to go soon, you know.
We chilled with them a good 30-40 minutes on the bus. Out of respect we only took the pictures where I'm with the band, and then my husband with the band. We had no desire to go snooping and stick our nose in everything. Truthfully I didn't even want to touch anything. We removed ourselves so that they could warm up and prepare for the show. We got back into the bar with no problems and we knew what we had to do when it was to be Trivium's turn to play, so we decided to take a seat at a table. We conversed with a few people and they lamented that they don't get very many good metal shows around there, even though it's the capital of Mississippi. Many had even just found out that Trivium was going to play that night.
Maybe three more bands played (I lost touch with everything, it's not easy getting over being in the tour bus of your favorite band), and then it was almost time for Trivium's show. We moseyed on over to where we were told to go beforehand, at one side of the stage, and we waited...
Since it was a headlining show, and probably the only one this year in the United States, their set was a bit longer than in the Mayhem show in Dallas. Here are the songs they played:
Intro – Capsizing the Sea
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Like Light to the Flies
Ember to Inferno
Built to Fall
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr
Down From the Sky
Throes of Perdition
I don't need to explain what happened with each song: the crowd knew how to enjoy each and every one. Of course, like always they go even crazier with songs they're familiar with, like Gunshot, Pull Harder, Like light, Ember... But the crowd, and Trivium alike, gave it their all.
It was amazing, being able to see Trivium in a small, intimate place, compared to a big festival like Mayhem. They know how to handle both, as if it were easy.
Once the show was over we briefly ran into Nick, he said that they would go change, but they'd be back to hang out a bit. We waited about half an hour and the first ones we saw were Paolo and Nick. Many fans came up to them and asked for autographs and pictures. We chatted a bit and then let them alone to be with the fans.
Outside the bar there were more fans congregating so we thought it best to go outside so we could say goodbye and go to the hotel (it was about midnight now). Matt and Corey came out of the bus, each one with their own group of fans. Paolo and Nick came back out from the bar. I saw their tired eyes and smiling faces, and I felt bad for them. We talked a bit more, and then Matt, Nick, and Paolo all climbed aboard to rest, on his way in Matt thanked us again for making the long trip from Dallas. Then he said in Spanish “hasta luego” (see you soon), and that he'll see us in October, when they'll be touring with Dream Theater.
Corey, however, didn't seem ready to go in. With his glass of Jäger in hand, he became quite gregarious, talking guitars, bands, influences, you name it, with the fans. John and I got in and joined the good conversation. Suddenly, the few fans remaining had to go, and then it was just Corey, John, and I...
It was around 12:30 AM and it was just the three of us by the bus, talking, laughing, going on about everything and nothing, how awe inspiring Waken was, the band's future plans, that maybe next year they'll go to Mexico (and not just one show) and perhaps they'll go with a couple of other bands. They've had offers in the past, but too bad they've been for dates that Trivium had booked already. He also said something about going to other Latin American countries, I just can't say which ones. He even gave us his secret “cure” for tiredness: Take a few drinks, then go crash. Then you wake up well rested for the next day. [I apologize for not revealing more, but we promised Corey we wouldn't reveal any details. START SAVING NOW, we don't want to hear excuses for not going to the concert, eh? ;-)]
We could tell he was tired, but there he was, so nice. It's funny, we were saying good night, I hugged him and touched his hair. I said “don't you dare cut your hair, or you'll see”. Corey replied that he's the only one keeping the long hair warrior look alive, and thence began another conversation. My husband told Corey that I can sing guttural, and that I'm a mezzo-soprano as well. Well, there I was growling and singing opera before the King. At first I was shy about it, but then I got over it; I felt as if I were with a good friend. No posturing, no highfalutin nonsense...
Around 1:30 AM somebody came out of the bus and told Corey they would have some kind of meeting in a few moments, before heading off to Atlanta. That's how our wonderful experience came to a close. One more good-bye hug and hoping to see them in October...
Well, thanks for reading part of the adventure that was seeing Trivium two consecutive nights. I want to leave you with this: They deserve all they get and much more. They have put forth great efforts, and to be so young. What makes them even greater is the fact that they never forget that they owe it all to their loyal fans and friends that have been with them through it all. And their great support staff behind them. With “In Waves” now out, it's the perfect time to show them that we want them in Mexico, we'll show them that they have avid fans in our country and you'll see that soon we'll have the news that they're coming! :-)