I needed to get out to see this show bad. I was craving some new music to review/look into/discover and this was just what the doctor ordered, literally. I almost did not go because I wasn’t feeling so great, but I toughed it out for the sake of you readers and a press request that I had made months earlier. I got the approval to review Volbeat/Trivium at the last minute, so I had to hurry up and get my stuff together fast. I love the Palace, and I love getting to see tons of friends every time I go there. And The Palace has always treated us here at LMN very well. So thanks to those guys! It’s my favorite Louisville venue to see a show at, by far.
First up was Trivium, a young melodic metalcore band from Orlando, Florida that I first saw many many years ago at the old Jillian’s. I met them and they were one of the coolest bands I’ve met. Real nice young guys. Well, those younguns have come a long way since then. Now they are crushing and shredding beyond belief. I have one of their newer albums and it slams! Their talents have really matured and the guitar playing and songwriting have come a long way. The music is more complex and layered. Their sound was tight, heavy and sounded really good through the house PA. Vocalist Matt Heafy sounded a bit dry, considering the music he was playing. Some deeper vocal effect would have gone well with that style of music, but he didn’t use much effects on his voice. The guy sings and shreds (on lead too) on guitar at the same time, so I’m still impressed. But I think he should get another guitarist so he can focus more on vocals. I wasn’t very impressed with the singing aspect of their show. The music, however, was pummeling, but still melodic and catchy. Lead guitarist Corey Boulieu is a beast on guitar. I love his creative lead solos (during the vocals) that accompany the rhythm guitar. Very melodic and heavy all at once. Never let it said that music has to be non melodic to be considered heavy. His solo is “In Waves” is sick. I really like his Middle Eastern/trippy feeling riffage that he does some of the time in his soloing. The guy has some serious chops, mucho feeling in his playing, and his amp tone was nice and chunky with the perfect amount of effect. No complaints on the drumming or bass playing. Bassist Paolo Gregoletto’s bass tone was crushing. Meaty and punchy. All were right on the money. I heard no meaningful mistakes. I don’t know their song titles or music, so I’m not able to tell you which songs they played. Luckily Mark Doss, my friend and a fan of Trivium, was there to help me out by telling me what songs they played! Thanks Mark. According to Mark, the band played their popular tunes: “Brave The Storm,” “Strife,” “Through Blood And Dirt And Bone,” “And Like Light To The Fires,” “Dying In Your Arms,” “Down From The Sky,” and “In Waves. “
The intricate and super-fast, muted picking that Trivium does is impressive. It’s crisp and tight as phuck.
Modern sounding and yet still very much metal. Nu metal? I dunno about that. As a guitarist myself, I heard some old-school influences here and there quite frequently in this music. Some serious Iron Maiden influences too, especially in “Dying In Your Arms. ” Almost like a young American version of Maiden without Dickinson. And I love Iron Maiden, so I enjoyed watching these guys kick some butt. But there seemed something missing in the overall performance. It was definitely in the vocals. Maybe not enough actual singing? Maybe the vocals were too dry? Maybe it was dude’s voice in general. With music that good and melodic, I was maybe expecting more old-school type vocals? I think that is what it was. Their music almost demands more of an old-school vocal sound. Regardless of the slightly subpar vocals, Trivium’s sound was awesome, and I enjoyed hearing this young band once again! Hail, Trivium!
Volbeat was up next. What can you say about a band from Denmark who came outta nowhere and has kicked some serious butt in so short a time? Not to mention the guy who discovered them, Scott Frasier, is a Louisville native. Well, it makes for an interesting story of success. Vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulson is a genius and quite a performer as he rips it up on his Custom Gibson SGs. The man has created something different and profited hugely off of it. The style of music he has come up with is rock, thrash, punk, metal, rockabilly, alternative, all thrown in with a healthy dash or two of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, all mixed into one big-ass crockpot of musical jams. It’s Metallica meets Elvis, meets Johnny Cash, meets Brooklyn hardcore band Life Of Agony, meets the Swedish Chef. I have noticed that Michael Poulson’s vocal style closely resembles that of Nineties hardcore band Life Of Agony’s singer Keth Caputo, now known as Miss Mina Caputo. I don’t know if dude was snipped or what, but he is now a she. Poulson really sounds like Caputo! Especially on the LOA song “Through And Through. ” Is this the vocal influence Poulson adapted his style from? Damn I’m good!
Guitarist Rob Caggiano, freshly recruited from metal legends Anthrax, seems to fit the bill perfectly. Dude is a wicked guitarist, but it was kind of weird seeing him play much easier riffs with Volbeat than what he was used to in Anthrax. Some of the Volbeat guitar rhythms were very easy to play, I thought. but Rob’s leadwork wasn’t so easy at all. It is the one instrument that really soars in this band, other than Poulson’s powerful vocals. I have to admit, Michael Poulson’s vocals were awesome. The guy sounded better live than on his recordings, and as a music critic, one does not find that very often. He projects his voice in a way that is majestic and uplifting. And he does all of this while playing guitar at the same time. And strangely, he doesn’t lose power in his vocals by concentrating on guitar riffs. He balances concentration between both chores very well in my opinion. As good as Chris Cornell does!
While I’m not a big Volbeat fan, I do admire what they have accomplished, and I like a few of their songs. Bassist Anders Kjolholm was all over the place and I couldn’t even get a picture out of the guy because he was non-stop. He had killer bass tone, too. I liked the way the guitarist/bassist did the backup vocals as well. Sounded great! Drummer Jon Larsen was quite good, as you would expect him to be.
The stage show was pretty basic, nothing fancy, just good music and some decent lighting. No gimmicks or monsters running around on stage. The band sounded great. Very tight as a unit. And the vocals soared this night for Volbeat. The crowd seemed to eat it up, every song! The band kicked offf with “Doc Holliday,” “Radio Girl,” “Lola Montez,” “Heaven Nor Hell,” “Fallen,” “Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood,” “Maybellene/hofteholder” (complete with acoustic guitar intro), “Still Counting. “
The last few songs were “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza,” “The Hangmans Body Count” (probably my favorite. I hummed that riff half the night after we left!) and “The Human Instrument/Warriors Call”. The crowd went nuts over every song. Volbeat could have pooted on the mic and the crowd would have yelled “Yeeeeaaaahhhh!” Ha! Speaking of pooting.
The night was marred by some person in front of me and my date who was crop dusting the most horrendous farts known to mankind. Worse than Egg McMuffin farts. And no, the smeller was not the feller! Ha. My nosehairs shriveled, and I almost melted as if Pepe LePew walked by! Unfortunately we never indentified the anonymous farter (lucky for them). I think this was Karma for what happened at Flaw (Read Flaw Review Below) a few nights earlier. Ha.
Earlier in the night I saw Volbeat manager and longtime friend Scott Frazier in the crowd with his children. He came up to me and we chatted for a few, and I congratulated him on his success these last 5 years or so. It was so cool seeing Scott up there with his very excited kids, who later on, got to go onstage with Volbeat for a song or two. Scott looked real happy to be there at Louisville Palace with his band headlining. He was smiling from ear to ear and was very friendly. Some people talk shit about Scott (fargin bitch ass haters), but he’s always been cool to me. He was very down to earth and humble despite the success he’s had recently. It’s awesome that a fellow Louisvillian has done so good on the world stage. Congrats bro!
Anyways, it was a great show of new music! The band played a good long set to an enthused crowd of rockers that had the Louisville Palace filled to about 90% capacity., I’m thinking. Some douche recently said I don’t cover enough new music, so this one is for you a-hole!