▣Hampton Beach Casino | Hampton, NH ▣Friday, May 12th 2018
Sold out shows mean three things. One, a good turnout for the band. Playing in front of a horde of amped fans is a feeling like no other. Two, the energy of a sold out crowd as a fan is an electrifying thing to experience. Three, the lines to get a drink suck. Thankfully, Matt “Kiichi” Heafy live streams their set from side stage on his Twitch (kiichichaosreigns) so I was able to watch once I got kicked out of the photo pit and needed a whiskey and ginger. The Bullet for my Valentine and Trivium show at Hampton Beach on Friday, May 11th was a sold out house (if you hadn’t guessed by now) and an amazing time from start to finish. Come along on this journey of discovery with me.
Toothgrinder opened the show with a hell of a set. From New Jersey, this quintet brings a lot of energy to the table both in stage presence and music. All were dressed to the nines sans the drummer Willis who looked like a feral lion wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. His energy matched his look though and really brought the live sound directly to your face. Vocalist Justin was seen standing on both the people in the front row (They were holding him up of course) and on top of a full amp stack (Pictures below). Partnered with Spinefarm Records, Toothgrinder is making a name for themselves with 3 Eps and 2 studio albums available on your favorite music service. You can see them on YouTube in one of their 7 music videos, on Instagram, or on tour in a city near you. Get on it. Will not be sorry.
Trivium graced the stage next. Already having screamed I love you at Matt and Alex earlier in the day from a balcony, drink in hand, I was ready for this. Opening with ‘The Sin and the Sentence’, Alex hit the fucking machine gun button on feet and blast beat the crowd into nearly an hour of melodic bliss. Unbeknownst to most music in this genre, Trivium has figured out how to be metal as hell while maintaining listenability to a non-metal fan. Matt sings and screams well, Corey screams back up, and Paolo backs up cleans. During certain passages, all three will be going at it and it’s a thing of beauty. All I can say is if you’ve never heard of Trivium, your ear drums are missing something vital. Big thanks to Jose Mangin and Octane for bringing this band into my life. You’ll be hard pressed to find something similar. Not many bands make music of this caliber.
The name, Bullet for my Valentine, rings a bell and I could think of a song or two before the show but I’ll admit I put it to shoot the show for Trivium. After seeing these guys play though, I’ve since updated my selection of their tunes in my Apple Music. Tight riffs, good energy, and a sold-out crowd made the show very enjoyable. They describe themselves as hard rock with metal influences and I’d agree. Metal fans would enjoy the music as much as fans of lighter music. They’ve got some memorable riffs and choruses that warrant a listen from fans of metal. Give em a listen if you’ve never!
Review & Photos: Anthony Coy
Check out the band’s websites for more info!
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE