Concert Review: Trivium, DevilDriver, After the Burial and Sylosis at the TLA

If you are over the age of 40, you probably remember the days of up and coming metal bands playing small venues and handing out cassette tapes to get their name out to the public.  Some of those bands are well-known today, and go by the names Metallica and Slayer.

Fast forward from the year 1986 to the year 2013 to a place called The Theatre of Living Arts (TLA to locals) on South Street in historic Philadelphia.  It is a small, intimate venue filled with musical history and great acoustics.

Monday, September 30, 2013 three bands played the TLA venue: After The Burial, Devildriver, and Trivium. Each band unique in their own right, they boosted the playing level for the band to follow.

It is worthy to note that Sylosis dropped off the tour following an RV accident.  Three members were hospitalized, and are expected to recover fully.  Hopefully, we will get to see them play live one day. Until then Sylosis, rest up.

After The Burial was a great opening act.  The frontman engaged the crowd, getting everyone pumped for the musical carnage that would follow.  Bass player, Lerichard “Lee” Foral, was phenomenal.  This could have been because I was eight inches from where he played, but the bass lines this guy churned out are worthy of mention.  He has a great career ahead of him.

Devildriver opened with “Ruthless’” as plumes of smoke billowed from the stage.  The crowd went into a moshing frenzy and the energy of the small venue was set for the night.  Frontman, Dez Fafara, immediately interacted with the crowd, making them feel special. And we know, all crowds want to feel special.  Sure, a band that plays live wants to be the best, but the crowd wants to be the best as well.

Song three was “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” and the audience screamed the words along with Dez making for an electrifying chilling ambiance.

They played four songs off the new album, Winter Kills, including their cover of Awolnation’s “Sail”. While Devildriver is not ‘popular music’ per say, when Dez introduced “Clouds Over California’” the crowd went insane.  The entire building was vibrating from the mix of amps, shouting and moshing.

After Devildriver finished up, there was a short break and the road crew set up for Trivium.  I have been around for a while and been to some brutal shows, but trust me when I say Trivium played a nasty, heavy, amazing set.   The whole floor was vibrating from the amps and people in the crowd; it actually felt like the building was going to collapse for a brief moment.

Trivium opened with “Throes of Perdition’” as the crowd swarmed to the stage.  Crowd surfing began immediately (I didn’t think people did this anymore – maybe I am getting old) as people were passed to the front of the venue and helped to the floor (feet first) by security.

Each song led right into the next one, making this a sensory overload for eardrums.  “Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation’” seemed another big hit with the fans on the floor as they erupted again with joy while Trivium played this song flawlessly.

A couple of songs later, they led into “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr”. What a great song!  The virtual electricity that flowed from the band to the crowd was intense.  Matt Heafy’s vocals were dead on, making this one of the best songs of the night. Overall, Trivium was practically flawless in their technical ability to play well.

The only drawback to Trivium’s set at the TLA was that they did in fact go right from song to song.  I am not sure if they were pressed for time or if this is how they play live, but it was a little crazy not being able to get a semblance of composure between each song.

This was an amazing show packed with wicked metal riffs, smoke machines, and speakers so filled with bass lines the TLA floor was vibrating.  If you are in an area where Devildriver and Trivium will be playing live, I suggest you get a ticket.  You will not be disappointed.

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