Sound: There were three bands co-headlining this tour, so I'll rate them in the order they played: Trivium, Still Remains, 3 Inches Of Blood. Since it is three bands, this could run a bit long.
Trivium: great sound. Some of the lead guitar parts were difficult to hear at times, but overall it was very good. The lead singer was very clear at all times, pulling off the majority of the vocals just as they sound on recordings, and the backup vocals from the lead guitarist and bass player came through very well too. The vocalist was using a Les Paul by the look of it, while the lead guitarist performed with a V, probably a Jackson. No idea what the bassist was using. Overall, it was very clear for the most part, with some difficulty hearing some of the solos, which was annoying as a guitarist.
Still Remains: were a screamo band I wasn't very familiar with. The vocalist was screaming for 90% of it which got dull quite fast, but his voice did come through very well, if a bit loud. I could barely hear anything from the keyboard player, who had so little to do in the songs he tended to just run around. Backup vocals were fine too. Both guitarists were playing SGs, bass looked like a Fender. Overall, they came across largely as Funeral For A Friend with some guy yelling over the entire song. Not great.
3 Inches Of Blood: minor mic problems at the start, couldn't hear the vocalists, but this was cleared up quickly. I think the guitarists did the odd mini solo, but I'll be damned if I could hear most of it. Hearing lead was a recurring problem throughout the night. One guitarist was on an SG, the other on a Les Paul I think. The music itself was very well performed, both singers giving a good account of themselves and yelling like their appendages were being removed with a blunt spoon, and the music coming over it nicely. // 8
Perfomance: Trivium: awesome in every way. Good bit of crowd interaction, excellent musicianship, got the crowd signing/yelling/throwing up the horns constantly. Only downside was that it was such a short set (each band played for under an hour). They played both singles (as of writing), and a good number of songs of their Ascendancy album. Got the crowd singing the more well-known lines. Generally put on an awesome heavy metal show that I'll be looking out for whenever I next get the chance. Crowd loved them.
Still Remains: while the audience didn't really dislike them, and they did put a good bit of energy into what they were doing, to me they got old fast. There was no real movement in the crowd, and the pit was relatively quiet. I was pretty bored for the most part. They obviously enjoyed performing, and they did give it a good go, but it just wasn't an emo crowd, I guess. Ah well. No idea what any of their songs were.
3 Inches Of Blood: tempo picked back up here, though nowhere near what Trivium managed. The singers were great, howling like banshees and putting on a good show. The rest of the band gave a good performance, but nothing special. Only song I recognised was Deadly Sinners, which was done very well. They were interesting enough to watch, but I wouldn't go specifically to see them. Best moment was watching one of the singers hurriedly try and kneck a beer during the intro to one of the songs. By god, he managed it too. // 8
Overall Impression: The show was in the UK, at Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall on 01/05/05. There were no openers, as each band played a set of the same length, more or less. The best bit about the show was easily Trivium, they put on one hell of a performance. Easily up on par with most of the more well-established bands I've seen, they were showing off and shredding every chance they got. They reminded me of Megadeth, which is never a bad thing. 3 Inches Of Blood also put on a fairly decent show, good bit of metal. Still Remains were pretty dull though, they brought the enjoyment down quite a bit. Tickets were only 7, which was well worth it, and I'd pay way more just to see Trivium again. There were no shining moments, no duets/guests and nothing out of the ordinary, just a good bit of rock and roll. Managed to snag a plectrum thrown by the singer from Trivum though. I'll definately go catch Trivium again (having heard only three of their songs beforehand, I wasn't expecting too much, but they delivered), but as for 3 Inches Of Blood and Still Remains, well, I have no intention of specifically seeing either, and I'll be avoiding Still Remains like the plague. Good gig, good way to get some less known bands to the folk over here. Few more solos, some duets or a different second band and I'd give it a five. // 8