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In Flames, DevilDriver, Trivium, and Zao at Newport Music Hall (Columbus, Ohio) on February 11th, 2006
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I had a feeling that Saturday night would be a special night. I was anticipating a fairly charged crowd of the usual metalheads packing themselves from top to bottom of Newport Music Hall foaming at the mouth for In Flames. When we (Cassi and I) arrived in Columbus, I almost couldn't believe my eyes. I checked the tickets again, thinking that maybe the doors opened earlier than we thought. Nope, here it was 5:00 pm, and the line waiting for the doors to open (at 7:00 pm) was stretched about 4 blocks down High Street. Another thing I noticed upon catching sight of the venue was that the concert was sold out, which I did not anticipate, but I still bought the tickets three weeks in advance, I was not going to miss this show for anything.

Upon arriving in Columbus, we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the bar for a little pre-game drinking. At about 7:15, we chartered toward the doors. We entered the venue hearing the opener Zao, who never really struck my interest very much at all. Needless to say, more drinking followed during their act. I surely did not come up to Columbus for Zao. After another few beers, DevilDriver took the stage. Now, I've "heard" these guys once at Sounds of the Underground in Cleveland but I didn't see them (press ticket holdup) so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I will tell you one thing, Dez and the boys delivered for the Columbus crowd. Playing a balanced act of songs from both their self-titled disc and "Fury of Our Maker's Hand" sent the crowd into a frenzy. "Hold Back The Day", "Nothing's Wrong", "I Could Care Less", and opener "End of The Line" were the highlights of their act. Oh and I almost forgot, at one point during the set, Dez looks at the crowd and says something along the lines of "Let's show all the emo and hardcore mother fuckers what metal is all about". Screaming cheers filled the venue and a smile fell onto my face with that comment. And I know I knocked DevilDriver's first album as being a less than stellar release, but the songs that DevilDriver plays off of that record sound just as hard, and seem just as relevant as the tracks off of "Fury of Our Maker's Hand". This band astouded me with their interaction of with the crowd and their live play, you must check these guys out.

Onto Trivium, how can I really describe this? Well, just to bring everyone up to speed apparently everyone loves this band, and (especially after Saturday night) I personally must have missed the memo. The crowd loved them but I just didn't see it. Their act is a far cry from what I have heard (i.e. "one of the best bands on Ozzfest", "unbelievable live show", etc.). I did enjoy a few songs off the new record ("Like Light to Flies", "Pull Harder On the Strings of Your Martyr") but Trivium was nothing to write home about. When the coolest thing that happens during your show is when you do a Pantera cover for a Dimebag Darrell rememberance (i.e. "Dominance" / "Walk") and Mark Hunter of Chimaira comes out to sing it, you know you haven't put on the best show ever. That was pretty cool though and seeing as Hunter is from just south of Cleveland, I don't see too many other places getting to see it, so that was very cool. But other than that, Trivium was lackluster at best.

Now for the headliners, In Flames. I was actually a bit worried about this show because I didn't know how much of "Come Clarity" they were going to play. I knew they weren't going to play the entire thing but I still wanted to hear many old tracks mixed in with the new ones. Needless to say, I got my wish. Opening with "Pinball Map", I knew In Flames was not going to ignore the old tracks. Columbus went absolutely nuts for In Flames as they were greeted with most of the crowd screaming back the lyrics to every song they played including the new ones, which were well-received and were excellently played live. "Worlds Within The Margin", "Gyroscope", and "Black and White" were a few of the old tracks that I had never heard live, but we immaculately played. Not to mention, "Take This Life", "Leeches" (who everyone seemed to love), and "Crawl Through Knives" (which was probably my favorite song they played) off the new record. There were only a few tracks that they didn't play that I really wanted to hear ("In Search For I", "Jotun", "Clayman", and "System") but there are always tracks I don't hear bands play so I guess that's neither here nor there (still would've been nice though). But nevertheless, In Flames, as they do time and time again, have proved that they are the kings of melodic death metal and any fan of this band or this genre should definitely check out this tour. Just don't expect much from Trivium or Zao, DevilDriver and In Flames make up for it in the end. Til next time, stay brutal,

Cuchulainn

February 14, 2006
Harm.us - Death, Black, Doom and Gothic Metal WebZine, bandlist, cd reviews, interviews, mp3 and forum
Harm.us - Death, Black, Doom and Gothic Metal WebZine, bandlist, cd reviews, interviews, mp3 and forum
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