Sunday, 25 April 2010

Review Post: Trivium, Airbourne, Jeff Dunham

I spent probably the best part of 6 months trying to decide whether or not I intended to go to the Trivium gig. I made the decision some time ago that I don’t plan to go to many gigs outside of the Portsmouth/Soton area, unless public transport works out for me (IE, cheap). Obvious exceptions include Rammstein in Manchester, and if Maiden/Metallica/NIN tour, bands of that importance to me. Trivium are good, but they aren’t a favourite band of mine, so I didn’t know whether I wanted to go see them. They were damn good the last time they played Portsmouth, but fairly mediocre on the Black Crusade tour. I also don’t particularly like the latest offering from Trivium. Shogun was billed as their biggest album yet and it flopped a little for me truth be told. So, there were a few reasons, including being able to afford it, why I shouldn’t go. But they were on the doorstep (so to speak) so after pretty much deciding I wasn’t going, I bought a ticket. Went to the gig with Paul and met Jon at the gig. Me and Paul had decided before going that neither of us were really bothered with seeing Rise to Remain or Whitechapel so we decided to head down for Chimaira (one of the main reasons I decided to go). Chimaira (10) were fantastic. They played almost a best of set and it was just great. Would definitely go see them if they did a headline show locally. Trivium (9) were very good. They also appeared to play a set list that kept the fans happy. 1, maybe 2 from Shogun made me happy. They debuted a new song and covered Sepultura. Generally a good live experience. The decision to go was rewarded. The set list was:

1. The End Of Everything
2. Rain
3. Drowned And Torn Asunder
4. Like Light To The Flies
5. Throes Of Perdition
6. Down From The Sky
7. Ascendancy
8. Insurrection
9. Pillar of Serpents
10. Anthem (We Are The Fire)
11. Shattering The Skies Above
12. Slave New World (Sepultura Cover)
13. Dying In Your Arms
14. A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation
15. Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr

So, technical difficulties aside, Trivium were well worth seeing. I’m interested in the new album as Shattering is a great song. A lot to look forward to with Trivium.

Quite the reverse of Trivium, when Airbourne announced they were coming to town, that gig was booked up nice and early. The gig was originally scheduled for February but due to conflicting schedules, it got pushed back to the end of March. Sad, but not tragic. Before the gig, a band called Black Spiders were announced as support which was awesome. They were awesome as well. Black Spiders (7) are one to watch. It is a well known secret that support bands sometimes don’t get access to the sound levels that the headline band have. Indeed, according to Gojira, they had to play at 50% the volume that Metallica did. This must have been the case here. They set up and tested and damn. The sound test made my ears ring. Airbourne (10) were fantastic. The set list was superb, the band were great live (as per) and there was even the obligatory moment of craziness. The lead singer went through the crowd to play on the sound desk. Damn. The set list was:

1. Raise The Flag
2. Hellfire
3. Chewin’ The Fat
4. Diamond In The Rough
5. Blonde, Bad and Beautiful,
6. Girls In Black
7. What’s Eatin’ You
8. Born To Kill
9. Cheap Wine and Cheaper Women
10. Back On The Bottle
11. Heartbreaker
12. No Way But The Hard Way
13. Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
14. Running Wild
15. Stand Up For Rock N’ Roll.

Definitely going to see them live again if they come close.

When I first saw that Jeff Dunham was coming to the UK again, it was a must. His specials on US TV have all been genius and his show in 2009 at Hammersmith was awesome. So I went up with Mum & Dad. We decided to go up early which worked out quite nicely for a number of reasons. If you go up to London on a Saturday and you are driving, I recommend parking at Hotspur Park. It’s about 20mins from Waterloo, and doesn’t appear on the tube map, but a day travel card can still be purchased. Cost me £5 to get the day travel card (18-25 cards FTW). Anyway, got into London and walked to Leicester Square for a drink. From there went down to Buckingham Palace and back on ourselves with the intent to head to Covent Garden’s. Never been there before so that would be cool. In one of the craziest “small world” situations, we bumped into some family. We live in Portsmouth, they live in Liverpool. We bump into each other in London. Even now I’m still quite surprised.

After parting ways with them, we walked down Whitehall and back to Waterloo. From there, the Jubilee Line to the o2 arena. We went to a restaurant there called Rodizio Rico. The way it works is it’s an all you can eat place. There’s a side dish buffet in the middle of the room, which in all honesty I could have happily just eaten from there. Waiters walk around with meat on skewers and serve up different cuts of meat. Usual stuff but some stuff I’d never heard of before. I really enjoyed some of it; some was very different (chicken hearts for example). Drink prices were insane but overall, a damn nice restaurant.

The show itself was pretty damn good. Guitar Guy opened the show and he pretty much did what he did at Hammersmith. Updated the act a little bit but no real change. That was alright however considering how phenomenal he is of a guitar player. Jeff Dunham was very funny. Bits were repeated from Hammersmith but it was a new tour so there was a lot of new material. This made me a happy man and also a very entertained one. Memorable moments from the Jeff Dunham show:

1. Walter’s British Accent
2. Achmed’s ribs getting stuck on his spine
3. The reaction when Achmed first said “Silence!”
4. Peanut – generally!
5. Taste of China
6. The crowd completing jokes before Jeff/Bubba J got to the punchline

Not sure if I’ll go again next time he plays the UK cause it is expensive, but at the same time, that’s logic kicking in. Let’s see what happens when he actually announces it! Good day out in London that was.

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