It was a jam-packed night at the House of Blues Chicago, as three bands took to the stage to entertain the sold-out crowd.
The House of Blues was already bursting at the seams by the time the first band of the night, Light The Torch, took to the stage. Even the very top balcony was several people deep. The fact that these guys were opening up the night, gives you an idea of what is in store as they start the night off with a bang. Ex-Killswitch Engage frontman, Howard Jones shows that he knows how to entertain an audience as he works every inch of the stage. Right from the get-go, they had the crowd ready and raring to go. This was not the last we saw of Jones throughout the night, but more to come on that. If you are going to see this tour, you must make sure that you are there from the very beginning. This is a tour made up of some pretty big contenders, and you do not want to miss them.
In their usual theatrical manner, Avatar certainly know how to make an entrance. With a single spotlight shining on his drumkit, John Alfredsson belted out the beat as the rest of his bandmates take to the stage. Looking at the crowd, you’d be excused for thinking this was Avatar’s headlining show. Some fans were donning Johannes’ face makeup, while the majority of the Music Hall could be seen pumping their fists and singing along to song after song. With the adrenaline flowing by this point, it was also the moment the crowd surfers emerged.
This was the second time this year that Avatar have visited Chicago. The last one was a headlining show for them, albeit at a smaller venue. Watching the audience who had clearly gathered here to see them, it can only be a matter of time before they headline this bigger venue themselves. Whilst they put on a slightly longer set, it still wasn’t quite enough.
As always, “Hail The Apocalypse” proved to be the fans’ favorite song of the night. While they made sure to include the staples such as “Smells Like a Freakshow,” it was fun to hear some new songs added to the setlist.
With the House of Blues audience more than primed and ready, it was time for headliners Trivium to take to the stage. The anticipation rose as the lights dimmed down while Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” blasted from the PA. Taking off exactly where Light The Torch and Avatar left it, the energy levels were sent soaring. Matt Heafy had the crowd in the palm of his hand all night. With one wave of his hand, the entire Music Hall leaped up and down in unison, to the point it’s any wonder the floor was left intact.
The strobing lights on the stage matched the intensity of the music as Heafy and the guys powered through their set. This tour is in support of their album, The Sin and the Sentence which was just released on October 20, so it is no surprise that the majority of the set was made up of songs from this album. Their set opened with “Betrayer” and went on to include “Beyond Oblivion,” “The Heart From Your Hate” and the title track amongst others. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Trivium show without hearing them perform “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” which they saved as part of their epic encore.
At various points throughout the night, YouTuber Jared Dines had joined the band on stage to perform alongside them. And it’s fair to say that the night was rounded out in style, as Dines, along with Howard Jones, both joined in for a raucous “In Waves.” Certainly one hell of a way to end the show!
Heafy has, unfortunately, had to step away from to the tour for a period to fly home to be with his wife who is expecting twins. However, the tour is still forging ahead, with Johannes and Howard stepping in to fill the breach. If this show was anything to go by, you’ll be in safe hands.