Trivium and Beartooth at The National in Richmond, VA

The co-headlining tour featuring Trivium and Beartooth came crashing through Richmond, Virginia to the ready-to-rock-out crowd at The National.

Between the pair, fans at The National had their energy levels significantly elevated when hardcore punk band Beartooth took the stage first. Beartooth is one of those bands that just has a way of not only involving their audience in the performance but can also keep them engaged and moving throughout the entire set. This night in Richmond was no different. Frontman Caleb Shomo just has a way about him that takes a crowd from zero to one hundred in a matter of seconds. His endless energy and enthusiasm keep everyone on their toes. Literally. During the full-hour set, Shomo barely stopped bouncing and thrashing around the stage, keeping those energy levels up.

Beartooth treated the crowd to songs that spanned across all of their albums, as well as their newly released single “Sunshine!” Shomo took several opportunities to involve the audience by directing them on various vocal components that would be utilized in the songs that followed. It was obvious the crowd was ready for this, as they quickly picked up the vocalization tracks Shomo was repeating to them. The crowd ate up everything Beartooth put down, knowing all the lyrics to their setlist and singing (and in some cases shouting) along to every song.

To finish out their set, Beartooth performed their instrumental-only song “The Last Riff,” where Shomo took this opportunity to not just go out to the crowd, but to go IN the crowd. Wadding his way through the closely packed crowd, Shomo met fans in their space, guitar in hand, as he became one of the audience members. The sea of punk rock fans crashed back and forth with Shomo in the mix of it all before he finally made his way back to the stage where he then held his guitar above his head in one hand and rocked some devil horns in the other to close out their set. 

By this time, the crowd was fired up and ready for heavy metal band Trivium to follow up such an energetic act. Although it’s no easy feat to meet the energy and charism of Beartooth, Trivium did just that. But before the band greeted the audience, the crowd took the time between performances to take in Trivium’s impressive stage setup. The absolute detail that went into every aspect of the stage was truly something to marvel at. Between the dragon statues that bordered each side of the stage, the structures put into drummer Alex Brent’s setup, each individual panel that lined the backside of the stage, and the incredibly gorgeous banner that showed Trivium’s name behind the stage, there was so much to take in. 

Trivium had such a remarkable stage presence. Much like with Beartooth, Trivium had a way of commandeering the crowd, directing those in the audience to sing and chant along to every song on the setlist. At one point, singer Matt Heafy took it upon himself to stir up the crowd by telling everyone that they weren’t quite matching the volume levels as another stop on the tour. Obviously, no crowd wants to be told this, which immediately had those in attendance singing and shouting as loud as possible to outdo other tour dates. Before the band sang “Down From The Sky,” Heafy told the crowd that if they left the show with a voice left, they were doing something wrong at a heavy metal show.

The Beartooth and Trivium co-headlining tour will conclude on June 15, 2023, in Seattle, Washington at the Paramount Theater. Both bands do an incredible job of not only engaging with the audience but owning the stage and bringing the heat. This is a tour that should absolutely not be missed.

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About Gretchen Smither 11 Articles
Gretchen is a central Virginia based photographer. Her passion for concert photography started by bringing her point and shoot camera to shows and getting as close to the stage as possible for some decent shots; after doing that for several years, she realized she wanted to pursue a more professional route. A concert is one of Gretchen's favorite places to be, so you can usually catch her capturing those moments and then rocking out to the show.