Trivium and Arch Enemy are no Trivial Display of Power at Summit Music Hall

Trivium 31

Review and photography by William Dibble

Denver has many music venues, with several of them within a few blocks of each other. Summit Music Hall is one of the larger ones. The venue is located just blocks away from the Nuggets baseball stadium squarely within the center of Denver night life. Most shows are general admission, which includes access to an upstairs balcony section with plenty of room and a fantastic view. The lower floor has a huge area dedicated to merch to the right of the stage, with enough room for several bands to host their merch comfortable while fans line up. Over on the left of the stage is a small dining area and window, from which you can buy pizza and hamburgers. There’s a second, smaller stage near the bar, situated near the entrance of the venue. Tonight’s show promised to be crowded – Summit Music Hall was reporting that it was sold out.

The venue was already filling up even before any of the bands had taken the stage. They’d posted the night’s time schedule next to the door on the way in. Fit For An Autopsy was scheduled to open the night around 6:30pm. Right on time, the metal tracks went quiet, and the lights dimmed. Sometimes, you get shows where the opening bands are relatively new to touring and the stage, and while their music is fantastic, their stage presence is not as notable as the headliners. Tonight is an exception. Each of the four bands are seasoned veterans. Fit For An Autopsy took over the stage right away. They only had thirty minutes, but they made the best of it.

They opened up with two tracks from The Great Collapse, “Hydra” and “Heads Will Hang” before going further back in their discography to play “Absolute Hope Absolute Hell”. While their set was only six songs long, they smashed their way through it energetically. There was no lag between the opening acts and the headliners here- the crowd was energized from the very first moment. All too soon, their set finished, and they were packing up the stage.

It took only fifteen minutes to get their gear off stage and the next band started. Like a well-oiled machine, While She Sleeps was ready to go right on schedule. Like the other bands on tour, they were supporting a new album. They opened with the title track from You Are We, before playing mostly new songs and two older songs. Hailing all the way from Sheffield, England, they were ready to throw down with the Denver crowd. At one point, the singer even climbed into the crowd, riding atop the hands of adoring fans, before closing out with the new song “Hurricane”.

Despite being a changeover of the entire stage from the two supporting acts to one of the two headliners, the stage was ready to go in just fifteen minutes again. Arch Enemy was up next, and they hit the stage like an explosion. The crowd was ready before they’d even started playing “The World Is Yours”. Alissa White-Glutz, who joined the band on their last studio album as well as new release Will to Power, absolutely owns the stage. Not once did her energy flag through their monstrous seventy-five minute setlist, comprised of fifteen songs. Relative band newcomer Jeff Loomis, formerly of Nevermore, fit right in with the Swedish death metal. They drove through a powerful mix of new and old songs, with Alissa showing off her ability to both belt out the songs she’d recorded on, as well as the classics from the band’s other singers. It was clear within moments why Arch Enemy was one of the legendary staples of death metal. Despite having a set well over an hour long it felt like they were leaving the stage almost as soon as they’d come onto it, closing out with “Nemesis”. They left Trivium, the co-headliner, with a lot to live up to, between their honed stage show and their costuming and lights.

Trivium, however, was not about to be upstaged. Trivium’s Matt Heafy may not have an elaborate jumpsuit and costume like Alissa, but he doesn’t need it to command a powerful stage presence. Where Arch Enemy feels both welcoming and imposing, Trivium feels like they’re there to have a great time together with the audience. They opened with the new song “The Sin and the Sentence”, followed by “Down From the Sky” from 2008’s Shogun album. Similar to their co-headliner, they played a wide range of old and new material. Part of what makes Matt’s stage presence so endearing and unique is that he frequently flashes the most friendly, happiest smiles at the audience. At one point, he stopped mid-song. “Are you okay?” he asked, gesturing out to the mosh pit. “I saw you fall. You looked like- Oh you’re okay? Cool! I want to make sure everyone’s having fun.” Trivium had an absolutely amazing set, and was great fun to watch.

Summit Music Hall is a fantastic venue. The sound quality there is absolutely impeccable. Whether you were getting pizza and drinks at the food window, or buying merch, or in the back at the bar, sound is both loud and clear. It never feels muddy or distorted. There is a lot of space for moving around, and two wide stairs to the upper floors. This becomes important at bigger shows, especially sold out ones like this one. The stairs happen to be great viewing stations overlooking the stage at an angle. In fact, you can see that angle from some of our shots. The railings can become decently crowded, so it is important that there is still room to navigate up and down the stairs. There are restrooms both next to the stage and near the entrance.

All four bands are touring in support of new albums. Fit For An Autopsy just released The Great Collapse. While She Sleeps released You Are We, with one song featuring Oli Sykes. Arch Enemy’s Will to Power is available as well, and Trivium recently released The Sin and the Sentence. All albums are available from Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and other music distributors!

You can view the complete set of photographs from the show here: 11-17 Summit Music Hall

GALLERY: SOMETHING CLEVER at the 3rd Annual Queen City Metalfest at The Fillmore Underground

Photography by Hannah Lee Photography

GALLERY: 3rd Annual Queen City Metalfest at The Fillmore Underground

Photography by Hannah Lee Photography.

The 3rd Annual Queen City Metalfest gathered eight of Charlotte, NC’s top metal acts in solidarity under one roof at The Fillmore Underground. The festival boasted an incredible 600+ attendees, proving once and for all that the local music scene is not only thriving, but is producing bands, shows, and fans to rival any nationally touring act.

The night featured an all-star lineup of heavy Charlotte favorites: Skinkage, Something Clever, Black Ritual, Auxilia, Blackwater Drowning, Vices & Vessels, A Light Divided, and Annabel Lee.

SKINKAGE

SOMETHING CLEVER

BLACK RITUAL

AUXILIA

A LIGHT DIVIDED

VICES & VESSELS

BLACKWATER DROWNING

ANNABEL LEE

 

 

Welcome To Rockville 2017 Recap

The World’s Loudest Month kicked off in spectacular fashion on April 29th and 30th with the Welcome to Rockville Festival in Jacksonville, Florida and their sister festival Fort Rock in Fort Myers, FL, boasting a record-breaking weekend with over 75,000 music fans over the two sites. Fuel The Scene Magazine was on-site a Welcome to Rockville, conducting interviews, photographing the bands, and generally enjoying the perfect rock atmosphere created by the festival.

Saturday started off with a running, headbanging start with Badflower, Al That Remains, and Dutch metal band The Charm The Fury. The European influence was abundant all day, including Sweden’s In Flames, England’s Dinosaur Pile-Up and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes.

The energy didn’t wane as the day went on, the energetic crowd headbanging, moshing, crowd-surfing to The Pretty Reckless, Coheed And Cambria, Mastodon, Pierce The Veil, and some classic punk rock goodness with The Offspring.

As the sun went down and the temperatures dropped, A Perfect Circle took the stage in a mysterious and disappointingly dark show. For the entirety of their set, A Perfect Circle kept the lights down, putting Maynard on a small riser at the back of the stage and keeping the rest of the members enshrouded by shadows and fog. This choice may have worked well for a headlining tour, but for a festival crowd that struggled to see from a distance, the set was a let down that was neither outstanding visually or sonically.

In stark contrast, Soundgarden brought the day to a perfect close with a 13 song set that was full of color, emotion, energy, and showcased Cornell’s immortal, iconic voice. The crowd was utterly spellbound from the opening notes of “Spoonman” to the fade out of “Beyond the Wheel.”

On Sunday, Queens, New York based Sylar and Austin, Texas’ Fire from the Gods opened the show with their rap infused metal. But this day belonged to dynamic lead vocalists, as Jonny Hawkins of Nothing More, Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons, and Chris Cerulli of Motionless in White engorged the crowd with their dynamic ranges and each one left the stage drained of every ounce of energy.

In This Moment and Motionless In White put on incredibly detailed, theatric performances of non-stop energy, fake blood, and costume changes. Chris Motionless was in perfect vocal form, never missing a beat despite the intense movement, stage antics, and heat.

Both Of Mice and Men and Three Days Grace showcased new vocalists (Aaron Pauley and Matt Waist, respectively) and showed the crowd that they were stronger, tighter, and more badass than ever.

Chevelle and Def Leppard closed out the weekend—overlapping a little too much for some fans’ liking, as Def Leppard started 10 minutes ahead of schedule, causing fans to swarm from one stage to the other. Def Leppard put on a hell of a show featuring 15 songs from across their entire catalog of hits.

In addition to the eclectic mix of new and old rock and metal, fans were treated to gourmet food and ice cold beverages compliments of Jack Daniels, Monster Energy, Bud Light and an impressive array of local and national food trucks. Beyond the concerts and food options, fans also had the opportunity to meet some of their music heroes and snag a coveted autograph at The Music Experience and FYE tents. Welcome to Rockville was the perfect start to one of the best Loudest Month lineups and will definitely bring us back in the coming years.

Fuel the Scene 1st Anniversary Concert

Images by Terie Shaver and review by William Dibble of Panfocal Photography.

April 15th is notable for several things. Most importantly, it is the date by which you must remember to do your taxes. Wait, that was a lie. Most importantly, April 15th 2017 was the one year anniversary of Fuel the Scene Magazine! Fuel the Scene, a locally-focused non-profit music magazine, is now over a year old! What better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary than with a concert?

Six bands from Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh took the stage that night. Hard-rock outfit Something Clever hails from Charlotte, NC. Having just released their album, Season of Light, they are notable for their excellent stage presence and the singer’s clever microphone stand.

https://www.facebook.com/SomethingClever00/

Also hailing from Charlotte, NC, is progressive metal group The Reticent. A lyrically and musically powerful band, this group is absolutely amazing. Chris Hathcock, the band’s core, uses his band to take a powerful stand on emotional subjects like suicide. They just recently released a music video as well as headlined for a suicide prevention concert.

https://www.facebook.com/thereticentmusic/

From Greensboro, NC, we have melodic hard rock group Raimee, fronted by none other than our own Rei. Mixing vocals reminiscent of Evanescence with hard rock and metal elements, they are visually recognizable from Rei’s always stunningly bright hair. They are always a joy to see live.

https://www.facebook.com/raimeemusic/

Sixlight, also from Greensboro, recently released their self-titled EP. These five guys certainly know their way around both a studio and the stage.

https://www.facebook.com/sixlightmusic/

Finally, from Raleigh, were two more bands. Dynamic rock group MODENA really knows how to put on a good show. The word ‘dynamic’ certainly describes their musical style and range, as their rock spans several subgenres.

https://www.facebook.com/modenamusic/

Rock group Paper Dolls also hails from Raleigh, with a grungy rock sound that is well practiced. They treated the attendees of the show to a cover of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” and are well worth giving a few minutes to listen to.

https://www.facebook.com/paperdolls17/

Reason Define Album Release Show

Show review by William Dibble, photography by Optical Explosion

There are many things to like about shows at The Underground. It has a great local food presence, its close to Charlotte while avoiding a lot of the traffic snarls, and it has excellent parking, to boot. There’s also the amazing sound crew that operate the venue, the pristine dance floor, and the cleanliness of the facility. It is obvious that the Fillmore operates it with pride. None of this was any different for Reason Define‘s album release show, which had a line stretching down the block before doors officially opened.

The first on the bill was Ghosts Again, a NC post-hardcore band. Four members, brought together from a pair of projects, bring together the progressive influences of the genre into a new group. While the band itself was relatively new to the scene, Ghosts Again played a very professional and well put-together set, leaving the audience ready for a few more tracks as they finished up.

Blackwater Drowning was the next band up. Sounding like a combination of metalcore and melodic bands, they slammed into the venue with the aural assault that is “Deity”. The massive bass attack that composes part of the intro could be felt through the entire venue, as Morgan took over the stage, as if she owned the place. Their set was unrelentingly brutal, spawning several mosh pits throughout the venue. All too soon, though, it was time for them to pack up and set the stage for the next band.

AuxiliA, a metalcore band, enjoys a hometown advantage. Hailing from Charlotte, NC, It is worth noting that it is pronounced closer to “Oh-Kill-Ya” than “Aux-Ill-Eeya”, as their shirts will happily remind you. If it was possible to be heavier than Blackwater Drowning’s set, AuxiliA certainly pulled it off. While Blackwater Drowning has a sound reminiscent of the more melodic side of metalcore, AuxiliA brought in the breakdowns and nonstop brutality that is a trademark of the genre.

The headliner of the show, however, was Reason Define. After the previous two acts, theirs was almost metal. Reason Define brings a melodic sound to metal, combined with excellent lead vocals. Their recently released album, Far From Strangers, is a fantastic piece of music, and they brought it to stage with great energy and skill. The brightly colored hair of the band members served only to enhance the experience as they expertly played through their set, clearly seasoned professionals.

“Far From Strangers” can be purchased from iTunes and Google Play!

Something Clever “Season of Light” Album Release Show at The Fillmore Underground in Charlotte, NC

Show review and photography by William Dibble of Panfocal Photography.

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The Fillmore sits on the outskirts of Charlotte amongst a compound of restaurants and other buildings, across from the Avidxchange Music Factory buildings. The Underground sits in front of the Fillmore proper, a low but large building. There is a sort of antechamber as one enters the building where they scan tickets and take care of any necessary purchases or arrangements as needed, and then a set of doors that leads into the actual venue. One of the first observations that a person can make about this venue is how clean, well-lit, and immaculate it is.

Immediately on the right is an easily accessible merchandise section for bands, with lit screens advertising to the concertgoers. The Underground has a total of three separate bars. Two are accessible on the main floor. The first is immediately on the left, running along the wall, with a second in front of the merch section, set up like an island. In front of both of these is the main concert floor. The Underground is a general admission venue, but there is an elevated VIP lounge on the right with couches, reserved seating, and a fantastic view of the stage, at an extra charge. 

Raimee, of Greensboro, NC, was the first band to take the stage. Raimee’s lead vocalist, Rei, boasts an impressive voice reminiscent of Evanescence’s Amy Lee, but with a heavier, more aggressive style. Backed by Kristy’s screams, their sound energized the crowd, preparing them for the upcoming bands in a huge way.

Raimee’s coordinated stage outfits, with its goth-inspired tones, contrasts heavily with Rei’s brilliant hair. When combined with the music, this provides an excellent visual stage presence that matches their energy and power. Their openers included a cover of Ghost’s popular “Square Hammer,” Rei’s vocals loaned the song a new feel, and it was clearly popular with the crowd.

Their set felt like it was over too soon, as they finished up to allow Vices & Vessels to take the stage, but it felt like the crowd was ready to listen to them all night long.

Hardcore band Vices & Vessels are native to the Charlotte area. They initially took the stage in masks with a backing track from the movie The Purge. As soon as the track ended, they played a short introductory track, before launching into an explosive, mosh-inspiring set. The type of crowd energy seen during a hardcore show is substantially different from other types of metal. You get some crowd surfing with both, but metal tends to inspire more traditional, shove-style moshpits while hardcore inspires fist-swinging and roundhouse kicks. Toward the end of their set, the mosh pit began winding down.

Max, of Vices & Vessels, implored the audience to split into two halves to perform the ‘wall of death’, one of the most infamous forms of a mosh pit. After this, Max, one of their vocalists, leapt from the stage into the audience, surfing across the top at the edges of the mosh pit. Despite the storm of mosh violence and emotion, the venue and the audience managed to survive V&V’s set.

Up next was SkinKage. Their brand of hardcore was blended with a little more metal than the previous band, focusing on longer songs as well. They offered shoutouts to both Raimee and Vices & Vessels, as well as Something Clever. Almost immediately, people were being thrown on top of the crowd as their songs assaulted the audience. The photographers in the pit had to duck for cover as the first of the surfers came down in front of the barrier.

As SkinKage’s set wore on, they did not let up with their energy or their songs. The audience gave as much as they could, as well. This is the type of energy one would expect from a nationally touring hardcore band like Dillinger Escape Plan or Car Bomb. Between them and V&V, it would be very difficult to say if either one had ‘more’ energy, as both bands were absolutely fantastic, despite being sandwiched between more traditionally metal bands Raimee and Something Clever.

Before the night’s headliner, Something Clever, took the stage, the projector was put to use again. This time, it showcased the interview video that covered the making of their new album, Season of Light. As the interviews wound down, the audience began cheering in anticipation. A countdown appeared on the screen, and the screen rose as it hit zero. Something Clever opened up with the new album’s first song, “Snake Oil”.

If the sound of Season of Light were to be boiled down to one description, it could be mid-era A.F.I. combined with a dash of late-era Slipknot, and influences of the metalcore movement. This shows in their booming stage presence, making heavy use of a LED-clad microphone stand, bottom-lit stage platforms, and other crowd-pleasing techniques. At one point, frontman Adam jumped out into the crowd, continuing to sing as he surfed over the crowd before returning to the stage to finish the set.

Every band of the night had a seasoned stage presence, commanding the stage and making use of every inch of it. Despite the show being a blending of two very different crowds and genres, the production came together very smoothly, filling the venue nearly to capacity early in the night and leaving the crowd wanting more. If nothing else, the overwhelming success of this show proves a testament to the strength, solidarity, and raw talent of the local and regional live music scene—something that will continue to flourish as The Fillmore Underground welcomes more local bands in the region to share its stage.

Click here to read our review of Something Clever’s full-length album, “Season of Light.”