The Phoenix Concert Theatre
September 24, 2013
Presented by: Intertia Entertainment
Show review written by: Kirsti Heitz
Photography from: Navneet Johal
Published: October 4, 2013
Josh Middleton - Guitar/Vocals
Alex Bailey - Guitar
Carl Parnell - Bass
Rob Callard - Drums
Justin Lowe - Guitar
Dan Carle - Drums
Anthony Notarmaso - Vocals
Lee Foral - Bass
Trent Hafdahl - Guitar
Dez Fafara - vocals
Mike Spreitzer - guitar
Jeff Kendrick - guitar
John Boecklin - drums
Matt Heafy - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Corey Beaulieu - Guitar, Vocals
Paolo Gregoletto - Bass, Vocals
Nick Augusto - Drums
The Phoenix was in for a pretty heavy night on September 24th, 2013, with co-headliners Devildriver and Trivium. It was a night of circle pits, walls of death and crowd surfing orchestrated by some pretty brutal bands. Openers of the night Sylosis and After the Burial only aided in making this night one that would leave physical memories in the form of bruises on all fans.
Sylosis got the job of gearing the infiltration of metal fans into a frenzy and damn, they did a good job and then some. For their first show in Toronto, Sylosis had many fans chanting lyrics and pumping fists to their galloping beats. They even succeeded in creating a pretty decent wall of death as well as a few energetic circle pits. For an opening band I think that is quite an accomplishment. Sylosis had a powerful set but what really blew me away was drummer Rob Callard's insane skills. You could tell who was focused on Callard's precision and technique by their awed faces and slightly open mouths.
After the Burial brought a Metalcore energy to the Phoenix that made the floors shake. When they got to their breakdowns, headbangers and hardcore dancers alike would break down with the band. They treated fans with some new material, "A Wolf Amongst Ravens" and "Anti-Pattern" as well as many fan favourites like "Aspiration." They continued with the theme of the night which apparently was walls of death and circle pits. At this time of the night more than a few moshers were sporting some pretty impressive battle wounds.
Devildriver stormed the stage while fans stormed the floors with their opening track "Ruthless." Vocalist Dez Fafara was like a beacon for crowd surfers as he demanded to see bodies and extended his hand to those brave enough to surf on a sparse crowd. As usual, I was right up front having bodies rain down on me until I decided to follow Fafara's command and crowd surfed to his outstretched hand. Fans were his to command as all heads were lowered in head banging fury for "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" or moved aside to create the best wall of death of the night.
Devildriver hit all the fan faves like "Cry for Me Sky," "Meet the Wretched" and "Head on to Heartache" as well as squeezing in a groovy cover of "Sail" originally by AWOLNATION. Though there was no lack of energy in the band, guitarist Mike Spreitzer takes home the award for best headbanging as he relentlessly whipped those curly locks around. Even after their 15 track set fans begged for more. After getting kicked in the face four times, even I could have done with more Devildriver.
Trivium took the stage next to finish the night off. Though many fans thought that the buildup of energy ended with Devildriver, Trivium still squeezed another wall of death and a decent pit out of the crowd. Fans seemed more intent to sing along to every lyric than to get down and dirty in the pit. "Watch the World Burn" got the entire venue screaming along to the chorus and headbangers young and old congregated for "Shogun."
At every corner of the Phoenix voices were raised to compete with vocalist Matt Heafy's sometimes intense and sometimes heartfelt vocals. Guitarist Corey Beaulieu and bassist Paolo Gregoletto added their own voices to give Trivium's songs that punch that made fans throw down. Even the dude that was controlling the stage lights was wind milling throughout Trivium's entire set.
Personally, I think that Trivium took the show down a notch after Devildriver. However, fans still swarmed the stage and made the floors bounce to Trivium's beats. No matter which band you were there to see or whose pit you moshed in most, after this heavy night I'm sure everyone got a decent night’s sleep.