Trivium Puts on a Show for the Hometown Crowd

By on October 25, 2016


Matt Heafy (photo Will Ogburn)

Matt Heafy (photo Will Ogburn)

When Trivium and Sabaton came to the House of Blues inside of Disney Springs on Friday, they showed Orlando what it feels like to be the center of attention.

Orlando has always felt a bit like a stopgap in the middle of bands’ national tours. At the base of the East Coast, but before Miami, it’s sometimes clear that bands phone it in and use the stop to recharge with a trip to Disney. For Orlando’s very own Trivium, this was far from the case. They, as well as tour mates Sabaton, made this one of the most memorable shows I’ve been to in The City Beautiful.

Anyone could see that this stop was among the most important of the tour, and fans packed the venue early. Trivium fans wanted to show their support just as much as the band wanted to show their appreciation.

Jill Januss (photo Will Ogburn)

Jill Janus – Huntress (photo Will Ogburn)


Huntress, a thrash metal band from California, would take the stage to warm up the adoring crowd. Their power came from the beautiful Jill Janus, whose Valkyrie-like voice resonated off every surface of the venue. Janus was more than the stereotypical pretty-faced rocker girl, as her stage presence and vocal power captivated the room.

Despite fans’ protests, the Huntress set was cut short by one song, “Disney is a family company,” as Janus put it, “and they didn’t want any part of our song ‘I Wanna F#$% You to Death’”. The crowd erupted with laughter and boos as she shrugged at them apologetically.

Eric Harris (photo Will Ogburn)

Eric Harris Huntress (photo Will Ogburn)


Eli Santana - Huntress (photo Will Ogburn)

Eli Santana – Huntress (photo Will Ogburn)

The Takeaway: Huntress was a fun appetizer, though it would be hard to see them headlining their own tour one day. Nearly anyone opening for these two would look average by comparison, though.


Sabaton was the perfect fusion of serious and whimsical, as they delivered their lyrics of war with a dose of humor and a big Swedish smile.

Tommy Johansson - Sabaton (photo Will Ogburn)

Tommy Johansson – Sabaton (photo Will Ogburn)

The foreboding quintet took the stage in camo pants to the heavily accented “In the Army Now” – a cover of the Status Quo song. Instantly, the radiating personality of Joakim Brodén, as well as the band’s ability to entertain, stood out.

Wasting no time, they lunged into their biggest hit, “Ghost Division”. Their chanting, war-themes music was perfect for a live show, and the crowd ate it up.

Joakim Brodenn (photo Will Ogburn)

Joakim Brodenn (photo Will Ogburn)

Between the gory tracks, the fun-loving Swedes joked around with each other and members of the crowd. They announced themselves as from the land of IKEA, and started started singing YMCA – then made fun of the crowd for singing along. At one point, Brodén fired all of his bandmates and said he was going solo because they kept messing with him onstage.

After several more action-filled songs they would transition to their next “cut scene”, a grim retelling of a World War I battle from a soldier’s perspective. The spoken track soon gave way to metallic drums and the chanting voices of the band.

Hannes Van Dahl with fan (photo Will Ogburn)

Hannes Van Dahl  (photo Will Ogburn)

Right after the encore break, Brodén looked into the crowd inquisitively and pointed. “Look at this guy,” he exclaimed, “he looks so big and strong. He probably gets all of the girls. Wanna come up here, man?”

Instead of another hulking Scandinavian, Brodén pulled from the crowd a kid of about 13 who was dressed exactly like the Sabaton frontman – from the body armor, to the camo pants and sunglasses, even down to a drawn-on goatee. Brodén looked beyond tickled as he embraced his tiny doppelganger.

(photo Will Ogburn)

(photo Will Ogburn)

After equipping him with ear protection, he told the young fan that he could join the fan onstage for the next song. Mini Brodén had other plans, however, as he asked drummer Hannes van Dahl for two sticks and began playing along with “Night Witches”. Brodén looked shocked, but continued the show – and it went off without a hitch. This was one of the coolest moments between a band and fan I’ve ever seen.

From there, it only got more intense. Their finale was the upbeat and chanting “Primo Victoria” that detailed the D-Day Invasion.

The Takeaway: It’s really hard to say that Sabaton didn’t steal the show. This fun-loving band was unique in a way that you just can’t explain. Though everything they did was part of a show, almost none of it looked like an act.


Matt Heafy - Trivium (photo Will Ogburn)

Matt Heafy – Trivium (photo Will Ogburn)

Trivium wasted no time getting to the point. They took to stage by letting the entirety of Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” play on a track, and then kicked it up another notch with fan favorite “Strife”.

It was at this juncture that vocalist Matt Heafy said “On all of our tours, we have a contest to see who’s the best group of fans. Right now, It’s New York City. Honestly, I wouldn’t feel right if we ended the tour without our hometown of Orlando on top, to lets make it happen.” The crowd erupted as they transitioned into the fast paced “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation”

Trivium’s setlist was perfectly balanced – leading with a hit, sandwiching another, “Until the World Goes Cold”, in the middle, and ending with their biggest hit, “In Waves”.

The Trivium bar (photo Will Ogburn)

The Sabaton IKEA bar (photo Will Ogburn)

Though the music was good, the show was even better. Midway through the set, members of Sabaton wheeled a gear case out from backstage. On the front of case were big SABATON IKEA BAR stickers, and the whole band, as well as parts of Huntress and some roadies joined Trvium onstage for drinks. They all played together for a bit, singing and horsing around until the set got back on track.

After a Paul Wandtke drum solo, a random roadie brought out a full fine dining setup and began serving food. Another roadie sat at this table and sampled wine and salad. The waiter roadie then fed Wandtke some salad as he hammered away, the rhythm undeterred.

Paul Wandtke The Sabaton IKEA bar (photo Will Ogburn)

Paul Wandtke (photo Will Ogburn)

It was shortly after this that Heafy informed the crowd that they had accomplished their mission. After nearly an hour of headbanging, they had beaten New York. Cheers erupted from the crowd as they played on.

The show hit its climax with the long buildup of “Capsizing the Sea” which transitioned to “In Waves”. The quick, aggressive track was one of their most energetic of the night and brought the crowd screaming to their feet.

The Takeway: Though Trvium was headlining, this felt like two groups of longtime friends taking their jam sessions on tour. The love and chemistry, not only among bandmates, but also between Sabaton and Trivium, was perfect. Trvium made Orlando feel like the rock and roll capital of America, if only for a night.


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