Trivium, Avatar, Light The Torch, House of Blues – Anaheim, November 2, 2018
I have been waiting for this show for months. The line-up of Light The Torch, Avatar, and Trivium seemed too perfect! My friends and I have been excited for this show since it was announced months ago. Arriving at the venue, we found we were far from alone in this. The show at House of Blues Anaheim was sold out to the 2,200-person capacity, the line already wrapping around the complex. I knew this was going to be a special night.
First up was Light The Torch, who just released an amazing debut album Revival. I use the word debut lightly though, as the band formerly released two albums as Devil You Know. The members are no strangers to fans, featuring vocalist Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), guitarist Francesco Artusato (ex-All Shall Perish) and bassist Ryan Wombacker (Bleeding Through), along with new drummer Mike “Scuzz” Sciulara (Extinction A.D.). Their set was everything I had hoped it to be. Some fans may be disappointed that it is more melodic than previous projects, but I think very few will have any issues after seeing this band live.
Avatar invaded the stage, a personal favorite. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, their live show is an experience. I brought a friend who had never seen them live before, the look on her face said it all; this was a show that she would never forget, and nor will you! The house lights go dark, and one by one letters illuminate the room, spelling ‘AVATAR’. Vocalist Johannes Eckerström always amazes me with his stage presence, and never ending energy. He was sick during his set, but nothing stops this man from giving each show his all! To describe Avatar to someone is impossible, their musical styles range from heavy to melodic to funk rock. The set included favorites such as Hail the Apocalypse with fans screams “hail, hail hail!”, the heavy and beautiful Bloody Angel, a bubble machine filled song to Avatar Country as the king welcomes you, and of course Smells Like a Freakshow! So get in line (awesome if you get the reference), and enjoy dueling guitar solos from Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström, commanding drums from John Alfredsson, and strong bass from Henrik Sandelin!
Finally, was the mighty Trivium. It’s hard to believe the band has been around for 20 years. I still leave their shows in awe. Tonight’s set though was a special one, one that shows that the metal scene is not only a community, but a giant family. Trivium’s front man Matt Heafy sadly had personal business to attend to at home with his wife, and a baby on the way. However, instead of cancelling the remaining U.S. dates, a solution was found. Light the Torch’s Howard Jones and Avatar’s Johannes Eckerström would take over for Matt. The set was unlike any set I had ever seen Trivium play, of course. With Matt missing it was of course sad, but watching the set continue with the bands uniting created a show that I couldn’t turn away from, and the energy in the room was palpable. The set list included all the songs I wanted, and a few extras that I sang loudly to! Into the Mouth of Hell We March, Until the World Goes Cold, and In Waves to name a few.
The set ended with 2,200 fans screaming their lungs out as the end of tour photo was taken, marking the end to a U.S. tour that was sold out almost every night. Although this line-up most likely won’t happen again, unless at a festival, each of these bands are all amazing, and each one able to headline any tour. I hope to see them all again in the near future.
(Review by Erica Vincent – Photos by Jack Lue)