Let me preface this by saying that this review was originally supposed to include photos of Trivium, Sabaton and Huntress. However, for reasons beyond our control, the photo pit was closed after Huntress, and my images of Sabaton’s and Trivium’s sets are not up to my standards due to the location we were allowed to shoot from, so we’re not running any photos for this piece. To that end, I’ll keep this review brief and to the point.
Huntress opened the show. I don’t know much about them, and their set list isn’t available online, which is a huge disappointment since I’d like to know what exactly they played when I check out their music. All I can tell you about Huntress is that they’re fronted by Jill Janus and kicked ass live for their short set. I’ll definitely have to listen to their catalog and learn their music for the next time they come through NYC.
Sabaton, however, I know absolutely everything about after seeing them live in 2015 as direct support for Nightwish. I fell in love with Sabaton that April night a year and a half ago, and they almost stole the show from Nightwish that night. I was really, really hoping to hear Shiroyama on this night at Irving Plaza, but that was not to be. Instead, the Swedish metal powerhouse treated us to an 11 song set full of hits and new songs alike. As per usual, Sabaton walked out to The March To War and opened with Ghost Division before going into Sparta, the opening track from the album they’re currently supporting, The Last Stand (which we reviewed) and then Blood of Bannockburn, also from new album. Sadly, only 4 tracks from The Last Stand made the setlist on this night, but when a band has so many good songs, that’s to be expected I guess.
The rest of Sabaton’s set included Swedish Pagans, one of my personal favorites in Carolus Rex from the album of the same name, 40:1, Stalingrad and then we’d finally get another new one – The Lost Battalion, which was the first single off The Last Stand and quickly became one of my favorite Sabaton songs. The band would quickly follow up with To Hell and Back and Winged Hussars before playing what was to be their encore – Night Witches and finally closing with Primo Victoria, which always sounds better live than it does on the record.
I’ve seen Sabaton twice now, and they haven’t disappointed either time. They’re a great band playing great music, and if you actually pay attention to the lyrics, they teach you a lot about world history. I’ve said time and again that I’ve learned more about world history from Sabaton than I have in 4 years of high school and 4 years of college. The only downside to their US shows is that they don’t include tanks and pyro; but there is absolutely nothing to dislike about this band.
Ands that brings me to Trivium. I had never seen Trivium before this night, and I don’t know as much of their music as I thought I did, because I only knew 3 of the songs they played. Unfortunately, their setlist for this show isn’t available online as of this writing, so I’m not able to confirm the songs they played aside from the ones I knew. I will tell you that they opened with Strife, closed with In Waves and also played Pillars of Serpents. Beyond that, I couldn’t say. I’d love to confirm the setlist and will update this if it’s available before we publish.
For now, though, I can say that Trivium killed it on stage. I’m a Sabaton fan and gladly agreed to cover a show they were on when asked, but Trivium definitely impressed the hell out of me on a night when everything else went wrong. I debated skipping out on their set purely out of the frustration of not being able to do my job, but Sabaton’s tour photographer got my ear and her and I chatted long enough that I ended up staying for the entire Trivium set, and at the end of the day, I’m glad I did. They put on a great show despite the other events that took place after Huntress left the stage, and that’s why they’re getting this review. Sometimes things go sideways, but a great show is a great show no matter what else happens. By the time it was over, Trivium had blown me away and definitely earned the positive review.
I just wish I had been able to photograph the first 3 to run images of the epic adventure we were taken on by 3 incredible bands. Here’s hoping it works out next time.