Bullet for My Valentine, Trivium and Toothgrinder give the Casino Ballroom a war while rocking in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Author and Photographer – Ian Urquhart
Time to get the aloe out in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. The summer sun decided to show up while bringing a metal concert with it. The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom fell home to a Toothgrinder, Triviumand Bullet for My Valentineshow on May 11th, 2018. If you were lucky and early enough, a few fans had the opportunity to greet some of the bands that were cruising the boardwalk before set time. Nevertheless, all of Hampton Beach was ready to rock.
Leading it off, Toothgrindergraced the presence of the Hampton Beach faithful while Justin Matthews (lead vocalist) rocked an impressive, three-piece suit. Owning the stage with energy and excitement, Toothgrindernot only provided a heavy metal experience, but also found ways to become one with the crowd. Quite literally. With stage-dive after stage-dive, Justin Matthews joined the strong & brave who control the mosh pit while belting out songs alongside vocally-gifted fans. “The Shadow” off of The Phantom Amour (2017) initiated the majority of the crowd movement and participation. Overall, Toothgrinderprovided the electricity needed to jump start this metal-induced evening.
Regardless of where Triviumlies on any show line up, you already know what to expect. Incredibly technical drum fills, head-banging guitar riffs and tongue-exposing solos. Triviumcertainly could have been considered the headliner for this event. However, they were asked to play second and just as everyone expected, they did not disappoint. With eight studio albums to choose from, fans heard a wide variety of songs. With Triviumrockers ranging into many different age groups, having a diverse selection of songs helped connect with the hardcore, dedicated fans while also pleasing the newer ones. This was seen during “The Sin and the Sentence” off of The Sin and the Sentence (2017) while the old-school fans thrashed to the “Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr” off of Ascendency (2005). Trivium always does an incredible job connecting with the fans while also providing an entertaining experience. One can only hope that theywill be rocking stages for many years to come.
With Trivium being a hard act to follow, many seemed curious if Bullet for My Valentinedeserved the headlining spot on this tour. Within seconds of their opening song, “Don’t Need You,” it was evident that they were right where they needed to be. A fresh mixture of songs was played during Bullet’s set in order to capture the attention of new fans while pleasing the dedicated fans of the years past. This was also the first time that New Hampshire was given a chance to officially welcome Jason Bowld as Bullet for My Valentine’snew drummer. Which had zero effect on how well excited Bullet’s performance was. The crowd was sent into a frenzy as the intro to “Tears Don’t Fall” off of The Poison (2005) followed by an overwhelming “Let’s Go!” to kick the song in. Concluding the evening involved one of Bullet for My Valentine’sheaviest songs, “Waking the Demon” off of Scream Aim Fire (2008). It’s possible that the Casino Ballroom floor is still shaking form the circle pit that was created during this track.
The Casino Ballroom always provides an incredible experience as a concert goer. Whether you enjoyed some oysters on a seaside dock or played arcade games for a couple hours before heading the venue. Hampton Beach can be home to some incredible concerts. To have the opportunity to see two legendary bands perform back to back is something many will take home with them as a one of a kind experience. Although this tour may be over, Bullet for My Valentine will be hitting the road again this fall to tour their most recent album that will be released this month, Gravity.
Until then, see you next time.
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