Although I arrived later than I had intended to, I entered a room full of fans enjoying As Lions however I was unaware on what to expect from any of the bands on the bill tonight. However even though I missed the first half of As Lions set the songs I did manage to catch of the London based band were absolutely incredible.
As Lions are definitely a band I would highly recommend to see live again and would happily work alongside them once again. The stage presence and energy they brought to the stage was something I’d not caught from a support band in a short while. The crowd were jumping, singing along and As Lions were making sure they interacted with the crowd as much as possible and it certainly made the crowd crave more from the rest of the band tonight.
Next up to grace the stage with their presence was Milton Keynes based Metal band Heart Of A Coward. Now this is a band I’ve been dying to work with them for a little while now so I had no idea on what they were going to bring to the table, saying that I’ve always heard great things about the sets that friends had seen so I was beyond excited.
Heart Of A Coward were the heaviest band on the set and entered the stage with a huge roar from the crowd, they entered playing a variety of a tracks from their 3 albums. They were band that certainly made sure they involved crowd in whatever possible way they could and it was great to see everyone in the room getting involved whether they knew who the band were or not. Now one of my favourite crowd interactions of the night was when vocalist Jamie Graham asked the crowd ‘Put your right and left arm over the people next to you, and bang your fucking heads’ and the crowd did as they were asked and everyone was in sync. The band put on such a flawless set, and had such a flow going they just onto the next track, while the crowd had their fists in the air. Now after watching this set you could instantly tell that Heart Of A Coward were a band who were meant to perform on the stage.
Florida based band Trivium were last up on the stage, this was the first time I’ve had the pleasure to work with a band as big as themselves was definitely something I was more delighted about. The set started with the song ‘Run To The Hills’ by Iron Maiden, I can’t deny that I sang along to this with the crowd as I thought it was a great way to get everyone even more excited for what Trivium were about to bring to the stage.
As soon as the track finished the crowd began chanting “TRIVIUM” and one by one every person in the room joined it. The lights went up and the band came on one by one. Now whatever expectations I did have of the band were completely blown out of the water and exceeded by the end of their opening track ‘Silence In The Snow’. Every song the band performed the more the crowd got involved. More and more fists and fans signing along were appearing the more into the set the band got. The room was hot with all the movement and amount of fans “This is how it feels in Florida’. Vocalist Matthew surely knew how to please the crowd from saying ‘Oxford you are one of the best crowds we’ve played too on this tour, now we can either leave it like this or you guys can raise the bar that little bit higher for the rest of the shows’
Photo Credit: Heather Lowe Photography
As soon as they ended their set on their track ‘Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr’ but as soon as the last riffs and final few hits of the drums had played the lights dimmed. You could tell the crowd weren’t ready for the band to leave the stage just yet and were craving so much more from Trivium. So as soon as the members walked off the stage the crowds chanting began once again, less than a minute later they walked back on stage all at once. The fans called and the band accepted to play their encore, Matthew announced the track ‘In Waves’ which was one of the first songs I ever listened to from the band so to be able to see them perform it live was something I’ve wanted to see for a while. The crowd roared once more after singing their hearts out for the last time of the night. Trivium thanked the crowd for being one of the best and it was a pleasure to be apart of that and I’m sure many of the fans could say the exact same. Trivium have topped my list as one of the best live bands I’ve worked with over the years (10/10)