Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Battlecross & Miss May I – Birmingham Academy – 6th February 2014

battlecrossFirst up tonight were Detroit band Battlecross, here on their first trip to the UK.  Despite going on stage soon after the doors opened they still had a good sized crowd to play to – fans had been queuing outside the venue for a couple of hours before doors opened.  They got the night off to a great start with some good thrash metal.  They certainly seemed to go down well with the crowd, and I for one look forward to seeing them again.  The band will be back in the UK in June to play Download festival.

Next up was Miss May I, who have more of a Metalcore sound but one that fit in well with the thrash that came before them.  They aren’t a band I’ve listened to before but they clearly had quite a few fans in the crowd as they got a big circle pit going for a while before the fans decided to start crowd-surfing instead.  A very good performance and one that really did a good job of warming the crowd up for the two main bands.

miss may iMiss May I setlist:

Our kings
Day by day
Hay mister




Trivium were next up and during the first song they noticed security climbing over the barrier to help someone and to their immense credit immediately stopped the show until after several minutes the person who was ill was assisted out of the crowd to receive medical attention.  They even asked for anyone who knew the person to get in touch later and let them know if they were ok – it’s nice to see a band that really cares about the fans.  They had to stop the set later on due to another fan collapsing in the heat and directed the fans to clear a route for security to get through.
For Trivium the stage had been set up with an Arctic theme with fake ice boulders at the front of the stage (concealing the monitors) and a wall designed to look like ice in front of the drum riser.  Add in the smoke, the mainly blue and white lighting (and the fake snow that started falling later in their set) and it was a good look.
They put in a superb set, and the steady stream of crowd-surfers showed that they were going down well with the crowd.  The band too looked to be having a great time on stage.

Trivium setlist:

Brave This Storm
Like Light to the Flies
No Way to Heal
Shattering the Skies Above
Through Blood and Dirt and Bone
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Down from the Sky
In Waves
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr

Killswitch Engage
Killswitch Engage

Killswitch engage were up next.  For them the stage had been cleared to leave lots of open space, small risers at the front for them to stand on, and a raised walkway at the back of the stage, and as soon as the band came on (to the intro tape of Survivor’s “Eye of the tiger”) it was clear why it was set up like this – the band run around like crazy.  All that empty space was used as the band members moved around the stage, jumped off the risers, did high kicks and generally put in a more energetic performance than most people do when they go to the gym.
The stream of crowd surfers during Trivium’s set turned into a flood for Killswitch Engage with security kept busy all through the set.
This was my first time seeing Killswitch Engage live and I was seriously impressed – this really was a superb gig – they weren’t just spot on musically with some fantastic heavy songs but also knew how to put in an entertaining performance and to get the crowd going.  Coming after Trivium they needed to be very good to succeed and they managed it.

This was a great night – Battlecross over here on their first UK/European tour got the night off to a great start.  Miss May I also put in a great performance, but then Trivium and Killswitch Engage too the night from good to fantastic.

Killswitch Engage setlist:

A Bid Farewell
This Is Absolution
The New Awakening
The Arms of Sorrow
This Fire Burns
Beyond the Flames
Rose of Sharyn
Rise Inside
My Last Serenade
Turning Point
Fixation on the Darkness
In Due Time
The End of Heartache
My Curse

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.