Tag Archives: 3Arena

*Review* Belfast Vital 2017 – Muse & Biffy Clyro (& Support)

On Wednesday the 23rd of August I headed to The Boucher Road Playing Fields, Belfast for the first show of Belfast Vital 2017. Belfast Vital is an annual two-day music festival, made up of two single day concerts, in Northern Ireland that currently takes place in The Boucher Road Playing Fields, Belfast. The first show was being headlined by Muse with support from Biffy Clyro, Nothing But Thieves and Fangclub. I also attended the first day of Belfast Vital 2016 last year which featured Red Hot Chili Peppers as the headliners, you can check out my review of that show here.

The venue for the festival is a giant field, and it was filled with food stands, drink stands, merchandise stands, bars and this year there was even a Ferris Wheel. There was a large security presence on-site – every precaution possible was taken to ensure the safety of attendees. There was a pit area in front of the stage which required wristbands to get into, which helped to divide up the crowd. The stage itself was massive. Unfortunately, there was no VIP section this year, the impressive  VIP Bar, The Vital, from last year was nowhere to be seen, a shame but it did not take much away from the festival. The weather wasn’t the best, cloudy with hints of sunlight here and there, but at least it did not rain heavily at any point during the show. Thousands of attendees had already arrived by the time the first band took to the stage.

Dublin’s alternative rock heroes Fangclub kicked off proceedings, opening their set with ‘Inside Joke’ off their ‘Coma Happy’ EP released back in 2016. They played a newer track next, ‘Better To Forget’, which is on their debut self-titled album released earlier that month and they’ve just released a music video for it. When I first caught the band live back in 2015, opening for Nothing But Thieves (check that out here), who were set to take to the stage after them yet again, I said that they were ‘ones to watch’ and I think it goes without saying that I was right. As their set went on the 3 piece, accompanied by an extra guitarist, won over more and more of the crowd. ‘Dreamcatcher’ was accompanied by a little smoke and they introduced themselves before playing ‘Follow’. A welcome addition to their live set came in the form of another new track off their debut album, ‘Lightning’, a track I am a big fan of. They finished their set off with two of the oldest songs in their repertoire, the grungey sound of ‘Role Models’ and the anthem that is ‘Bullet Head’. Fangclub are still, a band that you should be watching: 8/10.

English alternative rock band Nothing But Thieves took to the Vital stage next. They crammed 11 songs into their set, mostly cuts from their debut self-titled album and a couple of new songs off their second album ‘Broken Machine’ which had not been released yet (it is, however, available now). They received a very good response from the crowd with fans screaming in delight before they had even started playing the first song of their set ‘Ban All The Music’, a standout, riff-heavy, track off their debut album. A new track ‘I’m Not Made By Design’, off of ‘Broken Machine’, showcased vocalist Conor Mason’s impressive range. ‘Itch’s catchy as ever chorus got an audible amount of the crowd singing along. ‘Sorry’ is so incredibly catchy you’d forgive me for thinking that it is off their first album and not their new one, the bridge section being simply outstanding. ‘Excuse Me’s chorus simply sounded as massive as ever, with the added effect provided by the smoke machines during it being a nice touch, the band jammed out the outro to cheers from the crowd. The band rounded out their set with the massive hit that is ‘Trip Switch’ and ‘Amsterdam’ the lead single off of ‘Broken Machine’. As expected Nothing But Thieves were a good support act, and Conor Mason continues to have an incredibly impressive set of pipes, both on record and live: 7/10.

I saw Biffy Clyro play the 3Arena in Dublin back in November, seeing them live was something I had waited far too long to do, you can check that review out by clicking here. It was pretty obvious before the band had even taken to the stage that a large portion of the crowd was at Vital for them alone. The massive stage production they had back in November was absent but it didn’t take much away from the set. Their set felt like a condensed version of the set they played in the 3Arena, anything even close to filler was gone, instead, they spent their hour-long set just playing hit after hit, and banger after banger.


Biffy Clyro’s members arrived on stage already topless and kicked their set off with the thundering ‘Wolves of Winter’ off their latest album ‘Ellipsis’, which the crowd shouted the “we are the wolves” part of, before the thumping intro of ‘Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies’, off 2007’s ‘Puzzle’, set the pace for the rest of their set. The first big sing-a-long of the night came in the form of ‘Biblical’, off 2013’s ‘Opposites’ and the crowd was even louder for ‘Bubbles’ off of 2009’s ‘Only Revolutions’. The sing-a-longs just kept coming with ‘Black Chandelier’. The crowd was at its liveliest, as they screamed, clapped, jumped and moshed, during the headbang-inducing anthem that is ‘That Golden Rule’. Afterwards, vocalist Simon Neil gave a shout out to their Belfast fans by saying that “every time we come here we’ve the best time, no exceptions’. ‘Re-arrange’ was more laid back than anything else in their set and it was not as warmly received by the crowd.

As expected ‘Mountains’ generated a large sing-a-long before they played the intense and atmospheric ‘9/15ths’ off ‘Puzzle’, an unexpected song choice given how short their set was. After ‘Animal Style’, Simon commented on two things, the festival, by calling it ‘a day of next level rock n’ roll’, and the weather, by saying ‘blue skies in Belfast, what the fuck’. The biggest sing-a-long of their set was during ‘Many of Horror’, the crowd sang the first chorus of it solo, with no need for Simon to open his mouth at all. Simon reminded the crowd who they were by shouting, ‘we are Biffy fucking Clyro’, before finishing their set off with ‘Stingin’ Belle’ and as they jammed out its heavy outro they received a huge applause from the crowd. Biffy Clyro showed that they don’t need an over the top stage production to impress live, because they need only their songs and talent to do so: 10/10.


Muse kicked off their headlining set with recent single ‘Dig Down’. Their stage production consisted of flashy rotating screens behind the band members and tonnes of lasers that lit up the festival. Frontman Matt Bellamy arrived on stage wearing glasses with LEDs and his guitar was also lit up by more LEDs. Shouts of ‘I sir’ signalled the start of the second song of their set, ‘Psycho’, off their latest album 2015’s ‘Drones’, which a noticeable amount of the crowd was jumping and singing along to.  The crowd erupted into life as soon as the opening riff of ‘Hysteria’, off 2003’s ‘Absolution’. was played. It was followed by one of the oldest songs in the set, ‘Bliss’, off 2001’s ‘Origin of Symmetry’. An unexpected surprise came in the form of a live rarity, ‘Assassin’, off 2006’s ‘Black Holes and Revelations’, which was well received by the crowd. Matt took to the keys for ‘The 2nd Law: Isolated System’. Another live rarity came in the form of the riff-heavy ‘New Born’, which triggered a circle pit near the front of the crowd, the space cleared for the circle pit spent the rest of the song and Muse’s set acting as a mosh pit. During ‘New Born’ the screens on stage displayed footage based on the cover artwork of ‘Origin of Symmetry’.

The crowd started screaming in delight as soon as the opening riff of ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ was played. ‘Mercy’ simply sounded massive live, and as an added bonus confetti cannons and streamers went off during it. During ‘Madness’, Matt’s jacket was lit up and he had his glasses back on, and both the screens on stage and his glasses displayed the lyrics to the song. ‘Dead Inside’ sounded big live with its thumping, hard-hitting, bass line. Before they played ‘Starlight’ Matt dedicated the song to those who had seen them in Belfast the previous year. ‘Starlight’ was the biggest sing-along of Muse’s set and during it, giant white balloons were released into the crowd. They played ‘Time Is Running Out’ next, which was another major sing-along of the set. They finished out their main set off with a creepy and intense performance of ‘Take a Bow’, which was followed by fireworks.


Muse‘s encore consisted of ‘Uprising’, the only song in the set off of 2009’s ‘The Resistance’, and ‘Knights of Cydonia’. Throughout out ‘Knights of Cydonia’ fireworks lit up the sky above the stage, which made for a very strong ending to a very strong set. Muse brought a back catalogue of hits, strong live songs, and a massive stage production to Belfast. For years I’ve been told that Muse are a phenomenal live band, and after their performance at Belfast Vital, I can in no way disagree, because that is what they are live, simply phenomenal: 10/10.

Just like the year before, Belfast Vital 2017 – Day One, showcased incredible live bands and the atmosphere during the festival was once again incomparable to anything else I have ever attended.

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*Review* Avenged Sevenfold & Disturbed – 3Arena, Dublin 07/01/17

On Saturday 7th January American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold returned to Dublin for the first time in just over three years to kick off their ‘The Stage World Tour’, the tour is in support of their seventh album ‘The Stage’ which was released out of the blue back in October. Support on the night came from American heavy metal titans Disturbed.

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Before Disturbed had even taken to the stage the standing area was packed fans who had made sure to turn up early for them, showing that while Disturbed may have been supporting Avenged Sevenfold that night they are still a band with a very large Irish fanbase of their own. They kicked off their set with the title track of their most recent album 2015’s ‘Immortalized’ before going back 15 years and playing ‘The Game’ off their debut album ‘The Sickness’. The first half of their set was mainly material off their first two albums, however, these songs sounded far from perfect live, it was as if the band was warming up while playing them, most notably, the vocals during ‘Stupify’ sounded a lot weaker than you’d expect from a heavier song. Despite how weak the first half appeared to me, the crowd did exactly as vocalist David Draiman told them to, including screaming the ‘fuck’ parts during ‘Stupify’. The first standout performance of the set, their cover of Simon & Garfunkel ‘s ‘The Sound of Silence’, which has been nominated for a Grammy, signalled the turning point in the set. The lighter stripped back performance of such a timeless classic, with acoustic guitars, bongos and keys with the crowd singing along to almost every word with lighters and phones raised high into the sky, was simply breathtaking. It was followed by a strong performance of ‘Inside the Fire’ off 2008’s ‘Indestructible’, complete with pyro, with pyro sticks burning throughout the set and pyro blasts every time Draiman said the ‘fire’. Another standout was ‘The Light’ during which Draiman requested a moment of audience participation, asking them to raise their phones and lighters every time he uttered ‘the light’, which resulted in the 3Arena being lit up beautifully throughout the song.

They finished their set off with increasingly stronger performances of hit after hit; ‘Stricken’, with a perfect vocal performance from Draiman, ‘Indestructible’, with its headbang inducing pace, and ‘Ten Thousand Fists’, with the crowd raising their fists in time to it. The final song of their set was the expected performance of ‘Down with the Sickness’ with a big pyro blast ending, which was followed by the crowd chanting ‘Disturbed’. The band asked for a quick picture, took it, and then Draiman said ‘I hope to see you again soon’ as the band left the stage. Despite being the support act on the night Disturbed played a full headlining set, their stage production included more pyro than I have ever seen a band use live and it did nothing but add to the show. However, they seemed to spend the first half of their set warming up, but the second half of it more than made up for this with hit after hit and plenty of standout moments: 8.5/10.

Prior to Avenged Sevenfold taking to the stage both Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ and David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ played out through the venue’s speakers, the start of a theme that the band’s setlist would expand upon. As this was ‘The Stage World Tour’ there was a lot of buzz prior to the show in regards to what the stage setup would be like for them. The central piece of this stage set up was a giant floating cube with screens on the two sides of it that were facing the crowd. There was also three more large rectangle screens on either side of the cube making their way from the back of the stage towards the front of it. The stage itself was a pretty big rectangle with a walkway leading out into the crowd and two holes in it where members of the crowd who had paid for VIP were standing, making them a part of ‘the stage’ and show itself. While the set up was impressive, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit disappointed by it, due to all the recent interviews with the band that I had read prior to the show, I expected there to be more to it.

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The screens flashed white and the band’s deathbat logo appeared on the cube just before the 5 piece made their way to the stage. They kicked off their set with the title track off their latest album, from which the tour takes its name, ‘The Stage’, with vocalist, M. Shadows calling out to the crowd; ‘let me hear you Dublin,’ and hear them he did, as the crowd sang-a-long, showing their dedication to the band, by already knowing all the words to the ambitious 8 and a half minute monster of a track. They followed it up with an early stand-out of the set, ‘Afterlife’ off the band’s self-titled fourth album, with the crowds singing overpowering M. Shadows voice during the chorus, they finished the song to major applause from the crowd. ‘Dublin, how are you doing this evening?’ M. Shadows asked before making a joke about how the band might get given out to if they drink Guinness out of a can. Black and white footage began playing on the screens and the crowd started chanting, as the band started playing the title track off their sixth album ‘Hail to the King’, which was well received by the crowd despite how much the album split fans opinions upon its release back in 2013.  It was followed by the first live performance of ‘Paradigm’ off ‘To The Stage’ with M. Shadows telling the crowd ‘I wanna see a circle pit on this one’. Before playing ‘To End The Rapture’ off the band’s debut album, 2001’s, ‘Sounding the Seventh Trumpet’, M. Shadows said ‘I like this little arena. We are gonna play shit from all the records’. The short song was quickly followed by the heavy sound of ‘Chapter Four’ off their 2nd album ‘Waking The Fallen’.

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A strong performance of ‘Buried Alive’ off 2010’s ‘Nightmare’ was another stand-out of the set with its multiple guitar solos and its powerful outro section. Before ‘Angels’, another debut live performance, the cube started moving towards the crowd while rotating, then began flashing an image of a planet. During the song, which is one of the bands more ‘chilled’ songs, a mosh pit got going in the crowd with M. Shadows saying ‘only in Dublin’. After the song, the cube moved back to the back of the stage. As ‘Nightmare’ kicked off the crowd exploded to life singing the loudest they had so far that night and multiple mosh pits started throughout the crowd, the crowd sang multiple parts of the song on their own with no need for any help from M. Shadows. M. Shadows continued to speak to the crowd saying ‘it is always a pleasure to get over here to Ireland. This will hopefully give promoters more confidence in us so we can do more shows in Ireland. Alright, best show of the tour.’ Before ‘Almost Easy’ he gave a shoutout to Disturbed telling the crowd that ‘they are a big band and that they don’t need to be here with us’.

During the section of ‘Sunny Disposition’ that featured the sound of a siren, M. Shadows used a megaphone instead of his microphone, which was pretty punk and complimented the big, heavy, weird, and long, song perfectly. The band made an interesting choice to play ‘Warmness on the Soul’ as an instrumental. A giant inflatable spaceman, with a skull face and a light up head, exploded out of the back of the stage, as the band started playing ‘Planets’ before the band finished their main set off with ‘Acid Rain’, as both songs are off of ‘Hail to the King’ they were weird choices to finish out the set with. M. Shadows shouted ‘Dublin, Ireland thank you so much for tonight and we’ll see you next time,’ as he left the stage.

Once again the deathbat appeared on all of the screens as the band made their way back onto the stage for the encore. ‘Bat Country’, oddly the only song in the set off ‘City of Evil’, kicked off the encore with the crowd shouting ‘he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man’ before exploding, the song resulted in the biggest mosh pits of the night and one of the loudest sing-a-longs. M. Shadows gave the band’s former drummer, The Rev, who died in 2009, a shout out, dedicating the next song to him, before mentioning that his own Dad was at the show, and stating that there was Irish in his family before asking why he can’t grow a better beard. The epic, 8 minutes long, ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ was the clear standout performance of the night, with The Rev’s haunting vocals playing out through the venue’s speakers seven years after his death, and the clear loudest sing-a-long of the night, with the crowd shouting, singing, and screaming back every single word of the song. The final song of the night was the expected performance of, the heavy, ‘Unholy Confessions’ off ‘Waking the Fallen’, allowing members of the crowd to get one last good mosh in.

While the main set could have been finished off with a stronger song, like the somehow missing performance of ‘Beast and the Harlot’ off ‘City of Evil’, I have to give it to Avenged Sevenfold for putting together a very ambitious stage setup, coupled with a set that covered the band’s entire career, and for easily the best crowd interaction from a band I have ever seen take place in an arena: 9.5/10.

 

 

*Competition* All Time Low (& Good Charlotte) 3Arena, Dublin on Feb 16th 2016!

Competition ends on December 7th, the winner will then be picked!
Just Retweet the tweet below and Follow @IrishRocknMetal on Twitter to enter, if you do not follow you can not claim the prize!

You can also enter by liking and sharing the image on Facebook! via: 

 

ALL TIME LOW
‘BACK TO THE FUTURE HEARTS TOUR’
WITH VERY SPECIAL GUESTS
GOOD CHARLOTTE
3ARENA, DUBLIN – 16 FEBRUARY 2016
*TICKETS ON SALE NOW *

ALL TIME LOW are pleased to announce Good Charlotte as special guests for their date at Dublin’s 3Arena on 16 February 2016 as part of their ‘Back To The Future Hearts’ tour.

Tickets priced €37 inclusive of booking fee are on sale now from Ticketmaster outlets and www.ticketmaster.ie!

For more see: www.alltimelow.com / www.mcd.ie  / www.ticketmaster.ie