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Trespass America Festival @ Prudential Center 8.18.12 (review)

By: Terrance Pryor

The first annual Trespass America Festival brought metalheads from all over NJ and NYC to Newark's Prudential Center. Newark knows a thing or two about metal: The Pipeline used to have many metal acts including Tool, Type O Negative and Nine Inch Nails. The one thing that bugged me about holding this at the Prudential Center was the fact that some people actually bought seats for this instead of rocking out in the audience. C'mon, people. This is a metal show, not a Radiohead concert.

When balloons start flying during the first song of the opening act, you know that the evening will be insane. Michigan thrash metal act Battlecross were an absolute treat to watch. Vocalist Kyle Gunther brought sheer prowess to the stage as the band delivered big time. Their cover of Pantera's "Fucking Hostile" got everyone singing along. The band's latest album Pursuit of Honor was released last year via Metal Blade Records.

New Jersey's own God Forbid have been at it since 1996 and show no signs of slowing down just yet. The metal act from New Brunswick are no strangers to touring festivals, having done Ozzfest and Rockstar Mayhem Festival in the past. The NJ crowd certainly showed the homestate boys some love as they took the stage. The band showed love right back as vocalist Bryon Davis stated that they always bring a piece of New Jersey with them on tour. With dreads flying around, Davis and Co. performed a short but sweet set which was mostly songs from their latest album Equilibrium (Victory Records).

This was Emmure's first arena tour in their nine year career and they really didn't bring it at the Prudential Center. Its kinda hard to take a band seriously when their vocalist sings lyrics that could have easily been written by a sexual frustrated 13 year old. I wonder how long its gonna take before Emmure fans finally realize what they've been listening to,hang their head in shame and find something better. For some reason, the band is set to tour with Static-X and Ill Nino later this year.

While I'm not fond of Frankie & Co., the following act Pop Evil made Emmure look like Foo Fighters in comparison. The band pretty much bored most of the crowd to death with their use of recycled riffs and lyrics from 80s hard rock bands. You could even hear people in the crowd yell "Stop playing the same song over and over again."

Trivium have been active since 1999 with band members around the age of 26. With each release, the group pushes themselves to broaden their sound. I stopped listening to the band after Shogun (great album, btw) but it's always nice to see these guys rock the house. The instrumental track "Capsizing The Sea" came on as the crowd went absolutely rowdy. The band charged onto the stage with the track "In Waves" from their latest album of the same name. The Orlando metal act dished out a superb set filled with rowdy crowdsurfers.

Before Killswitch Engage came on, I noticed small pieces of confetti fall from the ceiling (probably from the night before). I took it as a sign of celebration for the reunion of the original KSE lineup. The band took to the stage with Richard Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra" as their intro. There stood Jesse Leach rocking a snazzy mohawk and a Cro-Mags T-shirt. The band went into "Rose of Sharyn" and the crowd sung along to every word. It was really interesting to hear Jesse sing tracks from The End of Heartache and As Daylight Dies. His stage presence with the rest of the group made it seem like he never left.

The band performed a new song entitled "No End In Sight" which sounds like a return to their older sound. Everyone and their mother sung along to the chorus of "My Last Serenade", one of my favorite Killswitch Engage tracks. Let's not forget about the wild, charismatic and all around good guy Adam D. The guitarist flailed around the stage and managed to make some naughty jokes during the set. The band ended their set with their rocking cover of Dio's "Holy Diver". You can expect a new album from Killswitch Engage next year.

Five Finger Death Punch are one of metal's brightest acts. With two gold albums under their belt and the release of their latest album American Capitalist, the band decided to turn things up for this tour. The remix of their track "1000 Ways To Hate" blared through the arena which got fans riled up. Flashing lights engulfed the place as the band took the stage to open with "Under and Over It". Vocalist Ivan Moody had a great stage presence while Zoltan Bathory (Best.Name.Ever) showed off his sweet guitar skills to the front row. For their cover of Bad Company's "Bad Company", footage of the band's 2010 trip to Iraq was shown. The band is very supportive of the troops overseas and you can certainly see that as Moody clenched the American flag to his heart. 

During the song "White Knuckles", Moody managed to get some kids from the crowd to come on stage. The group of kids were declared "the future of heavy metal" to an outstanding ovation from the crowd. Drummer Jeremy Spencer decided to show off his wicked drumming skills while dressed up as a skeleton. The drum kit slid its way to the front of the stage as Spencer delivered a grand drum solo. For the encore, the acoustic guitar was brought out for "Remember Everything". Moody said that most of the bands they've toured with have become "cocksuckers" with their relationships with fans . The night ended with "The Bleeding", a song that was dedicated to every guy in the arena who had their heart broken by a lady (so this was dedicated to pretty much every guy in the arena).


Killswitch Engage setlist

Rose of Sharyn
Fixation on the Darkness
No End in Sight
This Is Absolution
Life to Lifeless
A Bid Farewell
My Last Serenade
The End of Heartache
My Curse
Holy Diver (Dio cover)


Five Finger Death Punch setlist

Under and Over It
Burn it Down
American Capitalist
Hard to See
Coming Down
Bad Company (Bad Company cover)
White Knuckles
Far From Home
Never Enough
War Is The Answer

Remember Everything
The Bleeding