Beartooth and Trivium Rage at The Ritz - Knotfest

Beartooth and Trivium Rage at The Ritz

Posted by Nicolás Delgadillo in Culture on May 25, 2023

The Knotfest Roadshow combines two unlikely powerhouses on a U.S. tour that won’t soon be forgotten.

A dual headlining tour between Beartooth and Trivium may seem like an odd matchup at first. You wouldn’t normally see these two heavyweight bands on the same bill together outside of a big festival, as their differing styles of music doesn’t exactly invite an obvious crossover between their respective fanbases. Whereas Beartooth injects a hardcore punk energy to their riffs and poppy sing along choruses, Trivium is like a gumbo of every branch of the heavy metal tree. 

Both bands have carved out distinct lanes for themselves and dominated the scene in their own ways. They also both managed to bounce back stronger than ever after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live music, coming out of the gate swinging with some of the very best new music and live shows they’ve ever offered. Beartooth’s summer 2021 release of Below showcased the most mature songwriting of frontman Caleb Shomo’s entire career, with each track on the album feeling weightier than anything the Ohio rockers have come out with before. 

Trivium returned to the fray as well with not one but two new albums to support, 2020’s What the Dead Men Say and the following year’s In the Court of the Dragon. Continuing to build on the Florida band’s new foundation and vast catalog of work, both of Trivium’s latest feel like their very best – a perfect combination of all the various metal subgenres they’ve taken inspiration from in the past.

Putting these two together was always going to be an experiment, and thankfully it’s one that this year’s Knotfest Roadshow was willing to try out in a big way. The unlikely duo are currently on a massive trek across the U.S. that goes until the middle of June, with support from up and coming Arizona act Archetypes Collide and rising metal legends Malevolence from Sheffield. I caught up with the landmark tour at a recent stop in Raleigh, North Carolina to experience TrivTooth for myself.

The Ritz is a rather unassuming venue. On the outside it’s a very plain-looking, big gray building just a few minutes outside of the North Carolina capital city. There’s nothing particularly interesting around the area either. The inside, however, immediately greeted the various heavy music fans there that evening with kooky sci-fi decorations, sleek-looking bars and dual staircases that led up to a gorgeously spacious balcony; a perfect spot to admire the mayhem in the pit below.

It certainly didn’t take very long to get that pit in motion either, as Archetypes Collide kicked off the evening with an energetic pair of fresh tracks from their self-titled debut. Oshie Bichar of Beartooth has been championing this band for a while now and it’s not hard to see why with their similar mix of metalcore and pop sensibilities. The already packed-in crowd was immediately responsive to them, especially when they launched into a cover of old school Linkin Park anthem “One Step Closer”.


“We’re from Arizona and if you know basic geography you know that we’re pretty far from home.” frontman Kyle Pastor said to the crowd. “But I just wanted to let you guys know that throughout this show you guys are making us feel that much closer to home so thank you for giving us your ears, your energy and all of your love.” They ended their set fast and heavy with “Your Misery”, leaving all of the moshers hungry for more.

Archetypes Collide at The Ritz in Raleigh, NC

The Raleigh audience was properly warmed up, which allowed Malevolence to set the place completely ablaze once they hit the stage. Later that evening, Matt Heafy of Trivium would call them a band that they believe will take over the modern metal scene, something that Raleigh learned the hard way. The pit instantly doubled in size and violence and crowd surfers began their journeys as the English metalheads tore into a set carried strong by their recent full-length, Malicious Intent

The inside of The Ritz does have one pretty glaring flaw: A giant pole smack dab in the middle of the floor. I imagine it’s an annoying obstruction at most concerts that take place there, but for this particular show, it acted as a perfect marker for a sizable circle pit. Malevolence’s potent blend of hardcore and metal stirred the fans into a genuine frenzy, and the explosive energy coming off of them wasn’t lost on the band. “This is my favorite fucking show on the tour.” vocalist Alex Taylor confessed to the North Carolina crowd. 

“Without all of you, we all lead very, very boring lives.” he continued. “None of us have a job without you. Without you, none of this shit happens so make some noise for yourselves!”. Even slower songs like “Higher Place” had the place engaged with lights and arms in the air as if Malevolence themselves were the headliners. “When I got here tonight I asked for a big line of security cause I wanna see some crowd surfing!”. Taylor said as they reached their final song. Raleigh happily obliged.

Malevolence at The Ritz in Raleigh, NC

Trivium shows are always legendary, blasting audiences with metalcore riffs, soaring guitar solos, thrashy speed, and giant hooks that even the Beartooth-only fans eventually started singing along to. The melodic ferocity of the dual guitars and vocals of Heafy and Corey Beaulieu lit up the venue as Bent and bassist Paolo Gregoletto effortlessly glided over an array of technically complex metal beats. Opening their hour-plus set with a pair of classic tracks off Ascendancy, the band dove into their discography and had the rowdy crowd eating out of the palm of their hand throughout.

Always one to keep things nice and competitive, Heafy egged everyone on as the night progressed. “The best crowd we’ve had on this tour was Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and I know that’s unacceptable here,” he teased. “If that’s the case then we need to step it way the fuck up!” The place promptly went nuts, front to back, side to side, and even up on the balcony as Trivium got everyone jumping, moshing, headbanging, and screaming as one. 

In a stunning display of the magic of metal shows, fans began signaling to the band to stop playing during the middle of “Built to Fall” when someone passed out in the pit. The band did indeed stop, and in less than a minute, the injured person was already taken to safety and the song resumed right where it left off. The crowd certainly seemed to appreciate how swiftly the situation was handled and how their fellow spectator was cared for; the energy practically doubled from that point on.

Trivium at The Ritz in Raleigh, NC

“We’ve been talking about touring with Beartooth for years and every single night has been amazing.” Heafy shared with everyone. After witnessing the place explode to set-staple “In Waves”, he officially declared Raleigh the craziest crowd of the whole tour thus far. Trivium closed their set out with “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr”, and the crowd shifted just ever so slightly in eager anticipation for Shomo and company to come on next and finish things off with a bang.

You’d think that everyone would be exhausted after popping off for three heavy-hitting bands in a row, but Raleigh rallied in a big way in time for Beartooth. The floor became a mass of constant movement as the band sent bodies flying with favorites like (pun intended) “Body Bag”, “Bad Listener”, and “You Never Know”. Rabid fans pushed their way to the front at the chance to shout the words back at Shomo, who ran and bounced around the stage with his signature infectious and wild energy.

The frontman kept asking the crowd to help him out through the night but he honestly needn’t have bothered – the voices of Beartooth’s North Carolina fans were often so loud they drowned Shomo out anyway. That even included brand new songs like “Riptide” and “Sunshine!”, which translated tremendously to the live setting. The circle pit continued its endless rotations around the pole as the floor grew more and more chaotic. Someone wearing a cow costume (udder and all) went sailing over the barricade before reemerging in the middle of the moshing area.

The TrivTooth experiment was clearly a success, with well over a thousand people in attendance at Raleigh leaving very satisfied and probably very bruised. Things came to an end with a powerful rendition of “The Last Riff”, which saw Shomo stepping directly into the center of the crowd itself to wail for one last time on the guitar with his people. In true rock star fashion, the sea of people literally parted to let him back onstage once the deed was done. The image of it will probably stick with me for a very long time, as I’m sure it will for many others that were lucky enough to witness it.

The Beartooth and Trivium tour continues across the U.S. through June 15th. Check out the list of remaining dates below and get tickets HERE.

5/25 — Columbus, OH — Sonic Temple Festival (Beartooth Only)
5/26 — Indianapolis, IN — Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
5/27 — Columbus, OH — Sonic Temple Festival (Trivium Only)
5/28 — Corbin, KY — Corbin Arena 
5/30 — Omaha, NE — The Admiral 
5/31 — Clive, IA — Horizon Event Center 
6/2 — East Moline, IL — The Rust Belt 
6/3 — Kansas City, MO — Uptown Theater 
6/4 — Tulsa, OK — Tulsa Theater 
6/6 — Austin, TX — Emo’s
6/7 — Dallas, TX — The Factory in Deep Ellum 
6/9 — Tempe, AZ — Marquee
6/10 — Las Vegas, NV — Brooklyn Bowl 
6/11 — Riverside, CA — Riverside Municipal Auditorium 
6/12 — San Francisco, CA — Warfield 
6/14 — Spokane, WA — The Podium 
6/15 — Seattle, WA — Paramount Theater

Check out the photo gallery of the Raleigh show from Nicolás Delgadillo below.




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