"The Trinity of Terror" Tour @ Viejas Arena in San Diego
Photos by: Samantha Madnick
Words by: Rudy Flores
Thursday night...Viejas Arena at SDSU... LET'S FUCKING GO!! Ice Nine Kills, Motionless in White, and Black Veil Brides with special guests Atreyu made their way to San Diego for another killer night of "The Trinity of Terror" tour. The marathon tour was on its 41st stop (of the third leg) and they definitely came to ROCK! As fans slowly made their way into Viejas Arena for the odd 6:20pm start time, you could tell everyone was getting ready for what was going to be what Atreyu front man Brandon Saller called "THE NIGHT OF THEIR FUCKING LIVES!!"
Speaking of Atreyu, they were up first! Lead "clean" vocalist Brandon Saller (mentioned above), guitarists Dan Jacobs (The Mohawak Master), and Travis Miguel along with bassist and "unclean" vocalist "Porter" McKnight aka The Bearded One (at least that's what I calling him) , and last but certainly not least drummer Kyle Rosa came out the gate strong with "Stange Powers of Prophecy" from their 2021 release "Baptize". Saying that it was well received would be a bit of an understatement. Brandon made his way into the crowd during their performance of "Right Side of the Bed" an oldie but goodie from their 2004 release "The Curse" to follow through with his promise to "get out there and wake everyone the fuck up"! As he walked through the "cheap seats" giving high fives and belting out lyrics everyone within arms length got the chance to what see a true performer at work dominating his element looked like. The 12 song set ended with "Blow" from "Lead Sails Paper Anchor" to a sea of middle fingers but not before teasing the crowd with an intriguing yet awesome beginning to a cover of the late great Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" that judging by the response is going to require a full cut! Like seriously guys YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN! Next up was the spectale that is Motionless in White! Hitting the stage hard at 7:30 lead vocalist Chris "Motionless" Cerulli, guitarists Ryan Sitkowski and Ricky "Horror" Olson, drummer Vinny Mauro and bassist Justin Morrow (formerly of Ice Nine Kills) brought their metal core madness to the masses with their first offering of the evening "Disguise" off of the 2019 album of the same title. Brandon Saller of Atreyu made another appearance singing guest vocals on "Slaughterhouse" where the "clean" vocalist got a little dirty adding the guttural screams this genre is best known for, all while "The Bearded One" known as Porter took photos from the pit. They rocked so hard you could quite literally smell metal in the air because two of his background performers came onstage with grinders that they used to send sparks everywhere creating an incredible visual!
"Werewolf" from their latest release that dropped earlier this year (2022 in case you forgot) entitled "Scoring the End of the World" was by far one of their most entertaining performances as far as I was concerned. They leaned heavily into Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video complete with the voice-over intro from the song we all know and love so well. Chris even donned the signature red leather studded jacket similar to the one M.J. wore and of course had back up werewolves dancing behind him (because why wouldn't he?) as he did his best to emulate the King of Pop. Everyone got a big kick out of their cover of The Killers' "Somebody Told Me" and as they got into their final song, "Eternally Yours" from 2017's "Graveyard Shift", Chris along with his two background performers from earlier, now wearing full length black dresses (the women...not Chris LoL) tossed out roses to the crowd before bidding everyone "adieu". Quite the performance indeed! As Black Veil Brides hit the stage there was a sea of black shirts and fingerless gloves ready to receive them. As lead vocalist Andy Biersack aka "Andy BLACK", along side rhythm guitarist and violinist Jinxx, lead guitarist Jake Pitts, drummer Christian "CC" Coma and bassist Lonny Eagleton struck the first notes of "Crimson Skies" from their 2021 release "The Phantom Tomorrow" everyone went BIERSACK...I mean BERSERK! SORRY NOT SORRY! FUNNY TO ME!
The screams that filled the arena were deafening. Everything quickly ramped up to 11 (God I hope you all get that reference) as the band that is single handedly letting everyone know that studded skinny jeans are a thing, got into "Knives and Pens" from their 2010 release "We Stitch These Wounds" and again when they got into 2011's "Fallen Angels" from "Set The World On Fire". You could tell that BVB where having a great night as they exchanged smiles and and few "FUCK YEAHS" to each other in-between songs. They ended their evening with a classic from 2013's "In The End" which to me was a little on the nose (what with it being their final song) but it definitely worked. Overall their set felt fun and pretty nostalgic as they did kind of a "best of" which was great for everyone in attendance. I know I like going to shows where I get to hear new music but absolutely love hearing a few classics so i can sing right along with them...much the chagrin of everyone around me. The only thing that would've made it better would've been if they turned up Andy's mic a bit. It was like he was kind of being drowned out by the rest of the band and although they all played their respective instruments to perfection, I wanted to hear Andy's voice a bit more. Kind of a shame because going back and listening to some of these songs on YouTube you can really hear how dynamic his voice is. That being said, (with no disrespect to BVB whatsoever as this is just my opinion) the audience was definitely ecstatic with their show and could've listened to them play their entire catalog and would've sang every single word right along with them! Now it was time for the main event ICE NINE KILLS!!!
Are you a fan of horror? Do you have any interest in the dark and macabre? Do you like tuxedos and a light bit of dismemberment with your metal? Then Ice Nine Kills is the band for you!! Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts Spencer Charnas (lead vocals and founding member), Ricky Armellino (guitarist), Patrick Galante (drums), Joe Occhiuti (bass/vocals/keyboards) and Dan Sugarman (lead guitar) took to the stage wearing their Thursday's Finest, ready to give us all a show to remember! Opening up with "Funeral Derangements", which if any of you have seen the music video is basically Pet Cemetery: The Musical, was the PERFECT start. Horror was the theme of their set (as it always is for this niche band) as songs paying tribute to some of genre's classics filled the air. During "IT is the End" from 2018's "The Silver Scream", "Georgie" made an appearance wearing the signature yellow rain coat while holding the single red balloon we all associate with Stephen King's twisted tale. American Psycho even got a nod with "Hip to be Scared" off last years release of "The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood" where frontman Spencer Charnas sported the clear rain slicker that Christian Bale made famous during that deranged scene with Jared Leto. A crowd pleaser for sure!
The performance, more liken to a dark and gritty musical than a metal show, had plenty to offer its fans new (which I am now) and old (which if we are going by age I am too I guess). Murder scenes complete with flying arms and even a head toss coupled with an amazing soundtrack made my first time seeing INK something I will remember for a long time. This was definitely one of the best performances I have seen in quite some time and the only thing that pissed me off about the whole thing was the fact that I had gone so long without seeing the extravaganza that is ICE NINE KILLS! It has honestly been quite some time since I was this impressed by a line up and it was definitely worth the exhaustion of a 4am wake-up to be witness to such an event!
Ice Nine Kills:
Black Veil Brides:
Motionless In White: