Due to public transport constraints, we only turned up as the opening act was rounding up their set, so our night ended up beginning with local act Defy All Reason (6/10). It was a decent set from the four-piece, but they did lack a bit of stage presence – and whilst their songs were good, there was nothing to quite set them apart from the crowd. An early highlight of the performance was their cover of Bon Jovi’s Dead Or Alive, and their closing track, which they’d also recently released a video for, was a lot of fun, but as a whole it did feel like they could have given more with their performance. It was good, but it just didn’t have that ‘spark’.
Up next was Death Valley High (6/10), who were certainly an eclectic bunch. Indeed, it was almost like they weren’t sure what style they wanted to play, with metal, hardcore, nu metal and melodic rock elements to their music to name but a few. When their vocalist wasn’t making odd noises into the microphone, he was actually a fairly good singer and he certainly worked at connecting with the crowd – especially during the last song where he went in the crowd and successfully got people to scream the words ‘death valley high‘ along with him. Although musically and stylistically their performance needed a bit of work, it was an otherwise good set and they could well become a band to watch out for in the future because they do have a lot of potential.
It’s perhaps unfair to refer to headliners Trapt (8/10) as a one hit wonder, because yes, whilst they did find fame with their track Headstrong, they do have an impressive back catalogue and certainly know how to write an earworm or two, and churned out belter after belter throughout the duration of their set. Trapt were tight and together, and sounded fantastic!
One of the best elements of the set was how into the performance the crowd were. Whilst it wasn’t the biggest of turnouts, the enthusiasm of the gig-goers (especially those in the front row!) absolutely couldn’t be faulted and there was people singing along with every word. It really gave the gig a special atmosphere and you could see how much it meant to Trapt as they swiftly promised to return to Chester in 2015!
At times it perhaps felt like they could have connected a little more with the crowd, or made their performance a little more visually interesting but everyone enjoyed it all the same and it was a very rewarding and fun set to witness – so if they do come back next year, then bring it on!