Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: I Prevail, Trash Boat, Blind Channel, OVO Arena Wembley, 29/03/2023

Photo Credit: Jack Geddes – O2 Academy, Glasgow on 22nd March 2023

Back in 2019, metalcore titans I Prevail had their second studio album Trauma receive unprecedented mainstream success for a categorical metalcore record. Two Grammy nominations received and whilst not won, it makes I Prevail join the higher echelons of the genre, who have defied the odds and pushed the metalcore envelope into the public consciousness, the likes of Code Orange, Deafheaven and Underoath alongside I Prevail proving that metal can reach the masses. 

Trauma has such a significance to I Prevail’s last headline show on their UK run of dates promoting their most recent record True Power down at Wembley Arena. Whilst I Prevail prove they are the only lightning striking through the thunder clouds and grey skies that line the skyscraper down at Wembley Arena with True Power, it’s Trauma that takes the crown showing that in four short years, I Prevail continue to push musical boundaries with their eclectic blend of crushing metalcore and fire rap rock that simply showcases that this bands daring attitude to experiment and evolve and bring it to an arenas stage proves they have no fear in letting go of their roots for something fresh, redefining and innovative. 

Hailing from Finland, the land of a thriving death metal community, nu-metallers Blind Channel have come a long way since their rise to fame found through their time on the infamous Eurovision Song Contest back in 2021. The moment dual vocalist Joel Hokka opens his mouth to triumphantly say “Guys we made it to Wembley” you can’t help but root for their success, especially when they wrap up their techno meets nu-metal heavy set with closer Dark Side, the song that started it all for Blind Channel. From Eurovision to Wembley Arena, throwing in some synchronised dance routines, glitchy electronics and rap versus screamed metal battles, Blind Channel received a reception of a sea of middle fingers up, their token of acceptance when they are so far from home. 10/10

St Albans outfit Trash Boat are no strangers to touring on both sides of the pendulum, having headliner status in smaller venues and support slot status in bigger venues opening for bands that come after them. But being in Wembley Arena generating an electric buzz for I Prevail is a thing of some of the small firsts the band have yet to accomplish in their long bucket list of pinch-me moments the punk rock meets post hardcore band have yet to tick off, frontman Tobi Duncan echoing the sentiment of Blind Channel saying “This is our first time at Wembley arena and it’s the single best support slot we’ve ever done.” In terms of Trash Boat’s set, it’s made up mostly of tracks taken from their most recent album in 2021’s Don’t You Feel Amazing, the title track oozing powerful sexiness to songs such as Silence Is Golden and Bad Entertainment pulling out I Prevail’s Eric Vanlerberghe and As Everything Unfolds’ Charlie Rolfe for energy fuelled live performances of them both respectively. From even newer stuff including punked up new single Delusions Of Grandeur, Trash Boat don’t miss a trick, addressing the systemic issue surrounding venues merch cuts, the band outwardly declaring “this venue takes 20%-30% concession of our merch” resulting in the band hanging out at a local coffee shop after the show to sell their merch without the cuts. Punk ethics with the punk ferocity to match, Trash Boat are a band born ready to destroy arena sized venues like Wembley, however next time with the headliner status. 10/10

Three long fucking years. But we are finally here and to top it off we are playing Wembley Arena what the fuck?” Shouts I Prevail’s unclean screaming long haired mad man Eric Vanlerberghe and he isn’t wrong. After several re-schedules a dramatic venue change and a global pandemic putting a stop to I Prevail making it over here, the moment the Michigan five piece explode into opener There’s Fear In Letting Go, it’s like all the blockages, barriers to entry and hurdles that have prevented I Prevail from getting over to this side of the Atlantic Ocean disappear the moment the thunderous drums rip roar and heavy grandiosity destroys Wembley Arena just one song in. 

Follow up tracks taken from the new album True Power equally provide as much high danger voltage and electrifying energy levels as much as There’s Fear In Letting Go does. Body Bag generates a chaotic circle pit surrounding the sound desk, whereas Self-Destruction whips the crowd into pure and utter chaos and likewise Bad Things demands the audience “fuck with this riff” verbalises Vanlerberghe, the riff going off like dynamite. 

Four years on from the first time these tracks debuted, songs from the bands sophomore album Trauma that is coincidentally celebrating its fourth birthday too show that despite their material taken from True Power providing the soundtrack to the scenes TikTok videos and trends, the songs that came before pack as much of a punch. Taking it down a notch from the Ferrari speeds the band have been displaying so far with their set tonight, tender moment Hurricane gives clean vocalist Brian Burkheiser’s impressive vocal range that lies outside his attitude filled rap rock time to shine brighter than the cell phone flashlights that flood the arena to Breaking Down packed full of emotion, the song dedicated and going out to anyone suffering with their mental health right now. 

Taking one final bow with closer Bow Down, one of their biggest headliners they’ve ever played, I Prevail leave Wembley Arena is a state of destruction, after causing complete chaos and carnage but captivating a crowd with brutal breakdowns and impactful emotion, understandably so as this is the aftermath of I Prevail’s three years of pent-up energy being let out of its shackles.  10/10

Written By: Katie Conway-Flood 

Photo Credit: Jack Geddes – O2 Academy, Glasgow on 22nd March 2023

Katie Conway-Flood
⚫️Music Journo @bringthenoiseuk @discoveredmag @gigwise ⚫️Brewdog Crew @brewdogshepbush ⚫️Band Enthusiast ⚫️Vegan