The Trinity of Terror Tour took over The Fillmore in Philadelphia on Easter Eve, April 16th, and the humor of a horror-laced multi-band event was definitely a source of amusement for the bands and the audience during a few key moments. There did seem to be a connection, though, between the seasonal shift, warm weather that day, and the energy of both the bands and the audience, which was only encouraged by the very open layout of the Fillmore that allows a lot of ease in coming and going, taking in the multiple bar sets up and facilities. The ebullient atmosphere made for plenty of camaraderie among fans, but part of that was due to excellent synergy between the different acts on the tour bill, featuring Lilith Czar, Black Veil Brides, Ice Nine Kills, and Motionless in White. No doubt every multi-band tour tries to arrange for a sense of connection between the acts, but in terms of ethos, aesthetics, and to some extent, sound, The Trinity of Terror Tour shows an unusual degree of smarts and successful combinations.
Sadly, the Easter Eve performance was that last one on the tour that will open with Lilith Czar, the name that Juliet Simms used to rebrand in 2021, as you can see with her current motto, “Juliet Simms is gone, Lilith Czar has risen!”. The rebranding also came with the 2021 solo album, Created from Filth and Dust, which was part of the impetus behind touring as opener for Trinity of Terror. As anyone who has listened to the album will soon realize, she must have spent considerable time building and finely tuning this sound and this approach in a very focused way, because it seems much more like a second or third album than a first offering.
The stage performance of the songs, and others, on the tour only cemented this impression with on-the-ball musicianship, very controlled vocals, and plenty of fan engagement. The stage act also seemed mature and developed and speaks very well for the future of Lilith Czar. Early offerings included an amped up “Edge of 17” from Fleetwood Mac, possibly a nod to the Rock goddess Stevie Nicks, and was so well received it pushed the audience into attempts at crowdsurfing.
Lilit Czar followed that with an ode to her female fans, commenting on how “incredibly powerful and unstoppable women are”, correcting that they are “not queens but mother fucking kings!”, adding “I Wanna Be King” before breaking into her song “King”. As a sidenote, the audience was approaching equal gender representation that night (some people had even brought their children), but at any rate, the sentiment was applauded by all. Her final song, “Anarchy” raised the roof after Czar dedicated it to “you guys, who don’t give a flying fuck what others have to say!”
For any who somehow don’t know this, though it has never been a secret from social media, Lilith Czar and Black Veil Brides’ founder and vocalist Andy Biersack are a couple and have been for a number of years, so it wasn’t surprising that Czar should join Black Veil Brides on tour, but in terms of aesthetics and attitude, it was a great match for a show. Black Veil Brides took their love of horror and stagecraft to an even higher level, possibly due to the limitations of the past couple of years when it has come to live music and a desire to really deliver an entertaining experience for fans and opened with strident electric violin from Jinxx on “Wake Up” from their 2028 album Veil. Large video screens projected extra atmosphere and gothic imagery throughout.
Then they broke into a “new one” from their latest album, The Phantom Tomorrow (2021), with “Scarlet Cross”, and fans were just as ready to hear the new album which hasn’t been toured before. Biersack gave an interesting, embracing speech to the audience, perhaps only partly joking, when he said that he knew that “got bullshit for being fans” and he appreciated their support. Of course, the audience loved this, and cheered for their return in keeping “live music alive” ahead of the song “Knives and Pens”.
They also showcased “The Legacy” from their 2011 album Set the World on Fire, which reminded audiences of the wider range of their sound, another thing that helped tie the tour together. This led into the extended guitar intro to “Fallen Angels” from the same album. It made for an interesting suggestion of relationships fans might find between their latest work and the album that would have celebrated 10 years in 2021 had touring been more possible. Black Veil brides concluded with what became a nearly full audience singalong on “In the End” from Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones (2013) that only seemed to continue building on the energy of the set. It was a whirlwind tour of their work, recent and past, and reminded fans that they are at the height of their powers right now in terms of choosing their direction and their sound while building on their past.
Ice Nine Kills were up next with a very specific context for fans, but one which everyone seemed to know very well—the two-album narrative arc of The Silver Scream: Welcome to Horrorwood, part 2 of which is their most recent release from 2021, both, of course, inspired by horror film traditions. The imagery on both is very much based on knives, and that played a big role in the visuals for the set. There was definitely not a waning of audience interest between the different band performances, with each seeming possibly more crowded than the last, and Ice Nine Kills were probably the winners when it came to audiences invested in all of their lyrics and some serious headbanging.
Theatricality naturally got kicked up a notch during their act as well (though Motionless in White also rose to the occasion) with a goat-mask wearing, chainsaw-wielding guest on stage. After “Rainy Day” from their latest album, there was the added bonus of clown costumes and balloons emphasizing the lyrics “We all float down here” for “IT Is The End” (from Part 1, in 2018). Naturally, the fans who had actually come to the show dressed in raincoats and carrying red balloons were very enthusiastic about this. Their final song, however, was “Take Your Pick” from Part 2. That was only fitting.
Motionless in White was the final act, but the audience seemed as keen as they had been at the start of the evening as the band jumped into “Disguise” from their 2019 album of the same name, to huge cheers. Old school head banging commenced before they gave the most pointed and amusing speech about the Easter setting of the show while playing what they called their “home venue”. They were determined to give audiences “no fucking excuse” to ruin their own Easter, destined to miss out on Easter egg hunts and church-going the following morning. A rendition of “It’s My Party (And I’ll Cry If I Want To)” where the lyrics were updated to “die if I want to” only added to the hilarity. Next up was “Voices” from their 2017 album Graveyard Shift.
Chris Motionless brought up a point which was pretty clear throughout the Trinity of Terror event, that for the musicians, too, this night and all recent performance nights, were a big deal, commenting on the fact that it is the “greatest thing as an artist to hear people screaming back at us.” “You have no idea.”, he added, with particular poignancy.
During “Dirty Little Secret” from their 2017 album Graveyard Shift, a looming puppet ghoul stormed the stage to huge applause. That was only slightly upstaged by the appearance of a Motionless in White flag being waved by a dark-clad hacker-like figure for new song “Cyberhex”, a single off their upcoming June 2022 album, Scoring the End of the World. To judge from reactions, fans are going to love the new album, and the band gave a very tight performance of the new piece. They didn’t neglect to include a favorite from their 2019 album Disguise, “Another Life”, in the set to round things off.