Unlike some bands touring through Utah, it was clear that Bennick and all of Trial’s members were familiar with the state and the music scene. He took time out of the set to talk about a letter-writing party for local animal-rights activist Jordan Halliday, and dedicated “Legacy” to him. Covering all the bases from community support to survivors of sexual assault, Bennick peppered Trial’s set of meaningful hardcore with words of encouragement and wisdom.
The band explains in their Reunion/Retrospective DVD insert, “We were after that one moment, that one intimate and intense exchange, that one flash of passion and agony colliding and intertwining that left us all reeling and realizing that we'd just experienced something very real.” Even after nearly twenty years, Trial is still able to create that intimate moment for audiences, between cathartic chants and moments of intensity. I found myself not standing on the outskirts of nostalgia, but genuinely feeling it in the room—one profound emotion and experience that each one of us in the audience shared.
Trial closed with “War By Other Means,” everyone releasing the last held breath, and, surprisingly, nobody shouting for an encore. Some people began filing out, others lined up around Bennick to shake hands and listen to what more he had to say.
By all definition, it was a great show, only marred by the poor sound of the venue (a combination of a big space and hardwood floors) and All Teeth dropping out due to a thumb injury. The usual tension of Salt Lake hardcore was completely absent. There were no fights or tough-guy posturing; just a good time, a good message, and plenty of reason to take just a little more pride in the place we call home.
For a schedule of Trial’s upcoming dates, you can follow their Facebook page, or check out Panic Records’ website for info about Powerwolves as well at http://www.panicrecords.net. Cool Your Jets has a new album in the works, and you can follow their show/album updates here. No Empire can be heard here, and you can get the Despite Despair split (and check out their merch) at http://despitedespair.bandcamp.com.