Triumph

Live at the US Festival

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Although Triumph's studio albums could be uneven and inconsistent, the Canadian hard rock/arena rock trio had a reputation for being explosive on-stage (where they tended to avoid their lesser material and put a lot of energy into their more memorable songs). When you think about it, Triumph had the opposite problem of many of today's high-tech, urban contemporary, electronica, and dance-pop artists: in contrast to all the people who are so reliant on studio technology that they fall apart on-stage, Triumph tended to sound more confident and assured on-stage than they did in the studio. Live at the US Festival, in fact, paints a more consistently attractive picture of Triumph than many of its studio albums. This 54-minute CD was recorded at a massive, three-day outdoor rock festival that took place in Southern California from May 28-30, 1983. Triumph appeared on May 29, which was billed as "Heavy Metal Sunday" and included the headbanging likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, the Scorpions, Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot, and Van Halen (whose set ended up on a two-CD bootleg entitled US Festival '83). The number of attendees varied during the three days; the crowd was estimated to be about 500,000 strong on "Heavy Metal Sunday," and Triumph went over well. It isn't hard to understand why. From "Rock and Roll Machine" to "Magic Power" to "Lay It on the Line," the Canadians picked their better songs and provided an inspired, focused set. That isn't to say that this disc is the last word on their live performances; any live Triumph album that lacks "Hold On" will have a hard time being considered truly definitive. Nonetheless, Live at the US Festival has a lot going for it and will easily excite the trio's diehard fans.

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