Download Festival have shared their review of Avenged Sevenfold’s headlining set.
Avenged Sevenfold have said Download holds a special place in their hearts and tonight they showed it with every fibre of their being in a phenomenal two hour show. As dusk fell the ceremonious opening chords of ‘The Stage’ perfectly announced the band’s arrival with frontman M. Shadows quickly making it clear the band were here to conquer Donington shouting, ‘let’s get this party f***king started!”.
The set ricocheted with relentless energy as the band abandoned their standard set list to give Downloaders a special set of back-to-back fan favourites. Classics ‘Hail To The King’, ‘Welcome To The Family’ and ‘God Damn’ came in rapid succession with the crowd fist punching the air in unison as the pyro shot towering flames and black smoke rings into the sky. A7X showed they’re at the top of their game: the signature twinned guitar solos of Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates blend in heavenly harmony and M. Shadows vocals roared with the same power as when the band erupted onto the scene nearly two decades ago.
The set took a deep breath in when the band paused to pay a moving tribute to founding member and drummer The Rev who sadly passed away. The band played the touching ‘So Far Away’ bathed in crimson light after a video was shown of The Rev saying, “they’re the best friends anyone could ask for. We’re like family, man. It’s us against the world”. It wans’t the only moment of reflection as the band later on play a tender cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ to raise awareness of depression.
As the night sky fell the band kicked the set back into momentum with the powerful chants of ‘Nightmare’, early fan favourite ‘Eternal Rest In Time’ [sic] and the infectiously anthemic ‘Bat Country’. A ‘you had to have been there’ moment took place when they played ‘Higher’ from their last album The Stage’ and a spaceman, so big it could take Iron Maiden’s Eddie in a fight, was lowered against the backdrop.
The band returned for a victorious three track encore with M.Shadows joking, ‘do you want a song about necrophilia’ before launching into the metal macabre of ‘A Little Piece Of Heaven’. Closing with the phenomenal ‘Unholy Confession’ and full firework display, tonight the Download family and the AV7X became one.