The Avenged Sevenfold set was revealed about 25 minutes later and featured a color changing castle backdrop, three metal gates that spelled out ‘A7X’ and spewed fire, and a scaffolding rig up above with what appeared to be a man standing over the crowd. The scaffold fell on one side and the man descended below, only to be stopped suddenly…by the noose around his neck. Then, the piano intro to “Nightmare” played and the band took the stage, led first by Dream Theater’s drummer Mike Portnoy, who is filling the late Rev’s spot on drums for their tour dates this year.
The band blasted through A7X fan favorites such as “Critical Acclaim,” “Beast and the Harlot,” and “Almost Easy,” while delivering a healthy dosage of new stuff like “Welcome to the Family,” “Buried Alive,” and a wonderful ballad song called “So Far Away.” While I was really far from the stage on the amphitheatre’s lawn, I still felt the conviction and energy these guys are playing with in the post-Rev era of A7X. Having seen Avenged live two times prior, I was incredibly impressed and felt I caught these guys on one of their greatest heights yet. M. Shadows was fierce vocally and we know what Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates can do on guitars!
So now I’m thinking, “There’s no way Disturbed is going to top that shit!”