A massive black curtain engulfs the entire stage. Anticipation fills the air. Enormous pyrotechnic explosions (the warmth could be felt way in the back) heralded the arrival of Avenged Sevenfold. They kicked off their set with the title track off their latest Warner Brothers release ‘Nightmare’. The power emitted from this song instantaneously elevated the vibe of the evening to a whole other level. Twin riffmeister’s Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance perfectly executed guitar work was staggeringly sick. The apparent ease of the tandem’s blindingly fast solo’s, was enough to make amateur and professional guitarists abandon their axes altogether, for fear of never achieving that level of perfection.
‘Welcome to the family’ showcased the frightening power of Frontman M. Shadows’ vocal abilities. One could not help being captivated in the grasp of his astounding command performance. Sounding like a cross between the raspy tone of Alice in Chains’ late vocalist Lane Staley, and the soaring range of Queen’s Freddy Mercury, M. Shadows established himself as the most dominant singer in heavy metal music today. Bar none.
Further cementing Avenged Sevenfold’s stamp of approval was the killer rhythm section. Starring; relentlessly hyper-sonic drummer Arin Ilejay, and Mohawk adorned bass ace Johnny Christ. This evening, they laid down as solid a foundation as you could possibly ask for. They were the unwitting enablers of the energetic cross stage antics of the other band members, who playfully teased the crowd by occasionally tossing souvenir guitar picks and monogrammed towels their way.
[*****] The backdrop of their signature skull and bat wings was complimented by a stunning light show, which was accentuated with a symphony of fire, explosions and smoke. The mood produced from the songs blended seamlessly with the presentation, at times feeling almost like an opera, or a Broadway musical.
Avenged Sevenfold have set the standard of which all others should aspire to become, but cannot. When the bar is set so impossibly high, it is quite simply out of reach for all of us who are but mere mortals. Deliciously futile.
– Jimmy Lynch