Avenged Sevenfold may not have headlined Rockstar Energy Drink’s Uproar Tour – the official name of Sunday’s package – but they might as well have; you wouldn’t have known it by the crowd’s reception, their setup onstage or the caliber of their performance.
As the curtains dropped from the ceiling, so did a man with a noose around his neck. He struggled for a bit then went limp, at which point members of the band emerged from backstage to roars of applause.
After their first song, “Nightmare,” a stretcher was rolled out, and the man – a real guy, not a mannequin (stuntman, perhaps?), who dangled from the rafters, lifeless-like, for the entire song – was bagged up and wheeled offstage. It reminded us of My Chemical Romance’s tour behind The Black Parade, which began with vocalist Gerard Way emerging from a gurney to perform the album.
Thirty minutes into the set, the mood became somber, and vocalist M. Shadows asked everyone in the crowd to put their lighters and cell phones in the air as they performed “So Far Away,” which they dedicated to the memory of their former drummer, James “The Rev” Sullivan, who died of a drug overdose in 2009.
The group, as a whole, was far better than we expected them to be; their music, which is complicated, fast and oftentimes erratic, isn’t cover-band friendly. Aftermath half-expected AS to be terrible compared to their albums, but we were wrong, and the performance was on par with the quality of their recordings.
By the end of Avenged Sevenfold’s set, it was clear that Disturbed had some big shoes (and a few extra seats) to fill. Everyone seemed to disperse afterward, and while some of them came back with food and drink, it looked like the Pavilion had emptied quite a bit before Disturbed even took the stage.
All in all, the crowd’s energy and admiration was up for grabs Sunday, and Avenged Sevenfold took most of it.
Personal Bias: Disturbed and Stone Sour take us back, so we were happy to sing along to ‘Prayer,’ ‘Through the Glass’ and a few others, too. And we honestly didn’t expect Avenged Sevenfold to pull off half the guitar solos we’ve heard on their albums, but they did.
Thanks Matthew for sending this in!