Midlands Rocks have put up their review of Avenged Sevenfolds live show in Birmingham. Check the full thing out here.
I’ll be honest. I hadn’t rated Avenged Sevenfold much with its overtly metalcore, radio endorsed singles. But little did I know that the band would teach me a lesson and have me walking away labelling them the best gig I’ve been to this year.
The music box like melody intro of the title track off their new album, Nightmare, echoed through the arena and the sheet that was blocking the audience from seeing the stage dropped in haste. Guitars wailed as M.Shadows screamed “Nightmare!!!!” and plumes of flames on the flanks of the stage exploded.
They hopped about and pumped the crowd up with Critical Acclaim. Mike Portnoy, drummer extraordinaire formally of Dream Theater, offered an extended drum solo to Welcome to the Family. Live, Avenged Sevenfold are so much more heavy than what I’ve heard on recorded stuff and Shadows worked the crowd amazingly well. Fist pumping and egging them on in the circle pit.
As young girls sobbed for the band next to me, Avenged Sevenfold placated the Birmingham crowd. Beast and Harlot preceded the Metallica-esque, Buried Alive. The graveyard stage set burst into flames around the band and Portnoy wowed the crowd with fancy drumstick twirling. Halfway through the set, the band turned sombre…paying tribute to their comrade and original drummer lost almost a year ago – “The Rev”. As the crowd chanted “Jimmy – Jimmy – Jimmy”, Avenged Sevenfold dedicated So Far Away to their “brother” and the arena turned into a starry sky filled with lighters and mobile backlights.
Enough mourning and the band rounded out the set in high octane mode, playing Afterlife, the angst ridden God Hates Us and the marathon circle pit inducing Unholy Confessions. They gave the audience a choice for the last song of Almost Easy and Bat Country. I had to cup my ears to the reaction when the option for Bat Country was offered…and the band obliged. No encore.