Watching these guys perform Friday night, I weirdly felt like we had grown up together — and it seemed the majority of the crowd felt the same way. I remember covering Avenged Sevenfold in 2002 when it headlined Chain Reaction in Anaheim; there couldn’t have been more than 200 people there. This night, however, nearly 10,000 fans turned out for Uproar, many of them sporting A7X shirts, whether fresh and clean threads sold at tents here or torn and tattered T-shirts purchased from the band’s dirty merch table a decade ago.
Sure, Uproar was an all-afternoon rock fest that also featured co-headliner Disturbed along with Stone Sour, Halestorm, Hellyeah and more. But those bands were on Avenged’s turf, and fans here roared loudest to some of A7X’s old favorites, “Beast and the Harlot” and “Unholy Confessions.” They also seemed to have memorized lyrics to at least a few of the new tracks, including “Welcome to the Family,” “Buried Alive” and “God Hates Us.”
Before Avenged ended its set with a the fiery hit “Almost Easy,” Shadows called back to drummer Portnoy and shouted, “These are the fans who took us from being in front of 15 people … now look at this! Thank you!”