Avenged Sevenfold @ LG Arena summary

Posted: December 11, 2013 in Lives
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When I heard Avenged Sevenfold were touring the UK I was excited. The last time they were over here was at Download 2011 when they opened for System of a Down. Now with the release of their number 1 album Hail to the King they did a whole European tour which ended in Birmingham, the one I went to see with Jimmy and his Dad.

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Before Avenged came on the first support act were Swedish death-metallers Avatar. They look powerful and did a lot of hair windmills but it was evident this band had their work cut out for them as their music didn’t quite manage to engage the crowd, despite offering to give away their music for free to anyone who brought their T-shirts, it’s a gig not a Subway meal deal. If anyone’s giving loads though it’s the next support act Five Finger Death Punch, as they storm through such hits as Hard to See and The Bleeding with Ivan Moody frequently interacting with the audience in between songs (even getting the crowd to do a sing along). With their 45 minutes of set time and even getting Rob Halford of Judas Priest to make an appearance during Lift me Up it makes for a memorable set.

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Just like with my other gigs I got a T-Shirt with the tour dates and got changed into it before Avenged came on. As the lights went down and the stage was alight with fire that could only mean that they open with Shepherd of Fire off their latest album. Pyrotechnics were much more common here. Last time I saw this much fire at a gig was Rammstein back at Download. So as the band are blasting through recent songs such as Hail to the King and This Means War as well as old favourites like Critical Acclaim and Nightmare they are sounding as powerful as ever, from M Shadow’s high stage energy to Synyster Gates’s mighty riffs.

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Some of the sets highlights included the Guns N’ Roses-esque Doing Time where M Shadows demanded circle pits in the standing zone, Nightmare with the haunting intro and the Bat skull’s eyes alight with fire to add to the creepy imagery, and Fiction as their necessary heartfelt tribute to the Rev. Their new drummer Arin Ilejay has done well to fill the shoes of The Rev, from the deep pounding from Shepherd of Fire to the more furious drumming from Bat Country. Whilst the bands image is seen as dark you’d assume sunglasses would only make things too dark. Well there were a lot of spotlights, sometimes at full beam, so on that note sunglasses stopped them from blinding me.

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For the encore the band played Chapter Four and Unholy Confessions from Waking the Fallen which both sounded very good. If I had any complaints though it would be towards the middle where Synyster Gates did a guitar solo then had the rest of the band join in. Normally I wouldn’t mind this but there seemed to be too many fake outs. Like when he sustained a note before going into another riff, OK now it’s o.. oh wait there’s more. Cool, so now….. oh the rest of the band are here. Alright now lets…. Still more? Yeah. It felt too long and a little self-indulgent. When the gig was over Jimmy’s Dad took us back home and had a surprisingly record time of getting out of the car park.

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So overall did I enjoy Avenged Sevenfold? I did (duh). After a hiatus their return has been very much welcomed as well as hearing half of their new album (I wonder if they’ll ever do a live incarnation of Planets?). I thought the setlist was a good mix of the old and the new even though they missed out such favourites as Almost Easy and Beast and the Harlot. However I can only assume they’ll save those for Download 2014. Their first ever headline slot playing favourites from all of their albums? Tis a good time to be an Avenged Sevenfold fan living in the UK.

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