Concert Review: Avenged Sevenfold
By: Juan Barragan and Paul Huether
Operation Kickass Festival
Chula Vista, CA
14 September, 2013
Avenged Sevenfold is currently in high gear touring across the world in support of their new album, Hail To The King. Fans in San Diego were lucky enough to have the band stop here for a very special show at Sleep Train Amphitheatre. It would be an interesting experience for the fans that would be seeing the band’s newest drummer, Arin Ilejay, perform live for the first time. The expectations were high, and the energy was present across the entire venue. Then came the show.
Avenged Sevenfold’s set and stage presence was one of a kind. With a huge dragon-like figure behind Ilejay and banners with inverted crosses hanging high up, the drummer enjoyed a view from a pedestal several steps higher than where the rest of the band played. The steps would burst into flames throughout various songs that would cause the members of the audience to feel the heat from the explosive flame theatrics that were taking place on stage. Also present were bright dynamite-like fireworks that would shoot up in the air. These special effects created vast amounts of smoke that caused the light show throughout the set to be epic. The band seems to have their stage effects down to a science, and the fans definitely enjoyed it. It made the experience much more awesome.
The band took to the stage and did not waste a single minute trying to get the crowd pumped. The lead vocalist, M. Shadows, was quick to welcome the new members of the audience who had never seen the band live before. They played “Welcome to the Family,” and the newest Avenged Sevenfold family members rocked out to the heavy tune, expressing with the devil’s horns the appreciation for the band’s hospitality. Shortly thereafter, the band gave the fans the song that they were eager to hear off of the new album. “Hail to the King,” was played and the crowd erupted in applause. At the same time, all of the attention was put on the king (the skeleton placed behind them), and it was interesting to watch as the band members turned and sang to the skeleton sitting on a throne. Since that song was so well received, Avenged Sevenfold decided to follow up with another song from the album, and “Doing Time,” was the selection of the evening.
The set was finished off with the more known classics that the band was made famous for. The first of these songs was “Afterlife,” and the pit went wild during the song’s breakdown. The band left the stage to the dismay of the crowd, but the house lights did not go on, a sure indication of an encore about to occur. The prediction came true, and they came back out and played “Unholy Confessions.”
The crowd seemed to enjoy the mix of new songs in the band’s set, which is a good indication that they also appreciated the new album. If you would like to hear Avenged Sevenfold’s new album, the band has it available on the regular online streaming channels.