Last night I had the great honour of seeing Avenged Sevenfold live for the second time, at the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena. Last time I saw them, they were performing in the O2 in London during their Hail To The King tour, so it was great to witness how the band’s performance and stage set-up has evolved over the past few years. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s my photo-dump of the few, poor quality pictures I took on my phone.
First up on the line-up were the Swedish metal band, In Flames. Unfortunately I was unable to watch these guys perform, as we encountered a traffic accident during our drive to Nottingham which put us behind schedule. I was pretty gutted to miss them, because I reviewed their latest album Battles in November and I really enjoyed it. If anyone was at the gig last night and you saw In Flames, comment below and let me know what their performance was like!
Next were Disturbed, a cornerstone of American metal music over the past couple of decades. I had no idea what to expect from this four-piece band, as I only really knew arguably their biggest hit, Down With The Sickness. However, I was absolutely blown away by singer David Draiman’s fantastic voice. His range and performance was incredible, and was totally not what I was expecting from him. Overall the bands’s performance was excellent, and their 45-ish minute setlist was full of high octane riff-heavy tracks which got the crowd jumping and circle pits forming. One moment of calm amongst the storm was the band’s beautiful cover of Simon And Garfunkel’s The Sound Of Silence, accompanied by a live strings section. If you’ve never heard their cover before, you can check out the music video below:
Finally, Avenged Sevenfold took to the stage, suitably enough opening their set with The Stage. Bassist Johnny Christ was ill during this performance, which put a dampener on things slightly, but he still performed well and I certainly didn’t notice any issues with his bass playing.
The band played tracks from across their impressive discography, including a few tracks from Waking The Fallen and Sounding The Seventh Trumpet. I can understand that Avenged Sevenfold must find it difficult to put together setlists, considering that the band has fans of their different eras of music, but I was glad that they managed to play a good number of their older songs to keep long term fans happy. I was a little disappointed that they only played Bat Country from City Of Evil, but when you’ve got a two hour setlist to fill and seven albums of songs to choose from, something’s gotta give!
My highlights of the night included the performance of two of my favourite songs from The Stage: Sunny Disposition and God Damn. I also really enjoyed hearing the band perform Planets followed by Acid Rain from Hail To The King: the two tracks naturally go together, and it was a great opportunity to get the flashlights out and belt along to the epic choruses. And of course, the encore included the incredible A Little Piece Of Heaven, which singer M Shadows dedicated to The Rev’s “fucked up lyrics”, which was a wonderful nostalgic touch.
However, I think I can guess the highlight of the night from Daniel, the man M Shadows pulled up on stage to sing Johnny Christ’s backing vocals for Nightmare in his place. He looked like he was having the time of his life singing along, and I think everyone else in the arena wished they were on stage in his place.
Overall, the band’s performance was polished and well executed, the same as it was when I saw them live in 2013. It’s plain to see how well M Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates and Johnny Christ play together, and they’ve been a band for long enough to work together like a well oiled machine. New Drummer Brooks Wackerman fits into the band really well, and I really enjoyed his performance of both new and old Avenged Sevenfold tracks.
If you’re planning to see Avenged Sevenfold during the rest of their The Stage tour, you’re in for a real treat. Have you already seen them live this year? What did you think of the show? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.