Texas Rock Report have put up a review (and photos) of Avenged Sevenfold’s set in The Woodlands, TX on Mayhem Festival 2014.
Usually pyrotechnics, elaborate set design, fog cannons, and flame effects are saved for marginally talented pop stars, or old rock acts who KISSed their raucous days goodbye years ago. Avenged Sevenfold kicked that sentiment in the face with a live show that was cinematic, and added to the music versus distracting from it.
It was a quasi-pious encore for the group. The carnival freak show rhapsody “A Little Piece of Heaven” was an epic 8-minute false idol worship sermon. They had one more offering before they reached sinners’ salvation. The bassline to “Unholy Confession” spoke in drubbing tongues, and there was nothing left but to collapse and give yourself to A7X. To those few who tapped out after Korn’s set, they got their money’s worth, but to those who stuck around until A7X’s last note, got something that they’ll never forget: the hardest rocking 75 minutes of their lives.
By the time that headliners Avenged Sevenfold were ready to roll, a lot of the older and more inebriated audience members were beginning to rub their sore backs and necks. The younger fans were still full of life for the undisputed champions of mainstream throwback metal, a weird and popular subgenre all its own. A collective “yesssss” seemed to go up from the crowd as the band’s dramatic stage set was revealed, centering on the enthroned remains of a skeletal, long-dead king. But a genuine roar finally broke free when the columns of flame erupted.
Watching Avenged Sevenfold in 2014 is a lot like watching Iron Maiden in 1984: amazing stage set, tight guitar harmonies, and soaring vocals added up to titanic singalongs that got mighty loud even up on the hill. Though the day had been impossibly long and hot — or perhaps because it had been — A7X singer M. Shadows still hailed his people in the grass as the show drew to its fiery conclusion.
“Every time we play here, there’s some insane motherfuckers pitting up there,” he said, pointing towards the hill. “So we’re going to play one for you to get crazy to.”
As the band broke into “Bat Country,” smiling dudes from all over the hill streamed over to the wild pit that Shadows had pointed to, squeezing the last drops of Mayhem out of the weekend. One could hardly help but throw the horns in solidarity. Today, we’re all a little burned, a little bruised. But no one can claim we didn’t rock, man.
Lithium Magazine has posted a short review of Mayhem Festival‘s stop in Toronto, ON and had the following to say about Avenged Sevenfold’s set. Check out the photo round-up including exclusive shots from Deathbat News here.
From a production standpoint, Avenged Sevenfold are literally on fire. Poised to be this generation’s Metallica, and boasting a new album that could go down in history as their swan song effort, there can be no denying the trajectory the band is on. M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates, Johnny Christ and Arin Ilejay performed on a stage adorned by a large skeleton on a throne bathed in a wall of fire as they pummelled the audience with sound, lights and bravura. Showcasing new material from Hail To The King for the first time in Toronto, fans got to hear ‘Shepherd of Fire’, ‘Hail The King’ and ‘This Means War’ along with a bevy of material from their past efforts. I found the sound for Avenged Sevenfold a little muddy, taking away from their chutzpa slightly. But the band utterly wowed the crowd with songs and pyrotechnics for seventy minutes, sending everyone home smelling like butane and smiling like they’d just seen something meaningful.
The best act of Mayhem Festival was hands down Avenged Sevenfold. The band rightfully earned its place as a headliner—A7X’s set was everything a fan would expect out of a metal show. There were theatrics and fire, but most importantly, a lead singer who commanded the crowd’s attention. The guitarists were entertaining to watch, but M. Shadows was a sight to see. The singer was constantly in motion, pacing between the onstage risers against a backdrop of a gothic cathedral and pyrotechnics to boot.
The crowd was energetic to begin with, thanks to all that free Rockstar, but erupted during A7X’s breakout single, “Bat Country.”
The intensity mounted with “Hail to the King,” as guitar riffs sounded in time to fire balls and a large skeleton brandishing a sword was revealed in the background.
The bulk of Avenged Sevenfold’s set was metal on par with Metallica, but the show wasn’t all about heavy rock and stage effects. Power ballad “Seize the Day” wad dedicated to the late James “The Rev” Sullivan. M. Shadows urged the fans to raise their cell phones and lighters to honor the loved ones they’ve lost. The song ended on a high note, as Shadows said, “Remember, it’s a good f—-ing night!”
Many bands at Mayhem Festival complained about the heat, but Avenged Sevenfold took a different approach. M. Shadows did not state the obvious. He told fans we were lucky to live here. He lauded KUPD and explained that rock stations are dying out around the country, imploring the audience to fight for rock radio with the song “This Means War.”
Shortly after Avenged Sevenfold’s set at Download Festival 2014, Metal Hammer‘s Catherine Morris posted an online review praising the Huntington Beach group’s performance giving them a 9/10. Just a week later, Metal Hammer‘s Stephen Hill had his review published in a special online Download edition of the magazine, giving them a 7/10 claiming the “Huntington Beach heroes struggle to stake their claim” citing “appalling sound,” a “thinning crowd” and ending with the question of whether or not “this is the first of many headlining slots or a one-off shot that wasn’t taken.” Hours after Stephen’s review was released the publication posted a video asking Download festival-goers as well as Team Rock’s Pete Bailey and Metal Hammer’s Editor-in-Chief Alexander Milas if Avenged Sevenfold were a hit or a miss, both of which claimed they were a hit. Download’s Andy Copping was asked about the negative review to which he said, “I have been totally shocked by Metal Hammer’s review of A7X…confused!” Thrash Hits’ Hugh Platt has stated that Avenged Sevenfold were Metal Hammer’s best-selling issue last year. Regardless, plenty of media had nothing but great things to say about the band’s first headlining set at Download Festival 2014.
Avenged Sevenfold headlined Download Festival for the first time on June 13th, 2014 and M Shadows told the Daily Star that Avenged Sevenfold prepared by being “totally switched off in the dark to recharge” for two weeks. He also spoke about how important the festival was saying, “Download is one of those festivals that not only transcends generations but it transcends internationally as well. It’s one of those festivals that even in California, you get to know about when you’re growing up. It’s huge and to us it means more in terms of shows than almost anything.” Here‘s the photo round-up from the show and here’s what the media are saying about their set:
- Metal Hammer: Avenged came, saw and conquered Download Festival – 9/10.
– Virtual Festivals: It’s pretty standard fayre for headlining bands to step it up a notch theatrically at Donington, and Avenged Sevenfold are definitely living up to expectation with an extraordinary stage set of enormous cathederal-esque archways, and pyrotechnics galore – 8/10.
– NME: Avenged Sevenfold played a spectacular set as they brought the opening day of the 2014 Download Festival to a close. Making their debut as Download headliners, the band pulled out all the stops with a spectacular stage show…
– HMV: If there were doubts about their ability to headline a major festival before, there aren’t now.
– Leicester Mercury: Despite the original outcry against California rockers Avenged Sevenfold headling on Friday, this did not stop the band putting on a stellar show to close the festival, quashing any fear of their placement on the bill. ‘Hail to the King’ and ‘Burn it Down’ got festival-goers flocking to the main stage.
– Thrash Hits: So proud of our boys in Avenged Sevenfold for killing it at Download Festival tonight!
– Hit The Scene UK: Avenged Sevenfold just set fire to the sky at Download Festival! Amazing headliners!
– Impericon UK: Well Avenged Sevenfold certainly set Download Festival alight tonight
– Absolute Music Press: Avenged Sevenfold are on top form right now over at the main stage of Download Festival.
– Download Festival called Avenged Sevenfold ‘EPIC’ headliners.
– Download Festival booker Andy Copping had nothing but praise for the band.
– Rock Sound: [Avenged Sevenfold's sold-out UK arena tour] was a test that they passed with flying colours, and so it should come as no surprise that tonight they reign supreme.In terms of career-defining moments it’s certainly up there, and by the time ‘Unholy Confessions’ sends its last notes lingering long into the night air, you get the distinct impression that this isn’t the last time Avenged Sevenfold will find themselves on top of the Download pile.
– Soundscape Magazine: A fantastic performance [from Avenged Sevenfold] and a fantastic end to the day, even if it did freakishly only rain during Nightmare, literally from beginning note to end and that was it. Either way they played a great mixed up set and engaged the whole crowd. A true headliners performance.
– Rush On Rock: Main stage headliners Avenged Sevenfold made the most of a stunning backdrop, meticulously orchestrated show and astute setlist – seizing the biggest opportunity of their career with glee – 8/10.
– Kerrang! Magazine: Five Ways Avenged Sevenfold Ruled Download Festival 2014.
– Hit The Floor UK: Avenged [Sevenfold] are the start of a whole new generation of headline worthy bands.
– Stereoboard: We’re always wondering who’s going to step up when Iron Maiden and Metallica are gone, and Avenged Sevenfold are the answer.
– Rock Sins: Avenged delighted the assembled masses with almost two hours of metal that went down a storm.
– Lough Borough Echo: With plenty of pyrotechnics and great vocals from lead singer M Shadows, [Avenged Sevenfold] were certainly worthy of headline status.
– Dead Press: [Avenged Sevenfold] have not only proved that they can headline, but also that they can do it better than most. [At Download], Avenged Sevenfold join Slipknot in becoming one of the headlining acts of our generation.
– The Huddfersfield Daily: Avenged Sevenfold blazed through an imperious debut as [Download] headliners, cementing their reputation among the most epic live musicians on the planet.
Sight of Sound Magazine posted a review and photo gallery from Avenged Sevenfold’s show in Hershey, PA. Hershey’s photo round-up can be found here. M Shadows was also interviewed by Harrisburg’s 105.7 The X a week prior to the show.
As a whole the night was perfect metal show; the stage set up was legendary, the performance in terms of quality was spot on and had next to no flaws, the pyro was scorching and every fan left satisfied. I am excited to see what Avenged Sevenfold brings on the road with them for Mayhem Fest. [...] Only time will tell, this band is at the highest point of their career right now and I don’t think there is anywhere left for them to go but up. Time and time again they have shown they have the chops to be the best in the business and that has paid off building their reputation and their fan base to the size it is now. The Shepherd of Fire tour will be long remembered in Hershey and all of Pennsylvania and could easily be one of the best tours to hit the area this year. The bar has been raised, can anyone top it?
Hot Press has published a very complimentary review of Avenged Sevenfold’s show in Dublin, Ireland.
It looks like some diabolical temple for the damned. Wide stone steps lead up to a gigantic skull, its bat wings outstretched, casting its ghastly grin upon several thousand over-excited metalheads. If this is a temple, than Avenged Sevenfold’s frontman M. Shadows, a tattooed, muscular spook clad in black and grey with dark glasses, is its abominable priest.
As he flies about the stage, there is something tribal about the chanting of the seemingly endless crowd, who, as one body, sway, fist-pump, scream, and jump to his will. ‘Electric’ is a much overused adjective when we talk about atmosphere but whoever first came up with the phrase must have been a rock and roll fan, because every moment of this thrilling, theatrical and full-throttle show was charged with incessant and intense energy.
But beneath the splashy lightshow, the dramatic staging and the well-pummeled stadium speakers, lies the real substance that has made Avenged Sevenfold one of the biggest names in metal today.
They then proceed to unleash all the fiery enthusiasm, power and unfettered passion that metal ultimately represents – all ‘pyro’ is forgotten. Add to all this M. Shadows skilful showmanship and the band’s obvious bond with their fans (the ‘family,’ as the frontman calls them), and you have a hugely entertaining set that is essential viewing for hardcore concert lovers.
The Oakland Press has published a review of Avenged Sevenfold’s Oct 13th show in Detroit, MI.
Supporting its chart-topping sixth studio album “Hail to the King,” A7X delivered a classic kind of heavy metal exposition, a literally explosive 100 minutes of mayhem marked by plenty of pyrotechnic spectacle and musical dazzle that played right to the appetite of the mosh pit-minded, crowd-surfing that filled the Joe Louis floor (the seated areas were more sparsely populated however).
Frontman M. Shadows, meanwhile, voiced plenty of appreciation for Detroit, noting that local radio stations were among the first to support the quintet with its first single, “Unholy Confessions” — which closed the show following “Chapter Four,” another track from 2003’s “Waking the Fallen” album.
Shadows also thanked fans for coming out on a Sunday night (he might have noted competition from the Detroit Tigers’ playoff game in Boston, too). But he and his bandmates certainly put on a show that will bring everyone back — and likely generate the kind of word of mouth that will grow the audience for A7X’s next visit.
Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King Tour stopped by the TD Garden in Boston, MA and the Boston Herald has published a review of the show.
The triple bill’s headliner, Avenged Sevenfold, made the most of its newfound arena status. Playing in front of a massive, cathedral-like stage set that included a gargantuan skeleton (they love skulls and bones) and video screens that flashed images of fire and brimstone, the So Cal rockers showed why they are one of the most exciting young bands in rock.
EDM and hip-hop may be red hot right now, but rock is far from dead as long as A7X are around. They’ve heard the Guns ‘N Roses-lite comments and they just don’t care, as evidenced by their romp through a dozen songs that ranged from hard-charging metal (“Shepherd of Fire”) to ratchet-tight thrash (“Bat Country”) to theatrical ballad (“Fiction”) to arena rock (“Welcome to the Family,” “Hail to the King”).
And complex, orchestral hard rock opuses like “Requiem” and “Afterlife” are evidence that there are still fans – thousands, apparently – who want more than a simple three minute pop blast.
Avenged Sevenfold performed live at Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, CA on Sept 15th, 2013. All photo galleries from the event can be found here. Please check back regularly for updates.
- Loudwire‘s Aftershock Day 2 review with live photos.
– Aftershock Festival‘s live performance gallery.
– Amanda Jensen Photography‘s live performance gallery.
– Soundcheck 411‘s live performance gallery.
– Mosh Lounge‘s Avenged Sevenfold live at Aftershock Festival 2013 photo gallery.
ARTISTdirect were on hand at Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail To The King” album release show at the Hollywood Palladium last night and wrote up a review of the show.
It was an historic moment for Southern California’s biggest and boldest metal band. Not only did last night’s show mark their first live set at The Palladium, but it also heralded the release of their sixth and best album, Hail to the King.
Without their trademark production, Avenged Sevenfold’s true power shone through. They criss-crossed the stage doling out a sonic beatdown of epic proportions, and that’s the mark of a legendary band. You could feel it on the venomous “Chapter Four” and “The Beast and the Harlot”—especially on “Bat Country”.
Last night felt like a new beginning for Avenged Sevenfold. In many ways, 2010’s Nightmare closed the first chapter of their career, paying homage to their fallen brother while upping the ante on production to Iron Maiden-size heights. This show served as a dawn—just five musicians destroying a stage as if their lives depended on it and doing so with the best songs of their career to date.
The Palladium (and metal) will never be the same.
Chris Epting has written a review of Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail To The King” album release show that took place at the Hollywood Palladium last night for Loudwire. You can also read his review of “Hail To The King” here.
Newly minted official member, drummer Arin Illejay was solid, but in the end it mostly came down to Shadows, Gates, Johnny Christ and Zacky Vengeance, preaching to the faithful choir before hitting the road and taking it around the world. What an incredible party to get things started.
Billboard’s “Featured Album Review” of Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail To The King” can be seen below. Award-winning music journalist Gary Graff proclaims Avenged Sevenfold ascends to a new level on their own terms, with “Hail to the King” pitching the group into the metal mainstream. Avenged Sevenfold will also cover the new issue of Billboard Magazine.