It may not have been their first ‘free’ show but it may well have been their best. The date was August 26th, the location was the Hollywood Palladium and who else could it be but the biggest force to hit metal for some time it is the slap you in your face attitude that is Avenged Sevenfold and I was there with my t-shirt on and ready to rock and who wouldn’t be? This could well be the pinnacle of their career with their 5th studio album Hail to the King simply set to go in at number for the second time running.
When bands decide to give a little back to the fans you top being a critic and return to that innocent age when you simply enjoyed the music. The need to smash your head around, let your hair down and let go returns and the will to drop your pen with one hand and pick up your air guitar with another is only lost when you feel that first hit when they come on stage. A little older now I still felt reverted by a rebellious teen putting on my Avenged Sevenfold t-shirt and once again returning to a state of being pan rather than blogger.
It always feels different when they play for their home crowd and especially when it’s not charged. It becomes a celebration rather than homage where you feel more in tune with them, more personal than you could have felt had you simply paid your way in. It was an incredible Monday night and you get few of them in your lifetime and you just have to enjoy such a blistering day as much as you can.
From just after 5am you could start to see Avenged Sevenfold t-shirts lining up and getting ready for a show that wasn’t going to even open until 13 hours later but that’s what you get when you give. The only way to make yourselves truly important to fans is make them important to you and you can’t knock the Huntington Beach natives for how they treat their fans and that’s why you see so many shirts at their gigs.
The Stage Is Set and Fans Go Wild As Avenged Sevenfold Hit the Stage
From the very first note, no not even the very first note it was more just the ‘n’ of the note rippled out of ‘Shepherd of Fire’ there was an explosion from the fans a real true, honest response to their idols. The tension had been building for some time and now it was upon us. It was nice to hear Arin Illejay settle in like he’s been there much longer and you can’t help but be brought straight into the sound Shadows vocals. Every fan feels an affinity with the lead vocals because you hear the sounds so much. It’s still a growl but one you don’t fear because you know it so well it feels more like an old friend doing exactly what you’d expect.
It’s his showmanship that sets him aside. A real connection with his fans it’s almost like he’s doing the show just for you the whole night. Critical Acclaim and Welcome to the Family followed hot on the heels of each other and the passion was burning brightly even if their usual pyrotechnics were never going to be possible here. That night it was for the crowd to create the heat and the band burned like oil through the night.
Question marks were always going to be question marks after the death of The Rev but after hearing the passion and powerful metal in the album ‘Hail to the King’ you could easily believe he’d be proud of what they have done since he’s passed. His presence had been felt almost all night by the crowd and there was a real sense of contemplation at times when they played ‘Fiction’ which may well have been the last song he wrote, and hopefully The Rev’s spirit with continue to be felt in future shows.
I feel something has been reignited in Avenged Sevenfold in me and I’m proud to wear my t-shirt once more but maybe next time the pen will but put down and I will just return as what I started out to be..........a fan.
For all the latest up to date information on Avenged Sevenfold please visit their official website http://www.avengedsevenfold.com/