Tag Archives: Avenged Sevenfold

*Review* Avenged Sevenfold & Disturbed – 3Arena, Dublin 07/01/17

On Saturday 7th January American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold returned to Dublin for the first time in just over three years to kick off their ‘The Stage World Tour’, the tour is in support of their seventh album ‘The Stage’ which was released out of the blue back in October. Support on the night came from American heavy metal titans Disturbed.

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Before Disturbed had even taken to the stage the standing area was packed fans who had made sure to turn up early for them, showing that while Disturbed may have been supporting Avenged Sevenfold that night they are still a band with a very large Irish fanbase of their own. They kicked off their set with the title track of their most recent album 2015’s ‘Immortalized’ before going back 15 years and playing ‘The Game’ off their debut album ‘The Sickness’. The first half of their set was mainly material off their first two albums, however, these songs sounded far from perfect live, it was as if the band was warming up while playing them, most notably, the vocals during ‘Stupify’ sounded a lot weaker than you’d expect from a heavier song. Despite how weak the first half appeared to me, the crowd did exactly as vocalist David Draiman told them to, including screaming the ‘fuck’ parts during ‘Stupify’. The first standout performance of the set, their cover of Simon & Garfunkel ‘s ‘The Sound of Silence’, which has been nominated for a Grammy, signalled the turning point in the set. The lighter stripped back performance of such a timeless classic, with acoustic guitars, bongos and keys with the crowd singing along to almost every word with lighters and phones raised high into the sky, was simply breathtaking. It was followed by a strong performance of ‘Inside the Fire’ off 2008’s ‘Indestructible’, complete with pyro, with pyro sticks burning throughout the set and pyro blasts every time Draiman said the ‘fire’. Another standout was ‘The Light’ during which Draiman requested a moment of audience participation, asking them to raise their phones and lighters every time he uttered ‘the light’, which resulted in the 3Arena being lit up beautifully throughout the song.

They finished their set off with increasingly stronger performances of hit after hit; ‘Stricken’, with a perfect vocal performance from Draiman, ‘Indestructible’, with its headbang inducing pace, and ‘Ten Thousand Fists’, with the crowd raising their fists in time to it. The final song of their set was the expected performance of ‘Down with the Sickness’ with a big pyro blast ending, which was followed by the crowd chanting ‘Disturbed’. The band asked for a quick picture, took it, and then Draiman said ‘I hope to see you again soon’ as the band left the stage. Despite being the support act on the night Disturbed played a full headlining set, their stage production included more pyro than I have ever seen a band use live and it did nothing but add to the show. However, they seemed to spend the first half of their set warming up, but the second half of it more than made up for this with hit after hit and plenty of standout moments: 8.5/10.

Prior to Avenged Sevenfold taking to the stage both Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ and David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ played out through the venue’s speakers, the start of a theme that the band’s setlist would expand upon. As this was ‘The Stage World Tour’ there was a lot of buzz prior to the show in regards to what the stage setup would be like for them. The central piece of this stage set up was a giant floating cube with screens on the two sides of it that were facing the crowd. There was also three more large rectangle screens on either side of the cube making their way from the back of the stage towards the front of it. The stage itself was a pretty big rectangle with a walkway leading out into the crowd and two holes in it where members of the crowd who had paid for VIP were standing, making them a part of ‘the stage’ and show itself. While the set up was impressive, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit disappointed by it, due to all the recent interviews with the band that I had read prior to the show, I expected there to be more to it.

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The screens flashed white and the band’s deathbat logo appeared on the cube just before the 5 piece made their way to the stage. They kicked off their set with the title track off their latest album, from which the tour takes its name, ‘The Stage’, with vocalist, M. Shadows calling out to the crowd; ‘let me hear you Dublin,’ and hear them he did, as the crowd sang-a-long, showing their dedication to the band, by already knowing all the words to the ambitious 8 and a half minute monster of a track. They followed it up with an early stand-out of the set, ‘Afterlife’ off the band’s self-titled fourth album, with the crowds singing overpowering M. Shadows voice during the chorus, they finished the song to major applause from the crowd. ‘Dublin, how are you doing this evening?’ M. Shadows asked before making a joke about how the band might get given out to if they drink Guinness out of a can. Black and white footage began playing on the screens and the crowd started chanting, as the band started playing the title track off their sixth album ‘Hail to the King’, which was well received by the crowd despite how much the album split fans opinions upon its release back in 2013.  It was followed by the first live performance of ‘Paradigm’ off ‘To The Stage’ with M. Shadows telling the crowd ‘I wanna see a circle pit on this one’. Before playing ‘To End The Rapture’ off the band’s debut album, 2001’s, ‘Sounding the Seventh Trumpet’, M. Shadows said ‘I like this little arena. We are gonna play shit from all the records’. The short song was quickly followed by the heavy sound of ‘Chapter Four’ off their 2nd album ‘Waking The Fallen’.

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A strong performance of ‘Buried Alive’ off 2010’s ‘Nightmare’ was another stand-out of the set with its multiple guitar solos and its powerful outro section. Before ‘Angels’, another debut live performance, the cube started moving towards the crowd while rotating, then began flashing an image of a planet. During the song, which is one of the bands more ‘chilled’ songs, a mosh pit got going in the crowd with M. Shadows saying ‘only in Dublin’. After the song, the cube moved back to the back of the stage. As ‘Nightmare’ kicked off the crowd exploded to life singing the loudest they had so far that night and multiple mosh pits started throughout the crowd, the crowd sang multiple parts of the song on their own with no need for any help from M. Shadows. M. Shadows continued to speak to the crowd saying ‘it is always a pleasure to get over here to Ireland. This will hopefully give promoters more confidence in us so we can do more shows in Ireland. Alright, best show of the tour.’ Before ‘Almost Easy’ he gave a shoutout to Disturbed telling the crowd that ‘they are a big band and that they don’t need to be here with us’.

During the section of ‘Sunny Disposition’ that featured the sound of a siren, M. Shadows used a megaphone instead of his microphone, which was pretty punk and complimented the big, heavy, weird, and long, song perfectly. The band made an interesting choice to play ‘Warmness on the Soul’ as an instrumental. A giant inflatable spaceman, with a skull face and a light up head, exploded out of the back of the stage, as the band started playing ‘Planets’ before the band finished their main set off with ‘Acid Rain’, as both songs are off of ‘Hail to the King’ they were weird choices to finish out the set with. M. Shadows shouted ‘Dublin, Ireland thank you so much for tonight and we’ll see you next time,’ as he left the stage.

Once again the deathbat appeared on all of the screens as the band made their way back onto the stage for the encore. ‘Bat Country’, oddly the only song in the set off ‘City of Evil’, kicked off the encore with the crowd shouting ‘he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man’ before exploding, the song resulted in the biggest mosh pits of the night and one of the loudest sing-a-longs. M. Shadows gave the band’s former drummer, The Rev, who died in 2009, a shout out, dedicating the next song to him, before mentioning that his own Dad was at the show, and stating that there was Irish in his family before asking why he can’t grow a better beard. The epic, 8 minutes long, ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ was the clear standout performance of the night, with The Rev’s haunting vocals playing out through the venue’s speakers seven years after his death, and the clear loudest sing-a-long of the night, with the crowd shouting, singing, and screaming back every single word of the song. The final song of the night was the expected performance of, the heavy, ‘Unholy Confessions’ off ‘Waking the Fallen’, allowing members of the crowd to get one last good mosh in.

While the main set could have been finished off with a stronger song, like the somehow missing performance of ‘Beast and the Harlot’ off ‘City of Evil’, I have to give it to Avenged Sevenfold for putting together a very ambitious stage setup, coupled with a set that covered the band’s entire career, and for easily the best crowd interaction from a band I have ever seen take place in an arena: 9.5/10.

 

 

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Black Veil Brides/Jake Pitts Interview 7/10/2014

BVB support
On Tuesday(7/10/14) evening I got to phone Jake Pitts, the lead guitarist of American hard rock/metal band Black Veil Brides(https://www.facebook.com/Blackveilbrides), to have a chat ahead of their show next Wednesday(15/10/14) in The Olympia Theatre in Dublin. A limited number of remaining tickets(€31.40 including booking fee) can be purchased here; http://www.ticketmaster.ie/black-veil-brides-dublin-10-15-2014/event/18004CC4D0733140?artistid=1469883&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=200
NOTE: Doors have been changed from 19.00 to 18.00. The band is currently on the UK and Ireland leg of their BLACKMASS Tour with support coming from Attila, Fearless Vampire Killers and Drama Club. My interview with Jake can be read below after the video.

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Christopher; Are you enjoying the tour so far?
Jake; Oh yeah man absolutely it’s been a blast.

C; Are you enjoying being back in Europe?
J; I mean yeah, everytime we come over to the UK you know, for me personally I think we have the best shows over here because the crowds are big, you know, this is probably where we have our largest fan base. So we always look forward to coming here.

C; Continuing on from that you said(on twitter @JakePittsBVB) that London on this tour was possibly your favorite show ever, how did that go?
J; Ah well, I mean it went exactly like I said, you know if it wasn’t the best show, in my book it was definitely one of the top if not the best. It just everything went really well you know. I think we were all kind of stressing out a bit as it was the second show of the tour, we haven’t toured in 7 months. So were all a little nervous going into that the big production show, you know, we get to do the full blown pyro and all that kind of stuff and brixton, brixton is such a big venue and you know it’s such a cool place. But I don’t know I guess we were all just on our game, we played well I think. The pyro worked well, you know we’ve had issues with pyro before where ques were missed and it wasn’t going along with the song right and they’d mess it up and so that would really bum us out in past shows but this time everything was on so I think it just got us all jacked up a little more and we were all just really into the show and just had a blast.

C; What can fans expect to see on the upcoming tour?
J; Hopefully our best show that we’ve put on to date. I think were getting tigher as a band so were playing better. Were playing you know a little bit of everything, everything from the first record, some stuff from ‘Set the World on Fire’, some from ‘Wretched and Divine’ and then were playing some new songs aswell. So I think it’s definitely the best show that we’ve put on so far in our career, so it’s something that you know you don’t want to miss.

C; It’s a very balanced setlist do you think that was something important to have to show the history of the band?
J; Yeah man I mean I think when you go to see any band, you know there’s going to be favorites from each record and I think it’s important to give, you know we don’t want to go out and just play new stuff that nobody has heard cause then everybody will be sitting there going I’ve never heard this song and they can’t sing along.
Our fans and our crowds definitely like to sing along and I think we’ve some of the loudest fans out of any band. So even though we are playing a couple of new songs nobody has heard yet and you can tell there is sort of disconnect for those couple of songs we do. But with all the other ones everybody knows the songs. So I think it’s really important to give fans something from each record because there’s always the kids who are going to say I like ‘We Stitch These Wounds’ the first record that mys favorite. Everybody is going to have their favorite record, favorite song so hopefully we can appeal to everybody in the crowd and give them a little bit of everything.

C; Personally I’m pretty happy to see ‘Sweet Blasphemy’ in the setlist.
J; Yeah we brought that back, we haven’t played that in like four years. Its a fun song to play, we missed playing that one so we decided to bring it back and it’s going over well.

C; Correct me if I’m wrong but you only just started playing ‘Coffin’ live on this tour?
J; Yes, we had never played it live before, we always talked about it and wanted to, we’ve done it at soundcheck before tours and tours ago we would just kind of bust it out just for fun to see if we could play and we could play it. So we were like why don’t we play that one. I love that one I think it’s great. So we finally worked it into the set and decided to not only play new songs but to play songs we’ve never played before out of the old stuff. I think that ones going over well it seems like that’s one people really get into when we play that.

C; The only thing with Coffin is that it seems a bit odd to not have played it live before since it had a music video and it was one of your more story driven videos.
J; Yeah exactly that was the thing we shot a video for it and everything. I don’t know why it took so long for us to start playing it but I guess it’s better late than never.

C; What decissions went into choosing the supports for this tour?
J; Well basically in the states we have Falling in Reverse supporting us and we wanted to have them over here but due to issues with their singer, I’m not really sure what all the legalities are but I’m sure your aware of his past and everything but I guess they can’t come here yet. So we did Warped Tour in the states and Attila was on it a couple year ago and we became friends with those guys and we always talked about bringing them out on a tour. It sort of I dont really if their a band that, a lot of people were I guess kind of shocked ‘thats a weird lineup’ or whatever but were friends with them and we asked them if they wanted to do it and they were all about it.

C; That’s how it should be in the end tour with your friends bands if you can.
J; If we can bring some of our friends out we’ll try to do that as much as we can.

C; Favorite band to tour with as a continuation of that? (Queston from Cian Cowley @ciancarnage on twitter.)
J; I still think to this day, I mean obviously I love our tours that we headline and everything just because we are headlining and its our show our crowd and there’s nothing that beats that but as for being an opening band on tour with somebody I’d have to say Avenged Sevenfold was definitely my favorite that we’ve done so far.

C; Continuing on from that a band you’d like to open for that you haven’t yet?
J; Boy I dont know. I mean honestly I don’t really have an answer for that I would say Avenged Sevenfold but we’ve done that already, I would like to do direct support for Avenged Sevenfold. They’re fun guys they’re really cool and they have huge arenas shows so I’d love to do that again. As far as somebody else that we haven’t yet anybody that is playing big arenas, it’d be awesome to go on tour with Metallica.

C; And you never know.
J; You never know, maybe we could do that someday.

C; Favorite guitarist?
J; Paul Gilbert.

C; Favorite song to play live?
J; Right now I’d have to say ‘Faithless’. I think that’s just my all around favorite song right now.

C; Who are you currently endorsed by? Guitars?
J; I play my own signature Schecter c-1 guitar and were using Marshall amps.

C; What’s the song writing process like for you nowadays?
J; Well I mean you know its different, every song is different it just depends on how it starts, sometimes we start with somebody will have a melody in their head or I’ll have a guitar riff, I mean every song is different. Typically the way I write a song since I’m a guitar player and have my own studio and do all the production side of things, it could be anything from you know having a simple piano melody . Something I’ve been doing lately that I haven’t ever really done before was just taking my iPhone out when I have an idea pop in my head and just humming out could be a guitar solo idea or a guitar riff and I’ll just hum it out into the voice note recorder and I’ll just import those into pro tools and try and translate that to guitar and figure out whatever the idea was that was in my head. Usually it starts out with a riff and you just buld it from there and start adding drums and bass and all the other elements and just expand on it and make every part the best it can be.

C; Black Veil Brides 4 your new album is out on the 27th are you looking forward to the response that will follow it’s release?
J; Yeah, absolutely I can’t wait to see the respone, I think so far everything has been so positive. The anticapation and the buzz behind it. I hope it does as well as I expect it to.

C; How’d it feel to work with Bob Rock?
J; For me the thing that made me pick up a guitar was Metallicas ‘Black Album’ and that’s what got me into really wanting to play guitar. I was 13 year old and it wasn’t just Metallica itself it was the production of that album and just hearing how heavy the guitar tone was it really caught my attention and basically made me want to do that. So fast forward to today and getting to work with Bob Rock, basically when it comes to being a producer Bob Rock is the rockstar of producers when it comes to producers he is one of them that if you don’t know many producers you probably know who Bob Rock is for the most part. It was really really cool, it’s kind of something that is hard to explain but definitely a very cool moment and achievement in my life.

C; And as a final question; You just released a Music Video for ‘Heart of Fire’ yesterday and it’s exactly that ”fire”, lots of fire. How did shooting go for that?
J; Oh man it was hell. We actually shot two videos that day and it was out in Santa Clara, California, it was a massive heat wave going on that week in Los Angeles and out there its inland a little ways. I think that day it got up to 111 and we filmed the first video in doors but we were wearing leather jackets and all that and they didn’t have the AC on and we had pyro inside too, so it got like, they finally turned the AC on and we started to cool down a little but then everytime we would shoot they would have to turn the AC off and we would turn on all the pyro and it’d get really hot really quickly. Then we took like an hour break and then we went and shot the video for ‘Heart of Fire’ outside and even though it was night and it was dark, I think it was still like 97 degrees out so and being surrounded by pyro. It was definitely very wam and a very tiring day I think we were out there for like 14 hours straight but it looks pretty awesome so it’s definitely worth it.

Check out Black Veil Brides newest video for ‘Heart of Fire’ below!