VERIZON WIRELESS AMPHITHEATER
Emboldened by the success of 2007 self-titled effort, AVENGED SEVENFOLD have taken their destiny without drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan under their own batwing for their eponymous fifth full length release, Nightmare with an incredible performance from the place they hail from.
On September 22nd, Irvine’s Verizon Amphitheater hosted the Rockstar Uproar Festival were thousands of AVENGED SEVENFOLD obliged fans welcomed the Huntington Beach natives. The show started with an unknown individual, theoretically harnessed, dropping from a catwalk and writhing as the man hung by the neck from the end of a rope. As he swung like a pendulum, the band began their set with hit single “Nightmare.”
Aside from the energy from every band member, the vigor present in singer Shadow’s delivery was immaculate which only suited the impeccable guitar work. Both Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates showcased some mind bending solos, but more impressively they perfectly harmonize many of the complicated leads. The resulting sound was reminiscent of great metal bands that they are highly influenced by.
The entire set was rounded out with some cool pyrotechnics and stage props rigged to look like cemetery gates. The second song, “Critical Acclaimed, orchestrated thick and sinister, billowing, noxious melodies which had all fifteen thousand fans singing along. “Welcome to the Family” balanced out the performance overall as DREAM THEATER’s drummer, Mike Portnoy represented Sullivan adequately. Guitarist, Gates’ electric guitar illustrated fast and tectonic riffs while equating the epic and frighting rhythmic lines of Zacky Vengeance in scope. A sea of enthusiastic darkness filtered the venue once “Beast and the Harlot” began. Johnny Christ’s slithering bass lines triggered choppiness yet Portnoy’s unending pounding kept rhythm even for the elderly couple in the crowd to head bang.
Even once the crowd began to anticipate what was next “Buried Alive” kept their energy rolling. By the sixth song, AVENGED SEVENFOLD dedicated the song “So Far Away” to drummer Sullivan and Shadows added that the band would continue playing to honor Sullivan’s legacy. The outstanding bass solo in “Afterlife” engaged every single soul’s attention to embrace it with every lighter and cell phone lit.
They concluded their set with “Unholy Confessions” and “Almost Easy” and proved to still be one of the best bands from Orange County to date. Unfortunately, their legacy without Sullivan is uncertain, but after this overdriven, prodigious performance the one thing that is for sure is that their former, late band member is definitely proud of his best friends.
Reviewed by Cyndi Jo