Gig Photography and Review by Jason Broadhurst

Avenged Sevenfold

Tonights headline act are a band I loved as a 16 year old, but everything released since ‘City Of Evil’ hasn’t really been to my taste. Having said that I have always kept one eye on their progress. Avenged Sevenfold hit the scene around the same time Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium did, and there was much talk to who would be the first to reach the promise land of headlining the metal festival, Download. Over the past month we have learnt that they have been the first of the three to have reached it. So the question on everyones lips tonight is are they up to the challenge?

Avatar
Avatar

But before that, we have the small matter of the support acts. Despite the various signs dotted around the venue stating that Device were opening, it is actually a band called Avatar. With a lot of people looking forward to seeing David Draiman’s new band it could have been tough for Avatar but they more than stepped up to the plate and gave it a good go.

Five Finger Death Punch
Five Finger Death Punch

Tours like this are always helped a great deal by a strong support and in Los Angeles band Five Finger Death Punch they certainly have that. The five piece band have managed to drag a lot of extra fans to tonights gig, with even the hardcore Sevenfold fans on the front row belting out their tunes word for word. Despite regularly attending festivals I have never crossed paths with FFDP and have somewhat struggled to find a way into their albums so they were a band on the verge of passing me by. On tonights performance though they are one not to miss and would make a solid festival booking for any metal festival.

Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold

A lot has changed since Avenged Sevenfold last were on our shores. At that point of their career they were still playing academy sized venues which was then later followed by the death of one of their founding members and drummer The Rev. As the sound of AC DC’s ‘Back In Black’ pounds through the speakers, almost like an introduction for them, the crowd decides to raise the volume more with chants of “Sevenfold, Sevenfold”. The curtain pulls back to reveal a giant bat skull which has stuck as Avenged Sevenfold’s logo over the years. As the harrowing sounds of the set opener ‘Shepherds Of Fire’ begin to play, each band member makes his way to the stage before M Shadows is greeted with a cheer. For their first arena shows in the UK they have quite a set up and its full of pyro. They make quick work of opening songs ‘Critical Acclaim’ and ‘Welcome To The Family’ before Shadows introduces the next song by saying it’s “fit for a king” and the crowd go nuts as the guitars sound to the title track to their new album ‘Hail To The King’. Between songs Shadows talks to the audience about his fond memories of their last visit to the UK and their last performance with The Rev at Sonisphere. A massive sound of applause feels the arena before he moves onto dedicating the song ‘Fiction’ to him. The eery sounds of ‘Nightmare’ and the fist pumping ‘This Means War’ pack out the set before crowd favourite ‘Bat Country’ raises the roof.

Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold

Having got to this point and not hearing any material from ‘Waking The Fallen’ I wasn’t to hopeful that I would be hearing any at all. So when they return for their encore to play ‘Chapter Four’ and ‘Unholy Confessions’ I was pleasantly surprised that they haven’t totally forgotten their roots. Personally as an older fan I would have loved more of the old stuff but the band are clearly a different kind of beast to what they were. One things for sure they have a lot more awesome songs on their newer albums than I have ever given them credit for.

Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold

So in conclusion to the question asked earlier, are they ready to headline Download? Most certainly, but thats not to say they will be the most popular choice.

Avenged Sevenfold

Five Finger Death Punch Setlist: Under and Over It // Burn It Down // Hard to See // Lift Me Up //Bad Company (Bad Company cover) // Burn MF // Coming Down // Never Enough // Far from Home // The Bleeding

Avenged Sevenfold Setlist: Shepherd of Fire // Critical Acclaim // Welcome to the Family // Hail to the King // Doing Time // Buried Alive // Fiction // Nightmare // This Means War // Afterlife // Guitar Solo & Band Jam Session // Requiem // Bat Country Encore: Chapter Four // Unholy Confessions

Avenged Sevenfold

Take a look at the full set of spectacular photos from this gig on our Flickr Page.

2 Responses to “Avenged Sevenfold + Five Finger Death Punch + Avatar at the Phones 4U Arena, Manchester, UK – 30th November 2013”

  1. Stuart Hughes Says:

    nice review! it was an awesome night, Avenged Sevenfold didn’t disappoint, me and my wife loved it. The combination of their live performance with the stage show will surely be a hit at Download, if there’s anyone who deserves it it’s Avenged Sevenfold :)

  2. | Avenged Sevenfold – Manchester Arena Says:

    […] The gig was shot for Gigjunkies and you can see the photos along side a review over at their website. […]

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