It’s been a few years since Avenged Sevenfold graced our shores but we think it’s safe to say that it was well worth the wait. Having dropped their new album, The Stage, to the world as a surprise release last year, and announcing that they were teaming up with the minds behind Cirque du Soleil for the production for the upcoming tour, it was obvious that fans would be in for a treat, and with them were two huge bands to make it a night to remember. We stopped by to witness the greatness at London’s O2 Arena where the band had set up camp for the weekend.
Kicking off the night’s proceedings were Swedish metallers In Flames (***) who wasted no time by belting out the likes of Bullet Ride, Leeches, and The Truth within their half hour set. Opening up in an arena of this proportion seems to never be an easy task, even for the more experienced of bands, but after some motivation from lead vocalist Anders Friden, the crowd soon picked up the pace and pits were flowing, but before you knew it, Take This Life brought band number one to a close and it was time for round two.
As well as In Flames, Avenged Sevenfold had Disturbed (****) out with them on tour, and with an hour long set, fans were treated to tracks from throughout their career and put on a performance worthy of a headliner. You could feel the pyrotechnics from The Eye of the Storm, and Inside the Fire throughout the arena and classics such as Prayer, Stupify and Stricken allowed for a thunderous sing along. As expected, their cover of Sound of Silence sent chills down the spine with the entire room set alight with mobile phones and lighters in the air. The Vengeful One and The Light from latest album Immortalized sounded huge and ending the set with Down with the Sickness, it was hard to believe that we still had one more band to go, but as the stage was transformed, fans eagerly awaited the main headliner.
With the lights out, the introduction to The Stage echoed through the room and one by one the members of Avenged Sevenfold (*****) emerged to perform a powerful back to back trio of The Stage, Afterlife and Hail To The King and had already made their mark on this famous stage. With seven studio albums to their name, getting the setlist perfect is always going to be difficult, and having performed the same set throughout the UK tour, the band decided to change things up for the last night throwing Beast and the Harlot, Second Heartbeat and So Far Away, an emotional tribute to drummer The Rev, into the mix. Newer tracks Paradigm, God Damn and Sunny Disposition were met by a warm reception, but it was the likes of Buried Alive, Nightmare and Bat Country that really threw fans into a frenzy.
The stage production itself was one of great proportions and shows just how far these guys have come from performing in small, sweaty clubs, to now selling out arenas across the country. An encore of the ever popular A Little Piece of Heaven and Unholy Confessions solidified this night as a show to compete for best of the year and we’re only just getting started. Avenged Sevenfold are at the top of their game right now and are on the road to world domination. It would be no surprise if the A7X boys were back headlining UK festivals with this performance in the next few years and we cannot wait for their return.