It is always risky to see your favorite band live. Will they sound like the album, or will they be less than stellar live? To truly stand out, a band needs to sound great while also delivering a truly unique experience for the audience. No modern band is better at this than Avenged Sevenfold.
Bethlehem played host to three great bands Aug. 11: Mindset Evolution, Fight or Flight and Avenged Sevenfold. Mindset Evolution, a rather new band, is really starting to hit its stride. The group gave a solid performance, getting the crowd amped up for the next act. Fight or Flight is a supergroup consisting of guitarist Dan Donegan, drummer Mike Wengren from Disturbed, singer Dan Chandler from Evans Blue, bassist Sean Corcoran from Ra and guitarist Jeremy Jayson from Bellevue Suite. Fight or Flight’s segment of the performance went well, growing in energy until the show culminated in “First of the Last,” the band’s successful single.
The lights went dim. The band’s signature “Deathbat” faded into the background. It was time for the headliner. The first organ notes of “Critical Acclaim” blared from speakers. When the pounding main beat hit, the stage exploded into fire to the sound of singer M. Shadows belting out an unholy scream. The crowd erupted and sang every single word. When the song ended, the difference could immediately be felt. There was something there, something indescribable, that separated Avenged Sevenfold from the first two bands. Whatever it was, the group had it.
Avenged Sevenfold wasted no time advancing to the second song, its smash hit “Beast and the Harlot.” The concert continued with a flurry of the band’s greatest songs: “Welcome to the Family,” “Almost Easy” and “Buried Alive.” Then it was time for the expected tribute. Avenged Sevenfold lost its drummer, Jimmy “The Reverend” Sullivan, late in 2009. The band played one song he wrote, entitled “Fiction,” and dedicated it to him. As the last notes of the somber song faded out, the lights went off and spotlights shone on a vacated drum set. The crowd sat in silence, remembering one of music’s greatest losses.
The band then blasted through “Nightmare,” “Hail to the King” (from the as-of-then-unreleased album, a real treat to hear live) and “Afterlife.” Then a special surprise occurred: the band went back to its second album to play “Chapter Four,” a song rarely played live. The performance was extraordinary. For their two encores, the artists selected “Bat Country” and “Unholy Confessions,” the typical closers for the group.
Everyone went home ecstatic from the venue. There honestly is no live band like Avenged Sevenfold, and I would recommend the concert to anyone. Playing smash hits with a few special songs thrown in there, utilizing pyrotechnics and other special effects and listening to the crowd for requests, Avenged Sevenfold absolutely left an impression. The band is currently on tour in Europe, but as soon as it comes back to the states, I will be there. I strongly suggest you join me.
Contact the writer: