Critics of their latest album, Hail to the King (Warner Bros.), be damned, Avenged Sevenfold went on tour in support of it. They stopped in M. Shadows’ hometown of Boston on October 9th. Deftones and Ghost B.C. were brought along as openers although each group is of headlining potential.
Some audience members were rightly upset when Ghost B.C. ended up taking the stage about fifteen minutes before the show was scheduled to start. Those who arrived at the appointed time missed about two songs in the set. Although the length of time Ghost B.C. got was disappointing, the band made the most of it. Papa Emeritus II appeared glad to witness the faithfulness of the fans who sang along the entire time. The set list leaned towards songs off of their newest album, Infestissumam (Sonnet Records), including ‘Year Zero’ and ‘Monstrance Clock’. ‘Con Clavi Con Dio’ and ‘Ritual’ were played from Opus Eponymous. The set as a whole could be compared to a high mass for metal fans. A fast rising band such as Ghost B.C. deserved a longer set, but they still won that night. Many attendees who had not previously heard the band were purchasing their official merchandise as well as raving about their performance.
Although attendees could agree on the spectacle that was Ghost B.C.’s set, many appeared to be divided by Deftones. At the start, everyone’s energy was turned on by the band. Many went wild headbanging and jumping along to Chino Moreno’s vocals and stage antics. They began by playing one of their more recent hits, ‘Diamond Eyes’. After ‘My Own Summer [Shove It]’, people started to lose their excitement with the band’s music. They appeared to want to hear older songs, but were mostly getting the newer material. It was a peculiar situation considering how much acclaim their last album had received. The band gave it most of their energy. At one point, Moreno went into the audience to sing a few verses. It was strange to see him rein it in to play the guitar for a few mellow songs. Perhaps Moreno should have stuck to moving around like a wild man.
In the waiting period before Avenged Sevenfold took to the stage, there was plenty of buzz. Would the band be able to stick it to the naysayers or would the performance be a disappointment to those who wanted to see them succeed? It was a mix of both. As soon as M. Shadows’ began singing ‘Shepard of Fire’, it was easy to tell that the band did not care about all the negative press they were receiving. It was their show and they were going to act like rockstars if the audience liked it or not. Many did not. Perhaps the best thing about Avenged Sevenfold’s set was that they were the only ones who really made it into a visual performance. Yes Ghost B.C. had their attire, but Avenged Sevenfold had a castle façade that had fire and a skeletal figure waiting inside it. However, their skeleton friend seemed suspiciously reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s beloved Eddie. A bit of a setback considering all the allegations that the band is ripping off more popular metal bands. This seemed to be confirmed when a portion of the audience sang Metallica’s ‘Sad But True’ while the band played ‘This Means War’ and everything still matched perfectly.The band ran into the same problem that Deftones had; most of the older material was ignored until the last half of the set. Many spent the set begging the band to play older songs such as ‘Beast and the Harlot’. It wasn’t until the end of their set that they gave the fans partly what they wanted with ‘Bat Country’. Closer to the end of the set, attendees were subjected to a wholly unnecessary guitar solo and band jam session. Couldn’t it have waited for one of their practice sessions? Evidently not. Many were excited when the group decided to finish their encore with ‘Unholy Confessions’. However, the audience was confused as to why the band decided to play it slower than usual. Maybe it was the band’s way of having the last laugh. After all, their album has sold fantastically and many had still come out to see them despite the negativity surrounding them.
Words: Melissa Campbell