The formula for the perfect rock and roll show is a two-part deal. As long as the band brings the energy and the precisely choreographed showmanship, the fans will bring the head-banging, fist pumping and the singing your heart out on every word. That’s exactly what Avenged Sevenfold illustrated at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on Saturday, February 17.
They started off the show with the Grammy-nominated ‘The Stage‘. The energy translated through the venue with Synyster Gates‘ master shredding, followed by Zacky Vengeance’s classic 6661 guitar and by Brooks Wackerman’s drum fills completing the introduction to the amazingness. But as soon as M. Shadows walked down the runway, the crowd went wild.
One thing to notice about Avenged Sevenfold is how much fun they have on stage. ‘Afterlife’ from 2007’s self-titled album was played second on the setlist with Johnny Christ slapping his bass after the intro—not hesitating to flash a smile to the crowd. The camaraderie is evident as he follows his bandmate’s moves across the stage.
It was the last show of the North American portion of The Stage World Tour. The Huntington Beach natives have been playing promotional shows for The Stage since it’s release in October of 2016 but took a break last summer to support Metallica’s WorldWired Tour.
“I know I said that we were going to come back to a lot of the cities when we opened for Metallica,” said frontman M. Shadows while sporting his signature aviator glasses and black and red flannel. He added that it wasn’t a lie—“I was just really misinformed apparently but we did come back to two cities and Vancouver is one of them.”
That comment ignited cheers and fist pumping as ‘Hail to the King’ played. The energy triggered a fierce yet subtle circle pit that became stronger when ‘Beast and the Harlot’ followed ‘Paradigm.’
A video tribute to the late drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan highlighted the background as ‘So Far Away’ was performed. In the video The Rev says that he feels that the band has the best fans in the world—igniting the crowd to chant forever.
Many hands rose up when M. Shadows asked how many had seen them in the summer with Metallica. “How many of you are seeing us for the first time?” he added. As several hands rose up he welcomed everyone to the family—as the second single from Nightmare ‘Welcome to the Family’ played. ‘Higher’ was accompanied by the surprise appearance of The Stage’s mascot—a skull inhabited inflatable astronaut.
A deluxe version of The Stage was released in December, which includes several covers. Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ being one of them, featured Vengeance on acoustic guitar. Shadows described it as the song that changed his life.
The set was closed off by the TRL hit ‘Bat Country’ and a very pleasant surprise of ‘Critical Acclaim’ which featured Sullivan’s vocals. As the fans chanted, Sevenfold the band returned for the encore of ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ and ending the almost two-hour show with Waking the Fallen’s ‘Unholy Confessions.’
One thing missing from this show that has happened in tours prior was the theatrics and pyrotechnics. However, the energy that the quintet presented to the crowd, none of those aesthetics were missed. The band will take a short break before continuing with festivals across the world. Check out which cities they will be coming next here because this is truly a one of a kind rock and roll experience not metal fan should miss.
Hail to the King
Beast and the Harlot
So Far Away
Welcome to the Family
Wish You Were Here
A Little Piece of Heaven
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CYNTHIA JO