"Welcome to the Family"

Avenged Sevenfold

1st December 2013 – Wembley Arena 
(Sold out show)

Support: Avatar & Five Finger Death Punch 

Making their first headlining tour in the UK since the death of their former drummer, Jimmy”The Rev” Sullivan, Avenged Sevenfold showcase their determination to keep his legacy alive.

I have to say that out of all the bands I have seen live, the song selection choice during the “intervals” between performances was by far the best yet! A constant loop of metal classics such as; AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper. This playlist alone was enough to get the audience hyped for the upcoming event.

Avatar; Avenges first opening act pleasantly took me by surprise, the Swedish quintet’s set was exceedingly captivating. Immediately Johannes Eckerström’s attire grasped my attention – his trench coat, make up, hat and marching band baton ensured that all eyes were on him. Moreover, Jonas Jarlsby (guitar), Tim Öhrström (guitars) and Henrik Sandelin’s (bass) head banging windmill gave the impression that they were about to take off in flight! As well as John Alfredsson pounding his heart and soul into every song.Their music ability was not at all hindered by their theatrical appearance, this band ticks all the boxes and doesn’t rely on an eccentric look to help cruise through the music industry – they definitely have talent too. I recommend them highly to anyone and everyone! 

Following on from this,Five Finger Death Punch also stole the crowd with their diverse setlist. It’s safe to say that, although a support band, they had a large entourage at this one gig, therefore added to their enthusiasm during their performance. This band complimented both Avenge Sevenfold and Avatar, acting as a suitable bridge between the two bands, making the whole line up work effectively well together as a unit, rather than three separate bands.

Now…the time has come…
Thick, black curtains slowly pull open to reveal…

Picture taken from their Amsterdam set also used in
the UK tour

The sheer heat of the flames consumed the whole arena to the extent that the air conditioning had to be switched on to prevent half the crowd from fainting! The stage itself was bare, the skull being the only prop; however this was enough, anymore then the stage would have been too crowded, as well as lose that unique Avenged touch.

Shadows, Gates, Vengeance, Christ and Ilejay’s stage presence was nothing but   striking; the quintet were humble whilst still keeping to their ‘rockstar’ attributes nicely! Their performance didn’t fail to impress both old and new fans, as their setlist selection covered their second album – Waking the Fallen 2003 to 2013‘s “Hail to the King”; in the words of M. Shadows “if I know the English, they like their old stuff” this couldn’t be more true! 
Furthermore, fans were allowed their moment to remember Mr. Jimmy Sullivan, whose last gig was Sonisphere 2009, with the band present; the poignant speech of M.Shadows about Jimmy lead to the dedication of “Fiction”, in which a single spot light took the stage, representing their lost brother. The arena was lit up purely by phones and lighters, the sight couldn’t have been more beautiful or memorable if it tried! The respect shown by all the fans was overwhelming.
However, the highlight I found was during “Buried Alive”, in which Zacky Vengeance smashed his guitar on the stage, combined with Shadow’s commentary after the song of the event. Although, Vengeance made a deal with one lucky fan to trade the wrecked guitar for his home-made poster – more of a steal then a deal!
From last nights show it is evident that the band have been able to form strong connections with Ilejay, especially through the band jamming session, in which Gates and Ilejay seemed to be having ‘the time of their lives’, with Vengeance, Shadows and Christ joining the party session later.

Setlist Wembley Arena

Next time Avenged Sevenfold are in the UK I won’t fail to secure my tickets, will you?

Photos taken by Rebel Yell

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