Genting Arena was buzzing on Friday 13th, for the long anticipated Avenged Sevenfold‘s The Stage tour. Supported by Disturbed and In Flames, it was set to be a promising night.
In Flames were first on the bill, with a short and sweet 8 song set that pumped the crowd up. Starting with Bullet Ride, In Flames played with the same energy all the way through to the ending with Take This Life, and they sounded great. Even those who had only bought tickets for the headline act were left impressed. However those with lower seats near the stage and standing at the front were left blinded by the too bright lights, but their sound was great and the audience loved them.
Next on the bill were the legendary Disturbed, and they put on an incredible performance. Their set was double the length of In Flames, but not once did the audience get bored. Disturbed began with their heavy and lively The Eye Of The Storm, mellowed out in the middle with their version of Simon & Garfunkel‘s The Sound Of Silence, where they asked the audience to light up their mobile phones, and began getting the crowd pumped again by ending on Ten Thousand Fists and Down With The Sickness. Their pyrotechnics were incredible, and they sounded fantastic. Although vocalist David Draiman looked tired by the end of the set, his vocals never faltered and he had an incredible sound. The sound crew did a fantastic job and it was all round a cracking set. One might say that Disturbed were Down With The Sickness.
Finally, after David Bowie‘s Space Oddity played over the sound system, Avenged Sevenfold made their appearance. Launching into The Stage, the crowd went wild, especially for Synyster Gates and M Shadows. After The Stage was over, the stage was launched into darkness and Gates played an interlude on acoustic guitar, before the other band members returned with Afterlife. Avenged Sevenfold knew what some of the crowd favourites were, however it was a shame not to hear tracks like Beast And The Harlot and So Far Away.
By the time Avenged Sevenfold played their third song, Hail To The King, the crowd were forming a mosh pit. The band had the audience eating out of the palms of their hands. They had a decent mix of old and new material, performing Warmness On The Soul from their debut album Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, and Unholy Confessions from Waking The Fallen in the encore. However it was noticeable that Shadows‘ screamed vocals sounded a little strained compared to his usual heated singing style. It is often argued that this is due to the throat surgery Shadows had in 2003, however it could also be due to the strain that heated vocals have on the vocal chords throughout a world tour. The set list cleverly included less songs that included screaming vocals, probably for this reason. By far the best received songs by the audience was Nightmare and Almost Easy. However the encore included Bat Country, A Little Piece of Heaven and Unholy Confessions, which were all fan favourites.
Shadows interacted often with the standing audience, throwing them bottles of water and talking to them. He regularly embraced Gates and Zacky Vengeance like brothers at the front of the stage, and threw a shout out to their ‘fallen brother’ The Rev who passed away in 2009.
Although the crowd went more wild for Synyster Gates, it has to be said that Zacky Vengeance is an underrated guitarist. His solos and swapping between melodies with Gates was flawless, and he deserves more recognition than he gets.
Compared to Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold‘s light show was disappointing, and the sound of Shadows‘ voice was often lost under the screaming of the crowd and the other band members. However the backing vocals provided by all the band members except drummer Brooks Wackerman rang out through the arena.