Live Review: Avenged Sevenfold — The Palladium, Hollywood
Tue, 27 Aug 2013 07:42:51
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"Oh shit," exclaimed Avenged Sevenfold mainman M. Shadows. "We're from California, and we've never played the fucking Palladium. Nothing makes me happier than no fucking seats on the floor."
It was an historic moment for Southern California's biggest and boldest metal band. Not only did last night's show mark their first live set at The Palladium, but it also heralded the release of their sixth and best album, Hail to the King. Properly, Shadows and co. took the stage to the ominous boom and fret-burning leads of record opener "Shepherd of Fire". The room simply erupted. Donning a flannel shirt, backwards hat, and aviator shades, the frontman stalked the edge of the stage, getting in the audience's faces, while belting out the verse with flawless cadence. As the hook took hold, a pit began to form and guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance took the reins with their deft six-string mastery becoming the focal point. The duo remains one of the best in metal history, and "Shepherd of Fire" laid down the gauntlet early on. Johnny Christ held down a Satanically seductive low end groove, while drummer Arin Ilejay blasted through the stadium-size beats. The "Shepherd" had arrived to lead the flock to metal Valhalla.
"Critical Acclaim" rolled from a seismic riff squeal into a haunting clean vocal and Shadows' snarl rolled into one punishing refrain, while "Welcome to the (fucking) Family" united the room in a sing-a-long. The vocalist smiled, "I wanna see one of those good old-fashioned Southern California circle pits," before Gates ignited the band's latest single "Hail to the King". "Doing Time" rode the Highway to Hell right over the Sunset Strip as "Buried Alive" just plain buried the competition.
A poignant moment occurred as Shadows dedicated a moving rendition of "Fiction" to "our brother"—Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. The strains of piano reverberated through the venue as he clung to the microphone stand, channeling raw power on the hook.
"Nightmare" shelled out its own Vulgar Display of Power with all in attendance screaming, "It's your fucking nightmare" back to Shadows. Hail to the King standout "Requiem" coasted from Latin screams that wouldn't be out of place at a Satanic mass into a staccato hook, while "This Means War" channeled Pantera and Metallica with a 21st century panache.
Without their trademark production, Avenged Sevenfold's true power shone through. They criss-crossed the stage doling out a sonic beatdown of epic proportions, and that's the mark of a legendary band. You could feel it on the venomous "Chapter Four" and "The Beast and the Harlot"—especially on "Bat Country".
Last night felt like a new beginning for Avenged Sevenfold. In many ways, 2010's Nightmare closed the first chapter of their career, paying homage to their fallen brother while upping the ante on production to Iron Maiden-size heights. This show served as a dawn—just five musicians destroying a stage as if their lives depended on it and doing so with the best songs of their career to date.
The Palladium (and metal) will never be the same.
Were you there?
See what Slash, Korn, MGK, and more have to say about Avenged Sevenfold here!
See our review of Hail to the King here!