Friday, August 22, 2014

Review of Avenged Sevenfold concert in Toronto

Vandala Magazine posted a review of Avenged Sevenfold concert in Toronto:

It can either be a complete surprise and an expectation for some that Avenged Sevenfold completely stole the show. To be fair, if a band is headlining a tour over Korn, they must be at a high point in their career.

High point may not actually do them justice, as it seemed every single ounce of space in Molson Amphitheater, which seats 16,000 was cramped and at absolute attention. If one was not at attention for their music, they were instinctively coerced to attention by the sheer production value of the stage effects. Oh man, the stage effects! It would only be fitting for a metal band named after a biblical verse, to have live theatrics that on paper would not be out of place in the Old Testament. It is as if the band acknowledged that while their music may not be for everybody,.. but it bloody well will be if they start jotting notes straight from an episode of Metalocaplypse but had it scaled down to legally and financially feasible.

Only 10 minutes after Korn left the stage, the backdrop was replaced with a grand stair case merged with the black stage on a 14 foot wall. This wall served as a holding platform for 3 Gothic, European church windows, which are often defined by their staple stained glass. Each one of these windows were about 30 feet tall, branded with the signature Skull Bats. A great scatter of fog jet activate and the 2 adjacent windows open up to reveal that they are in fact giant video projections of live stage cameras. Everyone is cheering, excited and curious. Suddenly the giant black curb catches 8 separate small sustained fires, the stage floods red with satanic red lights and a minor riff plays the intro to Shepherd’s Fire. The drums join, the flames shoot skyward and an explosion temporarily omitted every person’s ability to hear for a mile, right before the singer’s first vocal delivery. From this point forward every single person within the amphitheater was hypnotized by M.Shadows’ stage presence.

Nightmare & Domination were comparatively light on the production’s budget and only focused on vivaciously flooding – lighting everything with fuchsia, while tracking Zacky’s & Synester’s solos on the adjacent jumbo screens. Comparatively speaking videos of people sweeping are not flamethrowers or lasers. On record A7X is something that never tickled or offended my fancy. Presuming the all the effects tricks were out of the bag, I rose to leave to use the restroom. The singer, roared some generic banter the concluded with Hail To The King. My initial commentary was “oh please don’t let it be a song about Duken Nukem”. I grinned at the hilarity of my own joke and was apparently so busy inwardly patting myself on back for being so smart that I barely noticed the other odd 15, 999 people around me chanting “HAIL! HAIL” to an epic intro solo. The theatre flooded with satanic red light, only eliminating the hailing devil horns and the band. Then suddenly, the middle 30 foot tall, gothic window, which has been innocuous for the entire 3 songs splits into half. A grimacing, five person tall, skeleton brandishing a crown and sword rises. The verse begins and all eight stage flamethrowers are fired high enough, to feel the heat on your face a hundred meters away, but just short the Skeleton King’s grin, crown and sword hilt. I froze in place, jaw hanging because my instincts just tripped over themselves. On one hand, a life time role-playing games has conditioned me to fight every skeleton, ever. On the other hand, when your body is so confused on adrenaline, giant skeletons popping out of walls will definitely shoot ‘flight’ into your nerves for a fraction of a second.

There is but a single course of action when one realizes that he is so absorbed that the mind attributed the reality of the flames, heat and auditory bombs towards a giant plastic statue on wheels: “HAAIILL TO THE KING!!”. This was the apex of the festival. A primal, adrenal urge to submit to surged through the Amphitheater’s unwashed masses. In that perfect moment, two things have suddenly become clear to me. The first is how the majority of man’s known history was successfully shaped by the bluffing power of monarch minorities inventing the ‘Divine Right’s of Kings’ concept and making the especially convincing case to their impoverished peasant countrymen that “well… God did tell me that it is his divine will for me to be lavishly rich and rule over you. The second is how gratifying it is to rest all ambiguous philosophical concepts of equality, theology and destiny on a sword, a crown and fire. Needless to say, Avenged Sevenfold went on for two encores.

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