The countdown had begun as the Avenged Sevenfold timer reached 10 seconds. The Sovereign Bank Center in Camden was completely dark besides the glow from the giant wall monitors that showed the image of the winged Avenged Sevenfold skull head and the red digital numbers ticking away the moments until M. Shadows (vocals), Zacky Vengeance (guitars), Johnny Christ (bass), Synyster Gates (guitars) and The Rev (drums) would come out from backstage and give the crowd what they had waited nearly three hours to see: that nasty metal-core thrash they love so much. One! Zero! Finally, the wait was over.
Sounds of automatic assault rifle shots filled the arena and images of our nation’s finest running and shooting in what appeared to be Iraq came across the large screens. Moments later, the sound of an organ filled the air. The crowd exploded into cheers of approval as the black drape hiding the stage fell to the ground and the images of Avenged Sevenfold were illuminated by the stage lights. The chaos had truly started and only grew more satisfying with every music note.
Avenged Sevenfold’s high-energy performance radiated into the crowd, causing explosions of instant circle and mosh pits, as Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance’s harmonizing guitar solos ripped through the air. They started their set with Critical Acclaim, from their latest self titled release, then took the crowd back in time with Chapter Four, a track from their 2003 album, Waking the Fallen.
One after the other, Avenged Sevenfold fired off song after song effortlessly. Images and mini videos projected on the side stage screens, illustrating every song they played, as pyrotechnics added a rock star flare. M. Shadows only stopped to talk every once in a while, chatting with the crowd, making jokes about Johnny Christ, laughing and reminiscing with his fellow band mates about how their first experience in Philadelphia was an intimidating one. They told us to go back to 1986, Shadows commented.
That was definitely not the case six years later.
Ever since their breakthrough to the mainstream limelight, Avenged Sevenfold has endured this type of stereotypical ‘sellout’ attitude from the cities they’ve played in and people they’ve performed for, from both the metal and hardcore scene. “People were labeling us with metal,” Zacky Vengeance said in a telephone interview.
Their musical creativity of incorporating different styles of music and showing great artistic courage was misunderstood by many and resulted in unwanted labels.
“A metal band that does different things or a hardcore band that plays punk rock with metal influences,” Zacky said about things they were called.
What they really wanted to do was eliminate all presumed notions of Avenged Sevenfold – prove themselves as innovative musicians and “try to be the best song writers that we can be as opposed to a good metal band…we just want to write great songs.”
The Taste of Chaos crowd cheered endlessly, moshed continuously, and sang along with every song. They ended the show with “Gunslinger,” Avenged Sevenfold’s tribute to the United States troops fighting in Iraq. ‘USA’ was chanted right before the band started to play and a feeling of heavy metal patriotism filled the air.
The guys said good night, only to take the stage a final time with an encore performance of the Danny Elfman inspired song “A Little Piece of Heaven,” complete with the animated featurette on the stage side monitors. Confetti snowed down from above, as the tale of two lovers deceased and damned was performed by these enthralling musicians.
It was a night worth saving to the memory as one of the best concerts ever attended. With opening acts from all over the rock spectrum, local and national (Bullet for My Valentine and Atreyu preceded A7X) and even the world (metal bands from Japan), who could ask for a more gratifying Taste of Chaos?
Avenged Sevenfold’s set list included:
Beast and The Harlot
Seize the Day
A Little Piece of Heaven
You can contact DaVonne Armstrong at email@example.com.