Avenged Sevenfold is One of The Best Bands in America: Show Review
Often erroneously lumped into softer, newer corners of the heavy music world, California's Avenged Sevenfold are much more influenced by the old school metal of Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy than some realize. And that was on display Saturday night at the American Airlines Center as the band (plus a couple of outstanding warm-up acts) delighted an arena full of fist pumping, black-clad metal heads.
Rachel Parker Ghost BC
First up was Sweden's Ghost BC, a satanic outfit who actually put on a hell of a show. Dressed up like a zombified Pontiff, lead moaner Papa Emeritus II roams the stage with demented glee.
And while it might be tempting to dismiss Ghost BC as mere sideshow, the songs are anything but a joke. Mixing in an interesting psychedelic pop influence, songs like "Monstrance Clock" and "Ritual" were diverse and devastating. The band's over the top devilry seemed to thrill folks in the mosh pit, but others in the crowd mumbled with dissatisfaction. Seems some higher power must have agreed as during the last song from Ghost BC, the sound inexplicably went dead.
Rachel Parker Deftones
Next up were Deftones, one of the elder statesmen of alternative metal. Performing a tight eleven song set that spanned the band's 25 year career, Chino Moreno and crew were on their game. Songs like "My Own Summer" and "Change (In the House of Flies)" were enthusiastically received by a sprawling mosh pit complete with female body surfers. Seeing Deftones in action certainly makes one understand the band's longevity. Indeed, the band's onstage energy was that of band making its first tour.
Finally, at a little past 9 p.m., Avenged Sevenfold hit the stage. With a massive, medieval-castle-on- fire backdrop, the band started off with a roar, performing "Shepherd of Fire" followed by "Critical Acclaim."
Guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance displayed the same kind of in unison fire power of Judas Priest's K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton. Indeed, on "Nightmare," one of Avenged Sevenfold's best songs, the interlocking guitar play was very reminiscent of early Judas Priest.