Avenged Sevenfold smashed on to the scene with success from a string of best-selling albums including 2005 platinum hit record ‘City Of Evil’  and 2007’s self titled ‘Avenged Sevenfold

Their self titled record topped the Billboard Alternative, Hard, and Rock Charts which got things started then followed two consecutive No 1’s albums. On top of that ‘Hail To The King‘ achieved Diamond, Platinum and Gold awards for album sales in nearly 12 countries.

Avenged Sevenfold fill Manchester Arena will 21,000 metal fans

On top of their album sales success the band have also had a series of top 10 singles including Bat Country, Almost Easy, Scream, Nightmare, Welcome To The Family, So Far Away and Hail To The King.

The band come from California and have become known for their awesome live shows… and Monday night in Manchester was exactly that! Its also not unusual for A7x to sell out arenas worldwide they have headlined some of the biggest festivals in the world.

Tonight, the Grammy nominated hard rock titans were warmed up firstly by veteran rockers In Flames.

In Flames, haling from Sweden first formed in the very early 90’s by guitarist Jesper Strömblad in Gothenburg.  The band were supposedly the originally metal band that was responsible for developing the genre now known as melodic death metal… hows about that??

A fantastic choice to warm up the Manchester capacity crowd. During In Flames early years, the band had a fair few members however by the time Colony was released in 99 the group had established a solid lineup. With plenty of movement on stage and and a 30 year back catalog to choose accompanied with 30 years of live performance their show was nothing less than flourless.

Cracking to shoot as a photographer and even better to watch for their fans. If you can – try and catch them – you don’t even have to like ‘melodic death metal’ I certainly don’t own any albums in that genre but I’d definitely buy a ticket to watch them again! Brilliant.

Disturbed Followed with an pyrotechnic entrance of flames and double peddle action. The heat that came from the flames really took you back and made such an impact to the lighting, music, sound etc – it was awesome to watch.

Dan Donegan (guitar), Mike Wengren (drums) and Fuzz (bass) played together in Chicago for some time before hooking up with singer David Draiman around 1997. The band built up a following on Chicago’s South Side before a demo tape led to their signing to Giant Records, which released their debut album, The Sickness, in March 2000. The highlight of their set for me was ‘Down With The Sickness’ It really brought back some of the heavier side of my younger years.

The band gained more fans and exposure playing the main stage of the 2001 Ozzfest, then broke away to do their own self-described “victory lap” around the U.S. that fall. As much as I enjoyed Avenged for me, Disturbed stole the show. I think a special mention to Mike Wengren for some of the tightest drum playing I’ve ever witnessed! Fair play to that man. A cracking performance all round.

 -x- { – ( A7X ) – } -x-

Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) took to the stage with an explosive start with M Shadows taking a run down the protruding stage, greeting the fans with high fives, who in turn lapped it up. I mean this guys is cooler than cool, I couldn’t imaging him doing anything else other than this job in all fairness. A match maid in heaven as he leads the band in to the album title track ‘The Stage’

Set List

The Stage
Afterlife
Hail To The King
Paradigm
Rapture
Chapter Four
Buried Alive

Currently touring their 2016 album ‘The Stage’ –  After an awkward legal stand off with Warner Bros the ‘left-field’ album was slightly off kilter to their normal style which surprised fans somewhat. After all legal proceedings, the bands new direction is now all the rage – funny how things work out!

The stage set up was made up of 6 huge screens and a rather large floating cube that advanced in to the crowd on certain songs, lightening up with various album art and images, marching soldiers, poppies, kids dolls, space scenes and all sorts of other random animations.

At first, I was thinking ‘what’s the point in the cube’ however as the night went on I grew to enjoy the diversity it offered throughout the performance and once I was up in the stands it did look rather spectacular. Later in the show we were also joined by a huge floating  spaceman… obviously.

Set continued…

Nightmare
God Damn
Almost Easy
Sunny Disposition
Warmness On The Soul
Planets
Acid Rain
Bat Country
A Little Piece of Heaven
Unholy Confessions

The stage presence of ‘M’ is very fitting for this genre of music, very interactive with the fans however I did find some of the track titles a little too cliché, such as ‘God Damn’ and ‘Unholy Confessions ‘ however the song in their own rights are what you would expect. Heavy, loud and in your face.

Avenged Sevenfold have everything you want from a gig and who you’d be happy paying top dollar to go see. Their live shows have everything a gig lover looks for – great sound, spectacular lighting and stage set up accompanied by a well rehearse performance. Pretty sweet gig


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