This weekend is one for the ages. First off, it was Metallica’s inaugural Orion Music and More Festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Bader Field. But before that, hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold had announced a show in Uncasville, Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Arena along with Halestorm.
The arena was nearly filled to the brim when Arejay Hale, drummer of Halestorm ran out on stage donning a skull bandana covering his face. Starting off the show with his own drum fill, the rest of the band took the stage, opening with their latest hit “Love Bites (So Do I)”. Lzzy Hale’s girl power rock n’ roll persona charmed the crowd with her beauty, powerhouse vocals, and kicking guitar solos. The song “Rock Show” sent chills throughout the crowd, as it was a song everyone in that arena could relate to. She showed the crowd that girls can truly rock out just as hard, if not harder than the guys. They ended their set with their Glee-featured power ballad, “Here’s to Us”.
Avenged Sevenfold took the stage, beginning with their staple opener “Nightmare”. After two years of heartache after the death of their best friend and drummer, James “The Rev” Sullivan, the band seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves by the way they interacted with the crowd and each other on-stage with the crowd initiating a chugging challenge between Johnny Christ and a bottle of Scotch and Synyster Gates’ always charismatic faces and gestures toward some fans in the front row. The night took a somber turn when the band began to play “So Far Away”, a song written by Gates after The Rev’s death. “I’m sure he would get a kick out of knowing you guys are out of knowing all of you guys are singing along to his song tonight here in Connecticut.”, M. Shadows said before beginning the song, “We love you Jimmy, this one’s for you.”
When it came to the song’s bridge, singer M. Shadows announced that the show was going to be filmed for a DVD. “Put your lighters and cell phones high in the sky to let The Rev know we are celebrating his life here in Connecticut.” Many tears were shed by members of the audience as memories of the beloved band members, and even lost loved ones, came to mind.
After the ballad, the band surprised and pleased many fans by playing some fan favorites from their sophomore album, Waking The Fallen, such as “Second Heartbeat” and “Chapter Four”. Another fan favorite played was the sick & twisted epic, “A Little Piece of Heaven”.
To close out their last headlining tour before their upcoming hiatus, they ended with another tribute to The Rev by playing his final masterpiece “Fiction”, with only M. Shadows on vocals and some accompanying guitar by Synyster Gates. The show closed with “Unholy Confessions”, initiating a massive circle pit and an explosive pyrotechnic display.
Avenged Sevenfold certainly proved their rightful spot as an opening act for legendary metal band, Metallica for their launch of the Orion Music and More Festival, and most definitely went out with a bang.