Who: Avenged Sevenfold
Where: The Oncenter War Memorial Arena
When: May 17th, 2014
Why: As Part of their 'Shephards of Fire' Tour
Last night, heavy metal bands Avenged Sevenfold and Hellyeah invaded Syracuse, NY at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena. Surprisingly, the two bands were able to fill up most of the arena, and it was around 80% to 85% full. Because Avenged Sevenfold hadn't been to the area in a long while, as the lead singer suggested numerous times, the band played a few unique songs just for the occasion. One thing was for sure: the threat of incoming rain and a flash flood watch didn't stop the people from invading the arena in downtown Syracuse.
The concert was extremely loud, most of that because it being a metal concert at an indoor venue. It was loud enough that your ears were rattling all the way home. However, Avenged Sevenfold proved to the masses they could successfully rock and are a driving force in the metal scene.
Screamo metal band Hellyeah opened up to the crowd last Monday night. While some of A7X fans were in disagreement with the band performing that night, they were able to get most of the crowd up and going and ready for the headliner, as most openers should. Hellyeah clearly defined that although everyone was there for Avenged Sevenfold, this was their time, so everyone should enjoy it. The lead singer explained to the crowd that metal saved his life, and he wouldn't trade it for anything. Hellyeah were able to provide an energetic opening set despite the heavy screams coming from the front man. However one might have to be really into that type of music to truly enjoy it.
There was no doubt that the concert last night was indeed a metal show. Avenged Sevenfold came on stage complete with skulls and an obscure, huge demon-like king statue behind them. They rocked out the moment they came on. The two lead guitarists made it look like playing in the band was easy, just a second habit to them as they strummed their guitars.
The band was happy to perform in Syracuse again after not visiting for several years. They performed most of their hits, including 'Nightmare,' 'Welcome to the Family' and a few tracks they didn't play too often off of 'City of Evil'.
It was clear halfway through the set that the crowd at the War Memorial was indeed a rowdy one. Several mosh pits opened up on the main floor. For the most part, many of the participants were enjoying themselves in the mosh, picking one another up if someone fell down (which happened a lot). Many times throughout the set the crowd pumped their fists in the air in true metal fashion. And of course with most metal shows, mostly everyone in the crowd was wearing some type of black. Surprisingly, there were just as many females in the crowd as males, showing that the band can draw both girls and guys to their concerts.
One of the highlights of the set was when the lead guitarist had his solo, as he jammed out for several minutes by himself, greatly entertaining the mass before him.
There were several odd things about the concert, as what usually happens during a metal show. During the last song, which was extremely dark and about sex and murder, one of the band members brought their child on stage. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but the topic of the song was a bit disturbing, and the band might want to decide if they bring younger kids on the stage with them to do so an another lighter tune, even though most of their songs are indeed dark.
When the concert let out, the flash flood watches proved to be true as down pouring rain fell on the concert goers as they rushed out to find their cars in downtown Syracuse.
Overall, Avenged Sevenfold played well, despite the concert being extremely loud. The intense loud noise was really the only negative thing about the show, the sound other than that was fairly decent and you were able to hear all the instruments and when the lead singer spoke into the microphone. If anything, Avenged Sevenfold proved that they are indeed a heavy metal band and will continue to do so for many years to come.
A- or ***/* or **** out of 5 stars
1) Shepherd of Fire
2) Critical Acclaim
3) Bat Country
4) Hail to the King
5) Doing Time
6) Buried Alive
9) Burn it Down
11) Guitar Solo
12) This Means War
13) Almost Easy
A Little Piece of Heaven
Photos done by Leo Pareti: