by Cynthia Jo
– Columnist —
AUGUST 26, 2013 at Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, CA. —
Avenged Sevenfold is back with what might be the crowning to their career. Their fifth full-length studio album Hail to the King was released on Tuesday Aug. 27 and is set to be their second No. 1 album of their career.
To celebrate their triumph the band played a free show Monday, Aug. 26 at the Hollywood Palladium. Avenged Sevenfold are no strangers to pleasing fans, as this was the second free record release concert the band has put together to celebrate—the first being a free show at what was known as the Key Club in 2007 for the release of their self-titled debut.
Avenged Sevenfold loves celebrating with their hometown fans and on that blistering Monday night, fans reciprocated their love for the Huntington Beach natives.
Fans gathered as early as 6 a.m. for this free show and the doors did not open until seven that evening. The show began just a quarter after eight. Fans instantly exploded as the first notes to “Shepherd of Fire” began to play. New drummer Arin Illejay promptly began beating on the drums as bassist Johnny Christ and guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance joined in with the melodic growl of vocalist M. Shadows.
Shadows showmanship and persona transcended well with the crowd—his call and responses represented the kind of relationship the band has with its fans. The fan base has grown strong over the years since the bands local shows 14 years ago at Chain Reaction. On that night all the fans were in sync with the quartet every step of the two-hour set.
The patriotic “Critical Acclaim” and “Welcome to the Family” from the last album “Nightmare” followed the introduction. The crowd eagerly chanted and sang along.
Avenged Sevenfold success has maintain strongly throughout the years that the band is used to playing in stadiums where pyrotechnics are often used. However, at the Hollywood Palladium, there is no room for that—and the band did not need any of it either. They rocked every single moment and had the energy that metal represents.
It was questionable if the band was going to be able to succeed after The Rev’s death, but Hail to the King’s passion and heavy metal influence would have the late drummer proud. Needless to say the many reference M. Shadows made that night about him. Clearly, The Rev was there in spirit and his presence was much felt, especially when “Fiction” was performed. “Fiction” is said to be one of the last songs the late drummer ever wrote and he was known to have the word tattooed on his chest.
The show continued with “Nightmare” and songs of the new album “This Means War” and “Requiem.” Fans were able to stream the album over the weekend on iTunes and it seemed that everybody was singing along to the new songs as well.
This night also marked the 10th anniversary for the bands sophomore album Waking the Fallen, which helped the band gain success before hitting mainstream stardom. Favorite songs like “Chapter Four” and the encore finale “Unholy Confessions” reminded fans why this band is one of the greatest nu-metal bands of this decade.
The free record release concert was the staple to what will be a very successful tour they are about to embark on. Fans through the nation can catch Avenged Sevenfold on tour with Deftones and Ghost B.C.
Shepherd of Fire
Welcome to the Family
Hail to the King
This Means War
Beast and the Harlot