Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, February 6, 2006

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman


It was over two years ago that Avenged Sevenfold made their way through Columbus playing a small stage on the Warped Tour. Throughout the crowd, A7X shirts, hats and homemade clothes could be seen scattered among the Good Charlotte and New Found glory gear that dominated the day. And when Avenged Sevenfold took the stage in white make-up, black clothes and 80s-metal style, only a few were crowded against the barrier to check this buzz band out.


Fast-forward a few years, and A7X has gotten over the Goth-glam look and emo screams and quickly has become a new favorite with teens. In its music, A7X definitely plays homage to their predecessors such as Iron Maiden and Metallica, but this band as also been able to add the new millennium flare to their metal, making it very accessible yet still as loud and raw as those hey-day bands.


During the Warped Tour days, A7X was a huge band when it comes to indie-label success, but as the buzz around the band grew, so did interest from the majors. Enter Warner Bros. Records who snatched this band up and allowed the band to stay true to their indie roots while tweaking it enough to make A7X a band that is selling out clubs everywhere it goes.


For the first two records, singer M. Shadows was content to just growl and scowl into the microphone, but maybe with some urging of a throat doctor as well, M. Shadows proved on the bands major-label debut and third record, City of Evil. And live, M. Shadows and the rest of his motley crew proved the new sound of A7X is as loud as it is good.


It is no surprise that the first single, Bat Country, is quickly defining the band's sound and ambience. But for most in the sold-out crowd at the Newport, it was just about any other song that garnered the most bodysurfing and sing-alongs. Whether it was songs like Burn It Down or even Waking the Fallen, the title track of the band's second record, fans were in a crazed frenzy for the 70-minute set.


With harsh red and yellow lights dominating the stage, the band seemed almost to come straight from Hades, as the smoke-filled club were playing host to flying skulls dancing along the ceiling and backdrop.

Too often, when bands break it big, there is a notion that either the band came from nowhere and hasn't paid enough dues, or the band sold out to get major label support. In the case of Avenged Sevenfold, it seems as neither rare true. The band put in the time in the trenches, playing hole-in-the-wall clubs and driving across country on Warped in a van. A7X has also proved even with major label backing, it can put out a seriously loud record that includes solid harmonies and melodies and sometimes, very emotional guitar riffs. But even if the band got a bit soft, drummer TheRev never seems to let the band get too complacent. His relentless beats are what drive the music and it was never more present than during the live performance, as the one-dimensional sound from the CD turned 3-D and one could easily see how many time changes and idiosyncrasies are put forth in each song.


Avenged Sevenfold did not disappoint as the sold-out show may have been one of the best shows in a couple of years. Too often, bands that sell out clubs do not put something into the show, but with great lighting effects and simple stage props, A7X gave the fans a show as well as music, and that is a refreshing change.

Zacky Vengeance
Synyster Gates
M. Shadows
M. Shadows & Zacky Vengeance
Zacky Vengeance & Synyster Gates
Johnny Christ