First Gig Of The Year – Avenged Sevenfold

It’s been forty days since my last fix…..

Yes, 2017 Gig Season has opened!

So ,which show enjoyed the honour of being my first of 2017? Well, I started off big this year –  Avenged Sevenfold at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.

Accompanied by Little Miss Green Tea, I’d driven up to Glasgow (have I mentioned before how much I dislike driving in rush hour motorway traffic?), rendezvoused with Boy Child and Facebook Son at the Science Centre car park then headed off across the bridge on foot to the arena in time for doors opening (early doors 5.30!)

We then divided and conquered for the remainder of the evening. The boys disappeared off in search of friends and moshing mayhem. Little Miss Green Tea kept me company in the queue for merchandise then headed off to take her seat. Or should I say headed up…..and up!  When I entered the arena bowl, I scanned the seating for her and found her WAY up in very back row almost at the roof. Talk about a bird’s eye view! (Wonder if they supply fans with oxygen that high up?)

The stage set up was instantly impressive- huge video screens, runway out into the centre of the arena, elevated side sections to the stage. Things were looking good.

First up were Swedish melodic metal giants, In Flames. The arena was about half full as they began the opening set of the night. I’ll be honest, In Flames are not one of my bands of choice but the diehards down at the front were loving their set. Having opened proceedings with Bullet Ride, from their Clayman album circa 2000, they powered their way through their seven song set. The Truth from  their latest album Battles was the highlight for me. The Swedes rounded things off with Take This Life. Solid opening set and the arena was filling up nicely.

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Disturbed from Chicago, fronted by David Draiman, were next out on stage. I love their current album Immortalized and was keenly awaiting their set.

I wasn’t disappointed! In fact, I kind of wish this had been a co-headline show and that their set could’ve been longer than the hour they had. Disturbed filled every second of their allotted time and squeezed in an impressive fifteen songs!

From the amount of pyro interspersed throughout their set, these guys were more “in flames” than the Swedes! The heat from those jets was awesome! Little Miss Green Tea said afterwards that she could feel the heat way up at the top. Down the front, we were all getting crispy crittered!

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I’m getting ahead of myself here…

Disturbed opened their set with the title track from their current album Immortalized and immediately had the Glasgow crowd in the palm of their hands. Resplendent in his long black coat, David Draiman commanded the stage. His stage presences, with its hint of anger, is quite something to behold.

The highlight of their set for me, and for thousands of other present no doubt was their rendition of the Sound of Silence. This truly was a goosebumps moment. A strong section and piano were brought on stage while David Draiman encouraged the fans to light up the arena with their phones and lighters. What a beautiful sight to behold. Breathtaking performance. Loved it!

Two songs further into the set, Disturbed played another of my personal favourites, The Light, also from Immortalized. The phones and lighters were back in the air! Amazing song!

Ten Thousand Fists and Down With The Sickness brought Disturbed’s set to a thunderous conclusion. Almost ten thousand Scottish fists were in the air! Hurry back, guys. Glasgow needs a headline show! (hint!)

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A half hour interval had been advertised between Disturbed and the headliners. While the fans watched the stage being prepared for Avenged Sevenfold, two space age roving eyes scanned the arena from giant screens on the stage.

Appropriately at none o’clock, David Bowie’s Space Oddity echoed round the arena as the lights dimmedand the huge screen lit up to show a vast galaxy of planets and stars. Lightning flashed across the screens. The death bat hovered…

Avenged Sevenfold were on the stage opening their set with The Stage, the title track from their current album. Using every square inch available to them they prowled the stage. M Shadows had barely sung a not yet the fans were hanging on his every move.

A couple of tracks in and M Shadows humbly apologised for missing Glasgow out on their Hail To The King Tour. He promised that they would make up for this oversight then, much to his amusement, the Glasgow fans began their customary chant of “Here we, here we, here we f**king go!” M Shadows loved it!

The fans loved Hail To The King which followed. Incredible performance of an amazing song.

The two hour, eighteen song set, spanned the entire Avenged  Sevenfold catalogue. There wasn’t a weak spot in it, although there were a few minor pauses.

Bassist Johnny Christ and guitarist Zacky Vengeance paced and prowled the width of the stage throughout the set, engaging with the fans. (I blew Johnny Christ a kiss and got one back) Synster Gates showed a preference for the opposite site to where I was positioned and favoured the run way alongside M Shadows. Towards the latter part of the show Synster Gates did venture across to where I was watching from. It would’ve been nice to see more of him.

Personally, I’m not a fan of runways as I feel it divides the crowd, however they do mean more “rail” space for the fans to get close to their fans.

There were so many highlights to this set that it is hard to pinpoint the key moments. God Damn, from The Stage, swiftly won favour with the assembled masses. Nightmare was welcomed like an old friend. Among my personal favourites were Planets and the awesome Acid Rain (that’s when I blew the kiss to Johnny Christ) which rounded off the main body of the set.

Having taken a bow, Avenged Sevenfold returned for a three song encore. M Shadows asked the fans if they were ready to go right back to the start and to return to Bat Country. The answer was an overwhelming yes! A Little Piece Of Heaven, in all it’s wonderful chaos, followed. The video screens were working overtime here! Unholy Confessions brought the evening to an end. What a show!

If I have one confession to make it’s this – I wish Gunslinger had made the set. Next time, guys, please!

Tired and weary we all met up as arranged and headed off into the cold dark wet night, having picked up an extra waif in need of a lift home. Bread Boy joined Boy Child and Facebook Son in the back of the car for the wet and windy drive home. 

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About coralmccallum

chaser of rainbows and dreams
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