Avenged Sevenfold in Raleigh, NC

Avenged Sevenfold’s “Life Is But a Dream…” tour made it’s stop in Raleigh, North Carolina on Friday night, offering fans a powerful heavy metal experience. The set list featured several tracks off their eighth-studio and most recent studio album “Life Is But a Dream…,” marking the band’s first new release in seven years. Concert goers were treated to a blend of both new and classic hits throughout the evening at PNC Arena. Joining them for the evening were pop sensation Poppy and EDM producer, DJ and guitarist Sullivan King.

Avenged Sevenfold showcased a diverse set-list, drawing from their extensive discography. The performance included six tracks from their latest album, “Life Is But a Dream…,” such as “Cosmic,” “Game Over,” “Mattel,” “Nobody” and “We Love You.” Additionally, the band treated fans to older favorites like “Unholy Confessions” from their 2003 album, “Waking the Fallen.” The night wouldn’t have been complete without some of their iconic hits including “Nightmare,” “Afterlife,” “Hail to the King,” and “Shepherd of Fire.”

Avenged Sevenfold, often abbreviated as A7X, is a heavy metal band hailing from Huntington Beach, California. Founded in 1999, the Orange County band drew influence from punk rock, heavy metal and hardcore music genres. The band’s lineup includes vocalist M. Shadows (Matthew Sanders), lead guitarist Synyster Gates (Brian Haner Jr.), rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance (Zachary Baker), bassist Johnny Christ (Jonathan Steward), and drummer Brooks Wackerman, collectively shaping their distinctive and dynamic sounds.

A7X drew inspiration from an array of influential rock bands and artists, including Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Bad Religion, The Misfits, NOFX, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai (known for his work with Frank Zappa), and even Romani-French 1950s jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. The band distinguished themselves with their dynamic approach, seamlessly blending hard and fast-paced intensity with moments of energetic aggression. Over the course of their discography, their sound gradually evolved towards a fusion of traditional heavy metal and hard rock, showcasing their versatility and musical maturation.

In 2001, Avenged Sevenfold introduced their debut album, “Sounding the Seventh Trumpet”. Following this milestone, the band swiftly garnered mainstream recognition with their subsequent releases. “Waking the Fallen” (2003) and “City of Evil” (2005) solidified their status as heavy hitters in the music scene. These albums not only achieved commercial success, but also spawned some of their most iconic tracks, including “Bat Country,” “Beast and the Harlot,” and “Seize the Day.”

Drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan was a pivotal and founding member of Avenged Sevenfold. His creative influence extended to writing the drum parts on multiple A7X albums, including “City of Evil” and their 2007 self-titled “Avenged Sevenfold”. In 2009, the group faced a tragic setback when James “The Rev” Sullivan was found deceased in his Huntington Beach, California home due to an accidental overdose. The band was deeply shaken by this loss, and they took a brief hiatus to grieve and comes to terms with the tragedy.

A7X is more than just a band; it’s brotherhood, a tightly-knit family. The unexpected loss of a key member was a poignant and challenging moment for the group. In 2010, A7X released their fifth studio album, “Nightmare,” as a tribute to their late drummer and friend, The Rev. “Nightmare” soared to the top of the Billboard 200 chart upon its debut, a testament to the enduring legacy of both the band and their fallen comrade.

In 2015, Avenged Sevenfold announced Brooks Wackerman, known for his work with bands like Bad Religion and Tenacious D, was announced as the replacement for the late James Sullivan. Wackerman has openly shared his deep respect for The Rev’s drumming style and legacy, stating that it’s “an honor to play his parts live.” This mutual admiration underscores the band’s commitment to honoring The Rev’s memory while continuing to evolve their music with Wackerman’s unique talents.

Avenged Sevenfold’s discography boasts additional standout albums, such as “Hail to the King” (2013) and “The Stage” (2016), which played pivotal roles in cementing their statue within the hard rock/heavy metal music landscape. Their latest venture, the experimental 2023 LP “Life Is But a Dream…,” pushes boundaries and showcases the band’s ongoing evolution. Noteworthy tracks like “Nobody” and “We Love You” underscore their commitment to innovation and musical exploration while also keeping elements of their original, heavy sounds.

Avenged Sevenfold is renowned for powerful sounds and top-of-the-line production value during their shows. The Raleigh, N.C. show was no exception, featuring a grand stage adorned with massive LED walls that showcased signature A7X visuals, seamlessly complementing each song like a live music video. VIP attendees were treated to an exclusive experience, offering the change to wield replicas of Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengence guitars while also perusing A7X record placards, vintage concert posters and other memorabilia. Additionally, fans were immersed in a unique A7X VR Experience and had the opportunity to indulge in custom arcade game machines, making it an unforgettable experience for A7X devoted enthusiasts.

A7X concluded their most recent North American tour leg on Sunday evening in Newark, New Jersey. The band is now gearing up to take the tour overseas this summer, with scheduled shows in Germany, the United Kingdom, France and various others European countries.

For more information on their music and upcoming tour dates, visit their official website at https://www.avengedsevenfold.com/home.