Avenged Sevenfold Concert Review Talking Stick Amphitheater-Phoenix AZ 10-08-23
Review and Photos By Roc Boyum
Avenged Sevenfold are back after a nearly six year hiatus from touring; and they brought their Life Is But A Dream tour in support of their latest 2023 release of the same name to the Talking Stick Amphitheater in Phoenix, AZ on 10-08-23. On this night, their show was unleashed on a capacity sold out Phoenix audience with special guest artists Falling In Reverse and Kim Dracula. It was still a little warm in AZ but for this outdoor venue, it was the perfect night to spend with Avenged Sevenfold aka (A7X) and these AZ fans showed up in force. Arizona fans really love their live music and showing up on this night with a sold out show further proves why many consider AZ as the new hotbed for live music. In fact, A7X singer M. Shadows commented on this show’s attendance by not only thanking the Phoenix audience for their support but he also imparted; this is one of two shows that are the largest shows of this tour.
The TikTok sensation, Kim Dracula opened the show with their ten song set that included the song that made this band famous; “Paparazzi ” by Lady Gaga. I expected a truly roaring response from the audience for Kim Dracula considering as of April 2021, their cover of “Paparazzi” attained 13.4 million views on TikTok, 33 million views on Youtube, and 55 million listens on Spotify; so these guys definitely have a large following. As an opening act you sometimes find that the concert goers take the time of the opening bands to hit the merch booths and that’s exactly what these fans did…the merch lines were insanely long!!! None the less, those who choose to watch the show seemed to really dig what Kim Dracula was laying down; which was a strong set of their multi musical styles that include hardcore punk, metal, alternative and rock.
Get Into Kim Dracula Here!
Falling In Reverse:
The ever popular Falling In Reverse were up next and they gave the phoenix audience a great show that included songs from three of their four LPs and a string of songs that were released only as singles but are fan favorites none the less. The band opened with “Zombified” which is incidentally, one of the their single releases and a song that had the audience singing from the moment these guys hit the stage. From the onset, singer Ronnie Radke commanded the show from up on an elevated stage that is pretty much only deep enough for one person, and runs the entire length of the stage. Radke takes full advantage of this slightly elevated linear grid by running back and forth as he interacted with the fans. This also gave him a better means of doing what he does best….being the showman that he is. The band’s set was a fast paced set of ten songs that included a cover of Smash Mouth’s “All Star”.
To finish the third song in their set, “Losing My Mind” , singer Radke…..said: Ladies and gentleman, Luke Holland on the fucking drum set!!! Holland then unleashed a short but shredding solo that was an all out attack on every drum and cymbal on his kit; very cool!!!
Mid way into their set Radke commented on the insane amount of people in attendance for this show and asked everyone to join together and wave their arms back and forth to create a mental mosh pit that turned the entire venue into a mass of swaying arms that led into the Smash Mouth hit, “All Star”!
Before the band finished their show, singer Radke imparted a monologue to the audience to thank A7X for two reasons; first Radke said; “I look up to them as musicians, song writers, they’re fucking AWESOME and second; for keeping us on this tour when everyone else abandoned us and kicked us off thieir tour because of how insane I am obviously”. He also went on to say; “look at this audience tonight, thank you – the fans – rock and roll is alive here in 2023, thank you”! They finished their set with crushing version of “Popular Monster” that received an insane audience response and had Radke saying at the end of the song...”Thank you, you guys are insane, I’ll never forget this, I’ll never forget this…Thank you”!
Get Into Falling In Reverse Here!
As Avenged Sevenfold were about to enter the stage, the crowd was heard chanting SEVENFOLD-SEVENFOLD, in anticipation for the arrival of this long awaited great band!
The band presented a shredding set of thirteen songs in the regular set with an additional three song encore; all of which had the Phoenix audience electrified throughout their show.
The band came out under the guise of a darkened stage that was punctuated by multiple flashing lights that were moving across the stage in every direction at a pace that was equal to the frantic pace of the opening track “Game Over”. For the most part, the stage was shrouded by complete darkness with only the large rear screens with images and flashing lyrics to illuminate the stage. The song’s manic gait and rapid fire vocal lines seamed to fuel the guitarists, who, as shadowy figures, were quickly on the move from one side of the stage to the other and yet ostensibly, singer Shadows was nowhere in sight. Looking closer at the darkened stage, one could see Shadows seated near the front of the stage dressed in all black and donning a black ski mask to further obscure his identity. Once in a brief moment, a flash of light would dash across the singer to partially expose his presence but other than that, he was pretty much concealed from view as he sat at his perch in almost complete pitch black darkness!
At the end of the third song “Afterlife” Shadows addressed the audience by asking…“how many of you here knew we canceled last night”??? Surprisingly, not that many fans acknowledged that they had heard about the canceled show. Shadows went on to explain;…“After Aftershock, I got really sick and couldn’t even make a noise and had to cancel the show last night; wanna know the secret……a bunch of fucking steroids in my fucking neck”. He then said…“I am going to sing until I can’t sing anymore because this show and Salt Lake City are the biggest shows of this tour…so truly, this one is for you.”..”Hail To The King” baby”!
The mid tempo rocker “Buried Alive” was a nice switch up in pace with it’s steadfast groove, belting vocals and sweet guitar harmonies that were also shredded as they escalated the song to it’s heavy grinding ending. The grinding guitars for the song’s outro, punctuate the demanding vocals that are accented by chanting phrases. Shadows conducted the capacity crowd to shout along in the chat parts to create one hell of an emphatic chorus to emphasize the lyrics exclamation.
At the end of the song “The Stage”, guitarist Synyster Gates wowed the audience with his musical prowess for an extended version of the song’s acoustic guitar ending with a quasi Spanish style shredding of his guitar; real nice!
At one point in the show, Shadows asked the Phoenix audience to raise their cell phones and lighters to light up the sky in honer of the ones who’ve left us on this incredible journey. The venue then lit up with cascade of shinning lights that made for an incredibly emotional experience.
Around one hour into the show, the stage was dark for a moment which prompted the audience to start chanting…SEVENFOLD, SEVENFOLE, SEVENFOLD!!!
Shadows commented about the beauty of desert nights by introducing the song “Bat Country” by saying…“we once filmed a video in the Desert” “You wanna go down to “Bat Country”?
At the end of a shredding version of “Unholy Confessions” Shadows exclaimed…“Ladies and Gentleman, Brooks Wackerman!” That led drummer Wackerman into his short but brutal assaulting solo that was an onslaught of a double bass drum undercurrent with a cascading tom tom attack that when finished, prompted Shadows‘ comment, “that was an infectious groove…everybody loves an infectious groove Brooks!”
Shadows then went on to introduce the last song of their regular set, “A Little Piece Of Heaven” by stating…“this is an infectious groove!” The band played the song on a mostly darkened stage that was punctuated by subtle red and blue lighting that became bright flashes of white lights towards the song’s end. The band left the stage for the encore without any goodbyes and left the stage in complete pitch black darkness. After a few moments, a video started playing on the large overhead screens, with the band coming back to the stage to finish the night with G, (O)rdinary and (D)eath respectively. After their last song “(D)eath” , they played a recording of “Life Is But A Dream” over the PA with the stage lit in a ton of backlit glowing red lights. Upon of the song’s final conclusion and final note on the piano, the stage was then completely dark with the large back screen in black displaying the French word Adieu in white script; as in the commonly used phrase...I bid you adiue! And that my friends was the end to a brilliant show by A7X. BTW; Those shots in his neck really worked, as he not only lasted the entire night, but he kicked some serious ASS!!!
Thanks you A7X for coming out and touring and putting on a killer extensive show that was nearly two hours long! We should all know that it’s especially tough to get pumped up with a ton of medication to be able do do a show – and I for one would rather have a band cancel a show because they know they can’t give the fans a show that’s not only up to their standards but giving the fans their monies worth as well. Thanks to A7X for going the extra mile to be able to make the Phoenix show. Thank you M. Shadows and A7X for putting on such a great and intense night and kicking ASS music!
Get Into Avenged Sevenfold Here!