Avenged Sevenfold Live Review: ‘Life Is But a Dream’ Begins On MSG

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In 2023, Avenged Sevenfold is playing like it has something to prove.

The metal quintet – singer M. Shadows, rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance, lead guitarist Synyster Gates, bassist Johnny Christ and drummer Brooks Wackerman – released their first new record in seven years on June 2, “Life Is but a Dream…” The group’s eighth feature film brings their proggier instincts to the surface by breaking away from the simpler work that has made them famous with millions of listeners and a high-energy live performance.

When Avenged Sevenfold hit Madison Square Garden on Friday night, it was only the band’s fifth show since 2018. a living spark

Beginning with “Dream” opening songs “Game Over” and “Mattel”, the band added just enough kicks and shouts to keep the energy high, followed by their rapidly exploding old catalog song “Afterlife” and the crowd favorite “Hail to the King.” Despite the group’s physical makeup (often swapping their black makeup for more vibrant outfits and different hairstyles), they haven’t lost a beat in their roles. He trains the crowd as Shadows focuses on his relaxed, deep bellow as the ringleader, Wackerman spent a lot of time playing the double bass drum to maintain his metal feel, and Christ and Vengeance kept the goal low while Gates shot his rockstar pose.

Highlights of the new material were “Nobody”, the first single with its wobbly guitars and unconventional structure, and “We Love You”, a hypnotic anti-capitalism anthem with its repulsive lyrics flowing on giant screens: “More power, more tempo.” / More money, more pleasure / More sex, more pills / More skin, more shillings / Be taller, make taller. The screens added a fun texture to the night, combining great close-ups of musicians with some cool METAL footage of burning houses, band members on fire, cartoon lovers killing each other, and an unbelievably saxophone-playing skeleton.

Avenged Sevenfold punched the crowd with classic after classic on the final episode of their set: Shredfest “Nightmare”, the first hits “Bat Country” and “Unholy Confessions”, and the closing eight-minute rock opera “A Little Piece of Heaven””. Rather than stage pyrotechnics, the crowd was always loudest when Vengeance and Gates went back-to-back and ripped guitar harmonies, with Gates taking the solo home with lots of dramatic kicks and technique.

Perhaps the only misstep of the night was the encore sequence, consisting of a new three-song suite from “Dream” called “G”, “(O)rdinary” and “(D)eath”. After the enthusiastic fan service of the second half of their set, the relatively low-key, mid-tempo song group Avenged Sevenfold was the only new material that felt different from the rest of the songbook and finished the night off a bit. After the band left the stage, fans were confused and the instrumental “Dream” title song came through the speakers for several minutes.

Fortunately, as the audience entered the Manhattan summer, they focused directly on the many high points and began playing guitar into the night.

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