LIVE AND DANGEROUS: Ecstasy, perfection and insanity times seven

Allie Daugherty, Staff Writer

Last Friday, lead singer M. Shadows (left) and lead guitarist Synyster Gates (right) gave metal-core lovers a show to remember. Surprisingly, Avenged began performing right out of high school and became an instant mega-hit.

Avenged Sevenfold 4-21

David J. Olender / Photo Editor

You can’t bottle perfection, but you can definitely watch it perform.
SoCal rock band Avenged Sevenfold proved this true Friday night at the San Diego Sports Arena, supported by Rev Theory, Atreyu and co-headliner Buckcherry.

Opening band Rev Theory looked and sounded like a more metal version of INXS, especially with lead singer Rich Luzzi’s frosted Mohawk and open black vest. Despite Luzzi’s constant declarations that “It’s Saturday night, you’re at a rock show!” it still in fact remained a Friday night. Nonetheless, this didn’t stop the audience from having a good time as the band continued to give an enjoyable performance with heavy guitar rifts and catchy vocals.

Atreyu started the fury with its headbanging metal madness. Mosh pits spread like wildfire as this hard-core band shredded its guitars, even playing the instruments behind the members’ heads. The only thing crazier than the band was bassist Marc McKnight’s ridiculous mustache. Lead singer Alex Varkatzas thanked the audience for buying a concert ticket during this hard economic time, reversing roles as the band applauded the crowd for its dedication.

Buckcherry was a disgraceful atrocity. If the world were deaf, the group might appear amusing with the way lead singer Josh Todd kicks his legs around like he has a permanent twitch, but once he opens his mouth, all entertainment value is lost. Todd entered the stage in a black, knee-length trench coat which he soon stripped off to display his excess of tattoos. Meanwhile, his band played along to a medley of clips from the previous presidential election, band footage, porn and finally, some sexually corrupt anime on the giant screen behind it. The group was booed during its entire performance by unhappy concertgoers who were either bored or upset with its presentation of crude thoughts and lewd banter.

Avenged Sevenfold’s performance saved the night with its abundant energy and flawless performance. The band had the audience’s complete attention from the first organ chord of opener “Critical Acclaim” to the last note of encore “A Little Piece Of Heaven.”

Lead guitarist Synyster Gates made jaws drop with his mind-blowing solos while lead singer M. Shadows enthralled the crowd with his gripping stage presence. Drummer The Rev sat regally behind his triple bass drum set, and rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance and bassist Johnny Christ blended seamlessly, rounding out the phenomenal lineup.

The backdrop began as a demonic homage to the Lincoln Memorial, yet was constantly changing. Nevertheless, it always remained dark, intricate and artistic: a perfect complement to the band’s music.

The audience showed its approval by reciprocating the energy and chaos it saw on stage. Shadows was so pleased with the crowd that he stopped the rest of the members from switching out their instruments so the band could play an additional song, continuing the raw excitement.

Avenged Sevenfold never stopped delivering ferocious vocals accompanied by insane melodies, which were demonstrated in songs such as “Afterlife,” “Scream” and “Unholy Confessions.” By the end of the night, both the audience and the band had given everything they had, leaving nothing behind but smiles and sweat.

For more information on Avenged Sevenfold, visit For information on upcoming event at San Diego Sports Arena, visit


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