Avenged Sevenfold returns to UCF
Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 15:05
The last time Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) played at the UCF Arena, it was in December of 2008 — a year before founding member and drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan died of acute intoxication and complications due to an enlarged heart.
Nearly two years after The Rev's death, A7X had their UCF homecoming May 9 at the Arena on their "Welcome to the Family" tour and the return was well-received.
"Orlando is like a second home to us," said frontman M. Shadows to the sold-out crowd. "You guys have been awesome, showing love for us after we lost The Rev. We just want to thank you for all of the support."
The Rev's replacement on the drums, Arin Ilejay, did not disappoint. Ilejay easily threw down the same, fast, double-bass beats The Rev was famous for in unison with pyrotechnics on the stage.
Shadows, along with in-sync guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates, were absolute crowd-pleasers.
Along with the pyrotechnics throughout the performance, A7X's set was accessorized with smoke, various lighting styles and an introduction that featured a person dangling from a noose above the stage during the song "Nightmare". The hangman intro was extremely graphic and bloody (fake, of course), to the delight of the crowd.
Before A7X and the hangman graced the stage, Three Days Grace and Bullet for my Valentine each performed one-hour sets.
Three Days Grace, the most radio-friendly of the three bands, played their usual radio hits like "Pain" and "Never Too Late," but especially impressed the crowd when they broke out into a rock rendition of Eminem's "Lose Yourself."
Bullet for my Valentine entered the stage to the crowd's chants of "Bullet! Bullet! Bullet!" and opened up with "Your Betrayal," arguably their biggest hit. Bullet's bassist, the mohawk-sporting Jay James, brought tons of energy to the performance and had the most stage presence.
In a night filled with hardcore guitar riffs, double-bass drums and graphic visuals, the at-capacity UCF Arena was not disappointed. Toward the end of the show, Shadows of A7X asked the crowd,
"Why the f*** did it take us so long to get back to Orlando?"
At the end of the show, the crowd was left wondering the same thing.