Avenged Sevenfold Rock Hollywood Palladium To Celebrate Release of ‘Hail to the King’
In celebration of their new release ‘Hail to the King,’ which hit stores today, Avenged Sevenfold performed a blistering free show last night (Aug. 26) for fans who lined up for tickets last week. The jam-packed Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Strip became nothing short of an A7X religious revival meeting as thousands of fans hung on to and sang every word to most songs, even many of the new ones.
Just after 8PM, the stage went dark and the roof practically came off the vintage 1940s venue as fans erupted. With little fanfare the five band members simply strolled onstage and began with the live debut of the new ‘Shepherd of Fire.’ From there, it was off to the races, with a muscular 90+ minute set list that both spanned the band's entire career with a nice focus on the new material. (The show also featured the live debuts of ‘Doing Time,’ ‘Requiem’ and the anthemic ‘This Means War.’)
With his new shoulder-length hair and trademark reverse ball cap and dark shades,, frontman M. Shadows prowled the stage like a panther, comfortably conducting the fans in several call and responses that illustrated just how tight the connection is with this band and its fan base.
What was most stunning perhaps was the lack of any major production props or
pyrotechnics. This was simply a band onstage with its gear doing what it does best. In many ways it was a throwback to A7X’s earliest days at little local Orange County clubs like Chain Reaction in Anaheim. With no fires or giant skeletal heads surrounding them, the band was free to be loose and focus solely on the music. Given the intimacy of the venue, they also had a chance to playfully acknowledge many the fans as the show evolved, with lots of hand gestures, eye contact and tossed guitar picks.
The giant dance hall floor became one swirling mosh pit for many parts of the night and the mood was celebratory and festive. Clearly the band was having a good time. It's one thing to see these guys on a giant stage with full production, which of course is quite impressive. But it's another to see them scale back with nothing to fall back on but strong material and seriously focused playing.
During the show, M. Shadows referenced the late Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan several times. Members of Sullivan’s family, including his father, Joe, and his sisters were also in attendance. Sullivan's father told Loudwire that guitarist Synyster Gates had reached out to him to insist that he attend, as the band has maintained close contact with the Sullivan family over the years. Once an A7X family member, always an A7X family member. All the more reason to appreciate these guys.
The show thundered to a close with a three-song encore set that included ‘Afterlife,’ ‘Bat Country’ and a particularly ferocious ‘Unholy Confessions.’
Newly minted official member, drummer Arin Illejay was solid, but in the end it mostly came down to Shadows, Gates, Johnny Christ and Zacky Vengeance, preaching to the faithful choir before hitting the road and taking it around the world. What an incredible party to get things started.
See Our Photos from Avenged Sevenfold's Palladium Performance