LIVE REVIEW: Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, In Flames, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, 10/01/2017
After dropping new album The Stage at the end of 2016, Avenged Sevenfold are back with a brand new stage production, joined by returning hard rock legends Disturbed and Swedish melo-death stalwarts In Flames.
Opening the show at a frankly ridiculous quarter past six, In Flames open proceedings well enough. While the “death” part has been relatively absent from the band’s melodic death metal tagline for the last two or three albums, the band are still happy to throw older favourites like opener Bullet Ride and Cloud Connected into their stunted set. However, while it is clear that the band are far happier occupying the more melodic waters they have found themselves recently, those in attendance aren’t so sure, as newer cuts The End and The Truth fall a little flat. Closer Take This Life takes things back up a bit, triggering the first pits of the evening.
Their first appearance on UK shores (bar Download Festival) for more than half a decade, the sold out SSE Hydro is now almost completely full, and the anticipation for Disturbed is almost as high as it is for tonight’s headliners. Knowing this, the band launch into a 15-song set filled with all the favourites. Sure, it’s even harder than normal to take David Draiman seriously post viral video The Greatest Hit Of Disturbed, but he is still a commanding presence. Leading the his band through one rock club banger after another, Ten Thousand Fists’ title track sounds unsurprisingly huge; it’s quite clear that for many here this is a trip down memory lane, and the band are more than happy to oblige. Bringing it home with the inevitable drums of Down With The Sickness, Disturbed leave tonight’s audience feeling fulfilled.
Trailblazers within the metal community, Avenged Sevenfold’s stage production (by their own admission) takes cues from the likes of Beyonce and Kanye West. With plenty of lights, massive screens on either side and a central cube projecting a live feed of the band and a host of incredible imagery, Avenged Sevenfold have certainly delivered on the spectacle they promised.
Opening with The Stage, its overblown nature sits perfectly with tonight’s stage spectacle, while Afterlife brings the first major sing-alongs of the evening; and having skipped Glasgow on the Hail To The King touring cycle, it’s clear that those in attendance are ravenous. Covering their entire back catalogue as well as playing plenty of material from The Stage, tonight is a real treat for die-hard fans. Waking The Fallen’s Chapter Four gets its first UK airing in some years, and even Warmness On The Soul returns to the set, albeit as an instrumental.
Despite these moments of nostalgia, Avenged Sevenfold’s focus is clearly their new record. Unfortunately, this seems to be not as true of the audience. While it’s clear that Paradigm and Sunny Disposition work well on record and are promising on paper, neither seems to have quite the same effect in execution. Whether this is down to unfamiliarity due to the nature of the album’s release or simply a lack of interest in newer material, neither track seems to have the desired effect on those gathered here tonight, and it takes the pacier God Damn (spearheaded by the awesome Brooks Wackerman) to really ignite the audience.
Elsewhere in the set, the band have no such issue in rallying the crowd. Buried Alive is electrifying, while the sing-alongs to Nightmare’s title track are perhaps the loudest of the evening. Tonight may be sold out, but the enthusiastic, hilarious sing-alongs to the guitar leads from Bat Country and fists-in-the-air chants during Hail To The King are the real reminder of how significant Avenged Sevenfold are to so many. The band are very much their own beast, but when they echo the greats, it is a reminder of how important they may become in the coming decades.
Written by: Josh Graham
Photos by: Nathan Roach