Gig Review: Avenged Sevenfold Live in KL 2015

Avenged Sevenfold Live in KL 2015 Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach

As usual, A7X gives more than they’re capable of live and fans in Malaysia appreciate it

23 January 2015 | Surf Beach, Sunway Lagoon | Tune Talk

I shall always remember this night where I ditched Paris Hilton for a rock concert (ha-ha). A grand event was happening at the same time elsewhere last Friday but I chose to go for Avenged Sevenfold without hesitation as soon as I received the kind invitation from Tune Talk. The coolest mobile prepaid in town brought the metal band to Malaysia for the first time in 2012 and according to Jason Lo (CEO of Tune Talk and former local rocker), they decided to have them back to play at the very same venue simply ’cause their loyal subscribers were asking for the band’s return. Lo added that Tune Talk are looking at more big acts this year to please their subscribers.

Now to be very honest, I haven’t been a hardcore fan of A7X, especially not after they went mainstream with the self-titled album in 2007. However, I’d prefer “pop metal” over most of the crap on general radio these days, on any fuckin’ day. The gig had no opening act, I was 10 minutes late and the show started punctually. What were the odds of that? Apparently, the band kicked off with Shepard of Fire, the second single of their last album Hail to the King (2013). The coolest thing I saw when I got there was the Deathbat on the big screen with our national flag as the background. That’s the A7X attitude that we all love. I’m surprised no minister had made any unnecessary complaint about it yet till today.

Avenged Sevenfold Deathbat Malaysia flag jalur gemilang

They band played a fair balance of tracks from their second to sixth album, although of course, I would’ve preferred them playing only their old stuff, which were the albums that made me a fan back then. Before encore, they played Beast and the Harlot, Seize the Day, Chapter Four, Almost Easy, Critical Acclaimed, Buried Alive, Afterlife, Nightmare, Welcome to the Family, Hail to the King, This Means War, Acid Rain and as I mentioned, Shepard of Fire. There was one funny moment when frontman M.Shadows asked the crowd who’s here for the first time and who was here in 2012, but the crowd cheered equally for both. M. Shadows declares that something’s very wrong with these people, and that was the cue for Welcome to the Family. Not sure if this was done in every show, but it’s pretty cute. There was also a long fan-servicing, lady-pleasing solo by pretty boy lead guitarist Synyster Gates.

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For first encore, they played Unholy Confession and everyone’s favourite, Bat Country from, in my opinion, their best album City of Evil (2005). They came back to the stage to play one last song when a lot of people, including myself, were already walking up towards the exit. And I should’ve known ’cause I was expecting them to play this as well – A Little Piece of Heaven – their most respectable, likable and coolest piece since they went mainstream (well, to me at least). The band then stuck around for a bit more to throw souvenirs to the crowd.

Although it was a privilege to get the media pass and the complimentary fanatic zone tickets, I have to say I was very disappointed by the quality of the sound. I’m not sure if it was because of the speakers, the setup or the audio engineer’s problem, but if the concert was going to be in an open air location, shouldn’t the organiser (MR Event) made sure that they have speakers at the sides and the back of the place? I didn’t notice any. It sounded like crap from the far corner where I was standing. The drums and the bass overwhelmed everything as mixing for the vocals and the guitars were too soft. The sound did improve slightly from This Means War onwards but still far from good enough.

Avenged Sevenfold Live in KL 2015 Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach

Well, the poor sound and lower volume couldn’t hide the inconsistencies and screw-ups of the band. But it’s normal, A7X are known to suck at performing live. It’ll always be a challenge for M.Shadows’ vocals to last even half of a gig ’cause he’s a baritone screaming in high tenor range. Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance can never play their harmonised guitar solos without at least few mistakes even though they’re not improvising. As for Johnny Christ, I can recall him playing one bass note so awfully wrong that even the fans around me were laughing about it. Arin Ilejay, who replaced the late great James “The Rev” Sullivan, pretty much stole the entire show thanks to the audio mixing that seemed to have placed the the sound of the drums in front of every other instrument.

Simply put, it wasn’t the best gig I’ve attended for sure. The sound quality certainly spoiled the experience. However, at least the band gave a shit to perform the best they could to entertain their hardcore fans here.

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