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Avenged Sevenfold / Stone Sour – Live @ Apollo

The calibre of heavy metal royalty to take to the Hammersmith Apollo stage this evening is something truly remarkable, and with the atmosphere exceptionally high spirited – it being Halloween and all – the attendees are clearly well aware of just how special tonight’s all-star line-up is.

First on are Hellyeah, featuring members of Mudvayne and Nothingface, and backed up by arguably the world’s most famous metal drummer Vinnie Paul (of Pantera fame). Hellyeah’s brand of southern-tinged, groove-metal is rather disappointing and one-dimensional on record, especially considering the talent involved, but in a live setting these seasoned showmen deliver a commanding performance.

Since co-headliners Avenged Sevenfold topped the bill last night at the Apollo, tonight they’re on second. The tattoo-clad, OC rockers take to the stage to thunderous chants of “SEVENFOLD!” all wearing ghoulish fancy-dress masks, and launch into the self-titled, opening track from their latest and most accomplished album ‘Nightmare.’ Backed by a completely over-the-top stage production featuring giant, graveyard gates and mounted flame-throwers, A7X deliver fan-favourites ‘Critical Acclaim,’ ‘Afterlife,’ and ‘Beast and the Harlot’ with ferocity and technical precision.

Since original drummer and founding member – the beloved Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan – passed away just before the turn of the year, Avenged enlisted Sullivan’s favourite drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater and literally the best drummer alive) to finish recording The Rev’s drum parts for ‘Nightmare’ and to allow fans to hear the new music live. Mid-set a huge backdrop featuring a picture of The Rev appears to a roaring reception and frontman M. Shadows describes a heart-rending child-hood story about Halloween with his best friend Jimmy, dedicating a moving rendition of ‘So Far Away’ to his memory.

The band end with the monumental coupling of ‘Unholy Confessions’ and ‘Almost Easy,’ before dishing out an unprecedented amount of “candy” to the mosh-pit. Whether Avenged will continue a recording career without their comrade and song-writing partner is still unknown, but with their latest and greatest album going in at number one in The States, and with a live show this skilled, it’ll be a big loss to the metal world if they decide to disband. Fingers crossed that Portnoy joins on a permanent basis.

So, how do tonight’s headliners Stone Sour compete with such a performance? The truth is Stone Sour can’t top their co-headliner’s set since they just don’t posses that same level of musicianship. What they do have, however, is Slipknot’s Corey Taylor on vocals, who is without question the best heavy metal singer of this generation – and he’s wearing a tutu! Plus, he’s a very funny and impossibly charismatic man.

Backed by a significantly more minimal stage set-up than A7X, they deliver cuts from all three of their albums, with Taylor’s vocal range and between-song-banter being the highlights. Stone Sour’s new tracks off ‘Audio Secrecy’ show a clear improvement since their mediocre self-titled debut, and when the band members leave Corey Taylor alone on stage for a solo a rendition of ‘Bother’ his adoring fans scream back the words with more gusto than even Avenged’s overly vocal fans. It’s obvious how different Taylor and Root want this project to be from their day jobs in Slipknot. In place of the angst and theatrics is humour and humility – and when Corey’s having fun, we’re having fun. As Corey said, “Happy f**king Halloween!”

Originally published by Gigwise here

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~ by cliveparisrozario on November 1, 2010.

One Response to “Avenged Sevenfold / Stone Sour – Live @ Apollo”

  1. Shame A7X didn’t let Portnoy join on a permanent basis…

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