By Brendan Lee
The Pacific Coliseum
Saturday, February 17th
It takes a massive sound to fill a stadium, and it takes another level to make that same arena feel small. On the last stop of their The Stage world-tour, the axe-wielding demigods in Avenged Sevenfold devastated the Pacific Coliseum, and no matter the vantage there was no escape from the pummelling amplitude.
Welsh power-metal heads, Bullet for My Valentine, began things with riotous energy. Lead-singer, Matt Tuck, more than fulfilled his duty as opener, inciting the crowd — butts still in seats — to stand up and throw down to the shredding speed-guitar. Next came Breaking Benjamin and, with them, a more melodic, proggy interval. The set highlighted by a Darth Vader-inspired medley, in which red lightsabers unsheathed to a mix of covers that streamed between ‘Imperial March’, ‘Schism’, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, and Pantera’s, ‘Walk.’
At the strike of 9 o’clock, massive screens descended overtop the stage and, backed by a million vibrant nebulas, Sevenfold arrived. With aviatored, red flannelled, M. Shadows at the helm, the band battled through a huge list of songs, guitars in a constant duel of fates continuously painted before breathtaking visuals that never seemed a gimmick. But the concert was more dynamic than an all-out assault. The fiercest moments juxtaposed with blue-lit guitar interludes, ballads, and a heart-wrenching video tribute to the band’s fallen drummer, The Rev.
Avenged Sevenfold has been hard at work since dreams of stages this big in high-school classrooms. Nearing two decades at the charge, accomplishments abound. The sheer magnitude of performance and production value the band brought Vancouver was meteoric, and it’s apparent that whatever goals they’d set for themselves as misfit kids, whatever visions of the future, in no way could they have ever imagined this.Avenged Sevenfold, Pacific Coliseum