Avenged Sevenfold: Live! (an essay)

My Avenged Sevenfold story. 😍😍

Avenged Sevenfold: Live

I got to see one of my favorite bands live. That’s right, Avenged Sevenfold. It was a great experience. Music, and their music, moves me in very complicated and in-depth ways. I enjoy their music, their prog-style and knowledge of music, they are a wonderful band.

Part of me wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to go see them. Part of the issue was transportation, part of it was money. But I worked out those details, and got to see them.

I really enjoy their music. For a while now, I’ve been listening to their music. I first fell in love with their style when I started listening to their album Nightmare. It’s a really good CD, I find the album to be powerful and powerfully haunting. It was the album that got me into them. It wasn’t too long after where I discovered their album Waking the Fallen, which I really enjoyed. It was unlike music I’d never really heard before. It was heavy, but brilliant. And I appreciated their style of heaviness, because the vocals were rough and raw, what I loved, yet they had that clean progressive rock style. In other words, they knew what they were doing musically for this album and for all their others. They are talented and amazing in what they produce.

I of course also started listening to their album Hail to the King, which I loved. And then their most recent album, The Stage, which in my mind really cements their talent in my mind. They are eclectic and unique. They have their own sound.

For a while now, I’ve been listening to their album Avenged Sevenfold, as I write. This has been nice, honestly. Their music pumps me up and gets me in the mood to write. This has been even more helpful, because I’ve been in a writer’s block, one could say, and I need music that’s going to uplift me and inspire me, challenge me.

Anyway, back to the concert: My friend dropped me off, and I went inside. I was so excited to see them, I couldn’t wait even a couple of hours. But alas, I had to, because they were still a little ways away.

I went to find my spot on the lawn (the venue was Usana Ampitheater), and chilled for a little bit. What could I expect, except for this to be an amazing time? I definitely allowed myself to chill, then deciding that I needed to get food, maybe check out their merchandise.

So, I went to see what was going on, hoping to get a t-shirt or something, I was excited. The line was super long, but I decided it would be worth it to hang out in the line for a while. Because I wanted a cool Avenged Sevenfold shirt. So, I hung out. And when it was finally my turn, I got a shirt with the words God Damn written on the front, in bold white letters on a black shirt. I liked this idea, because to me it seemed subversive. But very cool. It was something I wanted, and it was a good deal. I had to splurge for this shirt, it was too cool.

As I went to go get some food, deciding between an expensive piece of pizza or something else, I couldn’t help but think about the joy that rock stars must have in their life. Of course, I have heard that rock stars have their own issues, it isn’t all perfect and smooth for them. But, as I was thinking about how fun it would be to be a rock star, it made me wish that I could be charismatic like them and make an impact like them. That night, as I was thinking about what I’d just seen, an amazing concert experience, I thought about I wished so bad that I could move people the way Avenged Sevenfold has moved me. I was hoping I could accomplish this with my writing. I realized that it probably will never happen, but that was okay, I was hopeful that nonetheless maybe I’ll do something amazing with my art one day. Just like this great band.
I settled on fries and bottled water, not the best dinner and it was more expensive than I’d anticipated, but I wasn’t that hungry, probably because I was so excited for them.

I listened to A Day to Remember and a new band called Horror, and I enjoyed seeing them live.

And then, I watched as they set up for Avenged Sevenfold. I couldn’t help but think, there are other good bands out there, why does this band specifically speak to me so much? I think, I realized in retrospect, I like their heavy rock sound, I like their progressive style and experimental approach, and I like their vocals. Actually, getting used to M Shadows’ voice took some getting used to, when I was young, I actually didn’t like his voice. But then I started listening to them, and my attitude changed.

I couldn’t help but feel so excited that they were going to come out soon enough. I got excited as I watched everyone set up the stage, and I couldn’t help but feel so excited.

Drum roll … drum roll please … and then, feeling like a stud, I watched as they came out on the stage.

They opened up with their song The Stage, which is a song I like a lot, but even though it’s clearly one of their best, I feel like they have better songs. Which is crazy, they must be a good band if their best isn’t even their best. I’d seen this song live in a music video, and I’d really liked it, so this was a strong song to open up with. Very fun, intense, complex: amazing.

The next song they played was Afterlife. This song I’ve really been obsessing over with, especially as I write. I love this song, it’s got such a nice opening and it’s such a nice style. And great lyrics, very hopeful. I love the bridge the most, I couldn’t help but sing it when they got to it.

I didn’t know what to expect, I knew that I was just going on for the ride. I got super excited when they played Paradigm, and I realized that the song to me seemed to be about artificial intelligence and augmenting ourselves with technology. At least in that moment, the lyrics seemed to be about that. They painted an image in my mind.

They played all the songs I’d want to hear. The songs that hit me the most, however, seemed to be songs I’d underrated as I listened to them. I literally probably had the most fun with their song Buried Alive, because it’s so fucking good, goddamned good. The riffs near the end of the song are killer, and I honestly can’t even explain why, it’s just such cathartic and freeing music. I couldn’t help but really get into that song, really enjoying it. I told myself in moments like this, that I really needed to engage with life, because life is so fleeting and because we don’t know what happens to us. We need to engage deeply. So I chose to do that with Avenged Sevenfold.

All the while, I was wishing I could, with my art, my writing, impact people the way that rock stars have impacted my life. They have really given me pause, made me think about the world in different ways, while, despite their darkness of heart, offer a lot of hope to me. I think that if I have music, I have a reason to live. Even the songs are countercultural. We need that counterculture, goddmamn it.

One of their best songs live though was literally their song God Damn. I was so fucking blown away by that song, because it’s a really unique song, even among their discography. I think that song really exemplifies Avenged Sevenfold’s unique musical style. They aren’t afraid to take risks, yet they play with such a deep creative sincerity. And it’s one of their heaviest songs, which I realized in that moment.

Though, I was surprised at how heavy the song Hail to the King was. I love that song, it’s so beautiful, but I’ve always taken for granted how deep and heavy that song is. It’s wonderful. It’s amazing.

I could go on and on about their set list, but I think it’s important to focus on how their music makes me feel. And while I understand that what they have is unique, a unique expression and gift to the world, I know that I may never be able to, with my writing, achieve what they have. But I nonetheless take inspiration from their music, I find it cathartic and beautiful, I love their music and I hope that I can at least leave some kind of legacy with my writing. I hope that I can one day be as cool as Avenged Sevenfold. It would be nice, for sure.

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