Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour rock Rupp



Avenged Sevenfold 2011 – Images by Kentucky Kernel

An orchestral score thundered through a roaring arena and flames lit the torches that littered the stage until a full scale round of fireworks fired off, turning the lights to a full scale horror show, complete with a man that was dropped from a noose at center stage as Avenged Sevenfold jumped right into their first single, “Your Nightmare.”

That is exactly what Friday night’s Nightmare After Christmas Tour was – a perfectly constructed dream of today’s heavy hitters of hard rock.

The show featured four acts, each of which performed as if it was going to be their last show and their ultimate goal was to win over every person in the room, and with the exception of opener New Medecine, they all did.

Hollywood Undead, a rap/rock Linkin Parkesque group, won the crowd over with their tongue-in-cheek lyrics and playful set. The group took the stage in masks, giving off a mysterous vibe, but the music made it too hard to take seriously, and thats exactly the vibe the group intended to give as they eventually shed the masks.

But the real fun began when Stone Sour took the stage. Lead singer Corey Taylor is used to being a headliner as thats all he’s known from his other group Slipknot. His talents as a frontman allow him to control the crowd, and in some ways made it seem like he was actually building a connection with them. From taking pictures of the audience to throw on up on Twitter to seeming genuinely thankful for the support of fans, Stone Sour made the crowd forget about the band they had all come to see, at least for 90 minutes.

But when the lights dimmed before the headlining act, the anticipation was palpable. Police had cleared sections of the stands to make room for pyro sets and the gates behind the stage that read “A7X” were engulfed in flames for the majority of the show.

The group had turned their tour into a real nightmare, without allowing the theatrical aspect to overtake the music. This wasn’t a kiss concert.

Avenged Sevenfold reminded the crowd that they wanted their music to be about the music, so much so that lead singer M. Shadows said he had attended the Rascal Flatts show the night before and noticed they told more jokes than they played music. He and the band mocked them for a few minutes before he laughed and headed into their next song.

In this day and age, with the economy as it is, bands like these have to unite to make tours profitable, and while it may not be ideal for the acts, the fans are finally getting their money’s worth.