Saturday, December 15, 2007
Nostalgia Fuck: Avenged Sevenfold
I am a member of a very small group of people who consider Sounding the Seventh Trumpet by Avenged Sevenfold one of their favorite albums of all time.
Now, it’s not so unusual to have an Avenged Sevenfold album in your top 5 or 10 list. I’m sure plenty of young teens have two, the two albums they’ve released since they became one of the biggest bands in the world. I don’t know what they’re called and I don’t care because I listened to them online and I didn’t like them and am too busy listening to Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and then shredding inferiorly.
What makes Sounding so good? The backbone of the album is the drumming. Insanely, inhumanly busy. The meat of the record is the brilliant combination of butt rock and hardcore. It’s the album that single-handedly got me interested in metal.
I saw A7x at Reed College in 2002 on the Sounding tour and talked to their guitarist, Synyster Gates who told me he was jazz-trained and that’s how he’s so good which got me into playing jazz guitar.
Then I noticed a hole in A7x’s tour schedule in the summer of 2003 and booked them in Santa Fe with my short-lived A7x-inspired band Invisible Music opening. The show sold out to 125 people.
The next time I saw them was at the Roseland in 2005. I’d heard their new album, which had them at number 1 on TRL, and thought it sucked. The drumming was perfectly normal. The sound was sort of pop-punky in a way. I felt a little betrayed. But I couldn’t stay away.
When I got to the show, I finally got it. It started in pure blackness then suddenly risers lit up underneath the two guitar players locked in a harmony. An enormous backdrop changed behind them, at one point becoming a huge American flag.
It was awful but it was glorious. It was the cheesiest, most over the top show I’d ever seen. It was more GNR than GNR. It wasn’t Sounding, it wasn’t changing my life, but I got it.
When I saw A7x was coming back, I contacted their publicist because I wanted to do a story where I’d take them out to strip clubs after the show. Everyone knows this town has strip clubs in spades and A7x are really into strippers. The response from the publicist? “We must pass on this interview idea.”
Lame. But the show was not lame (and she guest listed me anyway, thanks!). The lights and backdrop were toned down and A7x still pulled it off. Synyster pointed out into the audience and nodded as he soloed. I winked back from the balcony. I get it.
But most of the people there weren’t laughing. They were adoring (see tattoo photo above). Just like last time, there wasn’t a single song off of Sounding (sigh) but there were 2 off of Waking the Fallen, the transition album into becoming the new GNR, which is pretty OK. I bootlegged “I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1” because I was surprised to hear it live. It’s a great song because it’s pretty much just the heavy ending of a power ballad for 8 minutes straight.
Just as my friend Asa and I were leaving A7x launched into “Chapter Four” for their encore, also off of Waking. Asa pushed me through the pit to the fifth row or so. During the guitar solo, I had him throw all 160 pounds of me on top of the poor 16-year-olds beneath.
I never crowd surf. I hate it. It ruins shows. But this show was so ridiculous, so (I must say it, there’s no other word for it, forgive me) retarded that I had no choice. And I as I sat atop the teens—wearing my full jacket, hat and gloves—I looked square at each member of the band and asked with my eyes, “Do you remember me? Do you remember Santa Fe? Do you remember Sounding the Seventh Trumpet?”
Before I got an answer, I was in the arms of a security guard and being hustled through the barricade. I guess I’ll have to wait till the band agrees to go to a strip club with me.
*A note on the title: I’ve decided to code live reviews here on Simmantics according to different types of sex. This is partially inspired Paige Richmond’s description of Planes Mistaken for Stars as “still fucking” after a breakup.