Avenged Sevenfold’s The Stage World Tour came to Fargo, ND Sunday. Avenged Sevenfold, Breaking Benjamin and Bullet For My Valentine all sharing one stage. I believe I have heard this kind of a line up once or twice come from the mouths of fans when asked what their “dream lineup” would be, and honestly you can’t go wrong with this trio. From start to end it’s a night full of kick ass metal!
Bullet For My Valentine went first, priming the crowd. The Welch four-piece kicked off with an energy packed “Your Betrayal”, standing in front of a huge banner dawning the initials BFMV. Playing hits such as “Tears Don’t Fall” and “No Way Out” the band performed outstandingly, feeding off the crowd’s hype. During their heavy wailing of “Waking the Demon” there was crowd surfing and moshing, setting the bar for the level of liveliness to be expected for the rest of the night.
The middle man, Breaking Benjamin took the stage next. This band has never seized to bring on an amazing performance, and despite a few of the members having the flu, they brought everything that was expected of them and nothing less. Coming in strong, they blazed through a variety of their material, from “So Cold”, “Blow Me Away” and “Angels Fall”.
With a large banner of an iris and an array of colored lights and smoke the atmosphere is dark, but fit the band’s edgy sort of ominous vibe. Their set was met towards the end by a medley that consisted of “The Imperial March”, after frontman Benjamin Burnley expressed his geek heart and love for Star Wars.
As to be expected, the crowd was highly engaged, and was a huge part of the show for these guys. They even invited a handful of attendees on stage with them closed out their set with “Diary of Jane”.
Finally the lights went down for Avenged Sevenfold. The Fargodome was pitch black as the screens filled with a galaxy scene and synths filled the air. Suddenly the members burst forth into what was nearly two hours of music! From the early days to the most recent album, the setlist was filled with anthems that the whole crowd sang back with a dedication in their voices that you only hear from “The Family” as frontman M. Shadows calls it. This is a fanbase with a level of loyalty that they showcase in the form of some of the most enthusiastic concert goers I have seen. Moshing, crowd surfing, chanting, hollering, singing, fist pounding- you name it! You will see it!
M. Shadows took advantage of the catwalk to interact with fans and put himself in the center of the chaos. He used every opportunity to talk to thank Fargo for their hospitality, and made a comment about his fellow members being treated a little too well since they were a bit hung-over from partying with the city the night before.
The production as a whole for this show was visually interesting and the lighting was phenomenal. As hits like “Hail to the King”, “Beast and the Harlot” and “Bat Country” were played, the large screens played bizarre animations behind the band, true to the group’s style, and at one point a large astronaut hovered above drummer Brooks Wackerman. The setlist felt a little long, but the crowd loved it and of course chanted for more. For me, and most likely any other “death bat for lifer”, this was a bucket list show and I wasn’t disappointed!
Full AVENGED SEVENFOLD Photo Coverage HERE.
Full BREAKING BENJAMIN Photo Coverage HERE.
Full BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE Photo Coverage HERE.