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Avenged Sevenfold Capped Off a Night of Outlandish Performances on Monday in Saint Louis

Avenged Sevenfold performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

 

 

–by Jeff Quirin

–photos by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com

 

I’ve been to a lot of rock shows over the last 25 years. Just when I thought I had seen it all, Avenged Sevenfold rolled into town with Falling in Reverse and Kim Dracula. The chaos that ensued over roughly four hours will surely stand out in my concert history as one of the craziest.

Avenged Sevenfold performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

 

Monday night was just about like any other night there was a show at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater. The late afternoon sun warmed the crowd before disappearing into the night. Being late September, the temps did drop at that point. It didn’t take long for the performances on stage to get the nearly capacity crowd heated up again.

Falling in Reverse performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

 

Kicking off the show was Kim Dracula. The performer from Australia played nine songs including several of their singles and songs from their new album A Gradual Decline in Morale. Their aesthetic, and that of the other performers was really something.  Everyone except the lead singer were in animal masks while Kim Dracula sported bright purple hair. That style should have foreshadowed the music to come.

Kim Dracula performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

Elements of metal, hip hop, ska horns, and even a chainsaw all featured in various songs. Yes, a chain saw. From a singing perspective, Kim Dracula reminded me of Jonathan Davis of Korn. The rapped lyrics and singing could be as just at home on Korn’s Issues album. The falsettos could line up with Adam Levine’s. Slipping in and out of both, while throwing in screams at home in a Deathcore song, showed an impressive range of vocal control. Samples from songs of other genres also filled in to create the unique sound. Not to mention the lyrical inclusion of “Chica Cherry Cola” from Savage Garden’s I Want You. I think the highlight for me was their rock version of “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga.

Kim Dracula performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

With the crowd somewhat confused, but thoroughly entertained and ready for more, Falling in Reverse took the stage. Whether you want to categorize them as metalcore or whatever is listed on their Wikipedia page, they came out swinging as you’d expand bands in any metal adjacent genre to do. They, too, played a nine-song set. Starting off with “Zombified” and ending with “Popular Monster”. In between were some of their biggest songs, including “The Monster in Me is You”.

Falling in Reverse performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

They had an interesting set up with an elevated platform that ran the length of the stage. This placed the frontman Ronnie Radke, or one of their two guitarists performing a solo, front and center for the crowd to see. Radke got quite the reaction from the crowd when he said, “I’m always in a mosh pit in my mind. That’s f*cking metal!”.

Falling in Reverse performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

 

One commonality in big venue rock shows like these is that the headliner will have massive screens to project all manner of cool graphics and special effects tailored to each song. Avenged Sevenfold’s production was no different. With three screens, one completely covering the back of sides from floor to ceiling, they upped the ante for future shows. The special effect of showing one of the band members on a stage, but enveloped in whatever color was on the screen, was quite impressive.

Avenged Sevenfold performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

During one sequence that put fire on the back screen the sides showed the guitar player as if they were made of flame. They used it further to show a golden shrouded skull with a crown for “Hail to the King” and a The Shining inspired hallway sequence for Bat Country. I think my favorite was the war and conflict scenes portrayed during “We Love You”. Think high resolution stick figures depicting different ages of history and just how terrible humans can be to each other. Spanish Conquistadors, Vikings, World War II tanks and planes. They spared critique of no one.

Avenged Sevenfold performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

Throughout their 16-song set they pulled from albums of all eras. Of particular interest to me, and to many others in attendance, were old favorites like the aforementioned “Hail to the King” and “Bat Country”, but also “Nightmare” and “Afterlife”. For their encore they came out to three songs from their latest album, Life is but a Dream. Now after an evening of a lot of heavy rock music and screaming this would prove to be an even bigger change of pace than what Kim Dracula put out. I think the first word that came to mind with “G”, “(O)rdinary”, and “(D)eath” was psychedelic. They’re collectively a departure from the Avenged Sevenfold norm. Electronic sounds mixed in with a melodic focus. Quite the palate cleanser to wrap the set and send fans home happy.

Avenged Sevenfold performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Monday. Photo by Greg Artime/ Artimeg.com.

Check out the gallery of photos after the setlist below, then check out Greg’s work over at artimeg.com and at instagram.com/artimeg

Avenged Sevenfold Setlist:

Game Over

Mattel

Afterlife

Hail to the King

Buried Alive

The Stage

So Far Away

Nobody

Nightmare

Bat Country

Unholy Confessions

A Little Piece of Heaven

Encore:

G

(O)rdinary

(D)eath

 

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