Avenged Sevenfold/Stone Sour - Newcastle 02 Academy (02/11/2010)
Wayne Madden | Thursday, 04 November 2010
This performance couldn't get any bigger. Stone Sour, containing Slipknot's Corey Taylor and Jim Root, as well as former Soulfly drummer Roy Mayorga and the immensley popular Avenged Sevenfold - who recently added ex-Dream Theatre skinman and founder Mike Portnoy (bar Neil Peart probably the finest musician of his generation).
Having these two acts join forces together, on this incredibly dismal night in Newcastle, means that you're looking at a queue stretching two streets and a venue that is packed to capcity. In all honesty, this bill could have filled the Metro Arena twice over, but that's probably defeating the purpose of an "intimate" performance.
And just when it couldn't get any bigger, support act Hellyeah is a metal supergroup, consisting of Chad and Greg from Mudvayne, Bob Zilla from Damageplan and Vinnie Paul behind the drum kit - the man who founded Pantera! Hellyeah are promoting their latest album Stampede, a Pantera inspired record worthy of a mention, but not something which packs the punch of Far Beyond Driven or The End Of All Things To Come and although it's only their second album it's still evident this band will be destined for greater things. Sadly, most of the audience missed their set, due to locked doors, time delays and queues being the hot button issues of the night.
Stone Sour take to the stage next, for what is billed as a headline set, but realistically only lasts an hour. While that might be a festival headline set, this is the UK, and most headline acts play for at least 90 minutes! Timing aside, and it's unclear as to whether earlier delays have anything to do with this, the band provide an astonishing good live performance. Material like 'Say You'll Haunt Me' from the band's latest album Audio Secreacy is aired in abundance, while older material such as the band's first single 'Get Inside' and 'Bother' from their self titled debut get the biggest ovation. It feels like they've only just got warmed up, and Corey announces a final song, '30/30 150' might be a favourite but you can sense the crowd yearning for more.
Now, Avenged Sevenfold are perhaps the most popular band in the UK at the moment, and judging by the shirts being worn tonight you'd be forgiven for thinking nobody came here for anything else. Their latest album, Nightmares, topped the Billboard 200 and mainstream success has followed the band around since their third album City Of Evil saw the band change style and direction to attract a more Glam meets Vampire friendly audience. Opening with 'Nightmare' and continuing as they mean to go on, the sound is deafening, their audience at their finger tips all night. 'Afterlife' follows 'So Far Away' and vocalist M Shadows stands out as the performer of the evening, with Mike Portnoy doing an excellent job - if not a little misplaced - behind the drum kit.
Some of the older fans start praying for a miracle, that AX7 will invite Vinne Paul to the stage, and they will break off into a rendition of 'Walk' Alas, it's not to be, and 'Almost Easy' brings the bands set to a close, a fan favourite and single from their self titled release.
A little earlier perhaps then might have been hoped, AX7 bid goodnight, and the performance has ended. These two bands have performed exceptionally well, let down only by venue staff and technical issues - fans going home happy and feeling lucky they got to witness such a performance. Bigger venue needed for next time.