The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

View this profile on Instagram

The Trend (@thetrendusao) • Instagram photos and videos


Avenged Sevenfold North American Tour Part 2 (Concert Review)

Gary Jackson
From his seat, Gary watched one of his favorite bands, Avenged Sevenfold, perform live in Texas.

“Life Is But a Dream” is the perfect way to describe my experience with the Avenged Sevenfold North American Tour Part 2. The concert was at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX Sunday, Oct. 15. Avenged Sevenfold also had heavy metal rock band Falling In Reverse on tour with them. 

Since I was in middle school, I was always fascinated by Avenged Sevenfold and their heavy metal sound. Their lead guitarist Synester Gates and rhythm guitarist Zachy Vengeance have put together some of the best guitar solos I have ever heard and probably ever will hear. Lead singer M. Shadows has a vocal range going from low to high that not many people can replicate much less perform at his level. The current drummer for their band Brooks Wackerman is also someone to not take lightly as he can tear up the drums with the best drummers currently out there. 

All these factors led my brother, a few close friends, and I to go out and purchase tickets to attend their concert. The five of us made it to Dickies Arena at 5 p.m., where we waited in a long line and had plenty of stairs to walk. Normally, the stairs would be a minor inconvenience, but one of my friends had broken his foot a couple of weeks ago and had to use crutches to walk. Nonetheless, we made it up all of the stairs, made it to our seats, and began watching the concert.  

The show was supposed to begin at 6:30 p.m. but we didn’t see our first performance until 7 p.m. The band that opened for Avenged Sevenfold and Falling In Reverse was a heavy metal group called Kim Dracula. The performance from Kim Dracula was intriguing, to say the least. I only knew one of the songs they performed, which was a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” and it went to the tune of the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Zombies theme song. This song was the one I enjoyed the most from them, and I think the crowd would agree with that statement. 

I also found Kim Dracula’s stage presence very amusing and wonder how much of their budget goes into mic stands. The lead singer of Kim Dracula, Samuel Ellings, would slam the mic stand into the floor while performing and I counted five different mic stands that he broke during their set. Ellings also had a chainsaw on stage and proceeded to run around the stage while revving it to prepare for one of their songs. They had an entertaining opening for the show, but they didn’t gravitate the same energy everyone had for Falling In Reverse and Avenged Sevenfold. 

After a short intermission, Falling In Reverse took the stage and their opener set the tone for how a heavy metal rock show should be. They started with “ZOMBIFIED,” and you could say everyone was electrified by their performance. I wasn’t fond of Falling In Reverse, as I vaguely knew a couple of their songs, but this concert has made me a huge fan of them.  

Falling In Reverse also performed some of their well-known songs like “The Drug In Me Is You,” “Voices In My Head,” and my favorite song by them, “Popular Monster.” I had two favorite moments from their session which both include their lead singer Ronnie Radke and his outstanding stage presence.  

Right after their performance of “The Drug In Me Is You,” Radke and the band began playing a heavy metal tone. Radke started telling the crowd in the pit to split into two sides and told the fans in the stands to start pumping their arms. He was hinting at starting a huge mosh pit among the standing fans, and everyone was prepared to watch it happen. As Radke counted down from three, the heavy metal tone went away, and they started playing their cover of “All-Star” by Smash Mouth. The song caused the mosh pit to fade away and brought everyone together for the all-time classic. 

My second favorite moment from their set came from Radke’s words himself. In recent months, Radke has faced a lot of controversy over social media and the band has been outspoken about cancel culture and its potential effects on everyone. During the middle of their set, Radke spoke for a few minutes on how appreciative he was of M. Shadows for keeping their band on tour amid the controversy happening, but also how grateful he was for being on tour with Avenged Sevenfold. 

 “I grew up listening to Avenged Sevenfold, I was inspired by them, and the band is sick, and they have so many good songs.” Radke said. 

As a fan, I think most would resonate with Radke’s description of Avenged Sevenfold and it was a feel-good moment for everyone. I didn’t know much about Falling In Reverse before this concert, as I only knew a couple of their songs. However, their performance and attitude at the concert made me a fan of their music and they will be in my playlist for the foreseeable future. 

Ray Thomas-Lapan

After hearing from Kim Dracula and Falling In Reverse, my adrenaline was pumping more than ever. The moment I had waited days, months, and years was about to happen as “Game Over” began to play. Watching Avenged Sevenfold for the first time live gave me a euphoric feeling. I had felt an intense feeling of happiness that I did not realize was even possible, and I thoroughly loved their portion of the show. 

Avenged Sevenfold played a few songs from their new album and most of their well-known songs during their set. I did like all the songs they performed, but my favorites from the show were “Buried Alive,” “So Far Away,” “Bat Country,” and “A Little Piece of Heaven.” 

I was the most surprised by the crowd response when the band began playing “Buried Alive.” I began listening to this song this year and have fallen in love with its melody and lyrics. This could be felt through the crowd as well because I heard the crowd singing most of the song with Shadows. You could say this song felt “real as ever” when hearing Shadows perform it. 

Every Avenged Sevenfold fan holds “So Far Away” near and dear to their hearts just like the band members do. This song was written as a memorial to the late James “The Rev” Sullivan who was the band’s original drummer until 2009. Before performing the song, Shadows spoke to the audience and recommended that everyone should enjoy their lives while they can. 

“I’m pretty dang sure we have one chance at this thing and time goes by as we sit there fucking bored and we don’t do shit and one day we turn 80 years old and we look back and wonder what the fuck happened and why didn’t we do x.y, and z,” Shadows explained. 

Shortly after this, “So Far Away” began to play and everyone turned on their phone lights. The sight was similar to looking up at the night sky and seeing all of the white stars joined together. It was truly magical, and the song not only shows a memorial to “The Rev”, but also all of the loved ones we have lost in this life.   

When Avenged Sevenfold started to play “Bat Country,” the little kid inside of me started freaking out. This was one of the first songs I ever heard from the band, and it instantly became one of my favorites to listen to. When Gates and Vengeance began playing the guitar solo from “Bat Country,” my heart melted as this is, in my opinion, the greatest guitar solo there ever was, is, and will ever be. I will say this was the biggest highlight of many highlights I had during the night.  

Towards the end of the concert, “A Little Piece of Heaven” came on and I think this had the biggest pop from the crowd. Personally, I’ve nicknamed the song, “Everyone’s favorite song about necrophilia.” I think that is what fascinates everyone about the song though. It talks about a very taboo subject but portrays it as a love story that goes beyond the realm of death. “A Little Piece of Heaven,” is definitely an interesting song, but I encourage everyone to give it a try. 

At the end of their set, Avenged Sevenfold bid everyone adieu and that was the end of the night. That euphoric feeling, I had felt inside me began to fade away, but I know I will remember the experience of seeing this amazing band for the rest of my life. After many hours of listening to their music, I finally got to hear Avenged Sevenfold while they were in the same room as me. 


Gary Jackson is a third-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Gary Jackson
Gary Jackson, Managing Editor
Gary is a fourth-year communication major from Kingston. He works as a resident assistant (RA). Gary began writing for The Trend in January 2022, and has interned with the Madill Record and Marietta Monitor newspapers. When Gary isn’t attending class and working, you can watch him making the game-winning catch at the ultimate frisbee game, hanging out with friends, or visiting with his family. Experience with The Trend: Managing Editor: May 2024 - present Sports Editor: Nov. 2023 - Apr. 2024 Senior Writer: Dec. 2022 - Nov. 2023 Contributing Writer: Jan. 2022 - Dec. 2022