Avenged Sevenfold / A Big Welcome Back To Mohegan Sun Arena

Throughout the past several weeks, Avenged Sevenfold have been kicking it on the road for the third leg of their tour supporting their latest album, Life Is But A Dream. Joining the group on this part of the tour is dubstep Metal artist Sullivan King and dark pop singer Poppy – a unique pairing to say the least. Last Thursday, the three bands took to the stage at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

Avenged Sevenfold – Poppy – Sullivan King

Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT – 21 March 2024

Words And Photography: Shannon Wilk

Avenged Sevenfold - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Avenged Sevenfold – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

Avenged Sevenfold

Multi-platinum Heavy Metal band Avenged Sevenfold hit the stage a few minutes after 9 PM. Vocalist M. Shadows, wearing a black ski mask, takes a seat in a chair centre stage. The group begins their set with Game Over, the first track on their latest album, Life Is But A Dream.

After nearly seven years without a new release, A7X came back with a vengeance with this record. Avenged Sevenfold certainly showed it off on the stage, performing about half of the album throughout their live show.

Avenged Sevenfold - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Avenged Sevenfold – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

Talking to a few longtime fans before the show, it seems many people were not fond of the experimental route the band had taken with the record. But during the live performance of their new material, the audience seemed just as hype.

After a couple of new tunes, Avenged Sevenfold moved into a few bigger hits, Afterlife and Hail To The King. The audience sang these classic A7X tunes with such passion and volume.

Avenged Sevenfold - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Avenged Sevenfold – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

Guitarist Synyster Gates shreds, of course, on his Schecter and Zacky Vengeance does the same, but lefty. Vocalist M. Shadows gives props to drummer Brooks Wackerman who was performing while quite under the weather. Shadows jokes, “If we stop the show, if the drums stop, he’s probably dead back there.”

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Avenged Sevenfold - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Avenged Sevenfold – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

The stage goes dark and bells begin to ring. The crowd bursts into cheer as Gates begins the riff to Shepherd Of Fire. As the song is played, the massive screen behind the band displays live footage of the members but engulfed in flames.

Avenged Sevenfold - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Avenged Sevenfold – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

After this beloved hard rock song, A7X give a taste of their previous album with two songs, The Stage and Roman Sky. Both are five-plus minutes in length, which showcases the band’s more Progressive Metal side. The Stage is truly a masterpiece with incredible dynamics and guitar harmonies as well as layers upon layers of instruments, which translates surprisingly well live.

Avenged Sevenfold - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Avenged Sevenfold – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

Moving on in the set, the group dips their toes into another era of the band with two tunes from 2005’s City Of Evil record. A7X overall have great energy in their live performance.

With it being five years since the band last toured before this record, the crowds are more excited and share their energy with the band through moshing and cheering to hits such as Bat Country and Nightmare.

Avenged Sevenfold - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Avenged Sevenfold – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

Instead of closing their set with a hit, as almost every band does, Avenged Sevenfold ended the night with a song from Life Is But A Dream, titled Cosmic, leaving the crowd with new material on their minds.

Avenged Sevenfold - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Avenged Sevenfold – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

Poppy

The Second act in the evening is Poppy, another interesting addition to this tour. You may be familiar with the now Metal singer from her abstract, eerie YouTube videos from the mid-2010s. At least that’s how I was introduced to the artist.

As her career has seen a major evolution from her old YouTube days, Poppy is now a successful musician, creating genre-defying albums since 2018.

Wearing a baby pink bodysuit, she screams into the mic, both gutturals and high-pitched shrieks, like something out of a horror movie. Between vocal lines, Poppy spins around on the stage, headbanging and marching.

Unsurprisingly, she does not speak between songs at all, maintaining a mystique that she has worked for years to create.

Sullivan King

Beginning the show at 6:30 PM, from Los Angeles, California, is Sullivan King. This artist creates an experience that goes beyond your average concert, both visually and sonically.

Sullivan King - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Sullivan King – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

King seamlessly blends EDM with Metal, playing guitar and performing guttural-style vocals over the top of dubstep. Often it can be difficult for a performer to be captivating when standing alone on a stage, but he manages to do so very well.

As lasers, strobe lights and screens flash along with the bass, King whips his hair, headbanging windmill-style as he stands on a high platform.

Sullivan King - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Sullivan King – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

Coming down from his DJ platform, he absolutely shreds on his guitar, proving he has his place on this Metal tour and can clearly hold his own behind a 6-stringed axe, even screaming into a microphone.

Sullivan King - Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville - 21 March 2024
Sullivan King – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville – 21 March 2024. Photo: Shannon Wilk/MetalTalk

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