Sunday, October 26, 2008

...and it all ends with a bang.

After 3 weeks of waiting, it's finally over. I've seen them live, seen them rock the stage and now I'm back home. Hard to believe that now I actually can tell people that I've seen one of my favourite bands performing LIVE. And believe me, it was not disappointing. So anyway, a quick recap of everything that happened:

Friday (24th October 2008):

Yes, it was my first time traveling alone. After being dropped off at the airport, took me a while to figure out which counter to check in. Actually stood there for a few minutes, scanning counter by counter to see which one I could go to before I finally found it. The officer wasn't too friendly.

I arrived at Changi Airport at around 2.15pm. Went to meet Kit Leong, Derrick and Ee Yin at Temasek Poly. I had to take a cab to get there, and while trying to get one, whistles were blown at me by the taxi stand operator cos I crossed some dumb yellow line. Geez...

Got to Temasek Poly in no time. The taxi driver was kind enough to share with me his thoughts on Geylang (Singapore's red light district). And no, I didn't start that conversation. Met derrick and Kit Leong at the Temasek Poly bus station but no sight of Ee Yin. Seems that she was busy.

We walked to some coffeeshop for a late lunch. Had char siew rice there. It costs double our char siew rice in Penang due to exchange rate but who cares I was hungry.

If you observe carefully you can see Kit Leong's nose hairs.

A quick bus trip got us to Derrick's apartment. It was around 4 something, and I wanted to be there early for the concert since it was free standing. Kit and I went to 7/11 to get some bread in case we got hungry and hopped on a cab to get to the Singapore Expo for the concert.

Derrick's apartment.

Kit Leong smiling with a pedo look at the little kids in the playground.

Outside the concert hall.

The concert supposed to start at 8pm. Kit Leong and I arrived at 4.30. We thought we were early. We were wrong.

A throng of black clad fans were already there. 90% of them had the words "Avenged Sevenfold" plastered across their chests. I happened to be wearing red and I really felt out of place. I was like, "Damn we need Avenged Sevenfold shirts". So we scouted the entire area for a merchandise store or stand. Walked for 30 mins, but there weren't any. So we went back to the sea of black and took a seat.

There were many doors at the expo. We took a chance and chose one in the middle. Suddenly we could hear a shout, and everyone was getting up rushing to the end of the pavilion. Needless to say, Kit and I followed suit, half running. And soon we were stuck jammed up between people. I was backed up on all four sides by guys. Kit had a better time though, he had this cute girl stuck in front of him.

Barely had space to lift my arms to take pictures.

Then the UBER long wait began. From 5 o'clock, we stood in the mass of people, breathing in cigarette smoke and the smell of sweat. Not pleasant I assure you. Of course there was some entertainment to pass the time. Like people fightning:

One of them actually landed a flying kick on the other. Hilarious. The police came and arrested the one who started the fight. A waste of a good concert ticket.

So time passed really slowly, the tension was mounting among the restless fans. Everyone started shouting in unison "Why are we waiting" from time to time. When we could hear Avenged Sevenfold having their soundcheck inside the hall, everyone started shouting and screaming, pushing and shoving. Then everyone started chanting "Sevenfold, sevenfold, sevenfold". It was amazing to be amongst people who all enjoy and have the same passion for the same music as you. Certain people started singing Avenged Sevenfold songs and everyone actually followed suit, including me. So in the end, actually it wasn't really bad getting stuck outside for 3 hours. It really built up the excitement.

Was supposed to meet Jian Wei, but he arrived late. Therefore, he was obstructed by the human wall which stretched all the way back.

Red faced from all the heat.

When the door FINALLY opened, everyone started pushing as expected. And this was where my small frame was put to good use. I managed to worm myself between people and got in before Kit Leong did.

Getting pass security. Running through the open doors. The cold blast of air conditioning. Dashing in together with the rest of the fans. And we were greeted with the sight of the stage. A magnificent backdrop of a skull with wings, the trademark of Avenged Sevenfold. I could not put it in words, how I felt at that moment. I knew that I would be seeing them on stage. Finally...

Ahhh the beauty.

Soaked in sweat but hyped up for what's to come.

Kit Leong got in like 5 minutes later. Then we tried to make our way nearer to the stage by squeezing. Managed to get in quite a bit, but it got very crowded as we moved towards the stage. Didn't really matter to me.

At 8pm, some red-clad people jumped on stage. I was like "Hey wtf that's no Avenged Sevenfold". Everyone started pushing and we were practically crushed between people. The band started playing some heavy metal music and the crowd went wild. Everyone was pushing jumping around. There was even this guy behind kit and I trying to start a mosh pit. Everyone was falling and tumbling so I quickly kept my camera in the bag.

It took everyone quite some time to realise that it was only a local band on stage. Which was dumb really. Then everyone cooled down, shouting to one another "Don't push, local band only". That was really funny. The band was supposed to be some winner of a band competition called Superbands or something. They weren't that bad actually, but I didn't pay money to see them take up Avenged Sevenfold's play time.

Pardon the shaky and blur pictures, it was hard to take with all the pushing.

The vocalist's growling vocals was quite good.

The fans practically boo-ed them off stage by chanting "Avenged Sevenfold" after every song they played. When they said they had a few more songs, the crowd actually roared with disappointment.

They took up 30 mins of performance. And after that, we had to wait AGAIN. But this time tension was really mounting up, we could see drum technicians replacing the local band's drumset with the Rev's drums. With the Death Bat on both bass drums. (Death Bat is their logo). The technician was tuning the drums, and some people actually thought he was the Rev. As usual, pushing ensued everytime he hit the drums.

Yes it's only the technician.

I was getting really restless, so were the rest of the fans. It was almost 9, and still no sight of the band. I was halfway complaining, and suddenly something happened.

The entire concert hall went pitch black.




Silhouettes of people running on-stage.




And the sound of scales being played on the electric guitar.

The crowd went crazy. Screaming and jumping. Putting their hands into the air, as organ music filled the hall. It was the introduction to the song Critical Acclaim.

And the lights went on, and there they were.


Everyone started singing in unison with M. Shadows. It was unbelievable. I could see their faces clearly. Every single one of them. It had to be one of the best moments of my life.

Some white kids started a mosh pit right in front of us. The crowd was insane but now totally focused on the band on stage. No more pushing. Just singing.

M. Shadows was in his peak condition, singing each note, performing each scream.

Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates playing a solo.

Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates playing a solo.

M. Shadows

Zacky Vengeance

Synyster Gates

The Rev (he was too far away for a good picture)

Johnny Christ

They were flawless, each note, each solo and even the backing vocals. They were awesome.

The songs they played (not in order) included:
a) Critical Acclaim
b) Almost Easy
c) Afterlife
d) Gunslinger
e) Beast and the Harlot
f) Unholy Confessions
g) Seize the Day
h) Bat Country
g) Scream
h) A Little Piece of Heaven (encore)

They were all songs that I knew. Kit didn't know the lyrics to some of the older songs though. Plus he was feeling dizzy. I was the one who was jumping, singing each song with the rest of the fans. I can remember M. Shadows addressing the fans, saying that they've out-sold Kanye West in tickets.

The encore song, as expected was A Little Piece of Heaven. I can still remember clearly, when we all chanted in unison:

Must have stabbed her 50 fucking times, I can't believe it, Ripped her heart out right before her eyes, Eyes over easy, Eat it, eat it, eat it.

Kit Leong and I in the crowd.

For me it ended too soon. But then again, I was satisfied. Avenged Sevenfold exited the stage with the sound of applause.

Got my brother his birthday present on the way out. The Diamonds in the Rough DVD-CD set. Met up with Jian Wei for a short while and got his signed drawings which he promised.

Outside the concert hall.

Kit, Jian Wei (the pro artist) and I.

After parting ways with JW, Kit and I took a taxi back to Derrick's place to shower. The taxi we took was a Mercedes. Imagine that. After a quick shower, we had supper and hung out at the reservoir nearby. I really needed to relax and get some fresh air, after standing for over 5 hours breathing in cigarrette smoke. My neck was sore from the headbanging, and so was my feet from all the jumping. It felt good just sitting down doing nothing. I knew that the next day, my neck was going to hurt even worse, but it was worth it, I had a great time.

Saturday (25th October 2008):

We got back to derrick's place around 3. Kit and I slept had on the floor. But all I needed was a pillow and I slept through the night. That's how exhausted I was. Kit couldn't sleep though, had a harder time waking up the next day.

So after packing and stuff, we made our way to Botak Jones for lunch, which Derrick claimed had good western food. And he was goddamn right. It took 20 minutes to walk there, but the food was worth the walk. They had a weird menu, where the owner would describe each of the dishes in his own words. Some were hillarious.

Had a "Botak Burger". Was worried that it would be the Ramli Burger size, but it turns out that the meat patty was uber huge. Luckily, I didn't order the double or triple burger or I would have died.

No idea what Kit is trying to do to Derrick, and I don't wanna know.

Derrick with his fighter face.

The aftermath.

Botak Jones

After lunch, we saw Kit off on the taxi (he still owes me 10 sgd), and made our way to Temasek Poly again to meet Ee Yin. Both Derrick and Ee Yin sent me off to the airport. Ee Yin wanted to go to Terminal 3, so we made our way there.

Changi Airport

Walking around Terminal 3.

Just had to put this picture up LOL.

Took this because Ee Yin said it was nice.

Our reflection in the aerotrain.

We made our way to the immigration gate and said our goodbyes.

Ee Yin and I.

Derrick (fighter face again) and I.

And that was the end of my trip. It was a great experience which was worth the trip there, worth the 3 hour wait in line, and worth the ensuing neckache. Avenged Sevenfold has set the standard for me of how live performances should be. And I'm pretty sure it's going to be pretty hard to beat.

Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible. My parents, for sponsoring it and Derrick for the free accommodation; I'll return the favor when you're in Penang.

Will upload the vids I took at the concert in Facebook soon.

Song recommendation of the day:
Avenged Sevenfold - Girl I Know


mei.zhi said...

u know in pic 10 there's a guy with a super weird hat. haha. i think it's 10 well the one with the fighting ppl, ceh i was hoping for a shot of the flying kick.

oo t3 haven't seen it.. it kinda looks weird with all those vent-cover thingys hanging about. looks big tho.

Je Sen said...

Oh the polka dotted one? haha... Well the flying kick occured before I got my camera out to snap.. Would be nice though.. According to my friend, those vent thingys are supposed to control the lighting or something..

mei.zhi said...

yes the weird ugly polka dotted one.
u should just admit that you have a very slow reaction time to things and ur tiny hands were fumbling trying to pull out your camera. haha just kidding.
cool vent thingymajiggys.. from the larger pic i saw it just sort of directing light here and there, doesn't seem that much of an effect cos there's plenty of daylighting.*stops herself from lauching into a full essay of the great use of daylighting in buildings and etc..*

:) well u obviously had a great time at the i quote myself -"seven avengefold" concert so there's not much to say on that. haha!

boo, Shermaine (: said...

Omg, I can't believe you actually went for A7X. Were they awesome? too bad they wouldn't come to m'sia. bet malaysian government would say they're too satanic.