It can definitely be said that Florida had been preparing for the arrival of Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed as they played in the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre in Tampa, last Labor Day weekend.
The major bands played on the Main Stage at the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival. Before the primary bands of the night performed, Halestorm and Stone Sour opened for the main acts and they put on a riveting show. Halestorm put on a fine show; their heavy/hard rock sound was executed solidly and Lzzy Hale’s vocals were strong and echoed through the amphitheater as they kick-started their set. Her singing voice is very reminiscent of the power rock/metal vocalists of the 80s and it was refreshing to hear it in a relatively new mainstream band. Her personality on stage is similar to icons such as Joan Jett .
Stone Sour was the next openers of the festival’s main stage. Performing in support of their brand new album Audio Secrecy, Stone Sour kept the crowd alive by introducing new songs from Audio Secrecy and also some past hits such as “Come What(ever) May,” “30/30-150” and “Through Glass.” Corey Taylor proved that he is an enthusiastic stage performer and singer, just as hardworking as he is with his other, better-known band, Slipknot.
After Stone Sour wrapped up their set, the crowd waited for the appearance of Avenged Sevenfold, and the stage was elaborately set up, with images of the exterior of a haunted house in a dark creepy night keeping with the theme of the brand new album they were promoting on the tour, Nightmare. The band started out heavy and strong with the title song of the new album to enthusiastic audience response. It is also worth nothing that the band’s entire performance was dedicated to the memory of the band’s late drummer, James “The Rev” Sullivan who passed away at the end of 2009. The special guest drummer taking his place for the tour and for the studio drums on the new album is none other than Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater fame. The band performed fan favorites such as “Bat Country”, “Afterlife”, “Almost Easy”, and concert staple, “Unholy Confessions.” Avenged Sevenfold was entertaining to watch as they carried out their musicianship and show that they are having a great time on stage, a great memorandum for The Rev. Fans of Mike Portnoy also had a fulfilling time watching him perform in his own right, and his well-known quirks still showed, such as roasting a marshmallow on the stage pyrotechnics. All in all, Avenged Sevenfold put on a memorable performance, battling the humidity of the night versus the heat of the fi reworks on stage.
Closing out the festival with a bang was Disturbed, touring in support of their brand new album, Asylum. The band kicked off their set with a sample of their new material, playing the title track, a dark, vastly drawn out number, displaying the tormented characteristics for which the band is known. Disturbed frontman David Draiman’s abrasive and charismatic stage presence was more than able to get a fierce reaction from the crowd as they performed their key songs such as “Prayer,” “Stricken,” “Ten Thousand Fists,” “Indestructible” and their classic concert closer “Down With the Sickness.” David Draiman was able to formidably portray himself as an absolute psycho on stage and yet somehow he can keep his cool, which is always impressive to witness.
The amphitheatre was a fine venue for the major bands to play, as even as far as the lawn the music was perfectly clear and the band was still visible. No doubt the audience returned home satisfied after this high-caliber concert. If either band comes through Orlando, I would suggest going.