Avenged Sevenfold – Life is But a Dream in Minneapolis, MN

Avenged Sevenfold at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday, July 29, 2023. (Photo credit: Pam Whisenhunt)


The anticipation was killing me.  I hadn’t been to an Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) show since February 2016.  I couldn’t wait for the Kansas City show in September, so I made the trek to the Target Center in Minneapolis for the July 29th show.    

I was able to snag some great seats through Avenged Sevenfold’s NFT based fan club, The Deathbats Club (DBC).  In April 2023, A7X debuted a revolutionary NFT token-gated ticket sales program with Ticketmaster. DBC members were able to use a blockchain based verification system called “TicketPass” to get first access to tickets, no queue, no bots, no scalpers, two days before anyone else. It was an awesome experience and can’t wait to see where this program goes.  But on to the show…

Australian indie artist Kim Dracula started things off.  The bassist and guitarist came out in purple masks, suits and ties, the drummer in a purple mask and white dress shirt. Samuel Wellings AKA Kim Dracula arrived with purple hair and a military dress coat. The set was filled with eclectic chaos. At one-point Wellings whipped out a Chainsaw and another time went to the back of the stage to play chess. It was an all over the place; very interesting.  

Canadian post hard-core band, Alexisonfire, was next up.  As I was standing in the photo pit with another photographer, I noticed three mic stands out front of the stage and made the comment “These guys aren’t going to move around much”, boy was I wrong.  Frontman George Pettit and bassist Chris Steele were all over the place.  Alexisonfire were all great musicians and spread the vocals around.  They were entertaining to watch.   

Avenged Sevenfold’s set started promptly at 9:15 pm, at least the lights went down and music started playing at 9:15. It was a slow entrance of members, starting with Brooks Wackerman on drums, then a masked M. Shadows (vocals) taking a seat on a black lounge chair in the middle of the stage. The rest of the crew casually walked on to the stage opening with “Game Over” the first song on their Life Is But A Dream (LIBAD) album. They rolled into another new song “Mattel” before they played a couple oldies, “Afterlife” and “Hail to the King”.  

Overall A7X played seven songs off their newest album and sprinkled some classics in between. They ended the set in the oddest, most anticlimactic way I’ve ever seen. A7X ended the set with the same songs, in the same order, as the LIBAD album; “G”, “(O)rdinary”, (D)eath and “Life Is But A Dream…”. At the end of “(D)eath” everyone put down their instruments, started throwing picks into the crowd and walked off-stage. “Life Is But A Dream…”, (a piano track) played to a red lit stage with nobody on it.   

Why did I love this performance when it’s everything I loathe about shows? I love an elaborate light show with pyro and cryo. I want to see musicians twirling guitars, banging heads and flying through the air all while sounding perfect. I love a grand finale. This show one was none of that. It wasn’t their normal grand display like Nightmare, Hail to the King or The Stage tours. This show was just video screens and lights. They walked the stage nonchalantly. So why did I love this show? Three reasons I feel. 1.) It’s been a long time since I’ve seen A7X live. I’m happy with anything at this point.  2.) As they walked the stage, they were connecting with the fans. Everyone (with the exception of Wackerman) made their way to each corner of the stage, performing to everyone from the pit to the highest tier. 3.) They sounded fantastic. Shadows voice was strong. Synyster Gates shredded his heart out, and Zacky Vengeance complemented him perfectly. Johnny Christ’s bass line effortlessly held everything together even while playing with one hand and Wackerman, although tucked way in the back played the drums with authority. In addition to their obvious roles, I feel the stripped-down stage fully exposed each member’s contributions. I was able to see and hear who sang and played all the little pieces and parts to the songs. It was not only an eye-opener but a treat to the inner workings of the band.

There are a lot of negative reviews out there for the new album and tour. I ask you keep an open mind, catch a live show. You might enjoy it.

Avenged Sevenfold


Kim Dracula

All images © Pam Whisenhunt

Follow our socials, only take a second and is free by finding us on:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram