Luring A7X to the fold

A tribute concert for Avenged Sevenfold aims to convince the US hard rock giants to perform in Israel.

A7X 311, American hard rock band (photo credit: Courtesy)
A7X 311, American hard rock band
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Some fans of bands will go to great extremes to persuade their heroes to come to Israel to perform. Add the local fan club of American hard rock giants Avenged Sevenfold to the list.
The goal of the Israeli hard rock and metal musicians who are banding on Sunday night (December 25) at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv isn’t just to pay tribute to Avenged Sevenfold – but, of course, they’ll be doing that high decibel levels, just like they’ve done in the recent past with wellattended shows in honor of Pantera and Metallica. But their ulterior motive is to produce unequivocal ammunition that will demonstrate to A7X that they should be including Israel on their next tour itinerary.
“Our plan is to get them to perform here by showing them that there’s an audience here for their music,” said Ido Uzan, the 25-year-old vocalist for local metal band Missing in Action, and a diehard A7X fan who is the musical director of the tribute show.
“We hope to send them the clips from the show and make them realize that even though they might not be able to play as big a show as they’re used to, it will still be worthwhile and something they’ll always remember.”
Avenged Sevenfold have been the target of a lobby campaign via Facebook to come to Israel for years. Formed in 1999 in California, the band adeptly integrates metal and pop elements into their music, resulting in a widely appealing sound – without the macho trappings – that has helped them rise to the rock elite.
Last year their fifth studio release, Nightmare, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts, and despite the untimely death of drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan, the band hit the road with former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy for a soldout world tour, albeit lacking an Israel date.
“They play a type of modern metal that has conquered the world – and also Israel,” said Uzan. “It’s aggressive but also melodic, fun and easy to listen to. In my eyes, they’ve achieved a certain status for integrating metal and pop. It’s an amazing mix.”
Uzan has compiled an impressive lineup of metal heads for the Tel Aviv show, including musicians from bands like Got No Shame, Dolly’s Circus, Nipple Twist, Whorecore and Demented Sanity.
“The most important thing was to find the right people who wanted to do this. First I looked for people from other bands that really love Avenged Sevenfold, and then we just contacted our friends,” said Uzan. “So everyone playing is either a big fan of the band or one of our friends. Either way, it works.”
But Uzan said he was surprised at the divisions that surfaced within the metal community regarding A7X.
“There’s a controversy about their music because in Israel, if you ask whether A7X has earned their status, I’m not sure you’ll get an answer that everyone will accept,” he said.
“Metal purists consider them too commercial, too pop. Getting everyone together to perform for this show has been harder than for Pantera or Metallica. This time, some people actually said, ‘No, I don’t want to do this. This is not what I listen to.’ And that’s despite this being a big production that will provide them with a showcase and a large audience.”
Despite the metal snobbery of some local musicians, the upcoming show has created a buzz via social media and among local metal fans who share Uzan’s hopes that an A7X concert will result from the tribute performance.
“There’s been a great response so far, and we’re selling loads of tickets,” said Uzan. “To be honest, I’m surprised – I didn’t realize the extent of their following in Israel.”
To find out more information about the show and join the campaign to bring A7X to Israel, visit evenfold.