7 Avenged Sevenfold gigs that made them megastars in the UK

Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold are headlining Download festival for the second time this weekend, a feat that only a handful of bands in the world can say they've done. But how did a bunch of kids in make-up from Orange County become one of the biggest bands in the UK? Well, it didn't happen overnight. Here we chart the band's continuous rise to superstardom from the toilet circuit to Castle Donington.

The UK debut

Where: Glasgow QMU
When: February 7, 2004
We Say: The moment our nation was introduced to Avenged firsthand during their tour with Lostprophets and The Bronx. While some scoffed at their AFI-meets-Guns N’ Roses image, the songs spoke for themselves. Safe to say, they made an impression. 

The First Festival

Where: Reading Festival
When: August 28, 2004
We Say: Packing out the Concrete Jungle tent (remember that?), Avenged’s first time on a UK festival stage was an absolute riot, sparking some of the biggest pits of the entire weekend. They stole the day and earned themselves a legion of new followers.

The Game-Changer

Where: Download Festival
When: June 10, 2006
We Say: Striding onstage in customised A7X football shirts (that year’s Download took place in the middle of a World Cup), they dominated the main stage, staking their claim as a band destined for bigger things. One of metal’s most promising bands had come of age. 

Avenged Sevenfold performing live at Download festival 2006

Avenged at Download in 2006, already eyeing up the headline slot (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Big Support Slot

Where: Twickenham Stadium
When: July 5, 2008
We Say: Being picked to support Iron Maiden at the metal legends’ biggest ever UK show is no small order, but Avenged went down well with an often-difficult crowd, impressing 80,000 metalheads with a confident, mature showing.

The Rev's Last Show

Where: Sonsiphere Festival
When: August 2, 2009
We Say: That A7X’s headline set on Sonisphere’s second stage was one of the most memorable of a weekend that included Metallica speaks volumes. That it was the final show The Rev would ever play lends it an unfortunate – but important – emotional gravitas.

The Download Headliner

Where: Download Festival
When: June 13, 2014
We Say: Eight years after they first impressed on Download’s main stage, Avenged were back as headliners. Packing their mighty Hail To The King set, it was a retina-burning, pyro- and prop-filled feast for the senses; Avenged hadn’t been passed the torch – they had proudly taken it.

The Greatest Show On Earth

Where: London O2 Arena
When: January 21, 2017
We Say: Could Avenged recreate the bold ambition of The Stage live? You bet your ass they could. Using the Cirque Du Soleil as inspiration, Avenged crafted one of the most impressive stage shows ever seen, with the setlist to match. We can only imagine what Download 2018 will bring…

Avenged Sevenfold headline Download festival on June 8. 

Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.