Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto - September 14, 2011

Avenged Sevenfold, seen in this July, 2011 Quebec concert photo, headlined the Rockstar Energy...

Avenged Sevenfold, seen in this July, 2011 Quebec concert photo, headlined the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival in Toronto September 14, 2011. (Daniel Mallard, QMI Agency)

JASON MacNEIL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:47 AM ET

TORONTO - Flames or fireballs are often nothing more than a rock concert gimmick, but fans (and even foes) of hard rock/metal outfit Avenged Sevenfold could give nothing but thanks Wednesday night at the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival's Toronto stop.

With a ridiculous chill in the air and the temperature dipping, the warmth emitted from the fireballs beginning with Nightmare and throughout the set was most welcomed. The same could be said for the band's formula which seems to meld the best of Queen and Metallica into some effective, eclectic result.

The group's headlining set before a large, vocal and youthful crowd at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre had a little bit of everything. With a large skull and bat wings prop behind drummer Arin Ilejay, Avenged Sevenfold – who briefly brought a fan up on stage – ran through Chapter Four before the creeping, sludge-like groove of Welcome To The Family showcased the band's musicianship.

Thankfully the musicianship is much better than the stage names in guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance. Or vocalist M. Shadows for that matter.

Regardless, Avenged Sevenfold survived a difficult phase in the death of drummer James “The Rev” Williams in 2009, something Shadows reflected on before the ballad Seize The Day. Other highlights included an early cut M.I.A. that veered from a ballad to a galloping metal tempo and God Hates Us.

The main stage also included a powerful set from hometown boys Three Days Grace. The band looked tickled pink to play in Toronto as singer Adam Gontier worked the crowd into a frenzy. Starting with the sing-along party-starter The Good Life, Three Days Grace never let up on the beefy, big, testosterone-fuelled singles like I Hate Everything About You and Never Too Late.

One surprising highlight Gontier and his cohorts pulled off easily was a decent rendition of Eminem's Lose Yourself following the end of Home. Although taking some time for fans to figure out what Gontier was rapping about, the bouncing, singing and fist pumping showed they were in favour. Riot and Animal I Have Become sparkled, the latter featuring the singer talking to an invisible girlfriend for much too long.

If there was one band which separated themselves from the rest it was Seether, the long-time South African trio who aren't afraid to wear the grunge badge proudly on their plaid sleeves. Singer-guitarist Shaun Morgan threw his guitar into John Humphrey's drum kit to close but the band made the most of the slot with a rock-heavy, metal-free string of tracks such as Gasoline, Rise Above This and Country Song.

It should also be noted that Seether owns two of the bigger amps in rock, both of which dwarfed Morgan and bassist Dale Stewart and had a handful of television sets near each.

Meanwhile Welsh act Bullet For My Valentine tried to ply metal licks but paled somewhat to the acts that followed. Using a backdrop banner image heavily influenced by Judas Priest circa British Steel, the group garnered some new fans with Your Betrayal and The Last Fight.


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