Review: Bullet for my Valentine, Breaking Benjamin and Avenged Sevenfold at the Canadian Tire Center

I came for Breaking Benjamin, I left being a fan of Avenged Sevenfold.”

Decent view of everything going on!

A few months back I see that Breaking Benjamin is coming to town along with Bullet for My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold.  I was a huge Breaking Benjamin fan ever since we saw them open up for Evanescence back in 2004.  So it didn’t even matter who was touring with them this time around…I was going to see them again.

Tyler and his brother Ryan graced us with some burgers and beers for the show and along with Eric and Mike in tow, we headed out to the Canadian Tire Center for 6PM.  Quite the early start but that’s what you get with three bands on the bill.

While I thought our seats would have been quite good, they put us directly perpendicular with the screen so there was no way we would have been able to see anything going on.  Luckily, our section had tons of extra room so we just meandered to the other end of the row and sat down there with a decent view.

Ottawa isn’t generally known for being the best crowd I have ever witnessed but I have to admit that when you bring in bands that haven’t generally hit the area, the arena gets filled with rabid fans who have been waiting years to see their favourite band.

Case in point…the floor was PACKED for Bullet for My Valentine and the crowd was on fire.  In fact, there were two distinct mosh pits going on for the entire night.  It was quite awesome to behold.  I believe Mike summed it up best (well, with my paraphrasing) by stating “I want to be on the floor and in all that energy, but my body is quite comfortable sitting here sipping on a beer.”  I couldn’t agree more.  It’s exciting to be in a crowd with all that energy…but you couldn’t even have alcohol on the floor which is a very lame new rule at the Canadian Tire Center.  Is that happening all over Canada in other venues?

Bullet for My Valentine was awesome.  They brought the energy up instantly and we were all amped up for the rest of the show.  Mike is a huge fan and was happy with their set.  I can’t say I know many tunes, nor do I know many tunes of Avenged Sevenfold.  They were icing on the Breaking Benjamin cake.

After going to get another beer, Eric stumbled upon a fifty dollar bill!  We feel bad for that kid who lost his Uber-ride home money, but hey, it ramped up our night!

Here’s where a confession has to come out.  I really was excited to see Breaking Benjamin.  They are in my top hard rock acts of all time list.  But you know what?  I came out of that show severely underwhelmed for the first half of their set and they managed to bring me back up a little with their rendition of the Imperial March and a few covers of Tool, Nirvana and Pantera.  But…man, it kind of sucked.  Musically, they sounded great!  But there was no energy to their music and I swear if I ever see the frontman take the catwalk again, I will leave the room.  Every chance he got, he was out there strutting his stuff, no guitar in hand.  I also was quite peeved that between every song there was some weird atmospheric musical intermission.  Dudes…you’re a band with 8 songs to play.  Don’t have a minute long PA speaker song happening between songs.  Keep the energy up and power through those things.

Well, that’s that.  Eric and I were severely underwhelmed with what we saw.  Not sure what to think anymore of that band…I think it’s a mix of 1) the logistics of their stage show 2) coming after Bullet for my Valentine who had so much more energy 3) maybe I’ve just grown out of their style of music 4) seriously dude, stop strutting on the catwalk so much!  I honestly don’t know if I would even bother going to see them in concert if they stumbled back into Ottawa.

With that bad taste in our mouth, I had high hopes for Avenged Sevenfold, a band that Vero’s cousins introduced me to and at the time, I thought they were a band that blatantly stole riffs from Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden.  I gave them a chance and they had some good tunes but I hadn’t fallen in love with what they had to offer.  I did start to enjoy their latest album The Stage which they were currently touring.


If it didn’t end up being one of the better concerts I’ve seen in a long time!

Avenged Sevenfold blowing our minds.

Seriously, I am officially a huge fan now.  The crowd took everything the band threw at them and threw it back at them.  So many mosh pits, so many hands pumping in the air.  It was an awesome show.  I have been thinking that we are witnessing the end of an era of bands who can take control of an entire arena…Metallica, Guns N Roses, Bon Jovi…they are getting up their in age.  There’s not many bands that can take an arena and transform it to an experience….well Avenged Sevenfold is one of them.  Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates are insane on the guitar.  I feel Gates is like Kirk Hammett on steroids.  I also laughed at how he looks like a mannequin most of the time up on screen but I can understand why…he needs to focus so much on playing these face melting riffs!

The mark of a great band is that you don’t even have to know half their songs but you are still entertained by their show.  Entertained we were.  Eric said it best: “How have I not known about this band all these years?!”

Incredible night had by all.

Twenty years of rocking and still going strong.  Strong being the 200 level with comfy seats.


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