Avenged Sevenfold Perform First Gig With New Drummer Brooks Wackerman
After drummer The Rev passed away in 2009, Avenged Sevenfold were forced to continue on without their longtime friend and bandmate. Mike Portnoy filled in temporarily before a permanent drummer, Arin Ilejay, was recruited in 2011. Illejay was let go by Avenged Sevenfold in 2015, and Brooks Wackerman, Bad Religion’s longest-tenured drummer, was tapped as the band's new stickman.
Brooks’ first A7X gig took place in Minneapolis, Minn., in front of 1,500 fans. As a warm-up for their opening slot for Metallica on Aug. 20, Avenged played Minneapolis’ First Avenue venue. No tickets were sold, so the first 1,500 people who showed up at the door were welcomed in for free. The jump for Wackerman will be pretty large come Saturday, as he’ll perform his second gig behind Avenged Sevenfold’s kit at U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.
After being announced as Avenged Sevenfold’s new drummer, Wackerman spoke of informing Bad Religion he would be departing the punk institution. “There was no lead up to it and no one knew. Initially it was shock to everyone,” Brooks said. “I spoke with every band member individually on a day off on tour right before our last show. There’s just a lot of history there, but they understood. They get it. I mean the band has been around for 35 years so they’ve gone through this before.”
Check out some fan-shot footage of Avenged Sevenfold’s full Aug. 18 gig above!
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