High Elevation Fest Makes its Debut in the Mile High City

Jake Tharan, Entertainment Editor

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The inaugural High Elevation Rock Festival brought celebrated hard rock and metal acts to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater for the clergy of Denver’s faithful heavy music fans.

The festival, which was promoted by Monster Energy, held performances from 15 groups between two stages.  Appearing at the festival were renowned bands such as Killswitch Engage, Volbeat, Sevendust, Ministry, Chevelle and more.  The evening was completed with a headlining set from California heavy rock harbingers Avenged Sevenfold, who delivered a memorable performance while satisfying the screams of young and older fans alike.

Illinois hard rock power trio Chevelle commenced their set playing both old and new tunes such as “The Clincher,” “I Get It,” “Joyride” and “Send the Pain Below.” The band launched into a semi-acoustic opener of arguably their biggest song, “The Red,” featuring only the band’s vocalist on guitar before the other two members joined in to lay down the rhythm.  Chevelle is a band who has built a regarded body of work through touring and the high favorability amongst fans in attendance attests their ethic.


Danish rock band Volbeat

With eager (and probably drunk) fans beginning to fill the amphitheater, Danish rock/metal band Volbeat took to the main stage as direct support.  The band has been on a steady ascent since the release of their 2010 record Beyond Hell/Above Heaven and their live performance may have even stole the show that night.

Volbeat plays an amalgamation of heavy, guitar driven rock n’ roll spiked with classic heavy metal, as is evidenced in their performances of songs like “Heaven nor Hell,” “Lola Montez,” “Dead But Rising” and “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown.”  The group even embraced their classic rock n’ roll rockabilly roots with a short cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” sure to bring a smile to the face of the Man in Black himself.  Volbeat’s live set is remarkably tight with searing solos from lead guitarist Rob Caggiano and a rhythm section that could keep the most off- tempo track in line.


California hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold

The culmination of the day is oh so sweet!  Now with a packed amphitheater awaiting the return of Avenged Sevenfold to Denver, the band entered the stage over the familiar intro to their 2010 song “Nightmare.”  Guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates’ dual harmonizing as well as the immense chorus were lauded by fans, delightfully singing along.

The band treated listeners to performances of catchy songs such as “Afterlife,” “Buried Alive,” “Bat Country” and “Hail to the King,” all of which received mass praise and raised fists.  Three songs into the set lead vocalist M. Shadows began to express his gratitude to the fans, but not before one of them threw a Payton Manning Broncos jersey on the stage.  Shadows bent over, picked up the jersey and declared, “I’m down with some Broncos,” which was obviously met with huge cheers from the crowd.

The crowd became a bit less participative during A7X’s performances of lesser known cuts but nonetheless continued to show their overall support for the band.  Avenged Sevenfold is an executive group of musicians in a live setting complemented by the craft of their vocalist.  The band can please trained musicians and casual listeners alike with their technical but accessible sound.  For these reasons Avenged Sevenfold has become one of the most revered heavy rock bands in the world.

Hopefully next year will we see a repeat of the High Elevation Rock Festival in Denver.