I bought a Golden VIP package for A7X’s Hail to the King tour, which took place in US in October, 2013. This post is about show in San Antonio, on 20th.
There were three consecutive in Texas, 18th in Houston, 19th in Dallas, 20th in San Antonio. And there were some familiar faces in VIP participants, I thought 6 people or so including me were traveling along and got VIP package. Such die hard fans…and it’s worth every penny.
I myself had two Golden VIP and one Silver, so this is my other Golden VIP package experience. I’m not sure why but the lighting was darker than that of in Houston, so my camera didn’t work well(I don’t have flash with it for reasons). I took some with my iPhone but they’re bit crappy too. So please be aware of photo quality.
The venue was AT&T Center where is home stadium for San Antonio Spurs(NBA).
Golden VIP package comes with a back stage tour. We basically went to the venue about 1.5 hours before door opens and were shown how all production on stage is set up from front, side and back of the stage. Billy, the guy responsible for this package, took good care of us and showed and explained what was going on there.
In this venue, A7X set up two story stage, and band members use stairs set to get on to the stage. Equipments like guitars are stored at ground floor, technical guys hand in them climbing the stairs during the show.
So, below are what I had privilege to witness during the back tour.
Thank you for organizing another great tour, Billy:) I wish I filmed everything you said but I was too busy taking pictures and seeing everything.
Click photo for larger image. / To see all photos as slideshow, click here
*I’m not native English speaker. Please note that the explanation below can be incorrect as I’m writing based on my understanding.
This is the AT&T Center in day light.
Not so many cars had parked yet.
People with VIP Package are waiting in line at the small secret door…
We had to sign waiver to be allowed to get on to the stage.
There can be any danger since they handle pyro and other stuffs.
Once the time had come, we were led into the clean and quiet entrance hall.
The view from far end.
It’s from third floor, I think.
Sound booth is located in the middle of the pit.
You can see the pit was far larger than the one in the amphitheater in Houston.
These guys in the booth were working for Deftones. The sound was different for each band.
Stage seen from the middle of the pit. Still bit far away for my liking.
The stage set was already all set up before we came around, so we couldn’t see the King.
Equipment that controls A7X’s on stage sound(? sorry I’m not sure).
You may know there are no sound on stage when A7X is playing(I think except raw sound of drumming), there is no speakers nor amps on stage.
Band members listen to the sound through ear plugs and those sound are controlled here.
So this table is very important for the sound control.
Guitars and bass guitars for Deftones.
Billy told us Deftones had to adjust some of their usual staging set to this tour as they usually do own shows, not being guest like this one.
Deftones were well received by the corwd in San Antonio, I think.
This is what was set on the stage left.
Basically there’s only the table to control sound on stage.
Then we went to back of the stage.
There were small booth for Zaa, A7X’s guitar technical expert, and guitars and bass guitars, Amplification and other equipment.
This one held Hellwin Amplification, which Synyster Gates designed with Schecter and James Brown.
Close up of Hellwin Amplification.
Other equipment, set next to the one above.
Johnny Christ’s bass guitars.
Synyster Gates’ guitars.
Sorry for the bad quality of photo. It was kinda dark there.
Set list was put on the wall of the guitar case.
There were some equipments and sheet showing which guitar and tuning are used for each song.
And some picks:)
Close up of the sheet showing which guitars to which song.
Fuel for Pyro and other technical thing were set under stage, in the middle of backstage.
A7X has 6feet pyro pillar during songs and many fireworks.
After a show finished around 11:00PM or so, crews wrap up and load everything to trucks, trucks move them to new town, start setting up from around 8-9AM. That’s tough work.
The space in the gate was used for visual effect.
It shows some key visuals during the songs such as skulls.(more skulls, yeah!)
Sneak peak from the top of the stairs to the stage.
We were not allowed to go on to the stage this time.
Crews bring equipment using this slope.
And view from the top of the stairs to the backstage.
I’m wondering what that “A7X” means…
This is a table for the guitar technical expert for Zacky Vengeance.
I feel these boxes have bit of Punk influence…
A sheet showing guitar and tuning for each song for Zacky.
Guitars for Zacky Vengeance.
King from behind
In the pit after the backstage tour. Then we were back to the entrance hall to wait for the door to open.
I love the shows and stage productions A7X provides, it’s so enjoyable as entertainment with both eyes and ears, and still has intimate feeling of coming to a venue to see my favorite band though said venue is now huge arena.
I’m glad I grow up with this band, seeing they both play small to huge venues and really proud to be die-hard fan of this band as I feel how much they dedicate themselves to producing great songs and shows. I appreciate all hard work crews and staffs put into those shows to happen too.
Thank you for great opportunity, A7X, and I recommend fans to participate in these kind of event if possible:)(I know it’s bit expensive)
Slideshow of photos above