Backbeat: Avenged Sevenfold's CAA Agent Ryan Harlacher Talks Arena Tour, New Album Backstage at Palladium

Back row, from left: M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), Xavier Ramos (Marketing, Warner Bros. Records), Mike Elizondo (A&R, Warner Bros. Records) and Ryan Harlacher (Agent, CAA) – Front row, from left: Arin Ilejay (Avenged Sevenfold), Zacky Vengeance (Avenged Sevenfold), Johnny Christ (Avenged Sevenfold), Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold) and Larry Jacobson (Avenged Sevenfold manager, World Audience) (Kevin Estrada)

Hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold, who is featured on this week’s issue of Billboard, played a free concert at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles on Monday (Aug. 26) to celebrate their sixth album, “'Hail to the King,” released Aug. 27 on Warner Bros. Records.

“The band wanted to do something for their fans,” Ryan Harlacher, Avenged Sevenfold’s booking agent at Creative Artists Agency, tells Billboard.biz. “It was funny, because we said, ‘What kind of spin do you want to put on it? You can tie in retail or other things since it’s the night before the record.’ And they said, ‘No, we just want to play a free show. That’s it.’”

Harlacher says fans lined up outside of the Palladium weren’t afraid to show their Avenged Sevenfold pride.

“For my age, there were only a few bands where it was still cool to wear their t-shirts to their shows -- Metallica and Iron Maiden, as far as the rock and metal bands go,” the agent says. “But [Avenged Sevenfold] is one of those bands where there’s like 3,000 people waiting to get tickets for the show and 2,5000 of them were wearing Avenged Sevenfold t-shirts.”

Harlacher gives a shout-out to Live Nation’s Laura Rego (senior marketing director), Perry Lavoisne (senior VP of North American touring) and Rich Best (executive VP of booking/SoCal and Las Vegas – music) for helping make the free show happen. Live Nation operates the Palladium and is promoting a large chunk of Avenged Sevenfold’s upcoming arena tour.

Before the show, Avenged Sevenfold took a few minutes backstage at the Palladium to visit with their team, including Warner Bros.’s Xavier Ramos and Mike Elizondo; CAA’s Harlacher; and manager Larry Jacobson with World Audience.

Avenged Sevenfold’s last album, “Nightmare” (2010), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 776,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan. “Hail to the King” is expected to be another chart topper. The band will be headlining U.S. arenas in October with support from Deftones and Ghost B.C.

“We could very well come close to selling out every show,” says Harlacher, who was recently featured on Billboard’s 40 Under 40 list and also books such acts as Shinedown, Slipknot and Godsmack. “It’s a really good package.”