Chris Loomis

Five Finger Death Punch / Breaking Benjamin / Nothing More / Bad Wolves @ Fivepoint Amphitheater – 07/27/2018

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Five Finger Death Punch @ Fivepoint Amphitheater – 07/27/2018Heavy Metal music has had some amazing tour packages out this year in 2018 led by Slayer, Ministry, Killswitch Engage among others and now it’s Hard Rock’s turn as Five Finger Death Punch along with Breaking Benjamin, Nothing More and Bad Wolves made a stop at The Fivepoint Amphitheater in Irvine on Friday night July 27. A beautiful HOT, sunny California evening set the stage for five hours of aggressive music for the 12,000 music lovers in attendance.

The four band onslaught kicked off early at 6:00pm as Los Angeles’ Bad Wolves began at what seemed to be the hottest part of the day with the sun fully swallowing the stage. This band has a story . . . led by Tommy Vext on vocals who led the re-united SNOT back in 2009 as well as singing for Divine Heresy, Doc Coyle (former God Forbid) on guitars, John Boecklin (former Devildriver) on drums, Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead) on guitars and Kyle Konkiel (former In This Moment) on bass, the band is not only somewhat of a supergroup but the band has had HUGE commercial success with their Cranberries cover of “Zombie”.

Out supporting their debut album Disobey released on May 11, the band blazed through six songs off that album including “Hear Me Now” with special guest performer Diamante as well as ending the set with “Zombie”. The early birds in the crowd certainly soaked up the aggressive and wide vocal range of Vext as heads were banging and sweat was dripping. These guys are a talented bunch and hopefully will be around awhile to make lots more music!

Bad Wolves Set List

Officer Down | Learn to Live | No Masters | Hear Me Now (with Diamante) | Better the Devil | Zombie

Bad Wolves Photo Gallery

Still supporting 2017’s The Stories We Tell Ourselves, San Antonio hard Rockers Nothing More took the stage next and delivered 45 minutes of primitive, raw hard rock kicking off with “Do You Really Want it”. Jonny Hawkins on vocals is a driven and passionate singer as he plays on stage shirtless and barefoot, somewhat reminding you of Jim Morrison with his looks and stage movements – Hawkins delivers 110%. Along with drummer Ben Anderson and bass player Daniel Oliver, the low end is solid with Mark Vollelunga on guitars.

One cannot mention Nothing More without also mentioning the Scorpion  Tail . . . constructed out of scrap metal by bassist Oliver, The Scorpion Tail is centered with a large drum which Hawkins stands on and then he maneuvers it vertically extending some 15 ft above the stage. He seems to make musical noises with it through motions and electronic controls – quite the sight to see and a kick-ass addition to the stage show.

The band played a nice mix of older and newer songs throughout the set and at one point all members of the band were hitting drums with Hawkins on The Scorpion Tail. The band ended their time on stage with “Salem (Burn the Witch)” from 2009’s The Few Not Fleeting. The three time Grammy nominated band will no doubt continue to tour for this album cycle and is a band that should NOT be missed when they hit your town!

Nothing More Set List

Do You Really Want It? | Let ’em Burn | Mr. MTV | Go to War | Just Say When (Version 2.0) | Jenny | Ocean Floor | This Is The Time (Ballast) | Salem (Burn the Witch)

Nothing More Photo Gallery

Pennsylvania dark rockers Breaking Benjamin who is co-headlining this tour with Five Finger Death Punch took the stage for a 75 minute performance that included a heavy metal medley that included Tool, Nirvana, Pantera and Metallica . . . this was actually the highlight of the set that also included the rare drum solo.

Led by vocalist Benjamin Burnley who walked mysteriously about the stage, Breaking Benjamin played in mostly dark lighting with at times lots of pyro shooting up from the back of the stage. Although the mass of fans rocking out to the show, Breaking Benjamin did seem like the slow point of the night being book-ended between Nothing More and Five Finger Death Punch.

The band did play three songs off their April 2018 release Ember as well as a mix of older material. The night ended with “The Dairy of Jane” from 2006’s Phobia.

Breaking Benjamin Set List

Red Cold River | I Will Not Bow | Never Again | Breath | The Imperial March/ Schism/ Smells Like Teen Spirit/ Walk/ Sad But True | Drum Solo | Sooner or Later | Blow Me Away | So Cold | Angels Fall | Psycho | Failure | Until the End | Believe | Torn in Two | The Diary of Jane

Breaking Benjamin Photo Gallery

All the bands had fans wearing their t-shirts throughout the venue on this night but I don’t think there was any doubt that most were here to see Five Finger Death Punch. With a KILLER new album out And Justice for None (released in May 2018) and a healthy Ivan Moody, all were looking forward to Five Finger Death Punch hitting the stage. A large black curtain hung over the stage as the song “I Love You” from the Barney series played over the PA then the curtain fell and the band blasted into “Lift Me Up” then into “Trouble” off the new album.

Ivan Moody seemed possessed and hell bent on delivering a killer show, his voice sounded spot on and he provided a spectacular performance as he alternated between his iconic mic stand and prowling across the stage. You immediately notice the amazing light show and stage setup, backed by a huge skull with baseball bats instead of cross-bones. Whoever designed this light show knows how to present an arena rock band – KUDOS to you!

Guitarists Jason Hook and Zoltan Bathory along with the bearded wonder, bassist Chris Kael in addition to playing the shit out of their instruments REALLY ham it up for the media during the beginning of the show with poses, finger pointing, etc – THANK YOU!

Anchoring the band on the massive drumkit dressed in a skeleton costume with matching bones facepaint is original drummer Jeremy Spencer who has no issues beating up on his kit. Moody dedicated “Bad Company” to all the military in attendance then dedicated an acoustic version of “Wrong Side of Heaven” to his band mates for all the shit he has put them through. Then we got to see Moody invite about two dozen youngsters up on stage as he usually does at each show to help him sing the chorus on “Remember Everything”.

Five Finger Death Punch ended the night with their emotionally aggressive Love/Hate ballad “The Bleeding” as confetti cannons blasted throughout. Without a doubt Five Finger Death Punch remains one of the elite bands to play on stage. The current tour runs through the first week of September – DON’T MISS THIS when it comes your way!

Five Finger Death Punch Set List

Lift Me Up | Trouble | Wash It All Away | Jekyll and Hyde | Bad Company | Fake | Wrong Side of Heaven (Acoustic) | Remember Everything(Acoustic) | Coming Down | Burn MF | Gone Away | Under and Over It | The Bleeding

Five Finger Death Punch Photo Gallery

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