Chris Loomis

Five Finger Death Punch / Soulfly @ Fox Theater – Pomona – 3/24/2012

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Five Finger Death Punch is undoubtedly one of the most popular and successful metal bands over the last couple of years proof being in their album sales and tour attendance. The Fox Theater in Pomona, CA welcomed Five Finger Death Punch (FFDP) on Saturday March 24 and the Knuckleheads (FFDP’s name for their fans) were out in full force. FFDP is out once again in support of their latest album American Capitalist with support from metal veteran Max Cavalera and his band Soulfly and Seattle based rockers Windowpane.

Windowpane started the night with a 30 minute set of as-kickin hard rock. A decent amount of fans were already in the venue at this point and gave the Seattle based band a great reaction. Touring in support of their recently released album Enslaved Soulfly was up next. Led by former Sepultura founder and singer Max Cavalera (as well as former Nailbomb vocalist and current Cavalera Conspiracy frontman), longtime guitar shredder Marc Rizzo and new members Tony Campos on bass (Asesino frontman and former Static-X bassist) and David Kincade on drums (former Borknagar drummer). The Pomona Soulfly Tribe was out in force and Soulfly ripped through a brutal 45 minute set with many Soulfly classics with a bit of Sepultura thrown in for good measure. Max still sounds great live although he did appear a bit lethargic and stiff but regardless he still delivered an in your face metal assault that few can emulate. This is the best version of Soulfly to date, along with Max and guitarist Marc Rizzo who just shreds during the live show, newcomers Tony Campos and David Kincade add an almost death metal vibe to the band’s sound and both are outstanding live performers. Max had great crowd interaction especially during their customary drum spot of the show where himself as well as the other band members all play a tribal drum in unison. Soulfly was a great way to warm up and get the crowd in a metal mood for the headliners Five Finger Death Punch.

At about 9:30pm the lights dimmed and Five Finger Death Punch – singer Ivan Moody, guitarists Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook, bassist Chris Kael and drummer Jeremy Spencer – hit the stage with “Under and Over it” from their latest CD American Capitalist. The perfect tune to kickoff the show, this gave Hook and Bathory the opportunity to show off their catchy riffs and laser sharp fretwork. Singer Ivan Moody came out stalking the stage with his trademark intensity while Kael and Spencer layed down the rhythm all while a stadium type light show with strobes and multicolored spotlights added to the intensity and emotion of the song.

Throughout the 70 minute set FFDP played tracks from all three of their albums with lots of crowd participation and sing alongs. Frontman Ivan Moody has a great dynamic switching between hard hitting Pantera style vocals and melodic choruses and displays a lot of emotion in his stage presence. The guitar duo of Hook and Bathory is one of the best in the business today as they both are quite proficient on their instruments and have a fun and enthusiastic way about them as they interact with each other and the crowd.

Two thirds of the way through the show Jeremy Spencers drum kit raises about 15 feet in the air and he displays his drumming talent with a brief drum solo. Other highlights of the show was during the song “White Knuckles” Moody invited several kids in the audience on stage calling them the “next generation” of metal as well as multiple audience chants of “USA USA USA” resulting from FFDP’s recent visit to see the troops in Iraq.

The madness concluded with a ferocious rendition of “The Bleeding” a perfect combination of clean vocals and heavy hitting riffage. Five Finger Death Punch will continue this tour through May ending at The Rock on the Range show on May 19 in Columbus, OH. If you need a dose of hard hitting, in your face metal get out to a FFDP show!!

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