Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin – KeyBank Pavilion – 8/14/18

Five Finger Death Punch:

Opening the show with riff heavy song “Lift Me Up”, the crowd was ready to do a lot of singing and chanting along with front-man Ivan Moody. The band played in front of a giant skull prop that hung from the stage and a lot of pyrotechnics that helped the music melt your face off. Saluting people in the service whether it be police, fireman, EMT or military has become a staple of the Five Finger Death Punch live shows. Ivan made sure of that last night as thousands of service members put their hands in the air at KeyBank Pavilion. After saluting those who served and are serving the band went in to the slow grooves of “Bad Company” a fan favorite and hit cover by the band of the same name. Things got emotional thereafter for frontman, Ivan. He opened up about his meltdown and his addiction and how he was thankful that the fans stuck with him through the bad times and that he is now sober. Playing a more stripped down version of “Wrong Side of Heaven” on acoustic you can hear that importance of these lyrics in his voice. At one point Ivan almost lost it because the crowd was so in tune with his feelings and sang along with him word for word. Then it was time to bring it back to heavy! With songs like “Burn MF” where the crowd did a lot of chanting and the set closer “The Bleeding” that brought one heck of a show to a close. One thing that really stuck out to me was Ivan’s connection with the crowd. Some fans gave him gifts which he took from them, looked them over, thanked them and put it aside for later. He also gave some cool stuff to kids that were front row at the show. It was a nice showing to see a frontman so involved with the fans during a show. If you have a chance to see five finger death punch, be ready for a roller coaster of heavy emotion, driving music, and a great crowd response.

 

Breaking Benjamin:

The lead single off of their new record “Ember”, “Red Cold River” kicked the show off with dark and slow guitar following heavy double bass and blistering guitar in the pre-chorus. The band played in a setting worthy of the song under dark red lighting as the giant burning eye (Ember album cover) draped behind them. Next the crowd got involved with anthemic “I Will Not Bow” singing along with the arena rock style fan favorite of the band. They changed things up a bit for the middle of the show, doing instrumental snippets of various songs including “Schism” by Tool, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “Sad But True” by Metallica and more. This is when front-man Benjamin Burnley strapped on the guitar and had some fun with his band mates as they all propelled the stage, each gaining the spotlight. Benjamin is an avid video gamer and the mysterious rocker “Blow Me Away” was soundtrack to Halo 2 (Xbox, 2004) and also soundtrack to Pittsburgh on the night of August 14. Hitting up one of their heavier and more deeper songs “Until The End” the crowd was head banging and grooving along with the band as the played on. Sticking to heavy with “Believe” again the crowd was jamming along with the band as they played the brutal chugging parts of the song. Closing the show was “Diary Of Jane” a song that has over 100million views on YouTube and is a fan favorite and set-list regular for the band. All in all this tour is a great one. Solid playing, good lighting, great songs for audience participation and a broad sound in the music. Continue to support live concerts and if you get a chance to see this tour it will be a fun one for sure!

 

Nothing More:

 

Bad Wolves: