Southern California in July is not always lovely, not if you are trying to make it to Orange Country on a Friday afternoon. However, neither the traffic insanity no the sweltering heat stopped thousands of heavy metal fans from packing the Five Point Amphitheater, a new concert venue that opened its doors to the public last October.
Bad Wolves, the Los Angeles based five-piece, kicked off the night at 6 p.m.
Consisting of vocalist Tommy Vext (ex-Divine Heresy), drummer John Boecklin(ex-DevilDriver), guitarist Doc Coyle(Vagus Nerve, ex-God Forbid), guitarist Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead), and bassist Kyle Konkiel(ex-In This Moment), Bad Wolves took the scene by storm in 2017 with the self-released debut single “Learn To Live”.
The band recently signed to Eleven Seven Music and released their debut album in May 2018. Their debut album Disobey features “Toast To The Ghost” and their hit cover of The Cranberries’ seminal single “Zombie”, released in honor of Dolores O’Riordan, who was scheduled to record guest vocals on the song the day she passed away. “Zombie” went viral globally, garnering the attention of Howard Stern and mainstream media across the world all while racking up millions of views across platforms with the official video amassing 150 Million views across YouTube and Facebook. The track currently sits atop the rock and metal charts around the world. All proceeds from the track will go to Dolores O’Riordan’s three children. Disobey, debuted at #22 on the Billboard Top 200, #2on the Hard Rock Chart, #4 on Rock, and #8on the Top Current Albums Chart.
Bad Wolves have proven themselves to be the global breakout band of 2018. Bad Wolves is definitely a band to watch out for in the upcoming year. Their live performances are raw, energetic, and very powerful.
Nothing More, a hard-rock/progressive metal band from San Antonio, Texas, took the stage at 6:55 p.m.
This band lives up to its hype. Their live shows are eclectic, full of raw energy, magnetism, and originality. During its performance, the band uses a massive stage prop, called the Scorpion Tail. This 400-pound, 14-foot tall Mad Max-like animated structure was built by bassist Daniel Oliver from scrap metal and salvaged auto and motorcycle parts. Vocalist Jonny Hawkins rides the contraption onstage while simultaneously creating digital electronic effects for the songs.
Nothing More’s The Stories We Tell Ourselves is out now on Better Noise Records.
Nothing More Setlist
Do You Really Want It?
Let ’em Burn
Go to War
Just Say When
This Is The Time (Ballast)
First of the Year (Equinox)
Salem (Burn the Witch)
Breaking Benjamin delivered an electrifying 75-minute set, pleasing the crowd with the new songs “Red Cold River,” “Torn In Two,” as well as the crowd favorites “I Will Not Bow,” “Angels Fall” and “So Cold.” To wrap up their set, Ben Burnley invited the members of Nothing More and Bad Wolves along with children from the audience to join him for the closer “The Diary Of Jane.”
Multi-platinum band Breaking Benjamin has a huge diehard fan base, both through their chart-topping music, as well as their emotional live performances. Their latest album, ‘EMBER’, released in April 2018 debuted at #3 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and has so far featured two successful singles, ‘Red Cold River’ (peaking at #1 on Active Rock and giving the band their 8th #1 single), and the band’s latest single, ‘Torn In Two’ (steadily climbing the charts from its current position of #12 at Active Rock).
You can stream the new album Ember here.
Breaking Benjamin Setlist
Red Cold River
I Will Not Bow
Medley: The Imperial March/ Schism/ Smells Like Teen Spirit/ Walk/ Sad But True
Sooner or Later
Blow Me Away
Until the End
Torn in Two
The Diary of Jane
Five Finger Death Punch commenced the night with their triumphant return to Southern California. They took the stage to Barney’s “I Love You” song. It’s safe to say this song did NOT set the tone for the rest of the night. They ripped through concert staples such as “Lift Me Up” and the cover “Bad Company” along with “Trouble” and “Fake” from their new album “And Justice for None” with liberal amounts of lights and pyro. This was followed by the band clearing the stage of everyone but lead singer Ivan Moody and guitarist Jason Hook for acoustic versions of “Wrong Side of Heaven” and “Remember Everything” accompanied by a large group of kids from the audience. The crowd obliged Ivan’s lighting instructions as they let their cell phones and lighters illuminate the venue.
But what’s a metal show without an accident? The 15-minute delay as Ivan directed fans and paramedics to assist an injured fan in the pit area toward the end of the show, did give him an opportunity to improvise. This included singing a cappela and signing autographs. After the fan was assisted, the band picked up right where they left off before closing with fan favorite “Under and Over It” and “The Bleeding”, during which Ivan shared that the next day would mark his 1 year sober birthday. He drew inspiration from audience members who also struggled with alcoholism. The audience left, not only rooting for the front man to continue his sobriety, but also thoroughly entertained.
Lift Me Up
Wash It All Away
Jekyll and Hyde
Wrong Side of Heaven
Five Finger Death Punch’s AND JUSTICE FOR NONE (released via Prospect Records), has sold over100,000 albums and generated 100 million U.S. on-demand streams and over 250,000 US digital song sales. Fueled new single and video for “Sham Pain,” currently#7 at Active Rock and the Top 5rock song “Gone Away,” AND JUSTICE FOR NONE marked the group’s fifth consecutive Top 5 album release. The album also had four #1 placements on other charts including: Top Digital Albums, Top Rock Albums, Top Hard Music Albums and AND JUSTICE FOR NONEis the #1 streaming Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album of 2018. Produced by the band and Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed) with And Justice For None, Five Finger Death Punch has once again stepped up their game maintaining their signature intensity, all while pushing themselves into new territories. Purchase And Justice For None or stream the album here: https://fivefingerdeathpunch.com.
Fans purchasing a ticket to the tour this summer will also support a good cause. The co-headliners each will donate $0.50 from every ticket sold to two charity organizations close to their hearts. Five Finger Death Punch has chosen C.O.P.S -Concerns Of Police Survivors, an organization whose mission is rebuilding shattered lives of survivors and co-workers affected by line of duty deaths, through partnerships with law enforcement and the community. Breaking Benjamin has chosenPrevent Child Abuse America to help counteract the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children by promoting services that improve child well-being and developing programs that help to prevent all types of abuse and neglect.
Five Finger Death Punch + Breaking Benjamin Summer Tour Dates
* – 5fdp & Bad Wolves only/ ** – 5fdp, Breaking Benjamin & Bad Wolves only
7/18/18 – Spokane Arena – Spokane, WA **
7/20/18 – Taco Bell Arena – Boise, ID
7/21/18 – USANA Amphitheatre – Salt Lake City, UT
7/24/18 – Shoreline Amphitheatre – San Francisco, CA
7/25/18 – Mattress Firm Amphitheatre – San Diego, CA
7/27/18 – FivePoint Amphitheater – Irvine, CA
7/29/18 – Isleta Amphitheater – Albuquerque, NM **
8/1/18 – Austin360 Amphitheater – Austin, TX
8/3/18 – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion – Houston, TX **
8/4/18 – Starplex Pavilion – Dallas, TX
8/6/18 – BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove – Southaven, MS
8/7/18 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis, MO
8/9/18 – Heritage Park Amphitheatre – Simpsonville, SC
8/11/18 – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL
8/12/18 – Verizon Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA
8/14/18 – KeyBank Pavilion – Pittsburgh, PA
8/15/18 – BB&T Pavilion – Camden, NJ
8/17/18 – The Pavilion at Montage Mountain – Scranton, PA
8/18/18 – Xfinity Center – Boston, MA
8/20/18 – Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON
8/22/18 – Lakeview Amphitheater – Syracuse, NY **
8/24/18 – Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, VA
8/25/18 – PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ **
8/28/18 – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH
8/29/18 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago, IL
8/31/18 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center – Indianapolis, IN **
9/1/18 – DTE Energy Music Theatre – Detroit, MI
9/3/18 – Darien Lake Amphitheater – Darien Center, NY
9/6/18 – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY **
9/7/18 – XFINITY Theatre – Hartford, CT
9/9/18 – Blossom Music Center – Cleveland, OH **
Review: Damageplan Dan, Natalia Britt
Photos: Natalia Britt