Live Review and Photos by Celtic Bob
The masses began to quickly congregate in front of The Sound Academy (formally The Docks) on a cold December evening in Toronto, Ontario. Some fans were lined up a few hours earlier to assure their place near the front of the stage. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity we finally were inside the venue.
The first act or two of the evening were totally forgettable. I am not even positive if it was one or 2 acts as it was just background noise for people arriving, grabbing a warm slice of pizza, getting a beer or buying a shirt. Nobody seemed to have much interest in these band(s).
I was under the assumption that All That Remains were hitting the stage first, followed by Hatebreed then Five Finger Death Punch but once in The Pit I found out that Hatebreed were taking to the stage first. They put on a fairly energetic set and the crowd seemed to love it as they were crowd surfing throughout the entire show.
All That Remains were new to me and they were really good. Phil, their singer, had it down and could really work the crowd. It was guitarist Oli Herbert that stole the show so to speak. His playing was killer and he was really into it. He’s a fine metal guitarist with great stage presence and clearly the band’s strongest musician. I would recommend seeing them live just to watch him play to anyone.
Finally the wait is over and Five Finger Death Punch are about to hit the stage. The intro music is cue’d and the lights are down. As I head to the front of the stage to take some photos I am greeted by the bands security guard who tells me it’s not 1st 3 songs but 3, 4, 5 or similar. I watch the beginning of the show from just off side. I knew it was going to be an excellent night of music.
The stage was set up to look like Times Square with the giant screen billboards at times. There were about 8 Ford truck grills on either side of the stage. Finally somebody found a good use for something with that blue oval logo. Ivan’s mike stand was quite ‘Over the Top’ with it’s Bullet base, grenades and gun complete with brass knuckles grip. Very fitting for a group with a name like Five Finger Death Punch.
They played a good mix from their albums but the highlights were the new tunes. It was songs like “Under And Over It”, “American Capitalist” and “Bulletproof” that really shined. The true shining moment in the set was their cover of “Bad Company”. The intro antics between Ivan and Jason couldn’t have been better. There was a bit of Ozzy, Pantera and Rush played before the song really started. The most memorable part of the show. All of the group appeared to be enjoying what they were doing especially guitarist Jason Hook. This guy was grinning ear to ear in front of his hometown audience. He was posing for the photographers, flicking guitar pics to the fans and really having a good time. It is the small stuff like this that goes a long way and makes an event memorable to a fan.
It would have been nice to have included “Back For More” and “Pride” into the set but they can’t play everything. An excellent band that put on a good live show. A great night for heavy music.
More Photos from the show….