Las Vegas rolled out the red carpet and gave its highest honor to the band FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, naming November 1st as FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH DAY, honoring the band's worldwide success and their philanthropic work, raising over $225,000 for organizations that support veterans. This came on the heels of the band's two sold out opening night SIN CITY MONSTER BASH shows at The Joint concert venue inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and the HRC's featured a new FFDP display inside the resort that further honored the band and their worldwide success. The entire Hard Rock Casino was decked out in FFDP logos and all the employees were wearing FFDP shirts for the Monster Bash weekend.
Fans lined up early to get in for a spot up front for the show, and there were girls scantily dressed on roller skates rolling around the lines and merch booth taking photos and entertaining those who arrived early. The doors opened up just around 6pm, and the venue quickly filled with fans, even lining the very upper deck all around the venue before the show began.
FIRE FROM THE GODS opened the Bash, a relatively new band signed to FFDP guitarist Zoltan Bathroy’s record label Eleven Seven, a rap/metal sound with vocals that remind me of Benji Webbe of Skindred. The Austin based act released their debut three years ago, and has been touring non-stop since, and features frontman AJ Channer, drummer Richard Wicander, guitarists Drew Walker and Jameson Teat and bassist Bonner Baker. Their newest full-length album American Sun was released the day of this show, just in time to kick off the their support tour. Check it out HERE.
BAD WOLVES is a band touted as a heavy metal supergroup, and has been around since 2017, with vocalist Tommy Vext, drummer John Boecklin, lead guitarist Doc Coyle, rhythm guitarist Chris Cain, and bassist Kyle Konkiel. The band is also managed by Zoltan Bathroy and Eleven Seven, and was perhaps best known for their cover of the Cranberries' song "Zombie", but since has come into their own after some intense touring and a fantastic new album in N.A.T.I.O.N., released October 25 and also out just in time for the tour. Singer Tommy Vext was all over the stage at the Vegas show, jumping and running around the huge stage at the Joint, belting out the songs from the new album, and was joined on stage by Clair Fabri for a rendition of "Hear Me Now" from their new release. The set also included the "Zombie" cover that was such a huge hit, and it created a huge sing a long with the crowd. Check out their newest album HERE.
THREE DAYS GRACE from Ontario, was formed way back in 1997 and are currently signed to RCA Records, and opened up with the song “Mountain” off their 2018 CD Outsider, and followed that up with one of their best songs titled “Home”. This had the crowd going as lead singer Matt Walst paced back and forth across the stage, hardly ever standing still. The bands backdrop had two large video screens on each side of the stage, with their drummer in the middle, creating some big visuals for their set. The band closed out their show a few of their biggest hits, “I Hate “Everything About You”, “The Animal I Have Become” and finished with “Never Too Late” and finally “Riot”. A great set by a great live band.
A huge white curtain covered the massive stage setup for the headlining Five Finger Death Punch, which only heightened the excitement from the crowd as they grew anxious waiting for the band to take to the stage for opening night. On the curtain, a laser projected the FFDP logo on brass knuckles as the crowd chanted a war cry. The curtain finally dropped and the bands massive skull with two gigantic baseball bats were hung above the stage, and the band launched into the opening number “Lift Me Up”, lights blazing everywhere and concussion blasts going off onstage,
as Ivan Moody ran out and onto a pop out at the center of the stage. As Jason Hook launched into a guitar solo, green lasers shot out across the venue illuminating it in an eerie glow. “Trouble” stirred up the crowd, followed by one of the band's best songs “Wash It All Away”. FFDP's show has it all, intense lighting, lasers, loud bombs, confetti cannons and some of the best pyro explosions I have seen. And some really great songs, too!
FFDP is very pro military, and are huge supporters of veterans who suffer from PTSD and have raised hundreds of thousands to help them. When you really listen to the bands songs, you see they come from deep and personal experiences, and Ivan Moody is quick to talk of some of these during the show. FFDP did three covers, the first being “Bad Company” and “Blue On Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, but the most highly emotional of them was the Offspring's “Gone Away”. Ivan Moody is a master of controlling the stage, and his audience and loves to interact with them throughout the show. At one point the band exited the stage briefly, and returned wearing Vegas' very own NHL Golden Knights jerseys. Ivan looked out into the crowd and spotted a guy wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey, and told the guy if took his jersey off he would trade him for his Golden Knight jersey - and of course the fan took off his jersey and passed it to the stage where Ivan held it up, laughed, looked at the guy and yelled SUCKER! Then tossing the jersey over his head as the band launched into their next song, but after the song ended Ivan took off his jersey, telling the fan he was a man of his word, and passed his Golden Knight jersey to him and said, “Now we're both Golden Knights Fans”.
A touching moment came when Ivan pulled a young boy up onstage and had him sing with him, turned to the crowd and said, “I am the only one in the band with kids, and these guys just do not understand what a big moment like this means to a young man like that”. Later Ivan looked for the boy and passed him the baseball bat he used during the song “Burn MF”. Ivan also asked where a woman was in the crowd who gave him a necklace with the symbol of the Phoenix hanging off of it, and thanked her. He said it reminded him of the huge one he has tattooed on his head that reminds him each day of his sobriety. - and if it didn’t remind him of that it would just be another big stupid face tattoo, and laughed. Ivan had a goof time talking to the fans, who expect in at the Vegas shows.
The band is blessed with two amazing guitar players in Jason Hook and Zoltan Bathroy, and have a most entertaining and talented bass player in the bearded Chris Kael. This was also the first Las Vegas show for new drummer Charlie Engren, who performed a crowd pleasing solo and seemed a great fit. The band closed out the first night of the weekend with “Under and Over It”, followed by another red and silver confetti blast for the song “The Bleeding”.
What a night and what a show. The hometown hero's received a well deserved welcome from the entire city, who have developed a deep and mutual bond with the band. We look forward to each and every time they play a show in their hometown of Las Vegas.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH SETLIST (NIGHT #1)
Lift Me Up
Wash It All Away
Jekyll and Hyde
Bad Company Got Your Six
Remember Everything Wrong Side of Heaven Battle Born
Blue on Black Coming Down
Gone Away Under and Over It