Thursday, October 8, 2015

In This Moment, Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch Concert Review

    Hey everyone!  I'd like to start off the post with saying that I am by no means a professional music critic.  If you are looking for an in-depth article on how each band performed, how the sound was balanced for the venue and so on, this probably isn't the article for you.

    However if you are looking for a low-key, honest opinion of a music lovers experience at a show, stay around and  we can have a good conversation.  Also - I apologize for the photographs.  I know they aren't quality work, but hey its dark, people are moving, lights are flashing and I'm a short girl in a crowd using her phone.  Give me some slack.

   The line-up of the concert we saw was From Ashes to New, In this Moment, Papa Roach, and Five Finger Death Punch.  Because I have 3 kids and can never get out of the house at a reasonable time, we missed From Ashes to New. Since I can not give an honest review on something I didn't see, I am skipping over that part.  I am not intentionally ignoring them, or hating, keep your panties out of a bunch if you are a huge From Ashes to New fan.

In This Moment 

     Out of the entire lineup this was probably the band I was most excited to see.  While I like some of their earlier work (most notably 'Lost at Sea',  a fantastic track proving Maria Brink's skills as a singer), 'Black Widow' is the album that has really caught my attention.  

In This Moment performing 'Blood' 

    Maria Brink is a somewhat polarizing character in the metal world, she is both loved and hated for use of her sex appeal and stage theatrics.  She is often described as rock's version of Lady Gaga, a description that does a great disservice to Ms. Brink (I think she has more to say than her pop counterpart), although I do understand the analogy. 

'Sex Metal Barbie' complete with podium, glittery top hat, and decapitated Barbie head

    Say what you want about her, but the lady demands attention on the stage.  The sets were switched between every song, as well as Brink's wardrobe and that of her backup dancers.  The sets recalled popular images from the band's music videos, each providing context for the song being played.   Brink's energy was palpable, straddling (in latex and heels no less) the fine line between femininity and the hardness required of the genre.

'Big Bad Wolf' Brink's screams and vocals were strong during the physical performance

  Overall the band sounded great, there was little interaction with the crowd, or even between band members which is something I'd like to see more of, however realize it may not be feasible with the included downtime in changing sets. 

The final song 'Whore' got a brief into regarding the song's inspiration

Papa Roach

     I saw Papa Roach opening for Korn back in the summer of 2000.  'Infest' had just come out, and although 'Last Resort' was the only song I was familiar with, the show blew me away.  Jacoby Shaddix was a beast on stage, he completely stole the show from both Powerman 5000 and Korn (Jonathan Davis despite sounding good was surprisingly boring to watch).

Shaddix engaged with the crowed and band members alike

    Needless to say I was both excited and apprehensive to see them again 15 years later.  Would the intensity still be there?  Had passed time somehow caused me to remember it being better than what it really was?  No - my memories were accurate.  The band sounded phenomenal, truly an act that sounds every bit as good live as they do on their records. 

At the half way point, Shaddix and guitarist Jerry Horton performed an acoustic version of 'Scars' amidst the crowd

   Jacoby's intensity remained as strong as I remembered.  The source of the intensity may have changed.  Fueled before by what seemed like rage, it's source now seems to be a man who just f-king loves what he does.  The crowd understood what they were witnessing and responded to it.  It was a fantastic show. 

Maria Brink joins Papa Roach on stage to perform 'Gravity'

Five Finger Death Punch

   Admittedly I did not know what to expect from this show.  Personally I am a fan of FFDP's more radio friendly material (yeah, yeah I know take your shots), and some of the recent controversy in the media just kinda left me unsure of what I was going to see. 

One of the few times the members were all together and holding still

   I was wrong.  There's no other way of saying that.  The more "commercial" songs are still my favorites - I don't care how many die hard metal fans want to argue the credibility of 'The Bleeding' it's still an awesome song as far as I'm concerned.  But what I saw was one of the most crowd driven, fan appreciative concerts I have ever seen.  

Lead guitarist Jason Hook and Moody perform an acoustic 'Wrong Side of Heaven'

  And it was kid appropriate too.  That's not to say that it wasn't loud, or the language toned down, it wasn't.  But Ivan Moody took his time to personally greet as many kids as he could see in the crowd.  During one part of the show he invited kids and their families up on stage to watch a song, and then proceeded to take pictures with each of those who requested it. 

Moody invited kids and their families up on stage for 'Burn MF'

   Regarding the controversy, it was only addressed in the form of thanking fans for continuing to support them despite what may have been said in the media.  There was no arrogance in the comment, no persuading to see a specific side, just  pure gratitude for a fan base that came to see them.  
The crowd's response to the show waiting for 'The Bleeding' 

   Ultimately that is the kind of attitude that wins me over as a fan.  There are some prime examples where bands have alienated their fans by becoming arrogant elitist jerks, ultimately losing their following.  Five Finger Death Punch is a band that despite their increased popularity, has maintained their appreciation for those who support them.  It was an incredible show to see if only because as an attendee I was made to feel like they truly appreciated me being there.  

   So overall I give the lineup a solid A.  Each band definitely had their own style and attitude.  It contrasted enough that it didn't all kind of blend together as some lineups do.  The crowd was great and responsive which also contributes greatly.  If you ever get an opportunity to see any of these band, I do highly recommend it based off of what I saw. 



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