Five Finger Death Punch
In This Moment
From Ashes To New
Got Your Six Tour
September 27th, 2015
Council Bluffs, Iowa
There’s not a doubt in my mind why Council Bluffs, Iowa’s Mid-America center was packed with screaming fans on a Sunday night. Separately, each of the bands on the Got Your Six Tour always brings a rowdy crowd with them, no matter which they’re playing. To have these four bands on tour together raises the bar on our collective expectations of what a rock show should be.
The sextet from Central Pennsylvanian, From Ashes To New have been perfecting their unique brand of Rap-Rock for awhile now. The band served as the perfect appetizer for a night of authentic, aggressive metal music. It was great to see so much energy come out of a band that so few people knew of. Even though myself and a few thousand other people had never heard of the band before tonight, From Ashes To New won over the crowd.
After a brief set change, In This Moment took the stage to the deafening screams and fans chanting Maria Brink’s name over and over. Tonight would make my 13th time seeing Brink and her band of merry men, my 4th time this year. Watching their live performance never gets old.
The band’s 6 song set was highlighted by 6 separate costume changes from vocalist and founder Maria Brink. The guys, however, would not be showed up by the hypnotizing stage show of Brink. While drummer Tom Hane was hidden throughout their set behind his stage right drum kit, bassist Travis Johnson, guitarists Chris Howarth and Randy Weitzel paced back and forth in their respective areas, interacting with the crowd and the band’s Blood Girls.
Over the past decade, In This Moment has grown exponentially as a band, and have found the perfect balance between giving their fans an amazing audio and visual concert. Seeing Brink commanding the stage while behind her blazing pink podium during Sex Metal Barbie is just as spectacular as when the woman sits perched on a bar stool wearing a dunce cap during Whore.
So much of the band’s music and live show revolves around sex. Brink embodies women empowerment, and uses her own sex appeal to command the crowd.
While In This Moment’s music is what first draws us to the band, it’s their stage presence that keeps us focused. Her feminine posture on stage is something that fans of the metal genre have never seen before. This woman’s beauty is a stark contrast to the vicious and gruesome personas that her band mates take on to stage with them. Each of Brink’s band mates thrash about stage wearing post apocalyptic costumes, a stark contrast to the white body suite Brink wears on stage. Weitzel paints himself up as a skeleton, wearing personalized Jason Vorhees-esque hockey masks. Johnson wears a HR Geiger inspired lower face mask. Co-founder Chris Howarth has even started wearing a nightmarish face mask during their sets as he thrashes around, whipping his dreads like Medusa enthralling a Greek soldier before she delivers the death blow. The addition of the Blood Girls in the live show rounds out the choreographed set.
Brink’s costume changes during their performance set the tone and highlight the meaning behind each of the songs performed. As Brink started off the night in a black wide brimmed hat and full length cloak for Sick Like Me, she changed into the Blood Legion nurse uniform for Black Widow. This in turn evolved into a bright red sequined suite and top hat for Blood. Brink commanded the crowd behind a pink podium during Sex Metal Barbie, as she waved about the full face mask she uses to represent the shameful side of herself, screaming with rage at the mask as she’s waving to the crowd like the rock royalty that she is.
Caged during Big Bad Wolf, with the Blood Girls donning grimacing Werewolf masks, Brink’s outfit is reminiscent of a warrior Native American princess, highlighted with floor length tassles as Brink thrashes around cage. As the band exits the stage for a breather, the introduction for Natural Born Sinner is played. Brink, in a Catholic School girl’s skirt and dunce cap walk back on stage and takes her place on a high bar stool, sitting down with her back to the crowd, the band pops the opening deep bass of Whore. The song that was written by Brink to combat the ugly, shameful words that have been hurled at her during her life, it’s become an anthem for the band’s fans; men and women. During several times during Whore’s performance, the crowds’ voices almost exceeded Brinks’ own.
Brink always has a message for In This Moment’s fans. Taking to her official Instagram account, Brink posted “No matter who you are or what your body looks like, fall in love with your curves. Love every inch of it and know there is only one perfect you out there . You’re breathtaking exactly the way you are.”
Ever the appreciative woman, Brink thanked the crowd several times during their set for coming out to see them. “You are our family. You are our reason. We love you all,” Brink told the seething masses one last time as they ended their set and exited the stage.
It wouldn’t be long before CaliRockers Papa Roach would be on stage. This would be my 6th time seeing the band since 2007, and each time has been more intense than the previous. Papa Roach are constantly evolving musically, and growing with their fans.
The band’s 16 song set was a mixture of tracks from their extensive 7 album catalogue, with the majority focusing on the band’s current release “F.E.A.R. (Face Everything and Rise)”. Vocalist Jacoby Shaddix made time on several occasions to thank the crowd for their support. He even admitted that when they formed the band he never thought they’d still be going after 2 decades.
Not wanting to play a typical show on this tour, Papa Roach wanted to prove they’re no one-trick-pony. After Broken As Me, bassist Tobin Esperance and drummer Tony Palermo kept the show’s momentum going with a jam session. After the two had finished, the crowd burst into cheers, and the spot light shined down on the soundboard at the back of the arena floor. Jacoby Shaddix and Jerry Horton were perched in the midst of the crowd and played an acoustic version of Scars. The crowd went bonkers. Almost as bonkers as when Maria Brink joined the band on stage for their performance of Gravity. So many people were recording the moment, the arena looked like a vast star field.
Papa Roach rounded out their set with a few more fan favorites, thanked the fans one last time, and exited the stage.
The fans took this opportunity to catch their breath before the assault that Five Finger Death Punch was going to give us. Tonight’s show would be my 5th time seeing the band live since they opened the second stage of the 2007 Family Values Tour in Kansas City.
FFDP continue to grow musically, and evolve into what can only accepted if you see them live. These 5 men know how to incite the crowd, and vocalist Ivan Moody has completely mastered the art of controlling the crowd during their live set.