Five Finger Death Punch, Fire From the Gods
Sioux City, Iowa
July 20th, 2019
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s outdoor venue, Battery Park, is a fantastic place for a concert, especially for a band who’s stage presence and theatrics are as detailed as Five Finger Death Punch.
Love them, or hate them, there’s no denying Five Finger Death Punch are one of the most energetic live bands you will ever see. The passion their adult fans proves this. The size of the circle pits proves it. The kids hanging on the railing proves it. While tonight wasn’t my first time seeing the band live, I couldn’t think of a better band to pop my Battery Park cherry.
For the first leg of the “We Should Be In the Studio” tour, FFDP invited relative newcomers Fire From the Gods as their opener. The Austin, Texas quintet are said to bridge the gap between “hardcore metal fury and hip-hop consciousness”. For a solid 45 minutes FFTG smashed though a solid set that focused on the band’s “Narrative” release. It didn’t matter to the thousands of people packed into Battery park that the band hadn’t been in Sioux City for about a year, they remembered the energy FFTG brought with them the last time they played here with Sevendust.
FFTG are also premiering two new tracks on this tour, “Truth to the Weak” and “Another Level”. No word on whether or not these are the completed tracks to be on an upcoming release or works in progress. I had no idea who these guys were before tonight, but I’m already looking forward to seeing them again this fall.
Fire From the Gods did a great job pumping the crowd into a frenzy and elevating the energy of Battery Park to an acceptable level for Five Finger Death Punch. I thought I had a decent history with the band, with tonight being the 8th time seeing them since their 2007 national touring debut on Korn’s Family Values Tour, but a few people I spoke with have been to a dozen FFDP concerts. The great thing about Five Finger Death Punch’s live shows is that the band switches their set up enough to keep even the most diehard fan on their toes, and their stage show changes almost nightly. While we wouldn’t get the expected pyrotechnics tonight because of certain city codes, we would get drown in confetti twice before the hard 11pm curfew.
For close to an hour and a half, Five Finger Death Punch hammered through a bombastic 15 song set that focused on their more fan favorite hits. The band hit the ground running, opening their set with “Lift Me Up”, “Trouble”, and “Wash It All Away”. The circle pits opened wide for “Jekyll and Hyde” and only slightly eased up for “Sham Pain”. Batter Park, which was still littered with purple confetti from In This Moment’s performance two days earlier, was showered with green confetti during Sham Pain.
“Bad Company” and “Got Your Six” were massive sing-alongs for the crowd. The park with lit up by lighters and cellphone lights when the band took it down a notch for the acoustic portion of the set. Even stripped down musically, these guys know how to rock a crowd. The band’s cover of Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s “Blue on Black” fit perfectly with acoustic versions of “Wrong Side of Heaven” and “Remember Everything”.
Drummer Charlie Engen took center stage for a solo between “Coming Down” and “Burn MF”, which closed out the band’s main set.
The heartbreaking portion of the band’s set came with their cover of The Offspring’s “Gone Away”. Ivan told the crowd about his personal experiences with addiction recovery and a story about FFDP’s time touring with Linkin Park and becoming friends with Chester Bennington. It was truly a touching moment, and a reminder that this illness touches people from every walk of life.
After a moment to collect ourselves from an emotional performance, the band hit the ground hard by closing their set with “Under and Over It,” and their debut single, “The Bleeding”. The band’s performance of “The Bleeding” was a great reminder as to just how far the band has come this past decade. They continue to put on on of the best live shows you will ever seen, and there’s no arguing about that.