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Five Finger Death Punch - October 19, 2008 - The Opera House, Toronto, ONT

By: James Wright

Sometimes you don't realize how big a band is really getting until you see them live. Five Finger Death Punch released their debut Way of the Fist in 2007, but their impact is now being felt in a huge way. After witnessing the group's live assault at this year's Mayhem Festival, it was finally time for Five Finger Death Punch to embark on a headlining tour, where they could play longer sets and stand completely on their own.

Kicking off the night was Bury You Dead, fresh on a few high-profile tours. The group recently survived a recent van wreck in the Great White North, so it was surprising to see the band back in the land of poutine and maple syrup, but they brought their brand of hardcore-infused metal north of the border to put on a frenzied performance.

While their sound screams mediocre and generic, Bury Your Dead knows how to get a crowd worked up and put on an impressive performance. The group’s set was comprised of a large number of tracks from their recently released self-titled new album, but also included tracks from the Cover Your Tracks and Beauty and the Breakdown albums. The highlight of the group’s set was new frontman Myke Terry (ex-Cassius) who created some of the best crowd interaction of the night

In This Moment followed unfortunately failed to keep the momentum going. The group took the stage and immediately ran through a couple of the heavier tracks ("Ashes" and "Prayers") and from their impressive debut Beautiful Tragedy. Although the band was obviously plagued by technical problems, they still created solid energy throughout the room.

It wasn't until the group started to perform tracks from their recently released sophomore effort, The Dream where the train started to derail. The new material when performed next to tracks from the group's debut sounded stale and was a big disappointment. After hearing multiple tracks of new material that seemed to bleed into one long song, the band played the new single “Forever” and closed a disappointing set.

The anticipation for Five Finger Death Punch’s set grew to ballistic levels almost immediately, with fans chanting the band’s name louder than the music blaring out of the PA. Frontman Ivan Moody greeted fans enthusiasm with a maniacal performance that proved showed why he has become one of the best frontman currently in the business. Throughout the band’s hour long set, Moody had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand commanding the pit to “unleash the gates of hell” on tracks like “Way of the Fist” and “White Knuckles,” while prancing around like a “puppet on a string” during “Salvation.”

Former WASP guitarist Darrell Roberts barreled out some vicious licks alongside fellow guitarist Zoltan Bathory, while bass player Matt Snell laid down some heavy grooves. The end result was one of the best of the best live shows that has hit the Toronto area in years.


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