Platinum-selling rockers Breaking Benjamin have been taking the scene back for the last 5 years releasing two records since 2015, leaving everything and anything in their wake. Breaking Benjamin has carved out a massive chunk in the world of music ever since the emergence of their first record in 2002, keeping the foot on the gas, Ben Burnley has feverishly continued writing and composing lyrics and conjuring up anything inside his mind and soul to put on paper for new material. Breaking Benjamin are one of the most critically acclaimed and accomplished bands to date, at the helm of this band you have founder Benjamin Burnley, who just celebrated a birthday (happy birthday Ben!), Shaun Foist who can play anyone under the table, with crazy fills and hit busting drum solos, crunching guitars that soar with Keith Wallen as well as incredible harmonies and some solo work on a few songs at live events, Jasen Rouch who is so much fun to watch smile and shred on guitar and bassist Aaron Bruch who provides the grit and boundless tones to the sound and shape of Breaking Benjamin. Having just released their sixth studio album Ember, the band are set to undertake a massive spring tour and an even bigger summer tour!
There hasn’t been a moment that members of Breaking Benjamin weren’t focused and locked in while recording or out on the road promoting their recent efforts. With that said, the guys are embarking on a tour with some real heavy hitters this spring. The tour began March 15th in Saginaw Michigan at the Dow Event Center with bands Fight The Fury, Underoath, and Skillet as the opening. With bands like this opening your show, it feels more like a festival! A lot of firsts on this tour. This is Fight The Fury’s first big tour as a band so you can be damn sure they will bring the heat! Performing double duty with Fight The Fury and Skillet on this tour is John Cooper a man that needs no introduction. Cooper has lead skillet from an early 2000’s all the way to now. Diamante is also joining the tour as a fearless and powerhouse rocker that hit the industry out of nowhere like an RKO from Randy Orton! Asking Alexandria will be hitting the road as well fresh off a tour with Papa Roach and Shinedown, do not miss this tour. Last but certainly not least joining the tour this spring is Underoath, the heavy hitting titans hit the road to cultivate Breaking Benjamin’s biggest spring tour ever.
Preparing for a killer night of live music, I created a playlist to get myself in the right mindset for this show (cause that’s just how it’s supposed to be), the road to Evansville Indiana’s Ford Center was only a mere 45 minutes, so with windows down and the sun shining on a beautiful 50 degrees day I was ready to have my face melted by rocks biggest spring tour of 2019. Arriving at the venue the building had a line all the way out to the streets of Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard! It would seem as though Evansville got the party started early. Barricade warriors had been in line since 10 am to hold their place in line so they could run to the front of the venue and lock in their spot inside. While others were ushered to and from for each band lines for their own meet and greets. As time had passed, it was time for doors to open and head inside for a kick-ass night of music and fun with Fight The Fury, Underoath, Skillet and Breaking Benjamin!
Fight The Fury: My Demons [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
Kicking things off first is Fight The Fury. Skillet frontman and founder John Coopers heavy metal side project. Consisting of Bassist and lead singer Cooper and Skillet guitarist Seth Morrison. Having just released their Still Breathing Ep, Fight The Fury are well on their way to gaining new fans and the attention of potential more fans. The five-song ep is one that pulls no punches and smacks you upside the head with mind-blowing guitar riffs and destructive drums. The band started with a thunderous ovation as members walked onto the stage at the Ford Center and opened their set with a bang! This is one band that you can bet will be around for some time. Even though Cooper will be doing double duty it seems that isn’t slowing him down, fronting Fight The Fury as well as Skillet, this band is highly talented and knows how to work the crowd as well as the stage.
Underoath - ihateit (Official Music Video)
Up next was Underoath, no stranger to putting their feet on the ground and taking off with a set. The band opened the show with a blistering performance of “On My Teeth”, Chamberlain and company decided Evansville would be much nicer if it were destroyed by quakes upon quakes of music flowing through the streets of this beautiful riverside city. Having seen this band very recently in Kentucky last summer I can say without a doubt, they have upped their game by 10! Underoath are not messing around on this tour or any other for that matter. What a show they played!!
Skillet - "Feel Invincible" [Official Music Video]
Skillet was set to bring our night full circle and by the time I could look down and back up the band was front and center. John Cooper, Korey Cooper, Seth Morrison and the delightful but powerhouse Jen Ledger we’re beginning ther onslaught on all of our senses! Playing one of my personal favorites “Feel Invincible” the Evansville crowd was on their feet jumping up and down and singing along to every word. “You guys feel invincible?” Asked Cooper. The fans let Skillet know early on that they were indeed feeling quite invincible as they screamed and sang to every song the band threw at the excited crowd in Evansville Indiana! At one point John Cooper attached cryo cannons to his arms and began to spray icy smoke all across the already excited fans. As the songs continued to flow, so did the bands energy. Transferring consciousness might not be a real thing yet but a transfer of kinetic energy passed through each and every one of us in those moments. Skillet closed their set out the only way Skillet could. Not one of our faces had any skin left. We had been melted to our cores. And we were alright with it. Being around for 20 years definitely has a way of changing bands, in many cases changing sound and how they perform and in the case of Skillet, the change is good, however it hasn’t changed the fact that they always throw down and make us all feel like a monster.
Breaking Benjamin - Tourniquet
As the techs and stage crew began to burn away gear from Skillet, the lights went dark and a white curtain was dropped in front of the stage. The fans grew anxious and eager for the band of the hour, Breaking Benjamin! 10 minutes flew by but for some crept on and on anticipating the arrival of their intro chords and before we knew it, the time had come. The song leading up to the spring event of the year began, a tasty and cool intro launching us straight to “Red Cold River” off their recent release Ember. The curtain fell as the band dug in to the stage and Aaron and Ben began to scream like a maddening hatter. This show had only been in progress for about 50 seconds and already had me and the fans hooked. “How we doing Evansville?” Asked Burnley to the crowd. He was met with a resounding scream from everyone in response to his question, affirming to Ben that they were indeed feeling ready to rock. Once “Red Cold River” had gotten to a little spot where Ben could address the crowd he mentioned how he had met a little girl named Estella and she told him that her brothers name was River, just before the show while he was watching Skillet perform, she also had told him that this was her favorite song, and her first concert. Welcome to the Breaking Benjamin family Estella! The guys in Breaking Benjamin didn’t take long to “Blow Me Away” as that was their next song, giving everything they had and then some. Aaron Bruch with his monster growls and insane bass playing was so much fun to watch perform on stage as was Jasen, Keith and Shaun. This band is extremely well bonded and have seemingly changed the landscape of how this band will be known from now on. How can you not love a kick ass rock show by these guys? We were all treated to the part of the show where the medley of songs gets to have their turn. We took a trip to a galaxy far far away with the “Imperial March”, rode out with the “Cowboys From Hell”, paid respect to the great Kurt Cobain as they played “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, as well as a tasty rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Enter Sandman” by Metallica! A sight to behold and hear for sure! Drummer Shaun Foist has his chance to keep the crowd’s attention by playing a guy busting drum solo, showing off the technical side of his talents as well as his innate ability to play right into the very next song without taking a break.
Breaking Benjamin closed the set with their recent single “Torn In Two”, which tells a story of barreling your demons and fighting for your life. This song has a tasty little breakdown towards the end that is not to be overlooked.Afterward, the song ends, the lights stayed off, indicating to the veteran concert-goer that the show was not over yet. Ben and company returned to stage to play just a little bit longer as the Evansville crowd was elated to hear. Closing out the night with the ever popular “Diary Of Jane” Burnley brought a few fans to the stage including as many children as he could find to give them an experience they would soon never forget! What’s really heartening about this classy move is something Ben mentioned earlier in the show. “I don’t want to be a band guy, I’m just a regular guy. I only have this job because of all of you! I’ve been able to do this shit for twenty years and I’m so grateful for you. All of you!” Said, Burnley. What a show, what a night. Be sure you go out and see this tour as it is a can’t miss!
Photo Galleries: All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks
Fight the Fury