The guys in Five Finger Death Punch have been hard at it this year and their very own Chris Kael isn’t just from Lexington he is the very representation of Lexington Kentucky. The band has been touring hard and look to make a special statement in Kael’s hometown. Hailing from Las Vegas this multi platinum selling band has been releasing music for as long as I can remember, with grit, blood sweat and tears they have always overcome adversity that’s been put in their way. So it should come as no surprise that even though some of the members may be road weary, that won’t stop them from putting on what may be considered by many in attendance as the biggest spectacle Rupp Arena has seen from a live show all year!
With the help of tour mates Fire From The Gods, Bad Wolves and Three Days Grace, this tour is poised for a knock-out-drag-out, no holds barred, good old fashioned rock and roll show! Rising stars Fire From The Gods was first on the nights lineup, I have seen what this band can do in a venue of a 1,200 capacity so to see what they’ll do in a capacity venue of about 23,500 like Rupp Arena, will be quite the show!
Following Fire From The Gods would be Bad Wolves. A band that is now a household name. Led by Tommy Vext who is one of the most emotionally charged and passionate singers in the genre I have ever seen, Bad Wolves are no strangers to the arena show life. This means NOTHING. Each show by Bad Wolves is always a blood bath of adrenaline and high octane intensity. Vext and his band have just released their newest record N.A.T.I.O.N, that proves they are more than “that band who covered zombie” this band has an arsenal of hits waiting to be confirmed and a heart for their fans that’s hard to beat! Leading the way into the night is Three Days Grace, a band that needs no introduction to a tour or stage. These veterans are becoming even better as time keeps marching up the mountain. Lead singer Matt Walst, stepped into the fold sometime around 2013, never missing a beat. The band was trusted into good hands as they have now procured several number one hits and two albums with Walst at the helm of the record smashing juggernauts who make the perfect fit for direct support for Vegas’ own Five Finger Death Punch.
Heading into Rupp Arena was a bit of a challenge as they’re making a surplus of renovations to make the big blue nation’s church of basketball even better. High Street was full of chaos with fans looking for their way into the massive venue and find parking, they weren’t alone as was I. Sadly missing the opening band Fire From The Gods, I had heard how phenomenal the band had done inside Rupp Arena, wonderfully well received and many pleaded for one more song, I’m not surprised that AJ Channer and his band of bad asses played a killer set to a near sold out crowd.
Up next to the stage is Bad Wolves. Lights dropped to dark and music hit. One by one the members of this monster band walked on and took their places to begin with their first song “No Messiah”. Vext and company played with power and passion to the Rupp Arena fans, leaping and thrashing, the band was already catching fire at the jump. Speaking of jump, you’d never know Tommy Vext has previously injured himself as he was all around the stage engaging the crowd inviting them into the Wolfpack. Shortly after the first song Vext would speak to the Lexington locals and thank them for coming out, emotionally and passionately. We even got some new music off their recent record called N.A.T.I.O.N. as they played their song “Foe Or Friend”, a powerhouse track that had us all banging our heads and screaming each word back to the band! After many enormous songs Vext spoke tjj on the crowd thanking them once more for their faithfulness in coming to see them and how Lexington is home to the band for many reasons. Bad Wolves surely is a band that’s risen to fame in what seems a very short time and won’t be stopped now. They rounded out their set with the mega song “Zombie” as made famous by The Cranberries. The band asked the light crew to shut off all lights in the arena and for fans to light up the place with nothing but lighters and cell phone light. It was definitely a memorable moment and set.
Three Days Grace was next to perform and they would lead a huge set that no one would soon forget! The band consisting of Matt Walst, Brad Walst, Barry Stock and Neil Sanderson, has been around for some time now and it definitely showed Friday night in Lexington as the poised rockers laid down the mountain and climbed to the top only to jump off and take us on a decent into all the hits we have come to know and love. Opening the show with their song “The Mountain”, Matt Walst was jumping up and down, energized and full of remarkable passion as he lead the charge into the 10 song set. We were taken “Home” and led into a Riot in Lexington, not wanting the music to stop the band was full of energy the crowd continued to feed off of until the very end.
Finally the night had fallen dark as the lights did also. A massive white curtain placed in front of the stage was dropped and a loud bang popped revealing the Las Vegas band. Ivan Moody, Jason Hook, Zoltan Bathory, Charlie Engen and hometown hero Chris Kael we’re ready to melt faces, and melt faces is just what they did. Lifting off with their song “Lift Me Up” FFDP blew through roof off of Rupp Arena from the get go, not holding back any punches (pun intended). The band was firing on all cylinders as they played hit after hit well into the late night. At one point Moody addressed the crowd apologizing that he would in fact be unable to fulfill a long time FFDP tradition of welcoming some kids on stage to hang out due to restrictions from the arena and made up for it by launching tons of sour punch kid candies into the crowd! Jason Hook shredded along side Zoltan Bathory during “Bad Company” which was a really badass moment. Kael addressed his hometown thanking everyone for always supporting him and for coming to hang out. It’s worth noting that for multiple songs Kael changed into different Kentucky Wildcat jerseys from multiple sports that the university had to offer even showing off a blue bleeding Viking bass that had his name on the back. Five Finger Death Punch laid it all on the line, never once looking back or taking their foot off the gas. It was a truly fun spectacle of a show at Rupp Arena.
Be sure to check out Five Finger Death Punch as they have more shows and a spring tour in 2020 on the horizon with another killer lineup featuring Papa Roach, I Prevail and Ice Nine Kills!
Photo Gallery - Five Finger Death Punch: All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks
Photo Gallery - Three Days Grace: All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks
Photo Gallery - Bad Wolves: All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks