Cincinnati, OH – (August 28, 2018) – As the crowd descended onto the Riverbend Music Center the heat was up, and the humidity was higher. It was sure to get even hotter as the evening progressed with Nothing More, Breaking Benjamin, and then capping off the evening… Five Finger Death Punch. It was a co-headlining tour with one-hour and fifteen-minute sets each.
Set on the Ohio River, the crowd was willing and ready to take in all of what the evening had to offer. One thing that was impressive for the opening band Nothing More is that the stands were packed full of fans. Normally some openers will play to some empty seats as fans will continue to arrive, but tonight they were firmly in place regardless of the fifteen-minute early start.
Nothing More was a sight to see, and it was obvious the fans already had the memo. Performing to a packed crowd, they tore through their set with power and fury.
Shirtless and shoeless frontman Jonny Hawkins (Vocals) was accompanied by Mark Vollelunga (Guitar), Daniel Oliver (Bass), and Ben Anderson (Drums). This 3x Grammy-nominated band comes from San Antonio, Texas and has a long list of hits that have charted highly on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. With Go To War hitting #1 on Rock Radio, it helped propel their latest album The Stories We Tell Ourselves into the spotlight. The follow-up single Just Say When is out now and is currently climbing the charts.
The highlight of their set is when Jonny mounted up the Scorpion Tail. ‘The 400-pound, 14-foot tall futuristic-metal animated structure was built by bassist Daniel Oliver from scrap metal and salvaged auto and motorcycle parts’. Complete with electronic effects that are triggered by various handles and levers, Jonny appears larger than life as the Scorpion Tail unfolds and rises high into the air allowing him to give this beast a true workout and add the electronic effects along with the live music adding to the amazing sonic dynamics.
This band is ready to headline their own large sized tour. Give some more time for their incredible songs to gain fans, and you will have another great band to put on your schedule. Their stage show and modern rock sound with electronics slightly mixed in give them a leg up on the competition and bring a fresh vibe to the scene. If you haven’t checked out Nothing More yet, what are you waiting for?
Breaking Benjamin was the first half of the dual headliners. With a dimly lit stage they got things started off with Red Cold River. Concentrating on their musicianship they did not offer too much in between song banter besides the occasional ‘Cincinnati, you f**king rock!’. With a stellar catalog of hits, they had plenty of music to keep the crowd singing along.
It was a nice homage to their influences when they broke out a lengthy melody of songs starting with Star Wars and continuing with Tool, Nirvana, Pantera, and finishing the montage up with a large portion of Metallica. As they played So Cold, the crowd was singing along to every word of the chorus with deafening volume. Praising the fact that so many youngsters were in attendance, Benjamin stated it was nice to see young ones out at a rock show.
With physical concert sales from their latest album Ember, they were donating a portion of the album sales to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. For their last song of the evening they had brought children out with them on the stage, and Benjamin Burnley even got into the security pit to say hello to some fans. He picked out a few young fans and a parent to bring onto the stage for their last song performance, The Diary Of Jane.
- Red Cold River
- I Will Not Bow
- Never Again
- Imperial March | Schism | Smells Like Teen Spirit | Walk | Sad But True
- Sooner or Later
- Blow Me Away
- So Cold
- Angels Fall
- Until the End
- Torn in Two
- The Diary of Jane
Five Finger Death Punch
A quick drop of the front stage curtain revealed the monstrous stage setup for Five Finger Death Punch. As they blasted into their first song, Lift Me Up, Zoltan Bathory (Rhythm Guitar), Jeremy Spencer (Drums), Ivan Moody (Vocals), Jason Hook (Lead guitar), and Chris Kael (Bass) were bringing the best energy of the evening right out of the gate.
Ivan even commented on the heat saying he was thinking of taking things easy tonight, but I’m not sure that is something they can do. They did take an acoustic stop about halfway through with touching but powerful versions of Wrong Side of Heaven and Remember Everything, before picking it back up and taking the evening out with more of their signature high-powered rock.
Ivan commands the frontman position and his interaction with the crowd seemed sincere (especially when trading bracelets with a fan). His demeanor was in your face when performing and genuine in between songs when he would muse about various things. With a stage presence and top-notch production, 5FDP proved why they are one of the top rock bands on tour, and it does not look like anything is stopping them. Get out to a show today, and throw those fists in the air!
- Lift Me Up
- Wash It All Away
- Jekyll and Hyde
- Bad Company (Bad Company cover song)
- Never Enough
- Wrong Side of Heaven (Performed acoustically)
- Remember Everything (Performed acoustically)
- Coming Down
- Burn MF
- Gone Away (The Offspring cover song)
It was one great evening filled with music. The heat did not deter these metalheads one bit, and they were into all of the sets equally. Any of these three bands can and do headline their own tours, which made this night an awesome lineup of music you rarely find outside of a festival setting. Riverbend Music Center is a great venue, with a simple and comfortable layout positioned with the Ohio River directly behind the stage. It is nice that they include the parking fee in the ticket price, which leaves you a few more dollars for a hot dog and a beer.