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  • Live Review: Five Finger Death Punch — The Glass House, Pomona

    Sun, 27 Sep 2009 22:53:40

    Live Review: Five Finger Death Punch — The Glass House, Pomona - Five Finger Death Punch's <i>War</i> rattles SoCal to its core, and ARTISTdirect.com editor Rick Florino provides a detailed re-cap…

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    • Five Finger Death Punch - NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02: Jeremy Spencer of Five Finger Death Punch visits at SiriusXM Studios on September 2, 2014 in New York City.
    • Five Finger Death Punch - NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02: Jeremy Spencer of Five Finger Death Punch visits at SiriusXM Studios on September 2, 2014 in New York City.

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    At the Glass House, Five Finger Death Punch declared war on Southern California. They just unleashed their sophomore epic, War is the Answer [Prospect Park], and city-by-city destruction has commenced in the form of their Shock and Raw tour. Inside the sold out concert hall, fans witnessed an explosion unlike anything else on the scene right now. Five Finger Death Punch tore through an hour plus set that spilled their souls on stage, and they sounded simply pristine in the process.

    Five Finger Death Punch have honed their assault into something undeniably deadly and utterly unforgettable. First battle cry, "Burn It Down," bubbled over with unbridled energy. Guitarists Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook fired off searing solos and neck-snapping riffs as Matt Snell's bass and Jeremy Spencer's drums shook the entire Glass House. With WWII-era machine guns perched on their amplifiers, the show felt like Saving Private Ryan meets Far Beyond Driven. Commanding the assault, vocalist Ivan Moody circled the stage, flawlessly executing each and every line. His voice was pure power. Over the course of the opening track, he shifted from maniacal prowling and vocal violence a la Phil Anselmo to psychotically melodic drama that'd make Layne Staley proud. Ivan's a frontman for the ages—and Five Finger Death Punch is timeless.

    "Salvation" saw the guitar soloing reach classic rock heights of bravado. While "The Way of the Fist" and current single "Hard to See" ignited a torrential mosh pit. During "The Devil's Own," Ivan's voice oscillated from a darkly entrancing croon into a primal scream that couldn't help but be felt. Ivan kept his face right in the crowd transferring his own hell with each and every line. "Bulletproof" and "White Knuckles" took the fans on cavernous twists and turns through polyrhythmic percussive violence and fiery fretwork. "Never Enough" bounced with a pop vibrancy, while maintaining the same propulsive psychosis.

    Ivan's got a sense of humor underneath the demonic delivery. He pointed his cup towards the crowd and laughed, "This is vodka. Anybody like vodka?" With a smile he then launched back into War-mode. He's at his best when he's vulnerable though. Set closer, "The Bleeding," sparked the sing-a-long of the evening. As Ivan's voice sailed over everything, it was clear that Five Finger Death Punch's next SoCal war should be waged in an arena—and it most likely will be.

    —Rick Florino
    09.27.09




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