Photos and Review by Jim LaValley
Five Finger Death Punch’s 2022 North American Headlining Tour came by the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA mid-September with support from Megadeth, The Hu, and Fire from the Gods.
Fire from the Gods out of Austin, TX opened the show to kick off the night with a set that included their huge hit “Right Now” that I know from listening to on Sirius XM’s Octane.
Up next, was the Mongolian band, The Hu with their unique folk metal sound that consisted of pounding percussions, unique strings, and awesome throat vocals. I have seen a lot of live shows but I’ve never seen anything like them before. The percussions by themselves were really tight and reminds me of tribal drum chants. The intensity that The Hu brings gets you pretty pumped up.
What makes the band unique is their throat singing (AKA, Khoomei), which has a distinct sound. The other unique part of the band is their usage of traditional Mongolian instruments. The design of the Morin Khuur for example, which has a hollow trapezoid shaped body and is attached to a long fretless neck that has a carved horse head at the top. The Morin Khuur is a symbol of their country.
They played one of their new songs, “This Is Mongol”, from their second album “Rumble of Thunder” that just got released in early September. The crowd truly enjoyed them.
Megadeth took the stage next who I haven’t seen in decades and is known from the 80’s as one of the “big four” (i.e., Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax). The band that Dave Mustaine has put together brings back their classic thrashing sound that fans have enjoyed for years. The new band has Dirk Verbeuren on drums, James LoMenzo on bass guitar, and Kiko Loureiro on dueling leads with Dave. Their new album (the SICK the DYING… and the DEAD!) is the highest charting Megadeth album of all time.
Megadeth opened with “Hangar 18” where the band came out with LED video screens as they started jamming and then went into “Dread and the Fugitive Mind”. They also played their fan favorites Sweating Bullets, Symphony of Destruction, Peace Sells, and “We’ll Be Back” off of the new album. Megadeth Rocked !!
Dave Mustaine seems to be enjoying himself on tour with Five Finger Death Punch by joining some jiu-jitsu sessions with blackbelts Zoltan and Lako (security) with their backstage dojo. I saw another Instagram post where they just got done rolling on the mats practicing various techniques, pretty slick.
Five Finger Death Punch came out with “Inside Out” from their 2020 album F8 with a ton of energy and a great production. The back drop had the F8 album cover snake in the shape of an infinity symbol with the head of the snake eating itself. The band went into “Trouble”, “Wash it All Way”, and “Jekyll and Hyde”. At this point, the band was firing on all cylinders. This is the first time I have seen the band with their new drummer, Charlie Engen, and their new lead guitarist, Andy James. Charlie is a machine and drove all the classic Five Finger Death Punch songs and killed it on the new album, Afterlife. Andy James is an incredible guitarist who rips the existing 5FDP solos and helped create their masterpiece, Afterlife, his solos are spectacular and crisp.
This was the best I’ve seen 5FDP and in particular, Ivan Moody, who was in a groove and had a killer performance. I think Ivan’s vocals and lyrics reach out and pull the 5FDP fans into their music, that’s what makes him a great singer. He looks like he is enjoying himself and it shows while he is onstage. It’s like a rebirth of the band with their new songs “IOU”, “Welcome to the Circus” and “Judgement Day” which is a display of Ivan’s lyrical poetry and vocals. Ivan’s classic brass knuckle microphone holder and aluminum bat depicts the rage but he shows his soft side when he sees young rockers or military veterans. Ivan chooses random young rockers and gives them his stage bat as an awesome memorable souvenir. Chris Kael’s background vocals and bass rhythms are so tight with the band that it enhances their thundering sound just like in the studio. You can say that Kevin Churko (producer) has done it again with their latest masterpiece “Afterlife”.
5FDP’s success includes 6 gold albums and 4 platinum albums to date and has over 8.6 billion streams, just behind the legends Metallica and AC/DC. 5FDP has amassed a huge global following of “knucklehead” fans. Zoltan’s superb leadership and rhythm guitar riffs help create the unique 5FDP NuMetal sound.
The tour is winding down and if it is coming your way, don’t hesitate checking it out. It’s a fun night of killer music!!