This show was not on my radar at all but Bob was jazzed to go and this was quite simply an opportunity to hang out and have some drinks with one of my favorite peeps. I do like Breaking Benjamin but I would have been good with the one time I did see them almost three years before this at Aftershock and I am not a fan of Five Finger Death Punch whatsoever. It did help that I scored a ticket for only $6 off of StubHub.
I originally thought Bob was going to drive us, which would have allowed us to grab a bite and have a couple beers in the parking lot but that did not happen. Instead we had beers at my house, no dinner and caught a Lyft to the show. We missed the opener Bad Wolves but once we arrived we were informed that our tickets were upgraded since the lawn section had been closed off due to a lack of ticket sales. Even better, when we got to the table where they were exchanging the lawn tickets we were upgraded to General Admission Pit tickets for no charge and no particular good reason. No complaints here as that meant my $6 lawn ticket turned into a $6 floor ticket. The good news kept coming as we then found out that Five Finger Death Punch was to open for Breaking Benjamin as opposed to the other way around like I had thought.
Five Finger Death Punch was touring for their seventh album And Justice for None that was released about two months before this. The floor section was not all that packed so we stood fairly close to the right side of the stage. The bass player was on our side of the stage a lot and looked like he was some sort of octopus creature from Pirates of the Caribbean due to his beard. I did not know the significance of the red hand painted on singer Ivan Moody’s face but apparently their fans did and he pulled about 10 of them with matching red hands out of the crowd to join him onstage for a song. They were good musicians but save for their cover of “Bad Company” I just could not get into it.
SETLIST: Lift Me Up, Trouble, Wash It All Away, Jekyll and Hyde, Bad Company, Fake, Wrong Side of Heaven, Remember Everything, Coming Down, Burn MF, Gone Away, Under and Over It, The Bleeding
Breaking Benjamin was touring for their sixth album Ember that was released on 4/13/18. I am fairly certain that I saw them at Aftershock during the day so seeing them at night was a much different experience. They seemed more in their element and had more presence this time. Maybe it was partially due to the darkness and maybe it was partially due to the dark beers I had consumed. Their mashup of the Star Wars Imperial March, Tool, Nirvana, Pantera and Metallica was pretty cool but anything Pantera is going to win points with me. Bob and I made a rare appearance in the mosh pit because a.) it felt criminal to get upgraded to floor tickets and not go in the mosh pit and b.) the pit was fun since it was more of a weak dancing circle than a full on slam dancing/get punched in the face on accident kind of a thing.
SETLIST: Red Cold River, I Will Not Bow, Never Again, Breath, Imperial March/Schism/Smells Like Teen Spirit/Walk/Sad But True, Sooner or Later, Blow Me Away, So Cold, Angels Fall, Psycho, Failure, Until the End, Believe, Torn In Two, The Diary of Jane
AFTERWARD: All the goodness of the evening was counterbalanced by the reality of life the next morning when we awoke to realize that Bob’s car had been towed since Bob did not end up driving and we did not put a parking pass in Bob’s car. $263 later and the universe was right again. I would do it all over again if given the chance.