Thousands of fans braved the Georgia summer heat at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on August 12th to rock out with co-headliners Breaking Benjamin and Five Finger Death Punch, with support from Nothing More and Bad Wolves.
A band on the rise with a Grammy nomination already under its belt, Nothing More had the crowd riled up from the very first song, “Do You Really Want It,” with front man Jonny Hawkins, shirtless and barefoot, running from one end of the stage to the other to keep them that way. Despite one pesky acoustic guitar, the set featured songs from the band’s current album The Stories We Tell Ourselves, such as “Go To War,” “Don’t Stop,” and “Fadein/Fadeout.” The self-titled first album was also represented with “Jenny,” and the amazing “This is the Time,” which closed out the set with a bang with band members stepping up on platforms, and Hawkins mounting what is known as the “Scorpion Tail,” a steampunk’s dream instrument, to manipulate the sound.
Breaking Benjamin took the stage next, opening with “Red Cold River,” the first single from new album Ember. Fan favorite “I Will Not Bow” came next, with front man Benjamin Burnley jutting his mic out to the crowd, who screamed along with every word. “Breath,” arguably the band’s biggest hit, came next, followed by an epic medley of The Imperial March, Tool’s “Schism,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Pantera’s “Walk,” and Metallica’s “Sad but True,” which got the crowd going even further. BB got back to their own material with “Sooner or Later,” “Blow Me Away,” and “So Cold.”
As the set progressed, vocal duty switched from Burnley to guitarist Keith Wallen, to bassist Aaron Bruch (whose dominating vocals were a force to be reckoned with) and back. At one point during the set, the band paused the music and just listened to the insane roar of the crowd for a solid two minutes straight. Burnley offered a huge smile with his hand over his heart in appreciation.
New song “Psycho,” and current single “Torn In Two” represented Ember, while “Believe” threw it back to 2004’s We Are Not Alone. Burnley took the time to thank the fans, and suggested that some of them join the band on stage for the last song. In the end, at least fifteen people made it up on stage, including some very excited kids, who sang along (and sometimes with Burnley) to every word of the massive hit “The Diary of Jane.”
Then it was on to Five Finger Death Punch, who burst on stage with “Lift Me Up,” from The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell. The raw energy from the band could be felt throughout the amphitheatre, with all members (save the drummer, of course) perusing every inch of the stage amid fantastic lighting, and a huge skull backdrop. 5FDP is no stranger to covers, and a couple of them made it onto the set list, including “Bad Company,” by Bad Company, and current single “Gone Away” by The Offspring. “Never Enough” represented breakout album The Way of the Fist, while “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Wash It All Away” covered Got Your Six. The band also proved they have a softer side, with acoustic versions of “Remember Everything,” and “The Wrong Side of Heaven,” before getting back to the heavy songs and closing out an amazing night of hard rock with “The Bleeding.”
For more information on the rest of the tour, check out the Breaking Benjamin or Five Finger Death Punch websites.
Photo Gallery – Nothing More
Photo Gallery – Breaking Benjamin
Photo Gallery – Five Finger Death Punch