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02/11/2010 Five Finger Death Punch, Shadows Fall, God Forbid (Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom)

By Eric | February 12, 2010 1:43 pm

[2 Cents was also on the bill, but I didn’t catch them.]

Phill and I made our way down the 90 to the Ballroom, and walked as the stage was just getting set for God Forbid. We hung back on the top level to take in their half-hour set, which was probably the best place for us. I’d seen God Forbid open up for Soulfly back in ’05 at the Icon, and while I liked them enough then, this time around I wasn’t totally impressed. I can’t even really describe it, as there wasn’t anything really wrong with their set, and the songs were okay, but the whole package was just kinda, “eh”. Didn’t really grab my interest much.

Phill and I moved down to the floor for Shadows Fall, and having seen them in Syracuse in October, I was expecting good things. And I got good things! They came out to the recorded “Path To Imminent Ruin” intro, and ripped into My Demise. The set continued along at a great pace, mixing stuff from the new Retribution disc and The War Within, an older tune from Art of Balance, and interestingly, nothing from Threads of Life. Which was fine, because King of Nothing was still in the set, and they did an awesome cover of Ozzy’s Bark At The Moon (as it’s one of the bonus tracks on the new album). Definitely had the energy level on high for the whole set, and even though guitarist Matt Bachand told me at the merch table that they had some sound issues, I thought they sounded better than Syracuse. The whole band was into the set, into the crowd, and there was a good amount of people in the crowd giving it back to them. Fun, fun, fun!
Shadows Fall setlist: The Path to Imminent Ruin, My Demise, Thoughts Without Words, Still I Rise, What Drives The Weak, King of Nothing, Inspiration On Demand, A Public Execution, Bark At The Moon, The Light That Blinds.

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We retreated up to the middle level all the way to the right for FFDP. We had a perfect vantage point to see the _packed_ floor (the show sold out!) as the band came out. Do these guys ever know how to capitvate a crowd! The set was very similar to the Syracuse show, opening with Burn It Down into The Way Of The Fist. Lead singer Ivan Moody was very interactive with the crowd, and sounded quite appreciative of the crowd response. The one new song in the set, No One Gets Left Behind, was impressive, as was the singalong on Bad Company. During the middle of White Knuckles, Ivan brought up two little kids on stage (one was 9, one was 12) and showed them off as “the future of heavy metal fans”. He dropped an f-bomb during his little speech, and mentioned how he has a self-imposed fine with his daughter, such that he pays a dollar every time he swears. So he implored the fans to pay his fine for him, asking for two dollars. I think the kids ended up with about 10 bucks apiece by the end of it! They got to stay up on stage through the end of the song, and now have a freakin’ awesome concert memory! A couple of songs later, while introducing Dying Breed, Ivan mentioned how he wanted to meet every person on the floor, encouraging the crowd surfers to come to the front, while imploring both the security at the barrier to take care of the fans and the fans themselves to respect the security guards. Pretty cool in my book, and it worked, because no one got stupid with it! Rather surprising, and there was only one idiot who tried to get on stage, and quickly got shut down in that endeavor. Naturally, the one song encore was The Bleeding, and the crowd ate it up. FFDP sounded better than Syracuse also, and again, the band/crowd interaction was great to see. My lone complaint still holds: the set was too short. More songs guys! MORE SONGS! But overall, another excellent show by the Death Punch crew.

FFDP setlist: Burn it Down, Salvation, The Way of the Fist, Hard to See, No One Gets Left Behind, Bad Company, White Knuckles, Never Enough, Dying Breed, Meet the Monster. Encore: The Bleeding.

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After the show, we shuffled back to the merch table, where I picked up a Shads shirt and chatted with their guitarist Matt, and then managed to grab a picture with Shad’s lead singer Brian Fair! I’d met him at the ‘Cuse show too, and he’s a cool dude for sure; him and their other guitarist Jon were gracious with every fan that approached them, which I always say makes even good bands even better. Another super-fun metal show at the Ballroom!

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