Buffalo, NY -On February 11th the Shock and Raw tour featuring Five Finger Death Punch and supported by Shadows Fall, God Forbid and 2 Cents made a stop in Buffalo, NY at the Town Ballroom. This tour has been a surprise hit throughout its dates, selling out multiple shows including this date. Doors opened at 6pm with 2 Cents taking the stage first. They are a young band with a ton of enthusiasm and a mouthy drummer/ front man who managed to get the crowd going. They are enjoying some rotation on satellite radio and are scheduled to play the Rock on the Range festival. They ended their set with the addition of Brian Fair of Shadows Fall on stage to play a Pantera cover.
God Forbid was up next with technical difficulties (no vocals through the sound board for the first part of the initial song). They played a solid set, although it seemed lead singer Byron Davis had his mind elsewhere. This band always delivers a reliable performance and is at least a good supporting act.
Next up to the stage was 2008 Grammy nominees Shadows Fall. Although they released their sixth studio album retribution last September; their 2004 release The War Within was by far their most successful studio album. They have seen their popularity steadily decrease up until recently. They are scheduled to host Headbangers Ball as well as play the Jagermeister stage at this summer’s Rockstar Mayhem tour. They played a great set of songs including a surprise Ozzy cover of Bark at the Moon. Brian later informed me that they filmed a video for the song and that it is going to be released soon.
Last up was Five Finger Death Punch. I have a hard time with this band because I think they are border line ‘Jock Rock’. My issue with them was further cemented when I noticed the Jonathan Davis rip off mic stand that Ivan Moody (formerly of Motorgrater) uses. Jason Hook the rhythm guitarist (formerly of Mandy Moore, Hillary Duff etc.) strutted out onto stage sporting a black jumpsuit with a red armband suspiciously similar to the ones Slipknot are famous for wearing, only with Five Finger Death Punch logos. This type of shit really bums me out since I think originality is important. This is one of the big reasons why I find it difficult to like Godsmack. Anyway for all the lack of originality, the crowd was clearly there to see them; they knew all the words to every song and sang along loudly. The band is comprised of competent musicians with great stage presence. Matt Snell is a great bassist and Founding member Zoltan Bathory can really shred. They played maybe the oddest cover of the night, Bad Company by the band of the same name. The bottom line is it was an above average metal show from start to finish. A sold out show on a Thursday night surrounded by fellow metal heads felt like days of old.