A very special guest appearance from All That Remains’ front man, Phil Labonte, was made at Five Finger Death Punch show in Philadelphia, Pa. at the Wells Fargo Center, with their front man Ivan Moody having suddenly fallen ill on Dec.1. The die-hard fans, or more commonly known as “Knuckleheads,” were certainly in for a treat.
With Sixx:A.M.’s stellar performance and Shinedown’s explosive set, this tour had it all but they really saved the best for last, as this was probably Five Finger Death Punch’s best show yet. After waiting for quite some time, Five Finger Death Punch—or as bassist Chris Kael started calling it Phil Finger Death Punch—truly made it worth the wait the moment their black curtain dropped as they kicked off their set with “Lift Me Up,” “Never Enough,” and “Wash It All Away.” Labonte’s powerful screams (more like roars) added to the essence of the already heavy Five Finger Death Punch’s tracks. He took a brief break to let Kael take over vocals for an impressive performance of “Got Your Six,” title track to their sixth studio album released last year. Labonte returned to the stage to accompany the band in saluting those who have served or who are serving overseas and they then played their fantastic cover of Bad Company’s “Bad Company,” featuring special guest appearances from As Lion’s Austin Dickinson and Sixx:A.M.’s James Michael. Once Michael and Dickinson walked off the stage, Kael began the opening verse for “Jekyll & Hyde” with Labonte on the heavy screams.
The moment “Jekyll & Hyde” was over, the band walked off the stage with except for drummer, Jeremy Spencer, who was seen on a very high riser. The venue was then enveloped in darkness when suddenly a colorful laser light show commenced. This was immediately followed by the start of Spencer’s incredible drum solo. He donned a black jumpsuit with a red glitter skeletal outline and a red metallic skull mask. Then Spencer proceeded to encourage the fans to clap their hands by chanting “clap your f***ing hands!” The band returned to the stage for “Burn MF,” or as Kael puts it, Ivan’s favorite part of the show, where the band brings the children from the crowd to the stage and they are introduced as the next generation of heavy f***ing metal.” The set slowed down a tad bit with one of their more powerful songs, “Coming Down,” and the band surprised the crowd with lead guitarist, Jason Hook, being lifted on a riser during the guitar solo. After “Burn It Down,” Five Finger Death Punch left the stage and the venue was once again in darkness and the crowd began chanting for an encore. Surely enough, they got one; the band returned to finish the show off on a very strong note: “Under and Over It” and “The Bleeding,” to which fans were encouraged by Labonte to lift their cell phone flashlights and lighters in the air, a very beautiful sight to see.
Though the band member lineup change was unexpected, it turned out to be a pleasant and very successful surprise. Labonte did a phenomenal job filling in for Moody and as always, Five Finger Death Punch brought their A game. For more information on future tour dates, be sure to visit their official website.