Families stole the show at Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown concert

Five Finger Death Punch closed a memorable concert that featured As Lions, Sixx A.M., and Shinedown.

A metal concert might not seem like an obvious family outing, but the lead singer of featured act Five Finger Death Punch didn’t shy away from including families in his band’s performance on Tuesday.

In between bringing kids onstage and singing one of the band’s classics in lullaby form (“Remember Everything”) to a sleepy little girl, singer Ivan Moody roared with Five Finger Death Punch’s signature songs, such as “Lift Me Up,” a song originally recorded with Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and “Wrong Side of Heaven,” as well as tracks from their newest album, Got Your Six.

The festivities at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena were started by British rock band As Lions, which feature vocalist Austin Dickinson, son of legendary singer Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. Austin’s impressive vocal range and the band’s inspiring instrumentals were definitely good enough to attract some new fans. Their set was short, but it was a solid preview of what’s to come for the young band. Their debut album, Selfish Age, comes out Jan. 20.

Sixx: A.M. performed next. The hard rock band features former Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, former Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba, and vocalist James Michael, who has co-written songs for numerous bands such as Scorpions, Halestorm and Mötley Crüe.

The band rocked out with songs from the two new albums it released this year, Prayers For the Damned Vol. 1 and Prayers for the Blessed Vol. 2, as well as some classics, such as the 2007 megahit “Life Is Beautiful.” Featuring backing vocals from Amber Vanbuskirk and Melissa Harding, the group got fans moving and grooving before the main events took the stage.

About a half hour after Sixx: A.M. came off, Shinedown started off with a bang.

The band had a curtain cover the stage that fell to the music of “Adrenaline,” the opening song of the band’s fourth album Amaryllis. The crowd roared with song lyrics as Brent Smith sang popular songs of old and new. Smith and guitarist Zach Myers played one of the band’s biggest hits, a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.” The emotional acoustic powerhouse moved the entire audience, especially so during the chorus, when Smith asked the fans to sing for him. Smith’s powerful range and the energetic flow of the instrumentals blew people away.

Brianna Esposito and her dad, Todd, said Shinedown was their favorite performer of the night.

“Hell yeah, we’d see Shinedown again,” said Todd, with the approval of his daughter. He gave the concert a nine, and Brianna gave it a “solid 10.”

Five Finger Death Punch closed the concert, although some fans were concerned about the band’s willingness to play following singer Moody’s meltdown last Friday during a show in Worcester, Massachusetts. There, Moody stopped singing after saying his mother was “passing along,” hinting that she wasn’t doing well. However, since then several heavy metal specialty websites have contradicted his statement, reporting everything with his family is just fine.

Moody’s snarl and the rest of the band’s heavy flow crushed the War Memorial Arena as the crowd roared with approval. The biggest question mark in Five Finger Death Punch was easily trampled, with the group rocking just as hard as the three previous acts onstage.

Five Finger Death Punch didn’t just show up to perform, they shattered any doubt the band would be under-par.

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