Words: Eric Pefley
Photos: Eric Pefley

The only thing hotter than the 94-degree day in Auburn, Washington, was the massive amount of metal that Bad Wolves, Five Finger Death Punch, and Breaking Benjamin delivered to a crowded White River Amphitheater on Monday night. Thank God the outdoor venue has a roof to provide some relief, but let me tell you, it was HOT! That is the price a metal fan must pay when an incredible lineup like this comes to town. It was definitely worth the heat.

Bad Wolves got the night started and they came out swinging with the song Officer Down. This song has created a bit of controversy, but the band says they are just telling a story, not taking a political stance. One thing for sure, it is not a song for the faint of heart and just rips right through you. This was my first time seeing Bad Wolves, and it will certainly not be my last. They are amazing and a wrecking ball live. The energy they deliver is impressive indeed.

Next up was the band’s first single Learn to Live. This was also an in your face song that had the crowd all fired up by now. Some other hit songs covered in the ten-song set were Better the Devil and Hear Me Now, featuring Diamante, who was there in person to sing it live! The set closed with Toast the Ghost and the Cranberries cover Zombie. For a band with only one album out, they had plenty of great music to cover. It was heavy metal to the core and the crowd ate it up. The future is bright for Bad Wolves.

Next up was the metal giant Five Finger Death Punch. They were equipped with a giant skull on stage and plenty of pyro and great lighting. This is how a big arena show should be! Ivan Moody was in great voice and interacted with the crowd all night. He is very intense on stage but appears to be having the time of his life. The band came on stage and went all the way back to the very beginning with the song Ashes from their first album, “The Way of the Fist”. It is a very hard-hitting song and was a great way to get the crowd back into the show immediately.

The next three songs were all top 5 songs, Lift Me Up, Trouble, and Wash It All Away. Four songs in and what an amazing start to a set. When you look through all the songs 5FDP could have played, it is an endless list of top 10 songs from over eleven years of music and seven albums. There was a great tribute to people who had served in the military before the band played Bad Company. A song written by the band Bad Company, all the way back in 1974. It sounded great, and even though it was a bit different, it paid tribute to the original song well. Another very cool moment was when the band performed I Refuse from their new album, “And Justice for None”. Moody brought a group of kids on stage and they all sat around as he sang it to them. It definitely made for an interesting spectacle from such a hard-rocking metal band.

As we headed toward the end of 5FDP’s set, we got another well-done cover of The Offspring’s Gone Away. It was another definite highlight of the set that was full of them. The set ended with Under and Over It, The Bleeding, and Sham Pain. I thought it was interesting that The Bleeding was their first single ever, and Sham Pain is one of their most recent singles. They finished with a bit of the old and a bit of the new. The crowd had been thoroughly entertained and had been absolutely crushed by the onslaught that is 5FDP. What a spectacular show! The best part is we still had one more great band to go!

Not to be out done by 5FDP, Breaking Benjamin came out strong as well. They had a huge, very colorful, human eye backdrop and their own pyro as well. With all the different lighting, it was quite a show to watch. Very intense with a lot of visual sensations to take in. The band started out behind a curtain with the pyro firing off behind. Once the curtain dropped the stage was in a flood of red lighting. The band would perform 14 songs, one which was a 5-song medley covering some incredible cover songs from a variety of artists.

The first three songs really set the tone for the set with Red Cold River, I Will Not Bow, and Never Again. Needless to say, the crowd was into the performance right away with a start like this. The band played a very special medley of songs that included the Imperial March from Star Wars, Tools’ Schism, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, Pantera’s Walk and finally Sad But True from Metallica. If you are going to do a medley, that is how it is done! The crowd was singing along and rocking out to all of it. It was quite a spectacle to witness.

As the show continued, Keith Wallen sang Sooner or Later which sounded great. The three-song finale brought the house down! We were treated to Until the End, Torn in Two, and The Dairy of Jane. Once again, we had more kids on stage during The Dairy of Jane. Just like 5FDP, we were treated to a new song, Torn in Two and an older song with The Dairy of Jane to end the show. Breaking Benjamin had really delivered the goods with this performance and left it all out on the stage.

What an incredible night of music! To see three such great bands in one show was truly a gift. The crowd was blown away and grateful to have been at such a great show. This tour has just started, so there are plenty of opportunities to catch it as it runs through the summer. This is definitely one of the can’t miss shows of the year. It is nights like this that make being a metal fan so amazing!

Purchase tickets for the tour HERE!

Breaking Benjamin: Facebook / Web
Five Finger Death Punch: Facebook / Web
Bad Wolves: Facebook / Web

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