Wrong Side of Heaven Tour (10/08/2013) @ The Fillmore Detroit

Reviewed By: Lauren Leming

At 6 p.m. October 8th, the doors to The Fillmore Detroit opened its doors and the venue soon filled its capacity with hundreds of Knuckleheads, the followers of the band Five Finger Death Punch. Amongst the Knuckleheads were also fans of the opening acts: The Gemini Syndrome, Miss May I, and Escape the Fate. It was easy to say The Fillmore was in for a treat of metal and rock.

Gemini Syndrome took the stage around 6:45, each member made their way to the stage one by one dressed in all back, till the lead singer, Aaron Nordstrom, an older gentleman adorned in all white and sporting a pure white beard and medium length hair, carrying a cup of tea. Yup, a cup of tea. The band just dropped their first album “Lux,” and after seeing their stage presence and performance live, it’s safe to say this L.A. hard rock band had convinced me to grab the album.

Next, not so far from home, Ohio’s Miss May I took to the stage delivering a performance that had the crowd moshing and bouncing. Having just seen lead singer, Levi, at the station a few days prior and seeing how much a down-to-earth guy he is, it was crazy to hear the screams that came out of this guy’s vocals, there wasn’t a single person in the crowd who didn’t have their head banging or fists in the air. They performed music from their latest album and some crowd favorites from previous albums, closing with the ground shaking, “Hey Mister.” After these two bands, I had high hopes as the second to last act for the night took the stage.

Escape the Fate, fronted by Craig Mabitt, took to the stage preparing the crowd for the main act. They electrified the stage, Escape the Fate fans pushing up against the rails, crowd surfing and doing anything they could to get close this heavy rock act. The band refrained from playing any music from their albums with the previous lead singer, Ronnie Radke, playing songs from their newest and latest albums, including the crowd favorite, “This War is Ours.” With three acts down, we Knuckleheads were pumped and ready for Five Finger Death Punch.

It seemed like forever between Escape the Fate and Five Finger Death Punch, but around 9:45, the band took to the stage, opening with, “Under and Over It.” The band consists of: Ivan Moody (lead vocals), Zoltan (guitarist), Jeremy Spencer (drums), Chris Kael (bassist), and Jason Hook (guitarist). Having seen the band before I had high expectations, and they definitely blew them out the door, setting a whole new bar. They played their newest single, “Lift Me Up,” as well as “Hard to See,” “Burn MF,” “Burn it Down,” and “The Way of the Fist,” before slowing it down. I was surprised when I first heard “Remember Everything” on the bands album “American Capitalist,” as it sounded like an 80’s rock ballad, I instantly loved it with the powerful lyrics and vocal styling of Ivan, but it didn’t prepare me for the live performance. The lights dimmed, and Jason Hook sat on a stool with an acoustic guitar in hand. It was safe to say there weren’t many dry eyes in the venue as Ivan acoustically sang such a powerful song, after performing another deep single, “Coming Down.”

He wasn’t done with the show there though, opening up conversation about the Lions and how they weren’t helping his fantasy team as of late, he then changed into a Lion’s jersey, connecting even more with his fans in Detroit. He then brought a special guest on stage, a young girl of 17 who was celebrating her birthday. HE proclaimed on the road, we were his family, as he cuddled up the young girl, letting her help him sing the first verse of “Far From Home” acapella style before he had her exit the stage and he, unaccompanied by his band, finished the song. With two songs left, he performed an LL Cool J song, “Mama Said Knock You Out,” and closed with a classic, “The Bleeding.”

After the last song, all the band members reached out into the crowd handing out guitar picks with their names on them. And Ivan took off the Lions jersey and threw into the crowd, and moments later a fight erupted between a young girl who had caught the jersey and another male, as he was beating her up. Security broke the fight and we all had to head out of the venue per their request. It was a crazy, energizing, amazing, phenomenal show all around by all bands. Most members of the bands were chilling by their merch tables on the way out, letting fans snag a few photos before leaving the hot and sweaty venue and emerging into the chilly crisp Detroit air and making their way to where ever they were headed.

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