Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, SIXX:A.M., and As Lions brought the HEAT to a packed house in Orlando.
Amway Center was the place to be as the highly anticipated lineup rolled into the Sunshine State making one of its final stops on this tour. Amid some fan disappointment due to one notable absence, “the show must go on,” as they say.
As Lions opened the show with a hard rockin’, energetic set of UK metal. Lead singer, Austin Dickenson, is the son of none other than one of the most iconic voices in the rock world, Mr. Bruce Dickenson, lead singer of Iron Maiden. If you were to close your eyes and listen, you can hear those genetic pipes and can almost swear you are listening to Bruce.
The lineup includes guitarists, Conor O’Keefe (guitar), Will Homer (guitar), Stefan Whiting (bass), and Dave Fee (drums). With this sound, the band, who formed in London in 2015, will surely gain notoriety quickly on the world music scene.
Next taking the stage, just a few minutes before the scheduled time, was SIXX:A.M., the brainchild of the band’s namesake and bassist, Nikki Sixx (formerly of Motley Crue). The band has been gaining popularity as well as fans since its inception in 2007, and once the final tour of Motley Crue concluded, Nikki now pours his heart and soul into this project.
The band includes phenomenal guitarist D.J. Ashba, singer James Michael, and tour drummer, Dustin Steinke, as well as backup singers, Amber Vanbuskirk & Melissa Harding. The band has put out five albums so far, receiving critical acclaim for each, and producing charting singles from each. They ended their high energy set with one of these chart toppers and crowd favorite, ‘Life Is Beautiful’.
Shinedown was up next, and, in all fairness, stole the show with a scorching set including immense fire and pyro from the stage and the soundboard. You could feel the heat all the way to the back of the floor. Lead singer, Brent Smith, asking for all ‘able bodies’ to come to their feet with fists pumping in the air to some of their biggest hits such as “Diamond Eyes” and “Cut the Cord.” He even gathered the photographers in the pit for a handshake in thanks during one of the first three songs.
Later in the set, Brent suddenly appeared at the sound board towards the back of the floor in the middle of a song, exciting the crowd at the back of the venue with pyro sparking from all four corners on his platform making for a truly dynamic show for the fans.
Last up, and certainly not least, was Five Finger Death Punch, missing was the formidable voice that drives the dark, gravely edge of the band, lead singer, Ivan Moody. A few weeks before this show, the band announced that he had fallen ill and would be taking time off to recuperate.
After overwhelming support of the other bands on tour with them, Five Finger Death Punch decided to continue with a replacement singer to finish out the remaining shows. The chosen voice was that of Phil Labonte, lead singer of the band All That Remains. The choice was an almost seamlessly perfect fit for the style in which Ivan sings with impressive vocals of his own.
As the 12-song set progressed, the crowd was treated to a bit more of Austin Dickenson’s voice who came out to sing “Wrong Side of Heaven” and “Remember Everything,” with much fan participation and then Phil was out again to finish the show.
National Rock Review wishes Ivan well and a speedy recovery.
Photography by Karen Romano Adams
Event Date: 08-Dec-2016