After five years, Finger Eleven returned to Kraut Fest in Franksville, Wisconsin with a new album and much heavier sound.
Not many bands can successfully take a five-year hiatus and come back swinging the way Finger Eleven has done. While they could have easily rested on their laurels, having experienced huge success in the past with mega-hits like “Paralyzer” and “One Thing,” the band has instead not only spent these years writing and recording a new album to be released on July 31, but have also toughened up their sound, performing stylistically with a more aggressive sound similar to their earliest days.
Lighting the stage for Finger Eleven was the hard rock Milwaukee-based band, Imperial Fall, comprised of Paul Karcz (lead vocals), Joe Kopecky (guitar), Scott Christopher (drums), and Chad Imler (bass). Imperial Fall took the Jagermeister stage by storm, delivering a solid set list of heavy hitting tunes, replete with killer guitar riffs by Kopecky, and all the brooding intensity you want in a frontman by Karcz. Milwaukee has fast become a major player in the rock music world, and Imperial Fall is an example of such up-and-coming talent.
Next in the music fest’s lineup was the Charlotte, North Carolina-based rock band, Another Lost Year, including powerhouse lead vocalist Clinton Cunanan, Adam Hall on bass, guitarist Jorge Sotomarino and rounding out the group was Nathan Walker on drums. ALY is no stranger to touring, having been on the road for the greater part of four years, and has shared stages with some of today’s biggest names in rock including Art of Dying and Shinedown
Rounding out Kraut Fest’s lineup, Finger Eleven took the Jagermeister stage. As spectacular as the previous two bands were, nothing could have prepared the crowd for just how dynamic Finger Eleven’s performance was right out of the gate, and after five years time. From the cool, confident lead vocals delivered in perfection by seemingly affable Scott Anderson to the dashing, sophisticated look and sound of guitarist James Black, it was clear the band was on a mission to make up for lost time. Add to this the always-entertaining stage performance by Rick Jackett balanced perfectly by guitarist Sean Anderson’s more laid back demeanor, and Finger Eleven contains the perfect recipe for a wildly successful comeback.
The band opened with earlier career songs “First Time” and “Tip” before treating the crowd to the debut single off their upcoming album, Five Crooked Lines titled, “Wolves and Doors.” The video to the new track can be seen here:
Finger Eleven’s remaining time on stage contained most of the remainder of their upcoming album, which pleased the crowd more and more with each new heavier sounding song. They also intermixed tunes paying homage to their earlier days, as well as fan favorites such as “One Thing” and their much crowd-insisted encore “Paralyzer.” There wasn’t a Kraut Music Fest attendee who didn’t feel completely overjoyed with Finger Eleven’s triumphant return. They also embraced the band’s re-emergent aggressive sound, with each of them leaving the show excited for what’s to come.
Kraut Music Fest isÂ sponsored by Route 20 Outhouse.
Photographer Cheri Kern was on hand to capture the images and excitement of the night.