Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park

For metal fans it doesn’t get much better than an end of summer outdoor show to blow off the midweek cobwebs.

It was certainly a Happy Hump Day for the fans who flocked to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for a night crammed with not two, but four bands in one lineup. The co-headliners, Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin were joined by Bad Wolves and Nothing More.

From the very first beat of the night, the crowd were fully engaged. It may have been an early start to the evening’s proceedings but it was worth the rush hour traffic battle to catch the first band of the night, Bad Wolves. Even with a 6pm start, they had an impressive crowd collected ready to see a band who there has been a lot of talk about this year.

Bad Wolves have been touring relentlessly and making a name for themselves playing to the large crowds at festivals such as Las Rageous and Welcome To Rockville. These guys came out ready to rock, with lead singer Tommy Vext leaping around the stage throughout their set. Bad Wolves were catapulted into the limelight with the release of their cover of The Cranberries’ “Zombie” which Delores O’Riordan was meant to have recorded vocals on the day she past away. They dedicated the track to the memory of Delores and it rounded out their set, along with the full vocal backing of the audience.

If you haven’t heard of Nothing More yet, where have you been? The Grammy nominees burst onto the stage like they were the headliners, providing a powerful set filled with emotional songs such as “Jenny,” which was written about Jonny Hawkins’ sister, and the stripped back acoustic version of “Just Say When,” which stemmed from the breakdown of Hawkins’ marriage.

But don’t think for one minute that this was a set of ballads. Far from it. The barefooted, bare-chested Hawkins was a ball of energy on the stage, alternating between singing, drumming and riding their own creation, The Scorpion’s Tail, for their cover of Skrillex’s “First of the Year (Equinox). This is a band who are a must-see live. After seeing these two bands perform, it’s incredible to think that these bands were effectively the openers and the night is only just beginning.

The co-headliners have alternated who performs first on this tour, and this time it was Five Finger Death Punch‘s turn to be first up.  They take to the stage with huge balls of flames firing into the air, and a large skull suspended above the skeleton-clad Jeremy Spencer on drums. 

Ivan Moody’s trademark red handprint on his face was sported by fans in the audience as they showed their support for the band. The whole audience was fully-engaged with the band throughout their hour and 15 minute set, and it was impossible not to be with so much going on. Jason Hook’s guitar had a light display on it which matched the color of the lasers flashing from the back of the stage.

Whilst they released And Justice For None back in May of this year, they only performed “Trouble,” from that album with their set concentrating primarily on songs from American Capitalist and The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1. 

The band interact with the audience throughout and look like they are having a great time, with Moody at one point cheekily ripping all of Hook’s guitar picks off his microphone stand and throwing them out into the audience. Their cover of “Bad Company” proved the audience were in fine voice as they sang along whole-heartedly. Slowing things down with acoustic renditions of “Wrong Side of Heaven” and “Remember Everything,” it was soon back to full velocity for “Coming Down” and “Burn MF.”

Last but certainly not least, Breaking Benjamin take to the stage for the final band of the night. The audience might have been barely able to see the band on the stage at times, except for when illuminated by the shooting fireballs, but you could certainly hear them as they kicked off their set with “Red Cold River” from their current album, Ember.
It felt like the rest of the evening had served as a warm up for the audience’s voices, as their singing almost drowned out Benjamin Burnley’s vocals throughout their set. They managed to cram 17 songs into their hour and 15 minute set, which included a fun 10-minute medley which included “The Imperial March,” Tool’s “Schism,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Pantera’s “Walk,  and Metallica’s “Sad But True.” They were even joined on drums by In This Moment’s Kent Diimmel during their performance of “Failure.”
The night was rounded out with a bunch of kids being invited on stage with them for “The Diary Of Jane,” marking the end of a jam-packed show.  It was just what the doctor ordered ahead of the impending holiday weekend judging by the smiles on the crowd’s faces!
This tour is one you do not want to miss so be sure check on their upcoming tour dates.
About Kirstine Walton 383 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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