Concert: Five Finger Death Punch with Nothing More & Bad Wolves
August 20, 2018
Have you ever met someone in a band you really like and wish you could redo the whole meet and greet over? I sure do. Next time I definitely would not almost lie across the signing table trying to get a selfie of me with Tommy Vext of Bad Wolves.
It resulted in the WORST photo ever of me. I honestly have to laugh now thinking back at the whole experience, but at the time I was a mortified, sweaty, zoned out mess.
My boyfriend and I took the GO Train from Burlington to Exhibition to attend the Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin co-headlining tour at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage. The tour also featured Nothing More and Bad Wolves- who are currently on radio rotation with their cover of The Cranberries’ Zombie.
I purchased my tickets back in March through Groupon for $40 CAD/each. Groupon was actually selling these the same day that Ticketmasters’ went on sale, which I thought was odd. I usually notice Groupon starts selling discounted tickets shortly after the main ticket sites do. I wasn’t complaining though because the same section/row of seats that I bought were selling for $90 CAD/each on Ticketmaster.
We started off our day exploring and eating our way through the Canadian National Exhibition(CNE). When you have concert tickets for that night at Budweiser Stage admission to the CNE is free, which was great since they are $20 CAD each to basically just get inside.
Our first stop was ordering a Montreal smoked meat sandwich($8) that we split. The meat was piled high and the horseradish sauce was delicious. I then devoured a basket of deep fried cheese curds with ranch dipping sauce for $10, which was way overpriced but I enjoyed them. My boyfriend ordered a roasted corn for $5 and went to town on it as the photos depict.
We didn’t play any of the games or go on any of the rides, but there was so much to do there. I attended the CNE a couple years ago and I found this time had so much more attractions and food to choose from.
To finish off our calorie coma we split a churro ice cream sundae($9). It melted faster than we could eat it and the churro was cold, so it was a bit disappointing. Don’t be fooled though we crushed all of it of course.
Around 4:30pm we walked over the bridge to the venue and waited in line for the gates to open. We were one of the first few people into the venue so we went to look at the merch table, but I cannot get over how expensive tour merch has become. I’ve gone to a few concerts this summer and noticed this trend now. I remember just a few years ago I could buy items like an Avenged Sevenfold t-shirt for $30 and a Halestorm hoodie for $45, now t-shirts are selling for $50 and the Five Finger Death Punch hoodie was $120! No thank you.
Next to the merch table was a Monster Energy Music booth. They were hanging up a sign that advertised that Bad Wolves would be doing a signing there at 6:45pm. I was so excited I could have done back flips. I think the lead singer of Bad Wolves is very attractive and have a huge crush on him so I was so excited.
Bad Wolves came on at 6pm and played for 30 mins. They sounded really good and played some of my favourite songs of theirs like No Masters and Remember When.
They also have Diamante sing her part on Hear Me Now on this tour, which my boyfriend enjoyed ;) EDIT: As I’m typing up this blog Diamante posted a video to Instagram saying she has been kicked off the tour for “standing up for what she believes in and for what is right.”
I knew they were going to end with Zombie, so I decided to skip it to get in line early. I was practically flying across the amphitheatre because our seats were on the opposite side to where the Monster booth was and I didn’t want to miss the meet and greet. When we arrived I noticed only four other people were in front of us so I kind of felt stupid for being so eager, but then as soon as Zombie ended about 100 people lined up behind us.
Since we were in the front we got to see the band arrive which was exciting but then I started to get nervous. I felt like since I was one of the first people to meet them I didn’t have time to prepare and compose myself.
My best friend told me to “take pics/vids/snaps/insta story/go live on Facebook…” and all I got were two blurry pics my boyfriend took and a horrible selfie I attempted. At one point I was literally filming the turf grass for 30 seconds so you could imagine my nerves.
They provided us with a photo to sign and the line was moving quickly, so Tommy signed mine before I even got to him. Their drummer was before him and kept asking me how I enjoyed the show and apparently I was just giving him a dumbfounded look so he repeated his question but I was still trying to form words while internally thinking "I DON’T CARE TOMMY IS NEXT!!!"
I found out later the promoters weren’t allowing photos with the band, but I think because I was like the second person to ask at that point Tommy said yes. I honestly don’t take a lot of iPhone selfies so I don’t have a ton of practice, which would have come in handy when I tried to get us both in the frame. In doing so I was practically laying horizontal on the table and then when I tried to lean up to press the button I couldn’t, so Tommy lifted me up by my shoulders and left his hand there. That was the moment I died and went to heaven.
My friend from work commented that she liked that I got his little facial skull tattoo in the photo. Me too girl, me too. The whole process seemed to only take .5 seconds and then I was walking back to my seat in a trance.
I’ve seen Nothing More twice before and I had a mixed review of their set. This concert was really great and we had only missed 2 songs while I was embarrassing myself over at Monster.
Lead singer Jonny Hawkins has so much energy up on stage, which was very noticeable in Don’t Stop and their cover of Skrillex’s First of the Year (Equinox). I never actually realized that when he’s standing on the robot like device he’s actually making music with it. I thought he was always just jumping up and down on it like a crazy person to be completely honestly.
We knew since it was a co-headlining tour either Five Finger or Breaking Benjamin would play last, but we didn’t find out until I checked the venue’s Instagram page that afternoon. Thankfully Five Finger was playing first because my boyfriend and I aren’t huge fans of Breaking Benjamin and it would have been a long wait time in between.
This is our second time seeing Five Finger, but this concert was a lot better because I had a closer view of the stage. The last time was in Philadelphia at Rock Allegiance and they were playing on the stage on the opposite side from us so it felt like they were miles away.
For people who don’t know Tommy Vext filled in for Ivan Moody of Five Finger when he was unable to perform for a while in 2017, so it was kind of ironic that they were both playing this tour together.
I was really surprised that they only played two songs off their new album And Justice for None that they released in May. I was expecting at least a few more, but I also love their old favourites. When Bad Company played I got goosebumps at the first note and their live version of Never Enough is so much more intense than the studio version. Ivan brought some kids on stage for Remember Everything and this one little girl who had to have been 7 years old with blonde curly hair in pigtails was so excited to go up.
The only thing I was disappointed in was that they didn’t play I Apologize, as it’s one of my personal favourites and that they only played 13 songs, which seemed too short. I wanted more!
Five Finger’s set ended around 9:15pm so we headed out of the amphitheatre and into the CNE in order to get back to the Go Train. I got home around 12:30am and almost died when I checked my phone. Tommy Vext viewed my Insta story that I tagged him in and also commented on it. I didn’t tag him in the actual photo of him and I, for obvious reasons, but it showed he saw it regardless. I was basically jumping to the ceiling with my less than amused boyfriend looking on.
This concert was honestly so amazing I immediately looked into their upcoming tour dates to see if there was another one close to me. I see they play Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Monday September 3, but since it’s the holiday a million people will be visiting the park that day and the border will be packed making the idea less than desirable.
If you ever get the chance to see any of these three bands perform I would highly recommended it as they all put on a great, diverse show.
1. Have you seen any of these bands play before?
2. Did you attend the CNE this year?
3. Any embarrassing meet and greet stories to share?