Five Finger Death Punch, Three Days Grace, Bad Wolves and Fire From The Gods at Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee

Last night was a great night of metal at the Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee with Fire From The Gods, Bad Wolves, Three Days Grace and Five Finger Death Punch.  One of these bands I have seen in the past and the other three I have been looking forward to seeing.  The first band to go on the stage to warm the audience up is Fire From The Gods, a metal band from Austin, Texas consisting of AJ Channer on vocals, Jameson Teat and Drew Walker on guitars, Bonner Baker on bass and Richard Wicander on Drums.  This high energy band performed songs from their most recent album American Sun and earlier albums.  I was quite impressed by their performance with AJ’s clean and unclean vocals and the band’s heavy guitar riffs and driving drum beats making this a band I would love to see again.  They were at Sonic Temple and I love his talks of equality and support of the troops.  Next up is a band that I have seen four times before and they are getting better every time, the Los Angeles, California based band Bad Wolves which consists of vocalist Tommy Vext (ex-Divine Heresy, ex-Snot, ex-Westfield Massacre), drummer John Boecklin (ex-DevilDriver), lead guitarist Doc Coyle (ex-God Forbid), rhythm guitarist Chris Cain (ex-Bury Your Dead, ex-For the Fallen Dreams) and bassist Kyle Konkiel (ex-In This Moment, ex-Scar the Martyr, Vimic).  They did an amazing performance with tracks from their latest album N.A.T.I.O.N. and their debut album Disobey.  They ended their set with their biggest hit, a song originally recorded by the Cranberries called Zombie.  We had the opportunity to meet them last year. His stage presence has changed a lot, from saying a few words to really getting the crowd going.  His talks of mental health are inspiring, him being a violence and suicide attempt survivor.  It’s important to let people know they are not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  The third band to hit the stage is the Canadian rock band Three Days Grace consisting of drummer and backing vocalist Neil Sanderson, bassist Brad Walst, lead guitarist  Barry Stock and vocalist Matt Walst, who is also bassist Brad Walst’s brother.  This great metal band performed tracks from their latest album Outsider and from their earlier albums.  After hearing I Hate Everything About You from their 2003 self-titled album and Pain from their 2006 album One X, I know I need to add these two albums to my library.  They gave a high energy performance that got the crowd ready for headlining act Five Finger Death Punch an American heavy metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada consisting of Ivan Moody on lead vocals, Zoltan Bathory on rhythm and lead guitar, Jason Hook on lead guitar and backing vocals, Chris Kael on bass and backing vocals and Charlie Engen on drums.  They gave a kick-ass performance along with an amazing light show with laser, pyrotechnics and more as they played tracks from their latest album And Justice For None as well as tracks from previous albums 2015 Got Your Six, their 2013 two-volume set The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell and much moreI have been looking forward to seeing this band for a long time and I am glad I finally got the opportunity to see them. He also is very patriotic when it comes to the troops and presented a gift to the sign language interpreter, whose husband returned from Afghanistan.  He also gave a shout out to people in recovery, stating he was 22 months clean.  The rocks bands are the quickest to address all of the problems out there today and it’s so important.  The venue, Thompson Boling Arena was just okay in my book.  The area where we were sitting was a little scary to get to your seat, with no rails and the steps rather narrow with just a glass partition to prevent you from falling off to the lower level.  It made it even difficult for my wife to get down to her seat and back up after the concert with a broken foot.  There was also maybe a foot or less of legroom, making it very uncomfortable for taller patrons.   Thanks to another person who helped get her up the stairs or she would have been a permanent fixture.  We were unable to find where wheelchair seating was.  The bathrooms were not maintained and because the beer vendors were not watching who they were selling beer to, you had to go into a stall full of vomit to use the bathroom since in the men’s room were only two urinals and the rest toilets.  Also, I think that food and drinks were overpriced compared to what we paid for food and drinks at the major festivals we have gone to, $12 for a can of beer poured into a cup.  Getting out of the parking building took well over an hour.  The ramp that goes up to the building was not very wheelchair friendly as it was a pretty steep incline and you had to go down the incline to get in the very long line, then back up.

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