“We’re going to do a rock and roll, heavy metal and punk rock experiment,” proclaimed Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix.
That experiment is exactly what Las Vegas received with Five Finger Death Punch and co-headliner Papa Roach for their “Fueled by Monster Energy Tour” stop Saturday night at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
While drummer Tony Palermo’s Pearl bass drum was garnished with a colossal dead roach, this seasoned, two-decade alterna-metal band is far from feet up.
Guitarist Jerry Horton and bassist Tobin Esperance, who brought down the house with a roach colony of songs, accompanied Shaddix and Palermo. Older favorites “Getting Away with Murder,” “Between Angels and Insects” and new tracks off their latest 2015 album, “F.E.A.R.,” enveloped the Las Vegas audience.
Their latest single “Gravity” was accompanied by In This Moment frontwoman Maria Brink adorned in a flowing white cape, which she used to house Shaddix for their dual performance.
Shaddix, who appeared to be fueled by Monster Energy, cloaked the audience with his virility as he ricocheted across the stage during their 90-minute performance. He was also no stranger to encouraging crowd participation.
“We’re going to turn this thing up,” said Shaddix. “What we’re going to do is we’re going to split this crowd down the middle. Everybody to my left take three or four steps that way. Everybody to my right, take three or four steps that way.
“So listen up: When I say go, my good side will charge my evil side, and we will have the biggest mosh pit of the night.”
As the Five Finger Death Punch Terminix needed to exterminate the first leg of the show, Papa Roach bid adieux with “Last Resort” and “To Be Loved.”
“We love you. God bless you. We will see you in 2017. Have a f*cking good night. We are Papa Roach,” said Shaddix.
Five Finger Death Punch began their induction home with an audio clip from the 1976 movie “Network.” “I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad …” This death punch was anything but bad, as they elevated the crowd with their single “Lift Me Up.”
The Las Vegas-housed band shared their Sin City pride with singer-songwriter Ivan Moody verbally conveying his appreciation of their home stop and even sported a UNLV jersey.
“Everybody is here tonight,” said Moody. “I heard that Kanye West was playing down the street. I’m not saying he’s a gold digger. But nobody knows Las Vegas like we do. It’s good to be f*cking home!”
Guitarists Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook, bassist Chris Kael, joined Moody and stickman Jeremy Spencer, who are touring in support of their latest album, “Got Your Six,” which was released Sept. 4th.
“I’ve got a quick question. How many people have our new CD ‘Got Your Six’?” asked Moody. “Here is the better part of that question. How many of you actually bought the f*cking thing? How many of you downloaded it?
“I saw you, you cheap son of a bitch. It’s only $14, dude. That’s like an hour working at McDonald’s. You’re still here tonight, and that’s all I f*cking care about!”
Five Finger thumbed their way through six albums of songs, punching the audience with “Never Enough,” “Coming Down” to their latest single, “Jekyll and Hyde.”
As their farewell was nearing, they closed with their rendition of “House of the Rising Sun.” With the sold-out show, both bands are still rising, and hopefully they set in Las Vegas again soon.
Melina Robinson is a Las Vegas-based freelancer writer.