Share the Welt Tour at the Rapids Theatre (2011)


The Share the Welt Tour, featuring über-masculine thrashers Five Finger Death Punch, All That Remains,  Hatebreed, and Rains, pulverized the Rapids Theatre into submission on Tuesday night, as a sold-out crowd let its freak flag fly to the tune of songs such as “The Bleeding,” “Aggressive Opposition,” and “Smash Your Enemies.”

Given that the show marked my first time inside the cozy Niagara Falls venue, I was pleased with the sound, but upset with the amount of people uncomfortably crammed into small spaces. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a chaotic evening of metal, but this was borderline criminal.

The architectural layout of the room is gorgeous indeed, yet, as more and more people lined up as if it were Black Friday at Macy’s, I couldn’t help but think what would’ve happened in the event of an emergency.

But enough “Debbie Downer” talk, let’s get to the music.

Because the line wrapped around the building in predictable fashion, the first band I saw was Hatebreed, and they were as aggressive as it gets.

Vocalist Jamey Jasta is a one-man powerhouse who incites the crowd as well as any metal vocalist working today, evidenced by the numerous circle pits which blossomed throughout the floor.  The entire band came together to create musical mayhem, and their mission was accomplished with few qualms.

Next up was All That Remains, and, while I found their stage presence to be appealing, the overall bite of their performance appeared tame compared to the standard set by Hatebreed’s opening blow.

Sure, the people up front were entranced, but I witnessed plenty of activity back by the bar that had little to do with what was occurring on stage.  Overall, they had some catchy choruses and wicked breakdowns, but, after a while, the audience was ready to move on to the featured band of the hour.

Despite having only three albums under their belt, Five Finger Death Punch has taken the reins of modern-day metal, and established a wave of uncompromising anthems aimed at silencing anyone who ever looked at them the wrong way.

Singer Ivan Moody infuses his lyrics with the type of political sarcasm that Dave Mustaine would be proud of, plus he can scream when he wants to, and sing when he has to.  Songs such as “Never Enough,” “Far From Home,” and “American Capitalist” display a versatility that few current singers aspire to, which, to me, speaks volumes about the state of music in 2011.

Unlike most of Top-40 radio, Five Finger Death Punch is the real deal, and not afraid to berate elements of society deemed unworthy of one’s hard-earned time and attention.  Philip Seymour Hoffman (see “Almost Famous”) would refer to that section of society as “swill merchants,” something I wholeheartedly agree with.

Everyone in the band is a monster on their respective instrument, and, hopefully, the band will be gracing the area with another performance in the future.






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