On Tuesday, October 15, recently updated music venue The Ritz in Raleigh, North Carolina, packed to the brim for The Wrong Side of Heaven Tour. The tour is headlined by well renowned heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch in support of their recent and upcoming album releases The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volumes 1 and 2. Escape The Fate, Miss May I and Gemini Syndrome were the supporting acts for the evening.
The venue doors opened up at 6:30pm, and the line of anxious fans was already wrapped around the building. After giving the crowd 30 minutes to fill in, emerging metal band Gemini Syndrome kicked off the evening. The California native band was formed in 2010, by members Aaron Nordstrom (vocals), Rich Juzwick (guitar), Mike Salerno (guitar), Alessandro Paveri (bass) and Brian Steele Medina (drums). Their EP album "I" was released in January, 2011, and they have since had the opportunity to tour with numerous well known bands and played as part of Wayne Static's Pighammer tour. Gemini Syndrome released their second album Lux earlier this year. Though their set only consisted of seven songs, they were all delivered with high energy and stage action. By the end of the night, Gemini Syndrome had converted many new "Synners" - the term they've given to their loyal fans.
American metalcore band Miss May I kept the energy going as they seized the stage. Miss May I was formed in 2006, by members Levi Benton (vocals), Justin Aufdemkampe (guitar), Ryan Neff (bass), B.J. Stead (guitar) and Jerod Boyd (drums) and still consists of the same lineup. After garnering The Devil Wears Prada lead guitarist Chris Rubey's attention, Miss May I quickly became one of the most well known bands on MySpace, thanks to Rubey's heavy promotion of them. They released their first album Apologies Are for the Weak in 2009, and are now currently in studios working on what will be their fourth album release. The set list Miss May I played consisted of a select couple songs from each released album.
By the time Las Vegas, Nevada, native band Escape The Fate took the stage, the venue had become difficult to navigate, as zealous fans attempted to hold their spots. The post hardcore/emo metal band consists of members Craig Mabbitt (vocals), Bryan "Monte" Money (guitar), Michael Money (guitar), TJ Bell (bass) and Robert Ortiz (drums). Though Escape The Fate has a four album discography, they are ever evolving as their member lineup seems to change nearly every year. Fortunately, the constant lineup changes seem to be of no consequence, as Escape The Fate delivers a flawless performance of select songs from each CD they've released. Only two days after the show at The Ritz, Escape the Fate announced they had to drop the remaining four dates of The Wrong Side Of Heaven Tour due to unforeseen family circumstances. They will be rescheduling appearances in those cities as their schedule allows.
As Escape The Fate exited the stage, it didn't take long before various chants of "Five Finger Death Punch" echoed throughout the venue. After a fifteen minute delay allowing for stage preparations, the lights dimmed and an electronic version of "100 Ways to Hate" blasted through the speakers. Members Zoltan Bathory (guitar), Jeremy Spencer (drums), Ivan Moody (vocals), Jason Hook (guitar) and Chris Kael (bass) calmly strolled to their places on stage. The entrance was clearly only the calm before the storm as Moody promptly began to bellow out "Under and Over It". The intensity held through the entirety of Five Finger Death Punch's set, featuring a myriad of the band's mainstream singles. They also played a handful of songs from their July album release that the tour is in support of, including the newest single "Lift Me Up". Moody then gave a short dedication to all military members prior to playing their cover of "Bad Company". A few songs later, the show held a more compassionate mood as Moody and Hook performed an acoustic duet of "Remember Everything". The show came to a close with songs "Far From Home" and a Five Finger Death Punch classic "The Bleeding".
Aside from The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Five Finger Death Punch has released three other studio albums, all of which have been RIAA certified gold. They deliver intensely heavy, yet impressive performance that inspires crowd surfing, mosh pits and head banging all around - certainly not a show to miss.
The majority of the remaining The Wrong Side of Heaven Tour dates are scattered throughout Texas until October 26. See more details on tour dates here and be sure not to miss any of these bands next time they come through Raleigh!