Five Finger Death Punch w/ Persist, Windowpane and Soulfly - April 9, 2012 - Burton Cummings Theatre.
I was there to see Soulfly, who did not disappoint but only played for 35 mintues.
By the time I got through the line up, I missed most of Guelph, ON' Persist's brief set. They had some melody to go with their metal core sound (think Killswitch Engage.)
Seatle's Windowpane were next. They seemed to mine the same territory as other crossover metal bands that have burst of heavy with melodic songs. I wonder if they have heard of Nickelback.
Prior to Windowpane taking the stage, this bearded guy wearing a kilt started to chat loudly with an audience member, obviously for many others to hear. He said that this was there first time through Winnipeg and how would they remember it? It was a challenge for people to go nuts for a fairly unknown band. He didn't actually say what band he was with, by the way, and possibly had some people think it was the headliners, FFDP.
Windowpane were unexceptional, not bad but not notable, either. Still, one drunken fan made his way to the front of the stage to offer the lead singer a sip of his beer. The bearded dude seemingly appeared out of nowhere to pat this guy on the back and encourage others to stand in front of the stage to show the band support, etc. Other fans slowly joined in. It looked a bit funny, seeing so few people willing to rock out in front, but eventually, most of the space was occupied.
I kinda wonder if these were people enjoying the band or maybe just pre-positioning themselves to see the next band up close, Soulfly, whose main members are well known as the founders of the legendary Brazilian 80s thrash metal band, Sepultura. Soulfly have been around for 15 years now, and should easily be able to headline their own Canadian tour.
During the intermission, prior to Soulfly playing, that bearded/ kilted guy was back, this time hawking CDs for $10. Probably a smart thing to do as many people would be too lazy to buy a disc of a fairly unknown band, especially when they think they can get it for free through download. Kudos to this guy for going out of his way for his band.
Soulfly sounded pretty good from my seat on the side, on the floor. The lead singer was somewhat Cookie Monster growly with his vocals, but thankfully not quite. There were many moments of audience participation, a bit too much for my liking. If they're only playing a 35-minute set, they should cut back on trying to get the audience to sing-along, jump up and down, etc., and just play more music! Overall, I wished they had played longer and I would like to see them headline their own tour.
Five Finger Death Punch are probably just about near the end of their set as I write this. I'm not a huge fan and didn't feel like staying around for them.
Fans were snapping up these $50 t-shirts like crazy! $50! Yes, that was not a typo. They had several t-shirts for sale, most of them quite attractive. People may be downloading MP3s but the fans love to buy merch.
When I first entered the venue, I saw this couple in front of me at the Will-Call booth who were shocked to discover that the two "meet and greet" VIP tickets they purchased for $100 in total did not come with tickets to the actual event! While they contemplated shelling out another $90 for tickets, they stood aside to let others get their tickets. Can you imagine?!! Either they didn't read the fine print (there's always fine print, right?) or they were misled. I felt bad for them.