By Craig Lindberg
I have been frequenting this venue since the early 90s when I witnessed Pantera and White Zombie completely decimate the place and everyone in it. Through its many years and incarnations (including a ~ gulp ~ dance club), our little theatre of mosh and madness has managed to thrive and attract some of the biggest national and international touring acts year after year.
The Palladium has become THE Central MA must-play venue for all manner of acts, so it was a surprise to no one when it was announced that the new kings of heavy, Five Finger Death Punch, were bringing their show to our town.
“We’ve played many type of venues on this tour,” says Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook. “Arenas, clubs, 500 to 5000 people…it doesn’t really matter to us, all we care about is putting on a show people will remember.”
Mission accomplished, Jason.
This show was pretty much a reunion/homecoming, as sharing the bill with FFDP were two local legends, All That Remains and the mighty Hatebreed, both of which got their starts on this very stage at the annual New England and Metal and Hardcore Festival.
Hatebreed took the stage first ~ and from the opening chord, it was clear that the fact they were opening was irrelevant. They had come to conquer. With a guest appearance by Death Punch vocalist Ivan Moody brandishing an American flag during their set, the local boys of Hatebreed left their mark on The Palladium crowd and also set the bar pretty high for the other bands on the bill, including the headliners.
All That Remains took the stage next and did not disappoint. A little more technical than their local brothers in Hatebreed, ATR were no less brutal and definitely on their game. Blistering out favorites from “Six” to “Two Weeks,” All That Remains bludgeoned the already frenzied crowd and left them beaten and bruised…but definitely not broken. That task was left to Five Finger Death Punch.
As the house lights dimmed, the light from the multiple Ford Mustang headlights stacked 10 feet high blazed forth rhythmically, blinding those in front while simultaneously whipping everyone into a frenzy.
The boys in FFDP hit the stage to “Under and Over it,” the first single off the band’s third studio album American Capitalist, then segued right into the brutality of “Salvation” off their groundbreaking debut CD The Way of the Fist.
From start to finish, FFDP owned The Palladium and as much as Hatebreed and ATR should be praised for warming up the hometown crowd and getting them primed for the night’s climax, the night ultimately belonged to Five Finger Death Punch. They solidified both their place among the greatest touring acts to grace The Palladium stage and Worcester’s tradition of producing and promoting great music.