The New Monsters Rock Orlando

By on October 17, 2014


The biggest four band rock and metal tour of the year came to the CFE Arena in the Orlando area on Tuesday night.  When this tour was first announced in May, you couldn’t help but be excited if you are a fan of hard rock. Not only was one of the biggest rock bands headlining in Five Finger Death Punch, but the newest big hitter and unbelievably popular Volbeat would be on the bill. It’s been an amazing  run that the Copenhagen foursome have been on.  The crowds have been growing with every performance to the point where the fans are coming to large festivals just to see them play and they have been the overwhelming favorite when talking to the fans at these events.  Just having these two bands on this bill would be enough to get the fans to the arena, but the promoters decided to give the attendees more bang for their buck by adding a supergroup in HellYeah and a shooting star and my favorite new band that resides in the San Antonio area, Nothing More.

Knowing that this show was being held at the CFE Arena on the University of Central Florida campus and having never attended a show at this venue, I knew that getting there early should be a priority.

NOTHING MORE (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

NOTHING MORE  (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

With Nothing More taking the stage at 6 pm, we arrived around 5 pm at the arena. There were a couple different parking areas at the venue but both of them were a bit of distance  away and traffic just getting to the lots, was a nightmare.  I’m not sure how experienced this facility is in handling crowds of thousands of people, but throughout the night we noticed some things that could be very problematic and I’ll get to that later.

We were psyched to see Nothing More again.  Having been introduced to them when they opened for Adrenaline Mob about two years ago, Nothing More has been a meteoric rise.  They have been gaining fans through constant touring and playing the small stages at festivals like Monster Energy’s Welcome to Rockville the past two years. (Our coverage of those shows resides here)


2014 )

After playing the huge Aftershock festival in San Francisco in 2013, Nothing More had multiple labels looking to sign them and the band decided to go with Eleven Seven Music.  This was huge step as they were and still are the epitome of a “do it yourself” band by promoting and creating their own videos and building their bio-diesel touring truck. With backing now by a major label, they are now able to focus on the music and let the pros handle the logistics.



Nothing More is fronted by Jonny Hawkins, (who also performs as a second drummer with the band) is definitely not your status quo, run of the mill vocalist. He performs with intensity and a commitment to their music like you seldom see. Their stage performance incorporates a swinging base mechanism called the “Bassinator “ that is played not only by Hawkins, but at the same time by bandmates, Mark Vollelunga (Guitars), Daniel Oliver (Bass) and Paul O’Brien (Drums).  Unfortunately for us and a lot others in the media, we missed Nothing More’s set due to a credential situation at the box office.  This happens sometimes in the music industry but tonight’s issue was extremely frustrating because it was resolved only  in time to hear Hawkins say “goodnight and thanks” as he walked off the stage.

Nothing More’s setlist included “Christ Copyright”, their most recent single being played on Sirius XM’s Octane in “Mr. MTV”, their breakout hit in “This Is The Time (Ballast)” and they closed their set out with “Salem. ” “Salem” is a song that has to been seen live as it includes a multiple percussion performance by all the guys in the band.  To say it is awesome would be an understatement.  If you get a chance to see these guys on this tour or preferably at a club, don’t hesitate. You will become an instant fan. For more information on Nothing More:

CHAD GREY - HELL YEAH  (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

CHAD GREY – HELLYEAH (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

HellYeah was the next band to hit the stage and they did not disappoint. Vinnie Paul was the first to arrive and stood up behind the drum kit and the fans went crazy. Everyone loves Vinnie from his Pantera days plus Vinnie is one of the nicest guys in the business. Vocalist Chad Grey along with Tom Maxwell (guitarist), and Kyle Sanders (bassist), stormed the stage and ripped into “Hell Yeah” and then the title track and first single from their latest release in “Sangre Por Sangre” or “Blood For Blood.” What a way to start the set! Grey busted out the megaphone and the first multiple mosh pits of their set were born. HellYeah pounded through seven songs, which included “Demons in the Dirt,” “War in Me” and their most recent single in “Moth.”  They closed out their set with “You Wouldn’t Know” in which Grey had the crowd singing the chorus in delight.   After seeing HellYeah live for a second time and listening to their recent super heavy release, Hellyeah now seems like a cohesive unit where previously they seemed like a supergroup full of individual parts.  For more on HellYeah check out their site at



Between sets we headed out to say hi to the guys in Nothing More and the CFE Arena provided us with some issues. If you asked any of the workers a question, they sort of tilted their head like my dog when he is perplexed by something. The bigger situation was that the huge merchandise table was placed in front of the main entrance to the seating areas and also in front of the concessions and the rest rooms. This  made movement through the halls very difficult and potentially hazardous to those in attendance.  If there was any kind of emergency where people had to get out in a hurry, there could be some trampling going on. Thankfully this didn’t occur and we made it back to our seats as Volbeat was hitting the stage.

ANDRES KJOLHOLM - VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

ANDRES KJOLHOLM – VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Volbeat has come onto the music scene like gang-busters over the two years. The Danish rock band that fuses a combination of rock and roll, heavy metal, and rockabilly, has been all over terrestrial and satellite radio with their hit singles “Lola Montez” and “The Hangman’s Body Count.”  There has been more buzz in the industry for this group than I have seen in many years and Volbeat did not disappoint.  Rob Caggiano has had a huge effect on Volbeat since he left Anthrax, not only as Volbeat’s producer but also as lead guitarist. This is shown in the chemistry that he demonstrates on stage with Michael Poulsen (vocalist/guitarist), Jon Larsen (drummer), and Anders Kjolholm (bassist). Caggiano also provides a metal flair in his playing of guitar solos and engages with the crowd with his guitar.

ROB CAGGIANO - VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

ROB CAGGIANO – VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Speaking of Poulsen, he pulled off an unbelievable crowd surfing moment as he traveled from the stage over to the left side of the crowd to provide a young fan with a shirt. Pretty awesome move that is rarely seen these days.  He has also incorporated his idols in Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash and tonight the boys played a little bit of the Cash classic in “Ring Of Fire.” They also brought Jon Schaeffer from Iced Earth fame, onstage for “Pool Of Booze.”



MICHAEL POULSEN – VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

MICHAEL POLSEN - VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

MICHAEL POLSEN – VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Volbeat played a co-headliners set that included “Doc Holliday,” “Fallen,” and finished their 14 song set with “Still Counting.”  Volbeat showed once again that they are here to stay and a force to be reckoned with going forward.

To close out the great night of rock, Five Finger Death Punch was next and their drummer Jeremy Spencer jumped behind his drum kit dressed for the upcoming Halloween holiday.


JEREMY SPENCER – 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Then his bandmates, Ivan Moody (vocalist), Zoltan Bathory (guitarist), Jason Hook (lead guitarist) and Chris Kael (bassist ) joined him as they opened with their hit in “Under and Over It.”

This was the start of their 14 song set which consisted of many recognizable songs. This band is a bunch of hard rockers and hit makers. They also know how to incorporate a cover or two and tonight they did this with the classic Bad Company song “Bad Company.”

Ivan Moody is not only a solid hard rock singer but he knows how to engage the crowd and he did this all night long. He likes to honor the U.S. Military at shows and he does this when he introduces “Bad Company” to the crowd. At previously shows he has brought on members of the Wounded Warriors program and Moody is also part of the Make A Wish Foundation.  Tonight he brought Keaton, a 17 year old with Cystic Fibrosis, onstage to hang out while they played. A pretty special moment, not only for Keaton, but for all in attendance.  (Youtube video: )

IVAN MOODY - 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

IVAN MOODY – 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Five Finger Death Punch continued through their set with “Lift Me Up” which won Revolver Magazine’s 2014 Golden Gods Award for Best Song of the Year which is great live, except Rob Halford wasn’t in attendance. (Halford shared vocal duties on this song with Moody.)  Another highlight from their set was the mellower “Remember Everything. ”  You could hardly hear the vocals as the crowd was drowning out Moody by singing every lyric. Closing out the night with “Far From Home” and “The Bleeding,”  Five Finger Death Punch is a band that needs to be seen live in order to truly appreciate them. All the members of the band are animated and appreciate the crowd that they are playing in front of and play with a reckless abandon.  They are also some of the nicest people that I’ve ever met in this industry. For more info on FFDP:

CHRIS KALE - FFDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

CHRIS KAEL – 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

If you are a fan of hard rock and heavy metal, this is a tour that you should not miss. It has everything that you want out of a show including 4 bands at different stages of their careers. The new kids on the scene in Nothing More, the veterans of previous bands now merged into a cohesive unit in HellYeah, a new fan favorite from overseas in Volbeat, and lastly a multi-year, muti-hit monster in Five Finger Death Punch. It’s not often you get to see a tour like this, especially for an affordable ticket that’s well worth the price of admission.

For more information and future tour dates:



ZOLTAN BATHORY (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

ZOLTAN BATHORY-5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


CHAD GREY – HELLYEAH (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


MICHAEL POULSON – VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)



JASON HOOK (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

JASON HOOK – 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

IVAN MOODY (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

IVAN MOODY – 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


CHRIS KAEL – 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)




KYLE SANDERS – HELLYEAH (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

CHAD GREY – HELLYEAH (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


ROB CAGGIANO-VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


JEREMY SPENCER – 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


MICHAEL POULSON – VOLBEAT (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

JASON HOOK - FFDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

JASON HOOK – 5FDP (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


CHAD GREY HELLYEAH (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Categories: Entertainment, Featured, Music
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.