Sunday of Aftershock 2014, about 6.50 p.m. or just after, and all hell is breaking loose in the photo pit. Five Finger Death Punch is on stage, just starting their second song, and people are already flying over the barrier from the crowd into the pit between the barrier and the stage, and a huge, really huge, security guy with no security shirt but with an attitude that means business is telling we, very-crowded-in-the-pit photographers that we have to leave, now, RIGHT NOW!!, forget the three songs rule, we have to GET OUT, NOW; and then there's a sick or injured person blocking the exit, and we are scooted one way, then back the other way, still trying to grab that last photo, knowing that the security team are just trying to keep everyone safe but it's frustrating and just a little scary, too.
It's a few minutes of madness down there, not incited by anyone on stage, though the audience has been well-and-enthusiastically primed by Pennywise and Rise Against and are just bursting out. The huge crowd, by this time, was an ocean of energy riding the waves of Ivan Moody's voice and Zoltan, Jason, Chris' and Jeremy's music. It was just spilling over.
But then rewind, back, go back three or four hours to just after two in the afternoon. Away from the crowd, in the relative-quiet of the media tent. Early, waiting patiently.
We talked international travel. Five Finger Death Punch are touring, what, nine months a year? International... Japan coming up soon. How do they manage with all the languages? I wanted to know... translators, interpreters, or muddling through like the rest of us? They just get by, Ivan said: he likes to have at least a few words or phrases ready, to make an effort, to try. Uncomfortable with the idea of not trying, wanting to reach out.
Martial arts? The other guys, Zoltan and Chris, they're into martial arts. Ivan, he did boxing, golden gloves, that was more his thing.
He's a gentleman. Truly... he is. It's hard to equate this humble, kind and sweet man with the hard-man singer; at least, not until you see that twinkle in his eye, the naughty schoolboy with a heart of gold and a bag full of old hurt.
"I'll stick to bar fights", he said. Twinkle, twinkle.
Thank you, Ivan, for the time, and the music. Thank you, Zoltan, Chris, Jason and Jeremy. Next time, I'm coming to see you on tour. OK? (Maybe then, I'll capture that elusive photo of Jeremy. These festival stages are so darn high.)
More photos from last night's Five Finger Death Punch show at Aftershock 2014 are here in the photo gallery.
|Alison Toon with Ivan Moody of Five Fnger Death Punch||Photo by Karli Hughes|
And for those of you who don't already know: Five Finger Death Punch have partnered with many military veterans's and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) help organizations, to raise money and help. See http://www.5fdp4vets.com/ and do what you can to help. This is an international issue; no matter the reason someone decides to serve their country, whether it be patriotic or to earn an education or a trade or because their country is calling them, like after 9/11 in the USA, those young men and women serve us: they obey and they fight for their country, can suffer unthinkable pain and trauma, and deserve our help and support. No matter the war, no matter the fight.