Five Finger Death Punch are in town Knuckleheads!! As it gets nearer to the end of the year and Christmas there was something else that the crowd heading into Leeds First Direct arena had been waiting for. Tonight was the night where two heavy weight bands shared the same stage as part of their 2017 European tour, In Flames and Five Finger Death Punch were the nights headliners.
Opening the night were Of Mice and Men who were the perfect band to get the night started. Playing just 6 tracks it was clear to see that there many fans in the audience for these guys. Having recently parted ways with their original singer, the new front man Aaron Pauley has more than filled his boots. With a set list that included “You Make Me Sick” and “The Depths” it was just the set up the night needed for an all out metal night.
In Flames were now ready to take the stage. Performing their first track, “Drained”, from behind the transparent curtain, this crowd was alive. Now this is a band who can put on a show with their animated back screen as well as a risen stage for drummer and keyboardist that was a flashing show of LED lights, they certainly grab your attention. Playing through tracks mainly off their latest album “Battles”, they also treated fans to classic tracks such as “The Jesters Dance” and “Moon Shield”. The crowd exploded with mosh pits throughout the standing area and the rest jumping and head banging along. Throw in a guest appearance from giant ‘Owl Boy’ sat at the back of the stage, In Flames really did put their all into this show.
As the house lights went down the crowd got ready for Five Finger Death Punch. With a radio-esque type track playing to the crowd before the curtain dropped which lead to opening track “Lift Me Up”. This was just the beginning of what was to be a show to remember. With the large skull in the background with two baseball bats acting as crossed bones this would be the centre piece to a spectacular light show. As the band continued to play through fan favourite tracks such as “Never Enough” and “Wash It Away” the lights shone brightly across the stage and into the crowd with lasers and even a light up guitar!
The entire set had so many highlights to name including the joining on stage by Aaron Pauley from Of Mice and Men and a special appearance from Tommy Vext from Bad Wolves. The three singers sang “Aint My Last Breath” in such a perfect way for the night. This added an extra push of energy on stage to which Ivan Moody had already created. Moody’s energy throughout the night was high with him moving all around the stage and putting his all into each track. His interaction with the crowd was wonderful as well as he addressed the whole arena from those standing to getting those seated to do a Mexican wave.
The next highlight will be an experience of a lifetime for some of the fans tonight as Moody invited a selection of the crowd to come up on stage. The lucky few were helped up to join the band with one fan so excited she literally jumped at the frontman to hug him. This was all the set up for “Burn MF” which would also have some more great interaction from the rest of the crowd as the frontman pitted each side of the venue against each other to sing the chorus louder.
The next part of the set slowed down to just the frontman and guitarist Jason Hook on stage. They performed a short acoustic set that included “Wrong Side Of Heaven” and “Remember Everything”. Moody also took time to apologise to his fans for what he described as a ‘mental breakdown’ earlier in the year to which these fans whole heartedly forgave.
Kicking back up with “Coming Down” and “Jekyll and Hyde”, the band was getting ready to close the night. The light show continued to be impressive and the band played with their all. Finishing with “The Bleeding” it was the perfect show to end the year for these fans tonight.