Opening tonight’s bill were Pop Evil from Michigan USA, and here in the UK for the first time. Straight away they impressed me – they sounded great and put everything they had into their performance. The band members were constantly running around the stage, jumping, and generally burning off more calories in their 30 minute show than most people do in an entire day. The drummer was obviously more limited but even he was highly energetic and played standing up at one point, and for the whole show was a blur of arms flying everywhere. With his energetic style and hair/beard he made me think of a cross between Dave Grohl and Animal from the Muppets. The band had a big crowd to play for – fans had been queuing outside long before doors opened and as a result Pop Evil played to a venue that was already heading towards being full. More important than the size of the crowd though was how the crwod reacted – Pop Evil definitely went down very well with lots of cheering after each song, arms in the air during songs, and some headbanging. They definitely made some new fans tonight. A great start to the night.
Next up were Upon a burning body. They’ve got a much heavier sound – more hardcore than metal, which contrasts with the fact they’re all dressed in shirts and ties with the singer even wearing a suit. They don’t waste much time in getting the crowd hyped up and tell them they want to see a load of crowdsurfers, and they do get quite a few coming over pretty quickly. It’s a fairly intense heavy set, but I definitely preferred Pop Evil.
Finally came tonights headliners – Five Finger Death Punch, and the deafening cheers that greeted them made it clear that no matter how good the support acts were, this was the band everyone had been waiting for. After walking on stage, Ivan leaped into the air as the music kicked in and things were off to a flying start. Five Finger Death Punch (FFDP) are a superb live band and have the crowd loving the whole show. It’s not just full on metal though – for “Remember everything” and “Battle born”, they bring out an acoustic guitar and the song is performed acoustically with just the acoustic guitar and vocals. It works really well and also gives the fans a chance to catch their breath before things return to full power with “Coming down”.
As well as their own songs, FFDP included a number of cover versions in their set from acts as diverse as Bad Company, LL Cool J and Oasis, with the Oasis cover, “Champagne supernova” turning into a crowd singalong.
Five Finger Death Punch put in a superb performance tonight – in fact they’ve been great every time I see them, and the fact that they’re packing out the larger academy venues is a sign that they’re consistently good and are drawing big crowds. If you haven’t seen the band live then I’d definitely recommend you go give them a try as their shows are loud, heavy and great.
Five Finger Death Punch setlist
Under and Over It
Burn It Down
Hard to See
Lift Me Up
The Agony of Regret
Mama Said Knock You Out
Here to Die
Far from Home
(A Capella 1st Verse & Chorus)
(Oasis cover) (Crowd sing-a-long with Ivan)