Five Finger Death Punch/In Flames – co headline
Of Mice And Men – support act
Winter Tour Europe 2017
Royal Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark
20/11 – 2017
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The hard rock giants Five Finger Death Punch were out touring Europe and this time the singer Ivan Moody is back with the band on the road. He was absent during the summer when the band last toured in Europe, but now he’s back and along with the the band brought the huge Swedish metal act, In Flames. This tour is the biggest one the band has done and it included a new stage production as well as a new set list. The shows in Paris, Stockholm, Olso and Prague were sold out long time ago, so needless to say fans all over Europe were eager to see the bands.
The brand new FFDP song “Trouble” is their first new release in over two years and it was streamed over 1 million times during the first week of its release. The song is featured on the compilation album A DECADE OF DESTRUCTION which was released the first of December. The tour ran through 25 cities and ended in London at the Wembley Arena on the 21st of December. The place for the show in Copenhagen was the recently built Royal Arena located close to the airport. The venue takes about 16000 people and it was only a few tickets left for the show. The doors opened at 5.30 and the first band entered the stage at 7, the entire night was scheduled to end at 11.
After having collected my press pass I went over to the press room to wait for the show to start and shortly the room was invaded by both national as well as foreign media. We were escorted down to the arena about 20 minutes before the show was going to start and we went into the pit that was pretty crowded with amps standing in our way. The stage was pretty far and high up and the only thing on it now was drums, micstands, amps and speakers.
Of Mice And Men
The support act began their show with “Unbreakable” which was followed straight away by “Public Service Announcement”. Of Mice And Men have been active since 2009 and released 4 albums so far. The latest release is titled COLD WORLD (2016). Singer/bass player Pauley thanked the audience for the support and said it was fun to be in Copenhagen and perform. It’s been a dream of ours to perform in front of so many people he continued and thanks for coming so early to catch us live. “Pain” followed and the fans did their best to show their support for the band. Well, the bands music didn’t do much for me and I’m not a fan of their mallcore/alternative metal at all. “You Make Me Sick” followed as we left the pit for the press room, well back we left all our camera bags and headed down to the show again. When I got back the band finished off the song and Pauley once again thanked the fans. The line-up in the band is:
Phil Mananasala – lead guitar
Aaron Pauley – lead vocals, bass
Allan Ashby – guitar
David Valentino – drums
“Warzone” followed and the last song for the night was “The Depths”, the band then thanked for the support and waved good bye to the fans. Luckily for me that didn’t like the bands music at all the show only lasted for 30 minutes. Sure, the music was well executed but didn’t appeal to me at all.
Public Service Announcement
You Make Me Sick
A lot more people from the press was now gathered in the press room and it started to get a bit crowded in there. But I guess the co-headline acts In Flames and FFDP draw a lot of interested people to the arena.
The Swedish metal icons In Flames started out back in 1990 and have sold over 2.5 million albums worldwide and the band is described as one of the pioneers within the melodic death metal genre. In 2015 drummer Daniel Persson left the band, and the year after also bass player Peter Iwers left and they were replaced by drummer Joe Richard and bassist Bryce Paul. Today not many original members remain in the band which is sad. The album SIREN CHARMS divided the fans base into two fractions and I have to admit I was a bit reluctant towards the album at first. However the album the band now is out touring on is called BATTLES and came last year. 10 minutes before the show we were once again escorted down to the pit and we all stood impatiently waiting for the show to start, and right on time, at the stroke of 8 it was time for the inventors of the Gothenburg sound to make their way on to the stage.
“Drained” marked the beginning of the show and it was full speed ahead from the very start. The curtain that hung in front of the stage remained up when the band began to play, and when the photographers began to take shots the security came and moved us all to the other side of the pit, why I don’t know but as the crew dropped the curtain the show continued with “Before I Fall”. The screams from the fans when they saw the band raised the roof and the show really kicked off. The bands backline looked awesome with a huge video screen at the back and two huge podiums, on one stood the drums and on the other one a keyboard was placed. The podiums both had smaller video screens in front of them and singer Fridén also had a podium to stand on if he wanted. Fridén thanked the fans warmly for coming asking them if they wanted him to speak Swedish or English, it was uncertain what they picked but Fridén chose English. But in Swedish he said – we love you all!!. “Everything’s Gone” and the epic “Take This Life” continued the show and I was in total awe of the band. I have to say that not many bands are better than In Flames live on stage! The current line-up in the band is:
Anders Fridén – lead vocals
Björn Gelotte – guitar
Niclas Engelin – guitar
Joe Richard – drums
Bryce Paul – bass
Niels Nielsen – keyboard (session member)
While we walked back to the press room we heard Fridén thanking the crowd for their support, he also said he knew that everyone wanted to film the show and take pictures with phones but that for this night only he wanted the fans to put away the phones and social medias and focus on the show. Lets go analogue tonight!! “Trigger” followed that statement and when I got back from the press room the song was about to hit end and as I walked back I could also see that the arena was almost sold out with only a few seats left at the back.
“Only For The Week” made the fans go crazy and a small circle pit was formed amongst the crowd. The entire band moved around on the stage working hard with connecting with the crowd and the video screens showed patterns of lights and movement. Both lighting as well as sound worked perfect and left nothing more to wish for.
Fridén wanted to hear and see all of the fans participate in the next song which were “Dead Alone” and the temperature in the arena started to rise. The heat was palpable and many of the fans as well as the band started to look a bit sweaty. It got quite on stage and the fans immediately started to shout the band name. “Darker Times” was up next in which Fridén wanted the fans to throw their hands in the air. It was pretty obvious why In Flames are one of the biggest bands in their genre, the songs, the show well everything worked in perfect harmony and even though the band maybe doesn’t write as faster songs as before they still manage to bring heaviness and edge to their pieces. Smoke filled the stage as Fridén once again thanked the fans and when he looked out on the crowd he seemed to be really happy. Ok boys and girls here comes a song you probably like in “Drifter”. The song taken from the 2002 REROUTE TO REMAIN album was clearly one of the songs the fans had been waited the most for and everyone sang along from the top of their lungs. The circle pit woke up and crowd surfing took place, the fans and the band was in a great mood. As the fans chanted the band name Fridén said nothing while he smiled and looked out on to the fans. You are all really nice he said, thank you all for coming. We wrote the next song 22 years ago and let’s see what happens when we play it for you tonight, here is “Moonshield”. The song is featured on the 1996 year album THE JESTER RACE so he wasn’t lying when he said it was a pretty old song. The instrumental “The Jester’s Dance” taken from the same album followed as Fridén walked off the stage. The screens showed red patterns when the song was played and it looked really cool. As Fridén turned up on stage again the song “Save Me” continued the night. The song is taken from the latest album BATTLES and it felt like the fans greeted the new songs just as happy as they did with the older material. All of the members then walked off the stage together and an intro was heard, it was time for “Alias” and the bands mascot was shown on the screen. The song is a personal favorite for me and it was fun to hear it again. Engelin and Paul joked around on stage while they played and it seemed like everyone in the band had a really good time. In the middle of the song Fridén asked if the fans was doing good and he had the audience to clap their hands on his command.
Fridén said that the band would be nothing without the fans and that the band really appreciated the support from the crowd tonight. He said that there was a guy that had worked with the band for 20 years and that had his 40th birthday this night, it was their sound-technician, lets give a hand for him. “The first time I met him he was inside our tourbus and when I asked if I should sign anything for him he just stood there. And he has been with us since then, lets sing happy birthday for him.”
When the song was over Fridén said that just like Tom (the birthday boy) we were going to be “Here Until Forever”. Fridén urged everyone to sing with him and a circle pit once again formed in front of the stage. “The Truth” and “Deliver Us” continued the show and on the screens fireworks was shown. It felt like the guys was under a bit of time pressure because the songs followed each other without any talking in between. Now it was time for a wall of death and Fridén divided the fans into two sides and the song of choice for the wall of death was “The Mirror’s Truth”. At the end of the song I saw a guy in a wheel chair doing some crowd surfing and he was doing it all the way to the security at the front of the stage that lifted him down. That was pretty much one of the most odd things I have seen happen during a show. Even though the bands music today contains a lot of keyboard and people are starting to label the band as alternative metal (which I totally disagree with) the music still stands strong in the melodic death metal genre and their music is still heavy and solid.
The next song Fridén dedicated to all the friends that was in the arena tonight, here is “The Quite Place”, the song fueled yet another circle pit and the stage filled up with smoke and green lights. The song is the only single track from the album SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR ESCPAPE from 2004. Well everything has an end Fridén said and so does also this night, here is the last song for tonight, give yourself a big applaud, here is “The End”. The screens turned red and the lights also turned red and it was an epic end of the 75 minute show the band gave the fans. The show was just another show off how proper melodic death metal should be played. The guys felt energetic, happy and full of life and the delivered a magical show. I maybe lacked a few of my favorite songs but I didn’t mind, the show was epic anyways. In Flames are one of the best live acts ever and this night they only made me more aware of that they are the undisputed kings of melodic death metal.
Drained (performed behind a curtain that covered the stage)
Before I Fall
Take This Life
Only For The Weak
The Jester’s Dance
Here Until Forever
The Mirror’s Truth
The Quiet Place
In the pause in between the bands I walked out and took in a bit of fresh air which was well needed because the heat was intense inside the arena. FFDP was scheduled to go on stage at 9:45 and it was about 30 minutes left until that. FFDP have had, as probably most of you all know, problems with singer Ivan Moody who has been in and out of rehab this year. During the summer tour he wasn’t around at all and was replaced by Tommy Vext. At the beginning of December the bands compilation album A DECADE OF DESTRUCTION was released, the latest studio piece from the band was the 2015 album GOT YOUR SIX.
Just like the beginning of the In Flames show a curtain hung and blocked the view but I could see a huge steel skull with two baseball bats also in steel behind it. The stage looked clean and nice and the fans now started to chant for their favorite band to come out on stage. At 9:50 the intro was heard and it was time for FFDP to enter the stage in Royal Arena.
Five Finger Death Punch
“Lift Me Up” was the first song out for the American band and as soon as the band members showed up the fans screamed at the top of their lungs. The fans jumped up and down and it was almost so you could feel the floor shake under their feet. “Never Enough” followed straight away and the fans was given no time to catch their breath. Moody let the crowd sings the chorus and said that he knew people was talking shit about him but he didn’t care about that. He said he didn’t care about the ones who were talking about him he just “Wash It All Away”. The stage was so high up that it was hard to see the drummer since he was way back at the stage. Moody said it was fun to be performing in Copenhagen again and that it now was time for “Get Your Six”, that was also the last song for us in the pit and the security came and escorted us back to the press room. When I got back inside the arena the song was over, Moody said that everyone in the crowd was crazy this night and that he liked it. “Ain’t My Last Dance” followed and already by now the heat had climbed a notch on the scale.
Moody wanted to see everyone in the arena clearly and asked the technician to light up the crowd, he looked really happy and a crew member came out with a film camera and shot the audience while Moody said – you are all crazy and I love it. From today and forward you are called bad bad Copenhagen, here comes “Bad Company”. Line up in the band is:
Ivan Moody – lead vocals
Zoltan Bathory – guitar
Jeremy Spencer – drums
Jason Hook – guitar
Chris Kael – bass
Moody once again let the fans take care of the vocals and during the show a really good looking laser show took part on stage and on the roof and everywhere. They also had the laser show going on in “Never Enough” but I didn’t see it then. Everyone in the band worked really hard with getting the crowd going and the band felt really solid and knew how to take on a crowd. Moody looked out on the crowd saying we are having a great time tonight and now comes my favorite part of the show, this I do every time we perform. Then he pointed at fans that he wanted to come up on stage and while he did that he told the stage crew to end the smoke on stage because he couldn’t see anything. Six fans were brought up on stage, three on each side of the stage and Moody asked if they wanted to see something totally crazy and fired off “Burn MF”. Needless to say a circle pit was formed as soon as the first song of the show started out and it kept on going throughout the show.
Through the PA an intro was heard and the members walked off the stage, Moody and Hook shortly came back and Hook sat down on a chair while Moody smiled and looked out at the fans firing off “I Apologize”. Moody didn’t have to sing the song at all, the crowd took care of the singing. It was now time for the acoustical part of the show and the entire arena lit up by phones and lighters and it looked really cool. When I was at home away from the band and the touring I realized that the music industry took the best part of me and I realized that what really matters to me is the band, my family and all of my friends, they mean the world to me and even though it took me a while to understand that I know it now so I apologize to you all for my previous behavior and the fans all over the world. It looked like Moody really meant what he said and the fans all cheered and clapped their hands for him and he smiled looking really happy. Ok Jason your turn Moody said and Hook started the intro to “Wrong Side Of Heaven”. With the acoustic part of the show Moody really showed what a great frontman and singer he really is, it was nice to see a more vulnerable side of him. Moody let the fans take care of the vocals and as he smiled and looked at them he said Copenhagen you should know we remember everything and we won’t forget you or your support. This is my best friends Jason he said and together they did “Remember Everything”. That song ended the acoustical part of the show and the rest of the members came back.
“Coming Down” fired up the circle pit again and the show continued on with “Jekyll and Hide” and “Under And Over It”. There are a lot of descriptions of the bands music like groove metal, thrash metal, alternative metal and hardrock, to me their music sounds most like heavy metal with mellcore influences.
That song ended the 65 minute ordinary show but the ecstatic fanbase wanted to hear more and it didn’t take long until the band came out on stage again. Moody said they had been told that they only had 5 more minutes to play for and after that every minute they cross costs 1000 dollars in fine. Well, that doesn’t matter for us, we play as long as we want, this is the most expensive date I’ve been on he said and laughed. But you are all worth it. No one is going to tell us what to do or not, I pay the fine out of my own pocket if necessary. Ok Copenhagen let me see you all again, the arena once again lit up, let me see your phones in the air in “The Bleeding”. The crowd sang along and crowd surfed and Moody said he and the band really appreciated the support from the fans this night. When the song ended he and the band waved good bye to the fans and took off their instruments. If I say Five Finger you say…Moody shouted. He did that three times and then he was satisfied. Moody asked if the fans had a good time this night and said the band loved them all. By then the clock was 11.05 and 75 minutes of the show had passed and it was all over.
This show was totally uplifting and energetic. The support the band got from the fans was amazing and it was so fun to see Moody back in the band in such a good shape. It looked like the members worked in harmony and that everybody had a good time on stage together. The only negative thing with the show was that it was too short, but that was also about it. Otherwise was this an amazing night with two great acts after each other. It was a brilliant move to put these two acts together as headline acts and the bands music styles fits perfect together. The fans looked overwhelmed as I left the arena and that is always a good thing after a show.
Lift Me Up
Wash It All Away
Get Your Six
Ain’t My Last Dance
I Apologize – acoustic
Wrong Side Of Heaven – acoustic
Remember Everything – acoustic
Jekyll And Hyde
Under And Over It
House Of The Rising Sun (outro)
Thanks to Anne Catherine Swallow at Nuclear Blast HQ for help with press/photo-pass to the show.
Thanks to Heidi Degn at PR & Promotion Manager at Live Nation Danmark for help at the show.