Five Finger Death Punch
The Forum London
31st March 2014
Five Finger Death Punch return to the UK for two shows at London’s Forum. Louder Than War’s Acey Eliza reviews.
Anyone who’s been to enough festivals will be familiar with the disappointment of hearing that their favourite band has pulled out because the singer has a sore throat. With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine that six years ago, lead singer Ivan Moody, was on an operating table having several cysts removed from his vocal chords. It would have been an understandable choice to take a long and well deserved break or retire from making music entirely; a choice that most people in his position would undoubtedly have made. But through sheer determination and passion, he pulled through and was back on stage just a few short weeks after the ordeal. Instantly bagging a support slot on Korn’s Family Values Tour along with a growing respect among Five Finger Death Punch supporters the world over.
On a Monday night at any venue in London, one would expect a mediocre turn-out at best. But for the Las Vegas five-piece on their Wrong Side of Heaven tour, the fans were willing to endure a Tuesday morning hangover and countless mosh pit injuries in the name of the band’s long-awaited return to the UK. From the press pit to the back row of the balcony seating, every area of available space was accounted for and every man, woman and child looked ready for battle.
Met with roars and cheers from the crowd, Five Finger Death Punch kicked off the second of two consecutive nights at The Forum with a bang. Encouraging a circle pit and crowd surfing, which the audience took to gladly during songs like Bad Company and Coming Down. So much so, that a swell of heat from those moshing on the ground floor, rose up and created an almost sauna-like effect in the venue. Guitarists Jason Hook and Zoltan Bathory stood on the edge of the stage, delivering epic riffs and solos. While bassist Chris Kael and drummer Jeremy Spencer set the groove, thundering through the auditorium. All the band members had bundles of relentless and infectious energy and Ivan has never been more on-form.
After playing Download and Mayhem Festival three times a piece and touring with the likes of Disturbed, it shows that the band have picked up some skills along the way. The band bounce around and have fun with the fans, giving away wrist bands, guitar picks and the occasional salute and thumbs up from the front man. During Burn, Mother Fucker Ivan called for a “Ladies Night” on stage where four girls were chosen to rock out with the band and have a singing competition with the audience. Amidst the flashing lights, the manmade heat-wave and the countless horns, the atmosphere was electrifying.
Just when the moment called for it, the band simmered down for the acoustic part of the set. Remember Everything gave the crowd an opportunity to take a breath and put their lighters in the air. In a duet between himself and the fans as the show drew to a close, Ivan created a sense of intimacy, an intimacy that very few artists seem to have the ability to create with a larger audience. After not one but two roof-raising covers of Mama Said Knock You Out and Oasis’ Champagne Supernova the band ended on a high with The Bleeding.
The sad news is that it might be a while before we see Five Finger Death Punch return for another tour in the UK. But as long as they keep making killer songs and delivering quality performances time and time again, it certainly won’t be the last we see of them. But for all of the lucky fans who were there that night – they will most definitely remember everything.