I arrived at the venue two hours early, not because
of my eagerness to see Five Finger Death Punch perform,
but because it was time to interview their guitarist
and founding member, Zoltan. I planned to sit down
with him for about 20 minutes and just have a nice
wee chat about the band. Then I was going to get
some food and hang out with my girlfriend and some
mates before the doors opened for the show. Well,
the chat lasted for about 45 minutes and you can
see it only here at Alternative Vision. After the
interview my girlfriend and I sat and chatted with
Zoltan and Ivan for about ten minutes. They are
really nice, down to earth guys.
Anyway, fast forward to the show. The doors opened
a modest 15 minutes late, not too bad. When I
got to the door, security was all over everyone
searching them. Fair enough but the guy who was
supposed to search me was more interested in checking
my camera and must have forgotten to check my
pockets and pat me down.
We got inside, I got my pass with only minor
hassle and then it was on to the merchandise stand.
I was pleasantly surprised that the gear was pretty
affordable, I have been to shows in the same venue
with lesser known acts charging a lot more. I
didn’t buy anything but that’s just
me, it meant more beer money.
Well from there it was panda-fucking-monium.
The venue has two doors entering the main hall,
one on each side of the merchandise stand. The
far door takes you in and up towards the left
of the stage. To enter the nearside door, you
pass the toilets on the right. That’s good,
you don’t have to go too far when the beer
kicks in. The only problem is everyone in the
main hall seems to want to go at the same time
and are coming out as you are going in. The bar
is on the right of the door, just inside the main
hall. So at the door there are people trying to
get in, get out and get served at the bar all
at the same time. Tempers were severely frayed
at that point and the show hadn’t even started.
There is a balcony with a bar but at this stage
it wasn’t open and some security guy said
there were no plans to open it. It was opened
later on but it should have been open from the
start to alleviate the pressure at the bottom
door and bar.
Things calmed down quickly once the crowd evened
out and the upstairs balcony was opened. In the
time it took me to get in the venue, get a beer
and get up to the barriers, the first band had
come and gone. I got in position and left my camera
bag on some gear under the watchful eye of a security
guard. Well, I went for another beer first because
the crowd had evened out and I was able to just
walk up to the bar along the wall from the side
of the stage.
The place was filling out by this time and the
heat was building. The crowd were ready. I’m
not sure how many of them actually knew who Five
Finger Death Punch were but by the end of their
set, they all did.
From the moment the stage went dark and the band
came on, to the time about 35 minutes later when
5FDP left the stage, the place was electric. The
crowd reacted well to the energy from the stage.
Ivan Moody is an amazing frontman with buckets
of energy and personality. I can’t remember
what song they opened with but they played all
my favourites from the album. From Salvation to
The Bleeding and The Devil’s Own. The crowd
reacted really well which was quite surprising
to me. They were a pretty hardcore bunch, there
to see Lamb of God. While 5FDP is generally a
metal band, they have quite a mainstream sound
which I didn’t think would sit well with
the LoG fans. How wrong I was, they loved it.
There was a point in the middle of the set where
the crowd were moshing and Ivan must have seen
a bit of heavy handedness from the security. He
stopped and berated them saying that everyone
had paid their hard earned money so leave them
the fuck alone. The crowd loved that. The band
had recently fired their second guitarist (you
can read about this in the interview) and this
was only the second show ever with their new one
Jason Hook. There was one very minor mishap during
the set but apart from that, the band played really
tight. It was like they had all played together
for years. Each person did their job well, they
are very talented. They put their heart and soul
into the performance, it was all very ‘believable’.
From Ivan’s powerful lyrics to Matt’s
incredible bass playing and backing vocals. From
Jason and Zoltan’s crushing guitar riffs
to Jeremy’s fine drum work. It all fitted
nicely together and what it all created left everyone
asking “Who are these guys?” and “Why
haven’t I heard of them before?”
During the set, both Zoltan and Ivan acknowledged
my presence there which was a nice touch (well,
for me anyway).
It was a very short set for such a big band but
they haven’t broken into Europe yet so they
were billed as a support act to a more well known
band. They impressed the fans in Belfast, something
not easy to do. They are hitting Europe right
now with a headlining tour and hopefully they
will come back soon.
Review By Craig Young
Finger Death Punch
- Top Cheese
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
What Was That?