So, the time arrives for our last gig of the year and what a way to end the year than in the company of US rock titans Five Finger Death Punch who bring with them Swedish metal stars In Flames and US bruisers Of Mice and Men.
Sadly the post Austin Carlisle incarnation of Of Mice And Men are finishing up their set by the time we get into the Arena but things are soon warming up as Swedish faves In Flames pound through their forty minute set. Living up to their reputation as a class live act, the Swedes have a stack of quality material to pick from and the likes of “Take This Life” see Anders Fridén and his bandmates setting the bar high for the headliners.
As is the case for most of us, 2017 has been an up and down year but few have had such public lows as Five Finger Death Punch frontman Ivan Moody who addresses his personal issues midway through their headline set. The Moody we see here in front of us at Leeds though is an altogether different person. Laughing, joking and fist-pumping throughout their set, Moody looks like he is having a blast on stage and that is something every fan in this room is grateful for.
Raging through the likes of “Lift Me Up”, “Aint My Last Dance” (complete with Aaron from OMAM) and Tommy Vext (originally lined up to replace Moody on this tour), the frontman puts in a display as massive as the production. Dwarfed by a giant skull and lit up with a power-sapping light show, the mid point of the set and a truly raucous “Burn MF” (complete with crowd members on stage), is followed by an acoustic break made up of “I Apologize”, “Wrong Side Of Heaven” and “Remember Everything”.
Despite slowing the tempo down the band head towards the finish line with a punishing “Under and Over It” with the sight of Moody and his bandmates firing on all cylinders being one of the best Christmas presents Five Finger Death Punch could give to their diehard fans.