I honestly didn’t really know about Five Finger Death Punch (5FDP) before I stumbled upon their album before last summer and the least that I can say is that it got me pretty excited for their tour with Avenged Sevenfold. Luckily, we got to attend their show in Paris, France at the end of last month and it did definitely not disappoint!
Taking advantage of a large stage and good sound conditions, Five Finger Death Punch immediately got to the heart of the matter with Under & Over It, taken from their latest album ‘The Wring Side Of Heaven And The Rightieous Side Of Hell’ (released in two volumes). A song that immediately set the heavy hitting tone that this night is about with its fast pace and lead singer Ivan’s powerful voice.
Playing a majority of songs taken from their latest effort, 5FDP are clearly here to support a long time of hard-work and dedication that preceded the recent release.
In addition of the band’s incredible stage performance, something that caught our attention was the crowd’s reaction. It was obvious that many, many people in the venue were fans of FFDP as sometimes it felt like the whole sold-out 6000+ room chanted the lyrics, from Under & Over It (which was the very first song) to Burn MF.
Lift Me Up was another highlight of this set : originally featuring Rob Halford from Judas Priest, the high potential of this song got more than confirmed as their performance took this song to a whole new level of greatness. From the raging and deliciously aggressive guitar riffs, to the thunderous drumbeats, everything about this song was brilliant, as was the rest of the performance. Filled with adrenaline, 5FDP frenetically string together their major (recent) hits in a lively atmosphere. The band however took the care to slow things down and give their crowd some rest with the emotional Coming Down and Far From Home and its wonderful a cappella intro that people didn’t fail to loudly sing along to. Five Finger Death Punch blast their last notes through the Bleeding and triumph ally leave the stage, leaving a positively strange feeling floating in the room. They owned the stage almost as if tonight show’s was theirs and this was only their first time in Europe. We definitely can’t wait to see them on our shores again!
It’s now time for the headliners to hit the stage and we can see only from the stage decorations that we moved into a new level. Avenged Sevenfold are back and they show it. The band was obviously much awaited, they hadn’t been back in Europe, especially in Paris in a few years and their fans wouldn’t have missed them for the world, lining up in front of the venue all day despite rain and cold weather. The band was probably here in support of their newest release ‘Hail To The King’ that gathered mixed opinions and critics. While some stated that this album was disappointing and nothing but a poor copy of Metallica’s music, others have seen another masterpiece of theirs. As for us, well nothing better than a live performance to make up one’s mind on new material right?
Opening the show with ‘Hail To The King”s introduction song Shepherd’s Empire, Avenged Sevenfold don’t bother with talks before the end of the third song and that’s when we understand that not only they are back, but with full force as masters of ceremonies. And what a beautiful thing to witness the reunion between such a band and their fans during old classics such as Critical Acclaim.
Frontman Matt Shadows finally takes time to cool down for a moment and chat with the audience as he usually does. Sure they’re a lot in that imagery and performance, but Avenged Sevenfold are also a communicative band. After apologizing for not being able to display fireworks inside the venue, Shadows and his stooges go back to business with a consistent set combining older and newest songs in a way that could probably satisfy most of the people in presence. The band indeed played songs such as Nightmare, Afterlife (which was a highlight for the night) and Bat Country, but also This Means War and Hail To The King that received a great response from an energetic crowd. The band also took a long pause leaving guitarist Synyster Gates alone on stage playing with the crowd and allowing the people to enjoy his virtuosity on his instrument. It was a slightly bit too long if you ask me, but the way he slipped from his solo to introducing the next song Requiem, gradually with the come-back of his bandmates and fellow musicians was well-thought and very enjoyable.
All in all, Avenged Sevenfold‘s performance was great, exactly as they accustomed us to throughout the years. They created some kind of a conniving atmosphere with their audience, especially during songs such as Welcome To The Family. As for the new songs, maybe they indeed lack of something, that Sevenfold’s little element of madness, but this has taken nothing off their performance as the artists they’re known for. And watching some new songs live can actually help you reconcile with those. Missed them on that tour? Don’t you worry, Europe, they’ll be back next summer!
Special thanks to Olivier G. at Replica Promotion