Five Finger Death Punch, Megadeth & Bad Wolves at Wembley Arena 31.02.2020

I was psyched to get tickets to see Five Finger Death Punch for the first time, a band I’d been a fan of for ages, but hadn’t yet had a chance to see live. They were the main attraction, of course, but it was generally an incredible lineup with Bad Wolves and metal veterans Megadeth in attendance, and I’d never seen either of them either!

I took my mum with me because she’s a big Bad Wolves fan, and we go to a lot of gigs together. Not having heard a lot of their material, the five piece super band native to Los Angeles really impressed me, I was surprised at how heavy their music was, and their Cranberries cover of Zombie was fantastic! Their singer made a reference to dealing with anxiety and depression, as well as expressing the pain of having lost loved ones beyond the veil.

Megadeth were up next, and their synchronised guitar strumming captivated the audience expertly. Dave Mustaine, who I was excited to see in the flesh, announced that he was now totally cancer-free, to loud cheers.

Finally, it was time for Five Finger Death Punch! It was hard to imagine how the Las Vegas metallers could possibly live up to start like that, but there was no need to worry! Ivan was dramatically silhouetted behind the enormous curtain shrouding the entire stage to the theme from Vikings. Then the curtain dropped and chaos ensued, and they kicked off energetically to Lift Me Up. You could almost see the adrenaline pumping, and it was a pace that wouldn’t let up for the next hour.

The audience went berserk for Wash It All Away, before the anthemic Jekyll & Hyde kicked in. The night got heavier as the band went on to play Burn MF. “Let’s try something new”, said Ivan, “Make a circle pit with your cell phones” and every person present swished their phones in the air as the arena twinkled like a thousand fireflies.

Ivan’s onstage presence was confident and endearingly cocky, and when he announced that we were going to have some fun that night, every fibre of my being believed him. He talked about his battle with alcoholism, and his two year’s of sobriety is clearly a source of strength for many on that same journey. They threw in an acoustic rendition of Wrong Side of Heaven, as well as a couple of super cover songs, Bad Company and Blue on Black. I was happiest when they played Got Your Six, my absolute favourite track of theirs!

Their catchy rock ‘n’ roll anthems were often accompanied by flames and explosive pops. It was exciting and breathtaking and I really didn’t want it to end! At one point, guitarist Jason Hook stood on a little platform that was lifted 20 feet into the air for everyone to see as he dramatically performed a face melting guitar solo. Ivan mentioned that the next time Five Finger Death Punch comes to the UK they would to be headlining Download Festival. You’d better believe it!

It was an epic concert I won’t forget, and to top off a perfect night, I nabbed a T-shirt before we left! Horns up!

 Setlist :

  1. Lift Me Up
  2. Trouble
  3. Wash It All Away
  4. Jekyll and Hyde
  5. Sham Pain
  6. Bad Company
  7. Burn It Down
  8. Got Your Six
  9. The Agony of Regret
  10. Wrong Side of Heaven
  11. Battle Born
  12. Blue on Black
  13. Coming Down
  14. Never Enough
  15. Burn MF
  16. Inside Out
  17. Under and Over It
  18. The Bleeding
  19. The House of the Rising Sun

 

 

 

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Is it okay to go to a gig alone?

In case you missed it, in my previous post I wrote about going to see Amon Amarth at Brixton academy, and I had a smashing time! The only thing that put the tiniest damper on my night, and this wasn’t anything to do with the band, rather the staff managing the event, is the fact that at two points, when I was getting in the O2 Priority line (on a side note, what a mega blessing! The queue to get in was wrapped right around the building and I skipped it because of O2 Priority!), I was asked whether it was “just me”, and “where are my friends”. Yes, mate, it’s just me! Can’t a 5’2″ rock chick go to a metal event by herself without getting puzzled looks from some security mammoth?? It bums me out.

I go to lots of events by myself because it’s part of my work as a music blogger, which means I will likely go to a higher volume of music events than the average person in the name of research. So I’ll just get a ticket and go without always worrying about inviting someone to tag along. Also, obviously I love the music, but that goes without saying, doesn’t it, really?

Let me tell you why YOU should be fearless and not miss out either!

  1. You meet interesting new people! Some people are nervous about being by themselves. I understand that. But just know that music fans, especially at metal and rock concerts, are a friendly, non-judgemental bunch, and you’ll most likely end up chatting to them and making new friends.
  2. You get some me time. Learning to spend time alone can be super rewarding, and it helps you grow, to trust yourself. You get a glowing sense of pride because you did something for yourself, because you’re awesome and you have excellent taste in music, and you owe it to yourself to make as many magic memories as you can for yourself.
  3. You can take your time! Are you a bit indecisive about which t-shirt to buy at the merch stand? If you’re by yourself you can take your time and not worry about your mates breathing down your neck impatiently!
  4. Picture the scene: Your absolute favourite song ever comes on. It’s live and sounds a million times better than usual, and the music is pulsing through your body like an epic heartbeat. What do you wanna do? You wanna dance! Without judgement, without distractions, without your friend who picks that moment to demand a selfie. So dance! There’s zero judgement here, and because you’re by yourself, you can get lost in that music bubble your way.
  5. You get to decide when to arrive and when to leave, because you’re on your own and you’re the captain of this adventure, dammit!
  6. You don’t have to miss another concert ever again! Just because nobody you know wants to go doesn’t mean you should miss out on an epic life experience! Personally, I don’t want to drag someone reluctant to go with me for the sake of having company. They end up not enjoying themselves, and you end up worrying all night about whether they’re having fun. Nobody wins! And besides, that extra ticket could go to a real fan, especially if the gig ends up being sold out.

Nobody should feel ashamed or anxious about going solo. If anything, you everyone should try it at least once. Be brave! You might just love it 😉

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What’s Rockin’ February 2020

What's Rockin'

Gigs I’m going to this month:

  • The Calling at The Underworld, Camden, London 6th Feb
  • Ben Portsmouth and The Taking Care Of Elvis Band at The Alban Arena, St Albans 22nd Feb (Guys, this isn’t my typical kinda gig, and it’s super cheesy. But I never got to see the King in real life, and this is the next best thing… I hope! I’ll let you know!)

See you at the gig!

Happy Birthday to:

  • Axl Rose, Guns N’ Rose 6th February 1962
  • Vince Neil, Mötley Crüe 8th February 1961
  • Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, Linkin Park 8th February 1977
  • Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park/ Fort Minor 11th February 1977
  • Billie Joe Armstrong, Greenday 17th February 1972
  • Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath 19th February 1948
  • Randy Blythe, Lamb of God 21st February 1971
  • Floor Jansen, Nightwish 21st February 1981
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What’s Rockin’ January 2020

What's Rockin'

Happy Rockin’ New Year y’all!

Music wise, I plan to beat my gig score of last year, and immerse myself in as much awesome new music as possible. The roaring 20s are here, and exciting things are happening on the music scene!

Gigs I’m going to this month:

  • Amorphis & Dimmu Borgir at O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London on 22nd
  • Five Finger Death Punch with support from Megadeth and Badwolves (WHAT A LINEUP!!!), at SSE Wembley Arena, London on 31st

See you at the gig!

Happy Birthday To:

  • Brody Dalle, The Distillers 1st January 1979
  • Doug Robb, Hoobastank 2nd January 1975
  • Ivan Moody, Five Finger Death Punch 7th January 1980
  • Wil Francis, Aiden/ William Control 8th January 1982
  • Rob Zombie12th January 1965
  • Marko Hietala, Nightwish January 14th 1966
  • Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters 14th January 1969
  • Tairrie B, My Ruin 18th January 1965
  • Jonathan Davis, Korn18th January 1971
  • Rob Bourdon, Linkin Park 20th January 1979
  • Matt Heafy, Trivium 26th January 1986
  • Chris Hesse, Hoobastank 26th January 1974
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Amon Amarth at O2 Academy Brixton 30.11.2019

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Amon Amarth for months (as well as worrying about getting a migraine on the day as they are an ongoing problem for me but, luckily, Odin blessed me tonight), and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a performance packed with incredible props, flames, explosions, actual sword fights, and confetti, but even without all that it would have been a breath-taking show. You know that feeling when the music is so loud it’s thudding in your chest and feels like your heartbeat, and then you and the music are one? THAT!!!!!

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Poets Of The Fall tour and new video

A couple of days ago I received my tickets to the Poets Of The Fall gig in Heaven this December. It couldn’t come quickly enough! The last two of their concerts that I attended were two of the most thrilling live music experiences of my whole life. I left both feeling deliriously high and tingling all over. Now that’s value for money!

I do, however, have slightly mixed feelings about their new music video. My Dark Disquiet is, in my opinion, one of the best tracks they’ve ever written, and I don’t feel like the video does it justice. It’s creative, but not creative enough, and it’s somehow the wrong colour, if you get what I mean. Or perhaps it’s just not how I pictured it. Anyway, with or without the music video, I bloody love that song, and can’t wait to experience it played live again! Go check it out for yourself!

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What’s Rockin’ December 2017

Happy Birthday to:

  • Brad Delson, Linkin Park 1st December 1977
  • Dani Winter-Bates, Bury Tomorrow 3rd December 1986
  • Ozzy Osbourne, 3rd December 1948
  • Corey Taylor, Slipknot 8th December 1973
  • Tré Cool, Greenday 9th December 1972
  • Brian Molko, Placebo 10th December 1972
  • Nikki Sixx, Mötley Crüe 11th December 1958
  • Amy Lee, Evanescence 13th December 1981
  • Alex Gaskarth, All Time Low 14th December 1987
  • Sipe Santapukki, Apulanta 20th December 1977
  • Lemmy, Motörhead 24th December 1945 RIP
  • Tuomas Holopainen 25th December 1976
  • Lars Ulrich, Metallica 26th December 1963

Gigs I’m going to this month:

  • Good Charlotte at O2 Academy Brixton, London 3rd
  • HIM at Roundhouse, London 19th
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10 Things I’ve Learned From Going To Gigs

I’ve been a music fan for years and I’ve been going to gigs for almost three years now, and I’ve picked up quite a few things along the way that I’d like to share with you that will hopefully enhance your own concert experience when you go to see your favourite bands!

So here we go…

1. It’s okay to go on your own

There’s no reason why you should miss out if none of your friends are into a band you want to see. Be brave and go solo, and trust me, you’ll have a great time. You can browse merch at your leisure and, chances are, you’ll probably end up talking to lots of nice people anyway. Rock fans are a lovely lot!

2. You don’t have to be at the front

I used to think this was super important but it’s really not! I once got right up to the front at a Trivium concert and it was super hot and my eyes nearly popped out from being squeezed! Nah, you can have a great time from the middle, side or back without getting elbowed in the face. Sure, if you’re at the front there’s a chance you’ll nab a guitar pick or drumstick but I don’t think that’s worth suffering for.

3. You don’t have to get there super duper early to start lining up

Peeps that want to do this for the sake of getting to the front or the chance of a band member walking by, I totes respect that. But you don’t HAVE to be there earlier than an hour, really, and I like to make sure I’m in when the doors open because I like to check out the support bands. But if you don’t want to camp outside with a blanket, you don’t have to.

4. Stay hydrated

I can’t stress how important this is! They usually confiscate water bottles on entering a venue, but they will give you free tap water at the bar if you ask, and because music venues tend to be hotter than the average ANYWHERE, it’s good to stay hydrated. Personally, I get bad headaches when I’m dehydrated, which I avoid at all costs because I want to have the best possible time.

5. Don’t spend the whole time glued to your phone

It’s nice to have footage and photos to look back on but you’re wasting the show if you spend it all looking at it through a mobile phone screen. I like to record and take pictures, too, but I restrict it to just a few and then I put my phone away and enjoy myself. The people around you will appreciate it, too, if you’re not constantly waving your smartphone around!

6. Be Nice

There’s basic gig etiquette, of course. Pick people up if they fall is, of course, the most important. Be friendly, let people pass, maybe chat to people when you’re lining up or between band changes. The rock and metal world is basically one big family and will look after their own, and it’s fun to chat to people who love the same things.

7. Keep your concert tickets

This is something I LOVE to and always do! You can put them in a nice album to flick through and remember all the shows you’re been to, or put them on your bedroom wall, or if you’re lucky, get it signed by a band member! I just think they make lovely mementos from shows and they’re worth holding onto.

8. Eat before you go

You’re going to need plenty of energy, not just for jumping around (if you so choose!) during the show, but all the standing around before the band comes on and queueing to get i, etc. So make sure you tuck into something tasty before hand to avoid feeling faint or, worse, passing out.

9. Tie up your shoelaces

Pretty basic but people tend to lose their footwear at gigs, for all sorts of reasons, and it’s not the best of times when you have to walk home barefoot! There’s the danger of tripping on laces, too, so be super wise and keep your laces done up.

10. You don’t have to buy merch

If you want to buy merch then by all means, do. You’ll have a nice souvenir and you’re supporting the musicians. But it’s not compulsory, and don’t feel bad or guilty if you don’t. Merch tends to be more expensive at shows due to the venue fee, so you can pribably get what you’re after from the band site for less. Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself, especially if it’s a really special concert, but don’t feel pressured into it at every show.

So, there you have it… All my nuggets of wisdom are unleashed unto the world. Go forth and rock, my darlings, and don’t forget to have the most awesome time!

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What’s Rockin’ November 2017

What's Rockin'

Happy Birthday to:

  • Angela Gossow, Arch Enemy 5th November 1974
  • Chad Kroeger, Nickelback 15th November 1974
  • Kirk Hammett, Metallica 18th November 1962
  • Oliver Sykes, Bring Me The Horizon 20th November 1986
  • Corey King Beaulieu, Trivium 22nd November 1983
  • Ville Valo, HIM 22nd November 1976
  • Satchel, Steel Panther 24th November 1970
  • Eero Heinonen, The Rasmus 27th November 1979

Gigs I’m going to this month:

  • Cradle Of Filth, Electric Ballroom, London 10th
  • The Rasmus at Scala, London 19th
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What’s Rockin’ October 2017

Happy Birthday to:

  • Tommy Lee, Mötley Crüe 3rd October 1962
  • Lzzy Hale, Halestorm 10th October 1984
  • Robert Trujillo, Metallica 23rd October 1964
  • Aki Hakala, The Rasmus 28th October 1979
  • Frank Iero 31st October 1981

Gigs I’m going to this month:

  • Placebo at Brixton Academy, London 23rd
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