Five Finger Death Punch and In Flames Concert
Of Mice and Men
It was already dark, and the night had a typical autumn-going-winter feeling in the air. Chilly – yet starlit. The queue reached probably two-hundred meters back and moved quickly. All around Gothenburg the streets were closed and the security was stricter due to the EU-meeting around the corner, and therefore hindered people from moving.
Yet that didn’t stop us from going to The Quiet Place…
Inside Scandinavium, the atmosphere was different. You could feel the tremendous devotion and worshipping, like a religious service. The clothes were black, or a shade of black and the noticeable breath of beer would surround the area like a minor fog.
When we entered the modern-day amphitheatre-looking arena, it was dark. Like a scary blind alley with a duvet of smoke. Although the alley wasn’t abandoned, because within all the darkness and the smoke, there were thousands and thousands of worshippers of Metal.
The group Of Mice and Men showed up and warmed up the rather tough audience. With a growling on point, Aaron Pauley ruled the stage with an amazing voice. Though, it wasn’t until later, when Five Finger Death Punch took over the stage, that the spirit of the audience was truly awoken. The lights were turned off, and the thousands of gasps indicated that something changed, like a beast woke up. Suddenly you hear a roar, and drums beating like the heavy heartbeat of a bear. An immense skull with baseball-bats hanged from the ceiling and Ivan L. Moody was on the stage with a blue and yellow “tre-kronor” shirt on. Moody is an angel who was born with metal in his blood, and landed on stage and took everybody’s breath away.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a man headbang with a beard before, or “chin-bang”, would be the correct term, and no one does it better than the Bass-guitar player Chris Kael. And then we have Jason Hook. The amazing guitarist who literally made my heart stop with his playing. The guitar-solo in Jekyll and Hyde created a wave of jumping bodies, and every soul in there was singing: “Oh-e-oh-e.oh, there’s a devil inside, oh-e-oh-e-oh, just like Jekyll and Hyde”. Furthermore, Hook changed guitars every now and again. From an electric guitar to a double-headed white guitar, to an acoustic, and finally a red laser shooting electric guitar! How impressive isn’t that?
Of course, there was some drama. Moody talked about his drinking problems, and later on, the people in the front – the ones who were jammed up against the fence, were considered “violent”, and the guards disapproved. The security had their eyes on especially one couple, and soon it got physical. Moody saw this and told the guards to let them be, and then to help them over the fence. They brought the couple up on stage, and Moody greeted them, hugged them. He thanked the security guy, then pointed to the audience and said:
“Now, the rest of you, you ready to have a good time tonight? And I wanna see everything you’ve got. Right f***ing now.” And the couple stayed on the stage, dancing, and Death Punch got whole Scandinavium to curse and swear like never before. The ocean of bodies in front of the stage decided to create huge mosh pits, holes in the audience where they pushed each other around. From afar they looked like swarms of violent bees.
Coming to an end, Moody gave a baseball bat to a man in the audience, which is kind of a tradition. “This one’s for you brother,” he said.
When the group were saying their goodbyes to the audience, their recorded rock-cover of “House of the rising sun” played, and they left an arena full of people in different states. Some crying, some shouting, some simply speech-impaired by the amaze.
Though the arena wasn’t in flames quite yet.
The time ticked, and the darkness was absolute, inside and outside. No one knew what would happen next.
A black veil was covering the stage, with red lights shining from behind.
After the exciting crescendo with “Drained”, behind the curtain,
we heard the powerful voice in the speakers:
“So good to be home”
Anders Fridén, the lead singer later continues: “I know you like to take pictures, that’s fine. I know you like to video-record and post on Youtube, that’s totally fine. I know you love your Instagram-updates, which is totally okay. I know that you wanna tell Facebook how you feel, and there’s always someone who wants to tweet. All this is okay! BUT, why don’t we go analogue tonight and just let go of all that crap, and just enjoy something for once? Forget all the crap beyond these walls and just relish, for an hour and a half. So stand up, give someone you don’t know a high-five and sing along.”
Which was followed by the song: “Trigger,” but this day Fridén called it: “Twitter,” and after that chaos followed.
The songs were a mix of newer and older ones, but you could tell how the audience would go totally insane over the older ones, and totally connect with the group. We were ignited by the sync, the power, the wrath and the love. During “Only for the Weak,” it is a tradition that Fridén tells everyone to jump.
And Scandinavium was bouncing. I bet the people walking by outside would turn their heads towards the arena, thinking it was an earthquake. Though It was a human-quake.
“For this one, you can run around in circles,” Fridén said during: “Dead Alone”, and since the people were so obedient – they created several mosh pits where they would run around like startled chickens. Coming to this point, the beast wasn’t just awake, it was provoked, it was standing on two legs roaring. Though we all knew who the impeccable growler was.
Everyone was screaming: “In flames!”, and Fridén responded with the love that he and the group members felt for Gothenburg, their home.
“We’re gonna keep doing this for a long time, so I’m gonna be: Here Until Forever.”
The sweaty crowd in front of the stage finally worked together and created the largest pit I’ve ever seen. Also, even though Anders Fridén very un-noticeably at some point couldn’t keep the voice straight, it was almost perfect. The tremble in his voice only gave the connotation of deeper feelings, rather than inexperience.
The final song of the night was: “The End”.
I just hope they all sat down together afterwards with a huge cup of tea, after all that growling and screaming, and the guitarists and bass-players must’ve soothed their fingers with some healing lotion because those strings were smokin’ that night. The drummers ought to stretch their arms and fix the drums they probably punctured. The audience was walking away with minor Tinnitus. Which means everyone was happy.
Though there is no doubt that when midnight was just around the corner, when the group, in the end, thanked the audience and continued their journey towards Stockholm – they left Gothenburg in flames.
Explanation: The groups together made a dream team. Though there were some minor difficulties from time to time. I also wish they would’ve performed “Cloud Connected”, which is iconic. And this one is actually to blame the audience: but when they said goodbye, everyone just left, without shouting for them to come back for one final song, which usually happens after their concerts. Otherwise, it was an extraordinary experience.