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Five Finger Death Punch (Hartwall Arena, Helsinki) – 20/1/2020

It’s been quite a while again since Five Finger Death Punch last graced a Finnish stage. So when the popular outfit announced a European tour, starting in Helsinki, people got really excited of course. Throw on top of that as the very special guest the legendary thrash outfit Megadeth and you know you’re in for an amazing night of heavy metal on a stadium-sized stage! Another massive Live Nation production that resulted in a sold-out Hartwall Arena.

Sadly the opening band for this Five Finger Death Punch tour, label mates Bad Wolves, had to cancel due to some scheduling conflicts. If you get to chance to catch these guys live still, just do it, they are going to become big thing in the future most likely.

Megadeth (****)

My last experience with Megadeth was at Rockfest 2018 in Finland and wasn’t really the best for me. The show back then wasn’t bad, but felt a bit lackluster and without much energy, especially Dave didn’t really seem to feel it. Maybe he was already feeling ill or something, I don’t know. In any case, it made me really curious as to how it was going to be this time around, especially since it was their very first show since Dave‘s illness was announced. A legend like Dave Mustaine and Megadeth deserves another shot to convince.

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And convincing he did, with flying colors! Despite dealing with cancer treatments recently, Dave seemed rejuvenated, rather energetic and freshly bearded, he looked damn good. He’ll never be a great vocalist, but this show his vocals were the strongest I’ve heard on stage of him. Makes me wonder if he did some work with a vocal coach due to his condition, but if he did, it really brought some new power to it. Being known as a rather grumpy person normally, it was cool to see that he actually regularly smiled, seeming to be pleased to be on stage again, enjoying everything to the fullest.

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And of course we can’t forget about the stellar musicians he gathered around him, one for one being talented people and adding their own high energy to the show. Once they finished their set with the strong trio ‘Symphony of Destruction‘, ‘Peace Sells’ and ‘Holy Wars… The Punishment Due’, Dave lingered on the stage to thank the whole crowd several times and saying bye. Almost feels a bit like he wanted to make sure he left his fans in Finland on the best note possible, just in case he doesn’t make it back anymore. I’m hoping he keeps up the energy and his health so he actually comes back again to Finland, because it’s a true pleasure to see him perform like this!

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Setlist:

  1. Intro – Prince of Darkness
  2. Hangar 18
  3. Wake Up Dead
  4. Sweating Bullets
  5. Dawn Patrol / Poison Was The Cure
  6. Trust
  7. A Tout Le Monde
  8. She-Wolf
  9. Dystopia
  10. Symphony of Destruction
  11. Peace Sells
  12. Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
  13. Outro – Silent Scorn

Five Finger Death Punch (***1/2)

And then it was time for the main act of the night: Five Finger Death Punch. The room filled up even more and you could feel the excitement on the air. An intro came through the speakers with excerpts of the track used as the Vikings intro song and voice samples referring to war times. When the curtain dropped, they kicked off immediately with the energetic ‘Lift Me Up‘. Whatever you think of 5FDP and their music, they do know how to consistently bring a solid show with loads of energy. The quirky vocalist Ivan Moody draws a lot of attention to him with his weird outfits and his special character. But the rest pull in their own piece of attention to them as well, like the gruff dreadlock bearded Chris Kael and his interactions with the crowd and lead guitarist Jason Hook with his little personal moment during one track when he was lifted high in the air on a small platform to crank out yet another guitar solo.

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Despite their music not being my personal favorite, I do get why they are so successful and popular. The music is easily digestible with loads of grooves and hooks, and combine the most popular American music like hard rock, metal, country and hip hop into a blend that simply works for the masses. And on top of that, a lot of their songs easily speak to an emotional part of almost every human being, striking a chord with them, making them feel as if the band is speaking to them directly, or wrote the song to support them personally. Whether it’s about being different than the rest, struggling with mental health, drugs or life overall, somehow these guys manage to touch everyone present and lift their spirits, strengthen their resolve and make them feel heard and not alone. And that’s what a good rock and metal show is all about, isn’t it? Leaving feeling good and energized. Whether you believe they’re genuine about everything or just a plastic product of the music industry, it doesn’t really matter.

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Next to hits like ‘Jekyll & Hyde‘, ‘Got Your Six‘ and ‘Burn MF‘, they cranked out emotional acoustic versions of ‘Wrong Side Of Heaven‘ and ‘Battle Born‘ that got quite some fans nearly tearing up. Interlaced through the set they of course had a couple of covers of classics like Bad Company‘s ‘Bad Company‘, country song ‘Blue on Black‘ from Kenny Wayne Shepherd and The Offspring‘s ‘Gone Away‘ putting the 5FDP stamp on them. I was surprised however that they didn’t play a single song off their upcoming album, I would think that to be the ideal moment to pull in some extra pre-sales. Overall, an enjoyable show with a couple of touching moments (on the verge of being sappy). I would say though that I’m hoping they would change up their show a little bit in the future or it might start to become a bit stale and boring, because this was almost a carbon copy of the one I saw in 2017 of them, from decor to songs to lighting to pyrotechnics. Luckily still entertaining enough to not fall asleep. Looking forward to what they might do with their next run in support of their new album ‘F8‘!

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Setlist:

  1. Lift Me Up
  2. Trouble
  3. Wash It All Away
  4. Jekyll & Hyde
  5. Sham-Pain
  6. Burn It Down
  7. Bad Company (Bad Company cover)
  8. Got Your Six – Agony Of Regret
  9. Wrong Side Of Heaven (acoustic)
  10. Battle Born (acoustic)
  11. Blue on Black (Kenny Wayne Shepherd cover)
  12. Coming Down
  13. Never Enough
  14. Hard To See
  15. Burn MF
  16. Gone Away (The Offspring cover)
  17. Under / Over IT
  18. Far From Home (a cappella)
  19. The Bleeding
  20. Outro – House of the Rising Sun/Inside Out
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For more pics, go here.



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Vaim

Music addict - DJ - Editor-in-chief/Journalist/Photographer/Gatekeeper @ GRIMM Gent - Suomi lover - Geek - Science nut - Nature worshiper/Pagan


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