Five Finger Death Punch / A Blistering, Heartfelt Performance At Wembley

Having been sidelined by lead singer Ivan Moody’s hernia last year, this return to touring has been a long-awaited one for both Five Finger Death Punch and their legions of fans, the communion between the two bordering on the sacred. Certainly, the FFDP show is one that’s focused on a blistering barrage of sound, but beneath and central to the maelstrom is a connection to the heart that is obvious in every minute the band spends on stage.

Five Finger Death Punch

OVO Arena Wembley, London – 23 May 2024

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Antonio Giannattasio

Five Finger Death Punch - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Five Finger Death Punch – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

For anyone who has witnessed FFDP before will be aware, Moody in particular, has the ability to reach out even to the nosebleed seats at the back of the arena and make every single person feel part of the family.
 
Welcome To The Circus is a truly rollicking opening. The balance of hostility and soaring melodies is an artfully constructed juxtaposition that brings a visceral thrill as ten thousand people get to their feet and bounce.

Five Finger Death Punch - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Five Finger Death Punch – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Making his London debut with the band for guitarist Andy James, this is a special homecoming, the Englishman having well and truly made his mark on the outfit since joining them in 2020 and the opportunity to perform at a sold-out Wembley something of a ‘pinch me’ moment.

Five Finger Death Punch - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Five Finger Death Punch – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Certainly, his stinging solos and blistering riffs have an extra spark tonight, and the whole of the outfit seemed to relish the feeling of being back on the road, playing to thousands of happy faces, the sentiment entirely mutual.
 
Anthemic numbers like Lift Me Up and Trouble were purpose-built for these arenas, and dazzling lasers add to the whole spectacle, Moody throwing his hat and cane into the audience during the sea shanty brutality of Jekyll and Hyde, another touch of theatre.

Five Finger Death Punch - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Five Finger Death Punch – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

On bass, Chris Kael has the demeanour of a Viking warrior, his instrument held like an axe ready to split heads, whilst band founder Zoltan Bathory exudes more of an easy-going vibe. The guitarist’s quiet confidence is a bit of calm at the centre of the maelstrom.

Five Finger Death Punch - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Five Finger Death Punch – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Curveballs are thrown into the set, keeping everyone on their toes, as the first-time airing of their take on House Of The Rising Sun turns The Animals classic into a multihued beast that prowls and roars with Moody’s acapella version of Oasis classic Champagne Supernova seeing the word-perfect throng sing it back to him with gusto.

Where Five Finger Death Punch score the biggest is in raging numbers like Wrong Side Of Heaven as they display the blend of anger, defiance and solidarity that’s enough to bring down governments such is its uniting force and wrecking ball heft.

Five Finger Death Punch - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Five Finger Death Punch – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

If this wasn’t clear enough, Got Your Six and the closing helter-skelter pelter of Coming Down and the encore concluding The Bleeding seal the deal on a night that was a triumph for all as the catharsis lifted heads and spirits as the place emptied with people recharged and ready to take on the world yet again.

Five Finger Death Punch - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Five Finger Death Punch – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Life-affirming stuff, and when Moody promises that they will be headlining Download one day soon, you just can’t help but think the world will be a much better place if they do.

Five Finger Death Punch - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Five Finger Death Punch – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

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