SSE Hydro, 18/12
This gig was a first for me, as I’d never seen the SSE Hydro so packed for the first act of a triple bill. Californian band Of Mice & Men are quite established and this was their first appearance in Glasgow since their founder and singer left the band. Since then, bassist Aaron Pauley has taken over lead vocals, and they started strong with their new single, ‘Unbreakable’. Containing more melodic singing as well as what they are known for, the new range of vocals sounded incredible live and fans were excited.
Next up were Swedish band In Flames. By this point, the stadium was basically full. Their performance was accompanied by quite a unique light show – a translucent sheet hung across the stage to display projections, and the first song started with the band as shadows. The veil was dropped dramatically as the second song started and the band kicked into top gear. Using 3D cubes to display exciting (and some creepy) graphics, the set was an impressive visual experience. A solid finish was rounded off with some comments about not being able to understand Glaswegians and their plans to go for a few pints before appropriately finishing with ‘The End’.
Las Vegas band Five Finger Death Punch wrapped up a truly entertaining night. The constant thud of the bass drum was weirdly synchronised with the continuous bouncing of the crowd. Months ago, lead singer Ivan Moody was heavily criticised for having a breakdown on stage and took a break from touring, but tonight he delivered an energetic and vocally powerful performance, adding “I’m human and I make mistakes, I’m very sorry”. The set was eventful and included getting people on stage, giving out a custom baseball bat, and a beautiful acoustic section in the middle. Singer Tommy Vext – who covered for Ivan when he was taking his break – came on stage and joined in with a rendition of “This ain’t our last dance”.