We’ve seen plenty of In Flames in 2017. A support slot with Avenged Sevenfold, a main stage billing at Download and now they’re up on stage as special guests to Five Finger Death Punch, closing up our hectic year of gigging.
If you saw In Flames on that A7X tour, well the Nottingham show in our experience, the band didn’t exactly set the place alight. They were the opening band on a cold miserable Monday night, so it wasn’t an enviable task.
Then, fast forward to Download Festival and they did light up the main stage in the afternoon sunshine. Even though we were trying to resurrect ourselves from severe strawberry and rhubarb cider poisoning, that show was pretty damn good if typically a little short being at a festival.
This gig tonight, is a little more grand. The show opens up with the band playing behind a semi opaque curtain, the band’s name is up in lights. When the curtain drops it reveals a wall of video screens and some big ass podiums. We take it In Flames require drummers and keyboardists without any vertigo issues.
As part of his thank you speech, Anders describes In Flames as “a sinking ship”. There’s probably some ultra-dry Scandinavian humour in there and regardless of business output, the reaction to the band from the Birmingham crowd tonight is anything but icy. During the immortal ‘Take This Life’ arms are raised in the air from the front to the back of the standing area.
It’s a show formed mainly of stuff from the more modern era of the In Flames back catalogue. There’s plenty of ‘Battles’ material loaded into the set such as ‘Save Me’ and ‘Here Until Forever’, but ‘Dead Alone’ ticks all the boxes for us.
It is a blistering performance that takes us a bit by surprise, really. We love a bit of In Flames here at CB but we weren’t sure that a support slot in a cavernous arena really shows off the band at their best. We were obviously wrong! We’re still gagging for a more intimate headline tour soon though.
A thunderously good show!