I had been excited for this show since its announcement in August, the fact I’d see two of my favourite bands, namely Tyr and Sabaton share a stage was almost too much for me to comprehend. After interviewing the bass legend that is Gunnar Thomsen I couldn’t help but feel somewhat ecstatic.
An hour and a half in a queue outside of the Ritz afterwards, with their incompetent security staff that knew less about how to control a crowd than a dead hedgehog did nothing to dilute my happiness. Nothing was gonna dampen my spirits. Not even the bar prices.
Into the venue and it’s not much warmer in here but it’s a sold out show and this venue was filled to capacity in only a few moments. 1500 people ready to see Sabaton do their thang. Up first would be Tyr, kicking off the show with the first single from their latest album Valkyrja. Blood Of Heroes was a good place to start. Despite a few sound issues the band were intent upon giving it all to the largest crowd of the tour thus far.
Hold The Heathen Hammer High stirs up the crowd up, fists pumping and the crowd cheering, this is Tyr at their finest and they know it. Burning through their set list like a horde of marauding Vikings, they’re feeding off the energy the crowd are pushing back to them, even including my all time favourite track of theirs Sinklars Visa. I couldn’t help but go a little crazy for that song. Which probably is partly why my neck is refusing to work for me today. Tyr depart the stage and the set up for Korpiklaani begins.
I’ve seen Korpiklaani several times over the years, they’re always a hit or miss band. Tonight for me it was the latter. They put on a good show don’t get me wrong but there was something missing tonight, a spark perhaps that just left the performance feeling a little bit flat. The sextet have great command of the stage utilizing all the space they had however, which due to Sabaton’s stage set up, wasn’t exactly huge tonight, granted.
Onwards to the headliners of the night and their stage show alone is amazing! They have a tank on stage, a fucking tank!
One fantastic drum riser and one epic sight to behold. The crowd surge as the lights go down and the pits open up, after the mandatory rendition of The Final Countdown. Sabaton are on stage and Ghost Division is our opener. Joakim and his soldiers are powerful tonight, they’re visually taken aback by the sound of this crowd screaming their lyrics back at them and hanging on every note. Every drum beat.
The set tonight is everything I’d ever want from a Sabaton set. With classics such as Swedish Pagans, 40:1 and Primo Victoria interspersed with newer cuts like Carolus Rex and Resist And Bite. The onstage banter between the band is also as brilliant as ever. Guitar duels and the slowest play through of Smoke On The Water I think I’ve ever heard. The pits tonight fill up the floor and with the sheer volume of crowd bouncing the floor is moving an inch or two up and down. I have never, ever been disappointed by a Sabaton live show and that didn’t happen tonight either. In fact this could be my favourite performance of theirs to date. It is beyond me why these guys aren’t headlining every festival, ever.
All of the fifteen hundred people in attendance tonight leave with a smile on their face, they know they’ve just seen something special and much like me they’re well aware that Sabaton are set for even bigger things. Until next time, thanks lads!