Sabaton @ The Nick Rayons LCR, Norwich, United Kingdom 26/2 – 16

So, finally the day was here! The day we were going to see Alestorm and Sabaton’s co-headlining tour, supported by the amazing Bloodbound. We started the day off wandering about in Norwich, but I figured I’d save that for it’s own entry that I’ll schedule to appear during our flight. But, later in the night it was finally time. We were unsure whether the time on the tickets was showtime or doortime, since in Sweden, it could as well be the show time as the doortime, so we figured we’d get there around 6 – just half an hour before door opens, or in case of showstart – we are there half an hour before the show starts. After that it was just time to get ready. It’s tricky when two ”costumed” bands play the same show – what band do you dress for? So basically, Sabaton gear and Alestorm make up. That should do the trick.

But then, getting there was interesting enough. First and foremost, gladly, we found a bus we could take so we didn’t have to walk for a good hour. The ”scary” thing is that there seem to be no such thing as station-announcer on the buses, so we basically just prayed to God that someone else was also going to get off at our stop, and I kept close track on the GPS to see when we got closer.

Gladly, a lot of people were getting off, so it was no issue. Then we arrived at this university campus, because apparently, the concert venue is on campus grounds. After walking around like lost squirrels for a while, we finally found the ”Heroes On Tour” trailer and the line for the show.

While the UK are a lot warmer than Sweden these days, it was still one cold wait for the doors. When they finally opened we got in, and it’s sort of weird in a way, because the line felt pretty long, and the venue was rather small, despite this, we were two people, TWO PEOPLE away from making it to the front row. So we stationed ourselves in the middle of the arena instead, and figured we’d remain there until it got too crowded, if it ever did. But first Bloodbound merch, and then, bathroom.

And while in the bathroom, I hear the tunes to Bloodbound’s intro song. Good riddance on me, that I was done. So I rushed back into the venue, had to struggle to get a hold of Michelle and then go get her because apparently she forgot where we were supposed to stand, haha.

Bloodbound opened with the song ”Iron Throne” strongly. It wasn’t a lot of people there, surprisingly, or well, at least not on the floor. They followed up with ”Metalheads Unite”, which is kind of interesting, because The Singer *NAMN* actually introduced ”In The Name of Metal” but they all were like, screw that.

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After this, they continued with ”In The Name of Metal”, followed by my personal favorite – ”Moria”. Damn, how much I love this song and this band. This was followed by ”Stormborn” before they wrapped up the set with ”Nosferatu”. Yes, you saw right. Somewhere along the way they lost ”When All Lights Fail”, which is sad, it was my favorite off ”Stormborn”.

After this, the wait for Alestorm began. Now, it started to get quite crowded. I’m not surprised though – they are actually co-headlining, and I must admit even I was looking more forward to Alestorm than I was to Sabaton. After some time, the intro got off and they opened their show with ”Keelhauled”. They followed up quickly with ”Over The Seas” and seriously, the crowd was going mad! I’m not surprised, because I did too, in all honesty.

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”Magnetic North” was next to be done, followed by a, according to the band, rarity of a song, “Surf Squid Warefare”. This was followed by “Nancy the Tavern Wench”, and then “Walk the Plank”. “The Sunken Norwegian”, “Wenches and Mead”… and I’m gonna tell you something. So, basically, LCR is like, they have stairs down to where the “floor” is, and during “Wenches and Mead”, I shit you not, I was pushed UP ON the staircase. The pressure seriously! This was followed by “Drink!” and it was during this song, and starting from here that Michelle and I decided to join in on the moshpits. “1741” followed, “Hungover” “Captain Morgans Revenge”

They wrapped the set up with ”Rum” before they and their duck left the stage. Lucky us, we had just planned to go and get water when Michelle caught the water bottle thrown out by Elliot. Free water, yay!

So, they left the stage and now the wait for Sabaton began. I swear to God, I was sitting there shaking like a leaf, had to sit down on the floor in attempts to recover. It sure has been sometime since SlipKnot, that’s for sure. Need to work out more, this stamina is absolutely horrible when it comes to metal shows. I’ll do over and do right for Blessed & Posssessed tour.

So, pretty much right on time 21.30 ”The Final Countdown” started and then the intro, and then of course the damned ”Ghost Division”. I told Michelle that if they open with ”Ghost Division” one more time, I’m going to fucking punch someone. And I almost did. It’s been eight years can we like… move on?

Anyway. They followed this song up with ”Far From The Fame” before they did the first surprise for me – ”Uprising”. I was glad to hear it, since it’s like the only song I actually care for on ”Coat of Arms”, what I did not care for though, was the people trying to mosh to this song. I mean, moshing is all fun and games, but seriously, to ”Uprising”? The following song, ”Midway” was on the other hand all cool to mosh to.

The band had really good energy, and the audience was insane. Jocke made a comment about it being too many pirates in the crowd tonight, but on the same time, Jocke, what do you expect? Haha, the heck.

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My beloved ”Wolfpack” was next on the list, and damn, chills every time. Also a little sad this is not a Karlstad exclusive anymore, but then again, the more people who get to hear this amazing song the better in the end! ”Wolfpack” was followed by ”Resist And Bite” and then ”Carolus Rex”, damn this song. This song. There’s no other song I think, by Sabaton that empowers me as much as this one. Not even sure why.

Next up was ”Swedish Pagans”. Like, Thobbe started playing a bit and Jocke made the joke that ”now we have to play it” and no, no you don’t. I know I title myself a Swedish Pagan to mark my spot in the Sabaton fandom, but seriously I’m so over this song. But, the crowd enjoyed it!

”Attero Dominauts” was next, or actually, it wasn’t supposed to be ”Attero Dominatus”. Jocke admitted right afterwards that they were supposed to do ”Soldiers of 3 Armies”, but he mixed it up. So, they simply followed up with it. Strange, this is the second Swedish band out of two on the same night who mixes up the setlist.

My personal favorite of Sabaton, ”The Art of War” followed and damn. If I didn’t have a slayerneck already, I sure as hell got one now. They wrapped up the first part of the set with ”To Hell and Back”. Damn I love this song live.

Here’s the funny thing. They left the stage, but I’m not sure anyone really noticed. Because they sort of left, and the ”Night Witches” intro started directly almost, so I don’t think anyone really noticed. But ”Night Witches”, ah what a song. This is the song they should open with. So fucking perfect.

But, to get back to ”where-they-really-leaving” part, imagine my surprise when they all of a sudden did ”Primo Victoria”, and then wrapped up the set with ”Metal Crüe”? And then it was over?

Sabaton’s set went by so fucking quickly, I barely even noticed it passing by! It’s insane. The setlist over all was pretty boring in my opinion – perhaps I’m comparing too much to Noch Ein Bier set, but seriously, where’s ”Gott Mit Uns”? I really missed that one. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. The gig per se was very scaled down, just the band and us. I liked that.

But. Despite the set being boring, I guess we can say they never fail to entertain, like, ever. Considering how fast it went by. God, I love all these men who performed tonight. They are the reason I breathe.

After the show, we headed over to Alestorm’s merchbooth to pick up on a shirt where I almost ran over Chris Bowes, and later wound up chatting and hanging out with the guys in Bloodbound. It was nice to talk to some people from home, and we spoke about everything from touring to Australia to Noch Ein Bier to early days of corpse paint.

We did a quick stop by Sabaton’s merchtable to catch up with Jaqueline before we left the venue and got home.

Seriously, thank you all for this amazing evening. You are great.

// Sara

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