Archive for March, 2017

Battle Beast @ Petit Bain, Paris, France 25/3 -17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 25, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, I went to bed at what, 1 am? And then up again at 3.30. Oh what I wouldn’t do for the bands I love. Up I went, caught the airportbus to well, the airport (what did you expect?) and got on my early flight to Paris. The flight was already at 6 – because this is what happens when you decide things last minute. You sort of simply have to take what is given. And unless I wanted to go into deep bankruptcy, I had to go for the 6am flight which had a stopover in Copenhagen. But you know, why not?

Once in Paris, I first headed off to Notre Dame to solve some Pokemon Go things – 7 days streak with lucky eggs, don’t mind if I do! Once done, I chased down every single H&M that was nearby in an attempt to get a hold of some items that of course had sold out in Sweden (at least in my size) and I was lucky enough to score it in the second or third store I went to. Off to McDonalds, because who has time to be classy? To pick up some lunch and then off to my hotel. My hotel was located right next to Bercy Village, the little garden, so it was a pleasureable walk, to say the least! Got checked in, had a quick shower (because Sabaton show happened) and got ready for the show.

Off I went to the venue and met up with Laura and Cyril – have missed them so much! It was really good seeing them again. And then we have the bastard Cyril who were at the 700000 tons of Metal cruise. What is that all about. Seriously, lucky bastard! We spent some time catching up and later they opened the doors. We didn’t make it to the front row, but we got some decent spots a bit in the back. And you know, I really don’t mind too much. Front row is nice, but there’s nothing like the space you have in the back.

And, pretty early to our surprise, GYZE went on stage.

GYZE

Gyze is a metalband from Japan, and it was refreshing to see some bands from outside of Europe for a change. They delivered a very energetic set, I really enjoyed it – but I do question the decision to play mostly songs from a still unreleased album. Like, why?

After they left the stage, the gear was switched and Majesty got on.

Majesty

I was happy to see that Majesty had quite the following in the crowd – people were really singing along and getting into it! They, much as Gyze, delivered an amazing and energetic set, getting yourself really pumped for what was about to come.

In the middle of Majesty Sophie finally arrived! She has a new job that disabled her to join us from the start, but finally. And I was so happy to see my little babydoll again. Ireland was too long ago, or well, it feels like it, so it was so good seeing her again! And then, the wait was over – Battle Beast started.

Battle Beast

So, they walked on stage and kicked the show off with “Straight to the Heart”, which is such an ass-kicker, like, it really gets you going! They followed suit with the ever so headbangfriendly “Bringer of Pain”. The audience response was incredible, and it got even better when the first single of the album – “Familiar Hell” started.

For those of you who may be uninformed – Petit Bain is in fact, a boat. Which means that when the crowd is jumping, the boat is in motion. You can really feel how the floor is moving. Scary, but incredible. I love the feeling – and this is exactly what happened in “Familiar Hell”.

“Into the Heart of Danger” was next on the list – and to demonstrate exactly how much on fire this audience was – they decided to start a moshpit to this. Which was a first, according to Noora. “We Will Fight” and “Let it Roar” followed suit, before it was time for a big fan favorite – “Black Ninja”. And I loved the performance – or how to express it. The smoke machines releasing and hiding Noora in the smoke – I love small tricks like this.

A more serene moment appeared as “Far From Heaven” was performed, followed by the pretty heavy “Lost in Wars”. Quite the important song these days, don’t you think? “Iron Hand” was next before Noora challenged us to dance, and you know, this is no problem for me as they ripped off “Touch in the Night”. Ah. What a song. I love it.

“Bastard Son of Odin” followed – and as you guys know, this is my personal favorite, and the good thing about being in France is the fact that I am literally the only Bastard son of Odin in the house – step aside all frenchies. The lion from the North is here. “Enter the Metal World” was next, before they wrapped the set up with “Out of Control”.

The band came back on stage, and started off with, well, saying they were going to do a Manowar cover, but instead wound up doing “Last Christmas” by Wham – and don’t mind if they do! I love it. The song, I mean. The incident was funny too.

“King for a Day” was next before they wrapped up the set completely with “Beyond the Burning Skies”. The band thanked for themselves and left the stage.

It was a really good show. Like, if there is any band who knows how to deliver and how to put on a good show – this is the one. The energy from the band really translates to the audience who responds so well to it. This is just beyond.

After the show, I hit up the merch real quickly to pick up Battle Beast’s “Steel” album and one of Majesty’s – I sort of had to wing it as I forgot to look up which one to get, but I think I got it good!

After the show we hung around a bit to catch up with each other, and Laura and I found ourselves having quite the heart to heart in the Paris night before parting ways. Once back at the hotel, I took a warm shower, packed, and went to bed.

This has been an intense weekend. Like, I can’t even describe. And this is just the beginning. I apologize for the lack of images – poor lightning isn’t my friend.

// Sara

 

Sabaton @ Hovet, Stockholm, Sweden 24/3 -17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 24, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Third time’s the charm, eh? Well, it sure as hell were time for yet another round. If there is any band in this world I cannot in any way get enough of, it’s Sabaton.

So, off I went to the capitol of Sweden. It has been fairly unusual for me to attend gigs in other cities closer to home, so going away on the usual Swebus toward Stockholm was nice, but also… weird. Which is really odd.

Once arrived, I headed off to Subway to pick up some food, off to the hostel to get ready and have some early dinner simultaneously. After that, off to Hovet I went. Much to my dismay, a line had formed (what did I expect?) but I tried to keep my spirit up – some of these fools were wearing coats, meaning they’d have to go through wardrobe. I can’t believe people still wait in lines with coats. Will they ever learn?

Hovet however, this time around, had quite the different set up. So basically, they opened the doors and let us in, but didn’t let us down to the venue. Instead, we stood and listened to Twilight Force rehearse. Which just made me even more excited.

So, there were several gates, and I randomly chose one. I lost my first spot in the gate because of my shyness, but it turned out to be the best thing ever, as they opened the gate (this is sounding more and more like a Twilight Force song) right next to us, which allowed me to get further in the line. Once down, I saw how a group of people were ahead of me, but because of their strict “no running” rule, a lot of people were forced to the back of the venue, whereas I, who are used to walk big and fast after all these years in the stable, could secure a spot in the second row. I usually don’t do second rows, but I figured I’d try it this time. After all, I can just move back you know.

Twilight Force

So, right on time at 19, the mighty warriors walked on stage and hit off their show with “Battle of Arcane Might” – which has grown so much on me. What a battle song, what an opening song! They followed up strongly with “To The Stars”, and later on “Riders of the Dawn”.

A song that has grown to be my personal favorite of said band, “Flight of the Sapphire Dragon” followed suit before it was time to enter the “Gates of Glory”, before wrapping it all up with “The Power of the Ancient Force”. With that, the band thanked for themselves and left the stage. It was a good vibe on the stage, and the audience was pretty good for once! I like that.

Accept

So, the more I see this, the more fond I grow of them. I guess it’s some sort of tourfeeling – that we are in this together. They don’t know that, because they don’t see me, but I know. Different venue, different city but same routine as every night. And there is something comforting in that, don’t you think?

It’s all of us together.

They started the show off with “Stampede”, which is quite the powerful starter, like, in your face kind of starter, and quickly followed up by “Stalingrad”. “Restless and Wild” was next song on the list, followed by a song that has really started to grow on me the past shows – “London Leatherboys”. It’s something about the groove in the song that I just love so much.

“Final Journey” off their most recent release was next on the list, followed by a big favorite “Princess of the Dawn”. The lowbeat song was then followed by “Fast as a Shark”, which served as a good wake up for the somewhat tired audience. Stockholm, why you so lame?

Personal favorite “Metal Heart” – a song I’ve loved of Accept for as long as I have been a metalhead – was next, and it is magical to see and hear this song every night. I can’t deny that.

“Teutonic Terror” was next, before wrapping up the ever so energetic set with “Balls to the Wall”. The band thanked for themselves and then left the stage.

After this, the eager wait for Sabaton began. There is something extraordinary special, waiting for them to begin. Hearing the moodsetting music, seeing the soldiers running around on stage… and then… “In The Army Now” starts and the whole show starts.

Sabaton

So, it has been a while since I saw Sabaton from the front row – so I have completely missed out on this whole routine with the two soldiers blowing up mines through the intro. And I absolutely love it. Talking about setting a mood! Made it a whole lot more intense.

“The March to War” started, the video started rolling on the screen and then… “HELLO STOCKHOLM, WE ARE SABATON AND THIS IS GHOST DIVISION”

And the whole place went up in flames. Such an energetic start! Finally Stockholm is showing what it’s made of. And then, the Spartians marched out on stage and it was time for “Sparta”. I think I mentioned it already last time I wrote, but this has honestly become my favorite moment of the show. If it is because of the Spartians, or the song, or the whole package – I have no idea, but I truly love this part. The song is just so powerful.

By the way. When the show started, a very familiar blonde got up behind the drumset, and you could hear the crowd whispering “Hannes is back!” Here in Sweden, we have had the pleasure of having Twilight Force’s drummer Daniel Sjögren behind the kit. But now, Hannes’ daughter has been born and he’s back.

“Blood of Bannockburn” was next on the list, what a fun little song that is – seriously, if it continues like this, this song might end up in my top songs. “Tommys Choice” a.k.a “Swedish Pagans was next – Jocke didn’t even get a chance to say anything before the crowd, annoyingly, was already humming the tune. To be honest, I really am so over that song. Or more like, I’m over the hype of the song. It’s not that amazing.

But then again – “Swedish Pagans” meant that the next song is “The Last Stand”. And I cannot get over how good this song is, and how dreamy and magical it is live. Perhaps explosive is a better word of use when it comes to these people.

“Carolus Rex” was next – pretty mighty to be in Stockholm and hear the line “Hela Stockholm ser mig krönas” (All of Stockholm witness my coronation), adding so much to the show. It’s really just a question of semantics and feelings attached to a word, but it’s still… its massive. Or it was for me.

“Gott Mit Uns” with Chris and Tommy on the vocals were next on the list, before the unknown soldier appears on the television screen, providing the intro for “The Lost Battalion”. What an intense experience that is – this song really just… I guess it’s something in the lyrics or in the arrangements, but it fills you with emotion.

The song was followed by “Lejonet Från Norden”, complete outlet of energy. And the band, like, still after this long tour, so energetic. It’s good to see.

After this, the piano was brought in, “The Final Solution” performed beautifully – its a real powerful scene.

“Resist and Bite” was to be the next song on the list – but instead of being provided with a guitar, Jocke was instead provided with a Gold record. “The Last Stand” has sold Gold in Sweden. How amazing isn’t that? I’m so happy for these people. So happy to see this.

We quickly got thrown into the epicness and awesomeness that is “Nightwitches” – I really cannot get enough of that intro. It’s just.. I can’t describe it, to be honest. They then wrapped up the set with “Winged Hussars” before leaving the stage.

The little movie of the battles of Normandie started, accompanied with the amazing pyrotechnic and sound effects, exploding into “Primo Victoria”. And the arena exploded! It is so good to see. “Shiroyama” followed suite, then “En Livstid i Krig” and wrapping up the whole set with “To Hell and Back”.

The band thanked for themselves and left the stage, oddly enough without waving the flag. Well well.

After the show, I hit up the merch and acquired a Twilight Force bag and a tour shirt – I’ve come to realize I have no tourshirts of this band, so it was about time. Afterwards, I headed back home to my hotel and quickly started packing and going to bed.

To only sleep a couple of hours.

// Sara

 

Sabaton @ Conventum Arena, Örebro, Sweden 19/3 -17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 19, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Then, and again, sing of 300 men! Two days has passed before it was time to yet again witness the Swedish warmachine live in concert. I was even more excited this time around, and I guess it has a bit to do with the fact that I was going to see Sofia for the first time in what feels like FOREVER. So around 13 in the afternoon I got in the car and headed off toward Örebro. Once arrived, we enjoyed a really nice dinner (Sofia’s a chef) before getting ready for the show catching up with each other – it sure as hell has been some time since we last saw each other.

A little bit before the doors opened we finally got in the car to go to the venue. She lives a little bit outside, and then we spent the next half an hour or 45 minutes cruising around Conventum trying to find a parkingspot. The fact that Twilight Force was our soundtrack at the time made it to quite the epic adventure. And gladly, we found a spot close to the venue and could then finally get in. Once inside, we didn’t have to wait too long until the first band started.

Twilight Force

They came onto the stage with their hymn of battle, starting off the set with “Battle of Arcane Might”, to a not so convinced audience before continuing with “To The Stars”. The quest continued with “Riders of the Dawn” before heading into “Flight of the Sapphire Dragon”, which FINALLY woke up the audience! Glad to see. The band delivered very well though, it’s one of those bands that are simply fun to see live.

“Gates of Glory” was the next song on the list before wrapping up with “The Power of Ancient Force” and then they left the stage.

Accept

Accept went on stage right on time as per usual, and unlike Norrköping it sure as hell was NOT an Accept crowd tonight. But, despite that, the band delivered really good, and this time around, I really found myself enjoying it quite a lot! Thank you guys!

Sabaton

And again… the unreal moment when you hear “In The Army” echoing through the speakers and the adrenaline is turned up to a 100. It seems to me that no matter how many times I see Sabaton, I’ll always get that fucking kick of adrenaline everytime I hear the intro being started. “The March To War”, Joakims announcement and they start off with “Ghost Division”. Arena exploding. So happy to see.

They followed up with “Sparta” which has very rapidly gone from being a “meh” song for me to be one of my favorite live songs. And I just love the performance with the extra Spartans. It adds so much, you know?

“Blood of Bannockburn” was next on the setlist, a song that has also come to grow on me quite extremely. It appears this song simply need a few listens, after all. “Tommy’s Choice” or “Swedish Pagans” was next – but this time the audience beat Jocke and Tommy to it, and “Swedish Pagans” was a fact. I wonder if this song will ever leave Sabaton’s set?

The bells appeared behind the band, and again my personal favorite appears – “The Last Stand”. Seriously,  it is still a bit too early to say that this song is my absolute favorite of Sabaton, but it is a strong contestant to “The Art of War”. But the live version of it, so to put it, just fucking kills it.

After this…. it is time for “Carolus Rex”. All fun and games. The audience is on edge. They are so ready for it to come, and then… “All embrace me…. It’s my time to rule at last…” and the whole audience died out again. Exactly the same situation that happened on Sweden Rock five years ago. Gladly, Jocke realized his mistake and changed back to Swedish. I found it so fascinating how absolutely unforgiving the audience is whenever they start singing any of the Carolus songs in English. Loving it.

This followed by a two minute ban for Jocke where the rest of the members performed “Gott Mit Uns”. This song is such a riot live – not “Amen and Attack” kind of riot, but a riot nonetheless.

“Diary of an Unknown Soldier” starts echoing followed by the epicness that is “The Lost Battalion”. My love for this is just growing so big, I still have the feeling inside me from the first time I heard the combination of the two.

“Lejonet från Norden” was the next song on the list, followed by the beautiful acoutstic moment with “The Final Solution”. Like I said before, it’s a heavy song lyric wise and quite frankly, it gets even more intense peformed this way. I love this.

“Resist and Bite” is the next song on the list, quite the riot and followed by the bombregiment 588, which still holds, at least after seeing the show a second time, the position of being the best moment of the night. Seriously – THAT INTRO. Can we just take a little moment to absolutely appreciate this moment.

They later continued with “Winged Hussars” which is a PERFECT fucking ending – the perfect discharge of the last little bit of neckmuscles you still have, before letting them leave the stage for a moment as they start up a battlefield.

The new intro for “Primo Victoria” consist of a movie from the battle in question, as they start firing off and exploding pyrotechnics which resembles the same explosions you see on the movie screen, and some extra effects. It will never be like an actual warzone – seeing we are safe in the concertarena, but it still gives you idea of the sudden explosions and you never know (at least not the first time) when the explosions will go off.

They run on stage with “Primo Victoria”, and the Örebro audience was really giving it to them. “Shiroyama” was next song on the list, followed by my favorite MOVIE of the night, “En Livstid i Krig” (I still don’t favor this song a lot, I’m sorry)  before wrapping the whole set up with “To Hell and Back”. What an absolute discharge.

This show was amazing. And there is something huge watching Pär wave the Swedish flag highly as “Masters of the World” echoes in the speakers – it’s such a difference seeing them as opposed to seeing them 11 years ago. I love this band so much, and I’m so proud to have gotten to be a part of their journey from a small little band to world domination.

After the show, we headed straight home, sat around and talked for a little while before it was time for me to head home to get ready for work. I’m so ready for next week.

// Sara

 

 

 

Sabaton @ Himmelstalundshallen, Norrköping, Sweden 17/3 -17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 17, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, finally. Finally it was time to hit the road again, or perhaps this is the wrong thing to say seeing I saw Epica just mere weeks ago, but it was FINALLY time for Sabaton again. I got the tickets back in September, so really, it has been quite some wait!

Since this gig was in Norrköping, and within my “three hour radius” I got into my, as I call it, festival van and steered the wheel down south, straight from work. Or actually not. I had managed to forget my base make up bag at home, so I had to stop by the shopping mall right next to McDonalds to pick up foundation and some dinner. And then, I was cruising down.

I made it to the venue, who, much to my happiness had a large parkinglot making everything much more convenient, just as the doors opened which was perfect for me, as I didn’t need to wait long in line to be let in. Once inside, I hit up the bathrooms and then down the venue, which, to my surprise wasn’t very filled. It was only the frontrow, and BARELY even that, that was filled on the floor level. Very interesting.

After some wait, Twilight Force finally started.

Twilight Force

So, I had only HEARD of this band previously, but once checking them out prior to the tour I more or less fell in love with them, and I was very excited to get to see them play, finally. And like… this is exactly my cup of tea. Have I ever told you how much I love conceptbands? If you hadn’t already figured it out, I’ll just say it again: I. Love. Concept. Bands. And this concept is perfect. I loved every single moment of the show. Thank you!

The band walked off the stage and thanked for themselves, and after some wait, Accept entered the stage.

Accept

So… Accept is one of those legendary bands that I never really fell for. They are not bad, but they are not supergood in my own opinion. I recognize and respect everything they have done for the genre, trust me, but I never fell quite in love with them.

With that said, they delivered an amazing show though. I thought initially that it’d be a long wait, that I had rather seen them switch place with Twilight Force, but I enjoyed it more than I expected to. Perhaps it was because of the very Accept-y audience, I don’t know. But they delivered a really good set, thank you guys! The only thing I do need to give some critic to the massive problem with feedback – I don’t know who does Accept’s sound, but seriously, it was PAINFUL.

And then… the anticipation. I’ve seen Sabaton 17 times before tonight, and despite that, I still get butterflies and anxiousness before the show starts. And then, then “In The Army Now” starts, which is the new opener if anyone missed that (as opposed to “The Final Countdown”) it all just goes away. And then…

“HELLO NORRKÖPING… WE ARE SABATON AND THIS IS GHOST DIVISION!!!”

Sabaton

They started off, yet again, with “Ghost Division” and I’m still having this love-hate relationship with this song. It is a great opener but damn. Come on. Imagine if they’d said “THIS IS… SPARTA!!”. Only me? Okay. Next song on the list on the other hand, was indeed “Sparta”. With Twilight Force as Spartans. Loving it.

Next on the list was “Blood of Bannockburn” – a song I came to love more and more on the way TO the show actually. I wasn’t a big fan of it at first – not because it’s different, but I just.. Didn’t like it. But, it grows. And it was a basic riot seeing it live, seriously, so good!

Next song on the list is “Tommy’s Choice”… Which isn’t so much Tommy’s choice as it is “Swedish Pagans”, and I don’t know. This is one of those songs that I do actually love, but I’ve come to hate because of the annoying crowds I guess. It was still really good though, I will say that!

And then… I saw the screens with the church bells and I knew instantly what was to come – my absolute favorite off the last album – “The Last Stand”. And it is really just that fucking amazing live. Best moment of the night, did you hear that?! Fuck me this was good.

“Carolus Rex” followed suit, with Jocke in his carolean jacket and then “Gott Mit Uns”. As someone who holds “Carolus Rex” as an album very highly, this was pleasant moments. Then came the speech. About the argonne in 1918. That speech that made me speechless when going to Sabaton Open Air. And then…

“The Lost Battalion”. Seriously, this song is so simple, yet so epic. These boys really, really, know how to create and arrange music, together with Tägtgren of course. Amazing.

And then came the big surprise for me – which was much to my happiness because I’ve missed the hell out of this song – “Lejonet Från Norden”. Seriously, I love this song so fucking much and I’m so happy it’s back.

After this nice piece, a piano was brought out and they performed “The Final Solution” acoustic. And seriously… It’s a heavy song you know, lyricwise, and this kind of setting just made it so beautiful. I loved it. I don’t even know what words to use anymore, because it was just that good.

“Resist and Bite” was next song on the list, followed by what, well, at least used to be, my favorite moment of the show, and trust me, the moment still gives me goosebumps – “Night Witches”. It’s just… Damn.

They wrapped up the set with “Winged Hussars” before leaving the stage, returning with “Primo Victoria” – without the speech actually, which was weird, but okay. “Shiroyama” was next on the list, before wrapping up with “En Livstid i Krig” (I still love the video with the babybears) and finally “To Hell and Back”

This show was really good. The thing with this band is that they always deliver. They had a better song selection this time around, so I’m content, but I guess that after a few times seeing them it starts feel like the same upbeaten tracks. But, nonetheless, they do entertain.

After the show, I retreated to my car and started my cruising home.

// Sara

Battles of Arcane Might

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Finally, the pre-gig excitement are starting to kick in. I’m glad it’s doing so a few days before, and not the following night as it usually does. I guess this is because, partially, the discovery of Twilight Force, but also that I finally managed to finalize the bookings for Paris and Battle Beast next week – I seriously love “Bringer of Pain” so much, so I’m sooo happy that I get to see the show already now, and so soon.

It’s going to be soo good. Battle Beast, Paris spring time and amazing friends I haven’t seen in some time. Or well, it wasn’t too long ago, but after I missed out on Epica I’m glad I get to see them at Battle Beast instead, at least some of them which is a big plus!

Today has been a rather shitty day. It was fine at work, but I had to draw some blood later in the day which messed me up completely. It’s traumatizing for me, taking bloodsamples, and I don’t get why. Oh well.

Time for some rest, aye?

// Sara

Fall of the Eternal Winter

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

You know, it’s come to this time of the concert-cycle when you know you have an upcoming show, but you’ve been waiting for the show for so long you’ve actually forgotten about it happening.

I’ve been asking myself all week where the hell I’m working Friday night, what club is it? Like, I cannot remember for the life of me, which is so weird. And that’s when it hits me.

I’m going to Sabaton on Friday. THAT is why I can’t for the life of me remember why the hell I’m not working. But I bought these tickets back in September (remember the incident where they blocked my card because I bought too many tickets all at once?) and now… now the shows are finally here. I’m both so ready, but on the same time I’m not ready at all whatsoever for this tour. For The Last Tour, which by any means doesn’t have to be the last tour.

I’ve started listening a lot to Twilight Force these past couple of days, and I really, really like it. I think this, apart from Accept, will be a real fun night. No hard feelings toward Accept, I’m just not a big fan of them. But I’m looking forward to see Twilight Force – they sound and seem like the kind of band I’ll really, really, REALLY like. But then again, we all know – if I like it from the start it’ll just stay there. For some reason I have to hate the band in order to start loving them (Lordi is one good example, Sumo Cyco and Danse dE Sade two other examples)

// Sara

Anti-Anthem

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

As I came home from work today I noticed a particularly interesting package on the counter that had arrived for me this cloudy, Monday afternoon.

OPUS MAR! I’ve seriously been waiting for this album for so long! And this is not even a joke. I can’t remember when I actually first pledged for this album, and finally, finally, it’s here! After all this time!

Here it is! “Opus Mar” in all it’s glory. Naturally, since I just got it, like, literally just now, I haven’t gotten around to actually listen to it yet, but I’m so happy to see it here. Pretty little lovely Sumo Cyco. I was absolutely addicted by their previous album “Lost in Cyco City” so I really hope this one matches up.

And oh, they threw in a cute sticker too!

This sure as hell cheered up my Monday. I’ll give you thoughts on the album as soon as I have any!

// Sara