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

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

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