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

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

 

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