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On stage: Sabaton

- Edguy, Dragonforce & Sabaton - Feb. 2006 - Oberhausen (D) -
- Masters Of Rock - July 2007 - Vizovice (CZ) -
- RockHard Festival - May 2010 - Gelsenkirchen (D) -
- Sabaton & Alestorm - Oct. 2010 - Manchester (GB) -
- Sabaton, Alestorm & Thaurorod - Oct. 2010 - Wolverhampton (GB) -

- Sabaton, Alestorm & Thaurorod -
- October 15th 2010 - Wolverhampton (GB), Slade Rooms -

Sabaton live at RockHard 2010

Sabaton live at RockHard 2010

Sabaton live at RockHard 2010

Sabaton live at RockHard 2010

© Claudia Ehrhardt

Photos were taken at RockHard 2010.

The first band of the night were Finnish prog-power metallers, Thaurorod. They played about 6 songs, and despite a small audience put on quite a good show. There were those moshers in the audience though that one just knew weren't being serious - silly moshers! To be fair though, the music was monotonous and rhythmic, therefore good for moshing to.
For an opening act, Thaurorod were adept, and quite a few people in the audience seemed to love them, although there was a mixed reaction from some people. The band didn't seem to mind what the audience thought though, so they just played on and enjoyed themselves - good on them! They played songs such as Upon Haunted Battlefields and Scion Of Stars. Even if the band weren't world class, they were still undoubtedly a good opening support band. The sound wasn't perfect but still good, and what the band played was generally audible, which was good, considering how melodic the band are. However, the Finns had to make way for the pirates...

...Scottish pirates?! Meh, whatever. Alestorm opened their set with 'Heavy Metal Pirates'...a self-descriptive song (despite them being more folk metal than heavy metal and hating pirates). Next they played Wenches And Mead, and the hilarity began. Honestly now, they were hilarious. Words cannot describe exactly how side-splittingly humorous they were to watch, but doubtless anybody who has seen Alestorm live will have a good idea. After Wenches And Mead was their new song...erm...Rum. It was a song about...well...rum. "This calls for some immaturity!" After Rum was The Quest, a song about...a quest! (Alestorm are pretty good at naming their songs, are they not?) They then dedicated a song to the ladies, Nancy The Tavern Wench. Charming. Captain Morgan's Revenge was up next, one of Alestorm's first and finest songs, and they played it to absolute near perfection! Unsurprisingly, they finished off their set with the energetic, lively Keelhauled, and the audience were far from disappointed. In spite of Alestorm's amazing set, they weren't the headliners of this concert - there was one band left...

...Sabaton. To say the least, their set was brilliant. Sure, Sabaton's music has always been a little bit samey, but that doesn't stop them from putting on an amazing, consistently good show (they were also very close to mind-blowing at Sonisphere too).
For those who are not familiar with the music of Sabaton, pretty much all of their lyrics are based on war, but different wars and from different perspectives. Some of their songs are inspiring, such as Coat Of Arms, others moving, such as The Final Solution. This evening, they played songs including Ghost Division, Panzer Battalion, The Final Solution, 40:1, Wolfpack, Back In Control, Coat Of Arms, Primo Victoria and a Metal Medley.
Now...there was an unfortunate little mishap with Joakim Broden's trousers, weren't there? OK, for people who were not at this concert, basically his trousers were ripped open in the crotch area, giving everybody a rather nice view of his...let's just say underwear. A lot of people were issued to the hospital that night. Why? They laughed their arses off.


Stephanie Malin


- Sabaton & Alestorm - October 11th 2010 - Manchester (GB), Academy 2 -

Before I start the review proper I have some advice to give to any visitors to Manchester - don't get a taxi anywhere because you will be ripped off!


Academy 2 is situated in the University of Manchester Students Union, a twenty minute walk from Oxford Road Station along the busy student area of the city. Its a nice venue, large enough to house sizeable gigs and has a feeling of being a school's assembly hall. The (pricey) bar and merchandise is situated outside the stage area, but this isn't a problem as it actually reduces the background chatter during the bands! The sound, too, is very good. I have heard many complaints but I honestly couldn't find fault with the sound. All the instruments were clear and a warm, bassy sound swept around the hall throughout the set of both bands.

Beer in hand we went into the hall to await the start of the show. Unfortunately Thaurorod had to cancel so both Alestorm and Sabaton were playing extended sets. Can't complain at that!
Alestorm, the infamous Scottish pirates, were up first. Admittedly although I find Alestorm a fun band they aren't really something I ever choose to listen to on CD. However, I was looking forward to finding out what they were like in a live setting. The verdict: magnificent!
They began with Heavy Metal Pirates before launching into the classic from their first album, Wenches And Mead! Their set covered both of their albums including all of the crowd favorites like Captains Morgan's Revenge and The Huntmaster. They even played a song from their upcoming third album, the aptly-titled Rum which will, I'm certain, take its place alongside Equilibrium's Met and Korpiklaani's Vodka as a bona fide festival drinking song!
Undoubtedly the highlight of Alestorm's set was Nancy The Tavern Wench about midway through their allotted time, by which point almost everyone had their hands in the air and were singing and dancing.
Alestorm themselves seemed to be having lots of fun onstage with lots of banter between themselves and the crowd. I think they enjoyed the reaction from the crowd who lapped up each and every jolly shanty with gusto!

Set list: Alestorm

Time for a quick beer and a look at the merch before Sabaton started. Now, I'm used to merch being overpriced at gigs and to be honest usually I'll pay the £18 for a T-shirt anyway. However, never before have I seen a T-shirt increase in price at a gig before.Sabaton live at RockHard 2010 The special edition Sabaton UK tour shirt began the night at £18 and yet next time I checked it was £20...for a standard print, regular T-shirt. Absolutely ridiculous! I don't know why this happened but whoever decided to put the price up halfway through the gig needs to be sacked. The shirt was expensive already and the extra £2 meant you lost a sale. Anyway, didn't ruin my night as it just meant more beer money!

Sabaton live at RockHard 2010So, the main event. Mighty Swedish purveyors of war-flavored power metal Sabaton have generally always had a good reception from UK audiences and this proved to be no exception as they had sold out Academy 2... no mean feat!
The sound of Europe's The Final Countdown leapt through the speakers geeing up the already buoyant crowd who proceeded to sing along at the top of their voices to the cheesy classic! No sooner had the final bars filtered away than Sabaton blasted onto the stage. They erupted into Ghost Division and the crowd went wild, much to the delight of the band! From Sabaton's first note the crowd were hooked. What Alestorm had started SabatonSabaton took to the next level with fists raised right to the rear of the packed Academy and crowd surfers launching themselves like human grenades.
Sabaton's set was primarily made up of material from their two recent landmark albums, The Art Of War and Coat Of Arms.
Sabaton live at RockHard 2010Much to my delight they played The Final Solution, my favorite song from Coat Of Arms and one that I didn't think they would play live due to its touchy subject matter and slower pace. Singer Joakim Brodén explained that the band were wary about playing the song, especially in Germany, but that it had been met with enthusiasm by everyone so far. It made me happy anyway!
They tore through 40:1, Coat Of Arms and more, the crowd singing along with them to the great delight of the band who told us they would be clapping us at the end of the show! They got a huge response when they played the Battle of Britain song Aces In Exile and then followed it up with the Falklands song Back In Control which they had promised to play on their previous tour with Dragonforce but didn't. The crowd lapped it up!
Sabaton played three songs in their encore. The Art Of War was followed by the amazing Primo Victoria and then a metal medley comprised of Metal Machine and Metal Crue. This brought the show to a close and the audience trickled slowly out, each and every one knowing they had just witnessed an awesome spectacle! Without doubt one of the best gigs I've been to for a long time. Both bands were absolutely superb and hopefully it won't be too long before Manchester is invaded by trenches and mead again!

Set list: Sabaton

Mike Thompson
© Claudia Ehrhardt / Photos were taken at RockHard 2010.


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