Sabaton @ Mariebergsskogen, Karlstad 2014-08-23

So! As I said, the day was finally here. For once in a very long time, we actually decided to queue fairly early. Well, fairly.We got there about half past two, which was only about three hours before the doors were about to be opened, but we were unsure on how much early we could have made it. We were actually first in line, so I guess everything worked out, huh?

While waiting we heard all the bands rehearse – we heard Sabaton rehears “Smoking Snakes” and “Ghost Division” and later on “Nightwitches”. As you know, I was really ruling for “Nightwitches” to be played, and just as Kasper said six years ago in our documentary, “if they have soundchecked it, they just have to play it!” So the expectations obviously grew higher.

As it got closer to the opening, more and more people started to join in the queue. We had the joy of meeting two new friends in line from Deje, nice meeting you boys! When waiting for the slightly delayed opening we enjoyed the tunes to Amaranthe, and I was getting real pumped. I have recently discovered that particular band, and I was unsure wether I’d be able to catch them live or not, or perhaps more, WHEN I’d be able to catch them live. Appears it happened sooner rather than later!

The doors FINALLY opened and we ran inside to secure spots in front of the stage. Immedeatley after this had been done, I rushed over to the merchstand to get myself one of these “Slaget om Karlstad” shirts. They made a few of these for every date on this Swedish tour, so it was EXTREMLY limited, so I figured I’d have to grab one quickly. If there is anything in this world that will eventually make me broke, it will be music merchandise.

Ran back in spot, and let Michelle free to go and check the merchstand as well before we finally stood up, adjusted our seats and started to wait for Amaranthe. While waiting we actually managed to spot a good friend of mine, Daniel and his friend who came in and joined us in the front. Also, we noticed the planes on the sides of the stage. This must mean they’ll play “Nightwitches”, right? Jesus christ, I really wanted that song.

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Right on time, at 7 o clock did Amaranthe start their intro and enter the stage. And at the very moment they did, heaven decided to open its gates and unleashed a heavy rain. “And the rain will kill us all…”. Either way, they started off their show quite strongly with “Invincible”, despite Elise and Jake tripping over each other in the beginning. That was more cute than anything, if you ask me!

They followed up with one of my personal favorites “Leave Everything Behind” before continuing with “1.000.000 Lightyears” and later “Afterlife”. You see. This is a bit hilarious, and of course awesome. Before the show, while queueing, we sort of guessed and made wishes between each other on what songs they were gonna play. And so far in the set list, they managed to nail each and every one.

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“Electroheart” was next song to be executed, and can I just stop here and say a few things about this band. I have not been into this band for a whole long time, as you guys know by now, but damn. These are a real good fucking band, and Elise, Jake and Henrik – Amazing front(wo)men all of them! It was a pleasure for the eye as well as the ears. Jesus almighty. “Electroheart” is for many reasons a personal favorite of mine (most certainly as it reminds me a bit about my own heartcondition) “Hunger” was the next song on the list, and it seemed like it was the audience favorite for tonight.

The very so beautiful “Amaranthine” was next on the list and it started off very so beautifully with Elize standing by herself on the stage starting off this song in complete acapella. And you know… Jesus Christ. Some songs, such as “Amaranthine”… you could take away all the instruments and do the whole thing acapella, and it would STILL be enchanting!

After “Amaranthine”, “Call Out My Name” was the song to go before wrapping it all up with my perhaps “all time” favorite, so to put it, “The Nexus”. Powerful ending. And also, I think the rain finally stopped at this point!

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Well. What can I say that hasn’t already been said. They impressed me big time, and I’m REALLY glad we got these as openers for the gig. It sort of made the night, despite the rain and lack of activity from the audience (like, me and Michelle were literally the only ones to actually give a fuck for the first half of the show). But nonetheless, the band delivered! Thanks for an awesome first gig guys!

Setlist in whole: Invincible / Leave Everything Behind / 1.000.000 Lightyears /Afterlife /Electroheart / Hunger / Amaranthine / Call Out My Name / The Nexus.

For being a concert, I must say they kept their times pretty good. D-A-D was scheduled to start only 30 minutes after Amaranthe, and they truly did so. At this point I might add, the rain stopped, but DAMN was it cold. I was squeezed in between Michelle and a guy from France, and as soon one of them would move their arm or something like that I would almost get a brainfreeze. Needed them to cuddle up to me. We were all soaked after the rain, as Daniel and his friend can demonstrate…

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Either way. Right on time at 8 o’clock did D-A-D enter the stage. This, on the other hand, is a band I have tried my hardest to like, but I’ve failed to really get into them, despite trying for years. So sadly, I won’t be able to give you a detailed setlist, or a too detailed description of the show.

However, what I will give them is that they sure as hell delivered a real good and interesting set. I was very intrigued by the drums – I’ve never seen a drumset stacked on top of itself like the one he had, and I sure as hell have NEVER seen anyone change his basses as many times as their bassplayers. Or more interesting basses. Someday, I’ll give you a full entry with a photobomb of the kids different basses, I promise, but for now I wanna keep it somewhat “short”.

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And if that wasn’t the end, I saw that the bassplayer would go off stage for the last song. I remember how I turned to Michelle and literally said “oh dear. What is he up to now?” and before we knew it, he had run out on stage with a helmet with pyrotechnics on, banging it around like crazy. Once he was done he just knocked the hat off and continued as if nothing had happened.

Dear lord.

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Yeah. If it’s one thing I’ll give to them, is the creds for being one entertaining band! Thanks for the show guys. The crowd seemed to be more into D-A-D, as some pressure actually started to come along now.

BUT NOW, my friends. The real wait began. And the pressure started to tighten up even more. Now, it was only minutes left before Sabaton would start. Or more, 30 of these. As we waited, the tankS were being rolled on stage and we had already acknowledged the planes that were seated on the sides, as mentioned. Something I found rather funny was some of the roadies that ran around setting up the stage being dressed as soldiers. We weren’t sure whether or not this was just a “prank” or if they were actually gonna have a role in the show. Whoever waits, sees, I guess.

And not a minute late, did the ever so familiar “The Final Countdown” start. And oh, the singalong in the crowd…. the entire crowd you know… “It’s THE FINAAAL COUNTDOOOOOOWNNNN!” For those of you who doesn’t know, Sabaton uses this song as their opener. Once the song was done, we heard the all so familiar “HALLÅ KARLSTAD – VI ÄR SABATON OCH DET HÄR ÄR GHOST DIVISION!” and by that, the show was on, with “Ghost Division” being the opener.

After seeing this band live multiple times for eight years, I must say I’m a little surprised they still use “Ghost Division” as their opener after six years, given that two (three) eras has passed (Coat of Arms, Carolus, Heroes) but you know – this song never fails to get me pumped. And the whole crowd was with me.

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They immediately moved on to “To Hell and Back” afterwards and the first thing that struck me, already in “Ghost Division” actually – was the amount of pyros. Normally I’d have pretty ambivalent feelings towards this, BUT, since I was basically an ice-castle (the cold never bothered me anyway?) I didn’t mind all the pyros at all. And actually, for the first time in forever, the pyros are actually used in a powerfull way. Bands have a tendency to have pyros for the sake of pyros, making it look off. But for this, it worked perfectly. And I loved it.

And the whole crowd love it too. We were all jumping to this lovely piece. After this fiery piece (höhö) “Carolus Rex” was on the list. And as someone who loves Carolus more than any album they ever made, this was cozy, cozy time for me. This song though, this song NEVER fails me. EVER. Powerful, in your face. And very much at home. Very much at home.

Över Norden jag härskar, med det arv som jag gavs, gång på GÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅNG sjung Carolus sång. Krigets konst jag behärskar, låt mitt namn sprida skräck, gång på GÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅNG sjung Carolus sång! Än en gååååååång SJUNG CAROLUS SÅNG!”

From one Swedish song to the next, “Gott Mit Uns”. I’m gonna admit, when I first listened to this album, I never liked “Gott Mit Uns”. However, as time has passed and concerts have passed, this song has grown on me A LOT. And now it’s one of my favorites.

Gott mit uns, vår konung har talat HÖR VÅRT STRIDSROP GOTT MIT UNS!

After “Gott Mit Uns”, it was to my happy surprise time for my favorite song off “Heroes” – “Soldiers of 3 Armies”. Yes, I have seen the setlist before, so I DID know this song was coming, but it was a surprise for me from the beginning it was in. I’m usually not very lucky scoring my favesongs live.

So, talk all you want about the soldier of three armies, because right after this, “Karolinens Bön” (The Carolean Prayer) came on. And this is my favorite song off Carolus, my absolute fave. They did play this before, but it makes me happier and happier for everytime they play it. I tear up like crazy in this one, I’m not sure what it is, but this song makes me so emotional.

And this song didn’t get worse when Jocke first walks off stage, only to return clad in the Carolus coat he had during Rockstad Falun.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST I’M LIKE LITERALLY DYING OVER HERE WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED.

MY FAVESONG. THE JACKET. IT’S CLOSE TO BE ROCKSTAD ALL OVER HERE. HGHGHGHGHHH!!

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LIKE OH MY LORD. Oh. As if this song wasn’t already as epic as it was.

“Attero Dominatus” followed suite on this one and I swear to God the crowd turned into a big hop of headbanging people. It’s this song. Makes people go nuts. As you see, I haven’t written a whole lot about the crowd and their reception, but it’s Sabaton. I think most of you out there reading already know that whatever Sabaton do, the fans just go shitnuts (that includes me) and always give them 110% of everything they have.

Just a little thing: In the middle of Attero, I think it was Attero, this guy decides to streak right across the stage. I’m just literally dumbfounded here. Like. Wait. What happened? (it is possible this happened during Soldiers, I’m not 110% sure, but I think it was Attero, but yeah, don’t kill me if I turn out to be wrong)

After the song was done, Jocke asked to get a guitar and for a long time failed to get one. Once he DID get one, they first started off playing the first part of “Master of Puppets” by Metallica before starting off with “Resist and Bite”.

Next up was “The Art of War”. And ok people people people. I’ve mentioned to you very so often how much I LOVE this album and this particular song. I was BEYOND happy to see this song back in the setlist, and to get back to what I said about pyros.. this is another one of the songs where they had A LOT of pyros that filled all the function they were there for. Meaning – a pretty darn good and powerful performance. Damn I love this song.

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After “The Art of War” it was time for “Swedish Pagans”. Out of all the bonustracks, aside “7734”, this is actually my favorite. So I’m really glad to see it on the list – of course it wouldn’t hurt to have “7734” sometime in the future, but screw that for now. They brought on a bunch of ladies who somewhat acted out a viking fight on stage, haha. Made me chuckle, I must admit!

After “Swedish…” they went off stage and later on returned with “Lejonet från Norden”. God. Can I just please LIVE in these Carolus songs? I feel so at home in a way with these songs. Hghghg. “Lejonet” was quickly followed by “En Livstid i Krig” which I sadly didn’t see too much off as things started to get messy where we stood -a lot of people + a wheelchair needed to get out, BUT I can tell you this – this, my friends. This was so far the audience favorite. I wonder if this song is just as popular in English though?

After “En Livstid” they left the stage again, but this time I did start suspect that MAYBE, just MAYBE could “Nightwitches” come now. And when they started the intro… it started slowly, almost teasingly, and I didn’t even dare HOPE for it to be “Nightwitches”. Me and Michelle were basically like “It has to be it, but I don’t dare wish for it, don’t wanna jinx it, but the lights are going the directions they did on Rockstad but… don’t wanna jinx it…”

But then the band came.

And what did the band say?

FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL IN SILENCE, CAST THEIR SPELLS, EXPLOSIVE VIOLENT, RUSSIAN NIGHT TIME, FLIGHT PERFECTED

FLAWLESS VISION

UNDETECTED.

YES! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!  YESSSSSSSS! I can’t even being to explain how EXTREMELY HAPPY AND EXCITED AND LITERALLY DEAD AND ALIVE INSIDE I FELT BEACUSE I DIED WHEN THEY STARTED BUT THEN I REVIVED. THIS. This made the night complete. This

THIS fucking song, this ONE SONG, made the night absolutely perfect. And the crowd? Need I say anything?

By the way. I must talk a little about the grand stagesetting they have. They have these two minor tanks up on etages where people can stand on, and then this MAJOR BIG FUCKING MOTHERS OF ALL TANKS with in the middle with Hannes’ drums on them. Like whoa dude. This is a pretty epic stagesetting, don’t you think? I love when bands actually stick to an image they have – like, that Sabaton REALLY sticks with their military theme and just don’t leave it behind.

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Anyway, after this explosive song, it was time for the usual… “you wanna sing with us?” “you wanna jump with us?”

Yes Sabaton. We always want to.

Or at least try to. By this time, people have started squeezing themselves in so hard that it became impossible to jump to “Primo Victoria”, which is sad. “Primo Victoria” is usually my ultimate test to see how well exercised I am. The longer I manage to jump, the better. And the goal is of course to jump the entire song (Which I HAVE managed to, before!)

They wrapped up the whole gig with “Metal Crüe”, but not before they had invited a cute little nine year old named Alexander on stage! This was his first metalgig EVER, and oy vey, what a memory he walks away with! He even got to play on Chris’ guitar! Oh, his day must have been made.

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During the song, a lot of the crew and some from Amaranthe kinda stormed the stage doing shenanigans. We had one guy in his underwear + Carolus jacket playing guitar, one guy fooling around with Hannes drums and another guy dancing on the etage with the smaller tanks. Like. Ok. What the hell, haha. After this, they said thanks and good night and left the stage. And then they came back to do the ice bucket challenge. Pär was the “unlucky” fella to get the ice-water poured over him, but it’s nice to see them engage in things like this!

The band had delivered their all throughout the whole gig, and unlike Carolus show, Jockes voice was just fine throughout the show. I have literally nothing to complain about when it comes to this show, and especially thanks to “Nightwitches”, this turned out to be the most epic Sabaton gig I’ve seen so far. Thanks Sabaton, you are the best. You are the Masters of The World.

Setlist in whole: Ghost Division / To Hell and Back /Carolus Rex / Gott Mit Uns /Soldiers of 3 Armies / Karolinens Bön /Attero Dominatus / Resist and Bite / The Art of War /Swedish Pagans / Lejonet från Norden / En Livstid i Krig / Nightwitches / Primo Victoria / Metal Crüe

After the gig, we quickly headed over to Amaranthe’s merchstand to pick up a t-shirt before heading home. Met up with a friend O met at work, unexpectedly. But you know, I’m not one to complain! I love meeting up with people.  Once home, we sat down to eat and to have a cup of hot chocolate. That rain did sure kill us all, and as I’m writing this at 4:46 in the morning, I have already started to feel the consequenses of the rain during Amaranthe.

But damn, this concert was well worth it. WELL worth it.

Thanks Sabaton, Amatanthe and D-A-D for the amazing shows, and thanks to Robert (?) and Aron for keeping us company in the queue, thanks to the French guy for sharing the French flag with me and for awesome company, and most importantly, thanks to Michelle, Daniel and Daniels friend (whose name have vanished from my mind) for the company. Love you all!

// Sara

 

 

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