HammerFall @ Liseberg, Gothenburg 2014-08-29

So yes! It was time for the first in three years for me to see HammerFall, last time was on their “Infected” tour, and now it’s time for a new album, a new era and perhaps a new HammerFall? No – not really, but they did indeed take a break for two years in order to get some new energy pumping in their veins. With a new album in their backpacks, the band, as well as us, headed down to Liseberg to have a releasegig for the newest, “(r)Evolution”.

We arrived at the stage about half an hour before the show began, and at first, it looked like the place was crowded, but the closer to the stage we got, the more we realized that it wasn’t as crowded as it looked, and we got fairly close to the stage, approx. the fifth row, if you like. It wasn’t too packed, gladly.

Pretty much right on time did the warriors enter the stage one by one starting with Anders and eventually they kicked the whole set off with “Heeding The Call”. Quite interesting, I’ve never seen them start with this before, so it was surprising! Surprising, in a good way. Right after this they hit it off with one of my personal favorite, “Any Means Necessary”.

While the band on stage had an amazing energy, the crowd did not. It’s quite sad to see, and this is one of the reasons I’m not a too big of a fan of these amusement park gigs. I don’t mean it in any offence to non-metalheads, but the feeling in the crowd is usually a lot better when it’s 110% fans there. But yes. The band – amazing energy.

“Renegade” was next on the list, and for the first time in a little while, the crowd seemed to come alive a bit. There is one thing I want to talk about a little bit thought. And that is Oscars new guitar. Can we just appreciate his, if I may say so, hammering guitar?

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It’s literally in the shape of the HammerFall hammer, and it got a blue light in it, as you can see. I love it, I just flippin love it! I love how this band commits 100% to their image, even still after all this time.

“B.Y.H” was the next song on the list before cooling things down with “Bloodbound” off “Chapter V”. It’s fun – perhaps this is because I haven’t seen them in a long time, but you know, they always do like a slow start on the song, right? And in my mind I was just thinking “Ah, this must be ‘Glory to the Brave'” DESPITE Joacim saying they were going to play something off “Chapter V”. But damn. I love “Bloodbound”. And so did the crowd! Finally a bit of a reaction. The band? I still can’t complain about their performances.

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They contiuned on with the Warlord cover “Children of the Damned” that they apparently haven’t played live in many, many years according to Joacim, moving on to “The Metal Age” until it was time for THAT.

You people who’ve seen HammerFall before knows exactly what I’m talking about. When Joacim asks us one simple question. What we are going to say, if he says Let The Hammer….

FALL!

Let the Hammer?

FALL!

HE SAID LET THE HAMMER?

FAAAALL!!!!!!!!!

And with that, I think Liseberg just delievered their loudest scream ever. Thank god. Finally alive. During “Let The Hammer Fall”, I noticed that Joacim’s voice got soarer and soarer, and afterwards he announced he’d need a five minute break to recover his voice. He and the band walked off stage.

This left a bit of an uncertainty amongst the fans. Are they gonna come back? Are they gonna have to cancel? We didn’t know. It was a bit of an anxious waiting, until the band returned on stage together with Jocke, ready to continue the show.

Apparently, Joacim is allergic to the sulfur that comes with the pyrotechnics, which is why his throat had thickened. So no more pyros, and just on with the show. Fair enough.

“Last Man Standing” was the first song to be performed after the break, and the crowd was all with them on this one. I’m not sure if people were intimidated before, or if they just know this song, but yes. Again, finally.

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After all these songs, it was time to premiere something off “(r)Evolution”, and what song is better than the opener “Hector’s Hymn”?

I’m just gonna tell you guys.

This song, is beyond epic live. I loved this song a lot on the record, but I love it even more live. It just brings that epicness to the show that sure as hell is already there, but you know, just that little extra.  And oh oh oh! They had a Hector helmet AND a hammer lying on stage behind Fredrik and Ponuts that Joacim decided to swing a bit. Loved it. Jesus christ, I love Hector. They wrapped up the show with “HammerFall” before leaving the stage for the night.

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As always, the returned for encores. The first encore to be played, which also had it’s live-debut, was the single “Bushido” (off “(r)Evolution”). It’s amazing live. I haven’t been a too big fan of it on the record, but it just NAILS it live.

I guess it should come as no big surprise that the last encore for the night was “Hearts on Fire”. And for the first, and only time during the whole night, did the entire crowd chant and sing together with the band. The song was executed in perfection and they ended the whole thing with some bombastic pyros (I guess it’s fine when it’s the last song and all, haha) before saying thank you and good bye for the night.

While I have nothing to complain about when it comes to the bands performance and energy, I still find the show a bit weak. I’m not sure if it’s the setlist or if it’s the not-so-energetic crowd, but I do think it’s a mix of both. I hope to catch HammerFall on a proper date on their tour instead of a “festivalgig”, and we’ll see then if there are any changes and differencies. But they get an A for effort, but a little lower in creativity with the setlist. And of course, A++++ for the Hector Helmet, hammer and Oscar’s new guitar. Damn, I love that guitar.

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Setlist in whole: Heeding the Call / Any Means Necessary / Renegade / B.Y.H / Bloodbound / Children of the Damned / The Metal Age / Let The Hammer Fall / Last Man Standing / Hector’s Hymn / HammerFall / – / Bushido / Heart on Fire

// Sara

 

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