Archive for March 24, 2020

Sabaton @ Sportpaleis, Antwerpen, Belgium 2/2 – 20

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

[Most of the pictures from these shows aren’t correct chronologically. During the tour my camera broke down, and I stopped taking a lot of pictures. This is why you’ll be seeing Swedish Empire song pictures as an example earlier than you should – figured these visuals are better than nothing]

And so it begins. The heavier schedule of the tour. In the beginning, after the cruise it was quite a few dead days at home in Antwerpen back and forth, but from today we were set to do quite a few shows. Having the luxury to actually live in Antwerp, we slept in and we headed over to the venue around noon only to find a rather small queue – so no major issue! Cyril and Mathieu, a guy I got to meet in Frankfurt, later joined us and our shenangians throughout the day. Befriending random people in the queue and then we were in… and seriously… this venue.

While queueing, we had gotten the impression we’d just need to run straight ahead to get to the stage. Nopety nope. We had to run around the venue, and upon entering the hall itself you had to run down, or not run, but walk, down tilted floor in a dark room. I wondered for a moment, if I had tried running it would have been a case of “They see me rollin and they hatin”. But no issue. Ivan is fast as hell and went in to claim spots for all of us in the front.

After securing our spot I headed out to the merch to pick up on the special city shirt for Ivan and then some water. I had some plans for today, some I had planned for months and months, and it was just about to become a reality. And it’d require water.

And then, Amaranthe started.

Amaranthe

The intro to “Helix” echoed out once again, and the band opened with “Maximise”. Heading straight into “Digital World” I had the feeling that the energy might just be a little bit better tonight. “Hunger” followed suit before “Amaranthine”, and at this point we’ve learned the drill enough to have Nils even pointing us out saying “Take out your mobilephones just like the people over here”. Haha! Why not?

“GG6” comes next, and a stunning performance as always and then “Helix”. I sincerely hope they never drop this song. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it 100 times again – I hope they never drop this.

Clapping time again with “That Song”. Something I forgot to mention before, is the addition of a part from “We will Rock you” later on in the song. I love the homage! It’s hard to not think about Queen when doing the routine, and paying some open tribute like this is amazing!

“Call Out My Name”, always a thrill and then wrapping up with “The Nexus” and “Drop Dead Cynical”. I have never been a major fan of “Drop Dead Cynical”, but the way it transforms live has made it quite a favorite. I hope Amaranthe one day releases a live album, just so we can have THAT version to listen to.

After this, I headed out to go to the bathroom and pick up some candies and took the time to catch up with an old friend of mine, Antoine. Been years since I last saw and talked to him, it was nice!

Apocalyptica

And then the three gentlemen with the Cellos and their drummer walked on stage starting rather doomy and with a tint of agression with “Ashes of the Modern World”. They swiftly moved into “Path” and then “En Route to Mayhem”.

After this beginning of the show they invited Elize back on stage with them to perform the Rammstein cover “Seeman” and “I Don’t Care” before going back to be instrumental in “Grace”.

They kicked off one of their all famous Metallica covers “Seek & Destroy” before playing some “real Black Metal from Norway” in “Hall of the Mountain King” with various little pranks during the song, adding a few nippets here and there.

They wrapped up their show with “Nothing Else Matters” and I swear, the entire venue (except myself) was singing with this. Or at leat it felt like it.

The band paid their thanks and then left the stage.

The soundtrack version once again started to play as the crew covered the stage in preparations. With a bit of time, the lights went out once again and “In Flanders Fields”, followed by the intro started.

Sabaton

The cover got down, explosions galore and “Ghost Division” opened the set. Quickly they moved on to “Great War” and once again pretty much setting fire to us poor creatures in the crowd. And then the history edition started… and I got ready. Bottoms up with the little soy bottle that actually didn’t contain soy, but fake blood, and on with the facecover.

“Attack of the Dead Men” started and I was ready. I have been planning this since the album came out in July, and I’ve gone over it many times in my head how it should be executed. My initial trial was supposed to be on Sabaton Cruise, but due to money I had to push it forward. And now, three shows in the tour and in Antwerpen is finally time for me to carve myself into history as “The Dead Girl”. As the chorus approached, I spat out the blood from my mouth, getting it in the facemask, bringing life to the illustrations of the song.

And needless to say, it was a success. I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out since I didn’t do a trial run whatsoever, but the security guard loved it, and the people around it said it looked great. Lets call it a success, shall we?

Oh, the song was executed great by the band too.

For the start of “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” I sat down to clean up the mess as good as I could and clean out my mouth, resulting in the now infamous images of blood stained pants. The song was all the rage once I was back in business and then they continued on with “Diary of an Unknown Soldier” and “The Lost Battalion”.

“The Red Baron” and his airplane followed and then “The Last Stand”. Joakim went to collect his own guitar, and we all who has seen Sabaton live a few times are well aware on what this means – “Resist And Bite”, which wasn’t exactly a surprise – we are in Belgium after all – Glad to see they still keep up with country assiged songs. Shows and setlist previously has been surprisingly thin with that.

On a sadder note, this meant we did not get “82nd All The Way” which is a bummer, but you can’t have it all right? “Night Witches” followed, and then it was time for the cello boys to come back.

The Apocalyptica part went on smoothly with “Angels Calling”, “Fields of Verdun”, Swedish Empire part and then it was thanks and good night.

The storming of Normandie once again aired, “Primo Victoria” started and I… jumped through the whole song again. I know I said I was not gonna do it. Whatsoever again. But here I was, doing it again. It’s like an addiction, it’s an adrenaline rush for sure.

“Bismarck” was next, and we kept on with out rowing tradition that we initiated in Zürich already and then the show was wrapped up with “Swedish Pagans” and “To Hell and Back”. The propaganda flyer frenzy continued, and I have started to collect my own little tribe on people helping with this. How amazing?

After the show we caught up with some friends before heading home earlier than we would have liked, but once the metro stops going it just stops going, you know?

Thank you Sabaton for yet an unforgettable show, and let the tourmadness begin.

// Sara