My 16th and final gig of the year last night and what a way to end! I would guess the attendance was around 400 or so maybe a little bit more which is pretty great for the Sabs. First time they came which I missed, there were apparently barely 50 people at the show, but things have improved tremendously for them and they have a pretty much solid fan base here in the uk now. Last night was a round off gig for a 19 date UK tour as support for Dragonforce. A tour which I actually missed but apparently they've been going down a storm throughout and often outplaying the Dragons.
First we had two support bands. Malefice is a melodic deathcore band. Not bad but not what Saba fans are after. What was funny was the singer realised this and made some funny comments from the stage about all of us not turning up to see them obviously. Second band was Panic Cell who are a melodic vocal led Brit straight heavy metal troop. A sort of modern take on NWOBHM if you will. Not bad stuff and they got quite a few people going. They also have quite an amiable frontman. They have a new album coming out and I will check it out.
Finally at 9.20 the Swedish war machine came on and after the Sun Tzu Says intro and then straight into Ghost Division with full force. The sound was much cleaner and crisper than for the other bands and even though the band was on the last night of a long UK trek, they still were fully energised. Joacim was wearing his usual shades and metal plated vest and the others were headbanging with complete abandon. The bass player always makes me smile. That dude just seems like the happiest guy to ever walk the earth. He just never ever stops smiling which is somehow very infectious when you look at his face.
Joacim said that last night was the best crowd of the whole tour and that when we sang The Art of War chorus we were louder than the monitors and he couldn't hear the actual band playing! The crowd just can't get enough of the Sabaton boys it seems these days. The crowd was almost rabid for them with fists and Joacim himself was going absolutely mental. He actually mentioned that he was slightly losing his voice with over belting it out. back in Control was dedicated to all of us as it's about our little island regaining the Falklands and having promised to play it at Bloodstock they ballsed it up and now they made amends with a searing ultra fast version. My fave song of the night almost but all of them are so good. I missed Union and Talvisota from Art of War which I absolutely love but I don't think they ever play that live and also Counterstrike was missed from Primo Victoria plus an old tune Hail to The King which is one of my faves, but I don't have too much complaint about the setlist. They played for roughly 70 minutes which was not bad at all. Great night from the greatest power metal band in the world. Setlist was as follows but not exactly in that order.
Sun Tzu Says
The Art Of War
Cliffs of Gallipoli
The Price of a Mile
Back in Control
A Light in the Black
Into the Fire
Metal Machine / Metal Crüe