November 1, 2019
Photos & Review by Michael LaFleche
Swedish war metal superstars Sabaton with fellow countrymen HammerFall were in Worcester Friday night for a fantastic sold out show at the Palladium. I have been to a ton of shows at the Palladium over the years and this one really felt special.
HammerFall opened the show with a set very close to the crowd. Running onto the stage was Oscar Fredrick Dronjak with the flying V guitar and bleach blonde hair, bass instrumentalist Fredrik Larsson, Karl Pontus Norgren also thrashing on the guitars and of course David Wallin hamming on the drums. As the lights came on Joacim Cans appeared on stage to “Never Forgive, Never Forget”.
This hour long set included the aforementioned, as well as the symphonic rock of “One Against the World”, “Renegade”, “Blood Bound”, “Any Means Necessary”, “Hector’s Hymn”, “Last Man Standing”. As the kept going Joacim was really engaging with the crowd, in which it was for the most part their first time seeing the band live. So Joacim gave clear instructions on how properly participate for the next song, “Let the Hammer Fall” instructing the crowd to say “Fall!” everytime the word Hammer was uttered. The set wrapped up with a couple of bonus encores with “Hammer High”, “(We Make) Sweden Rock!” and of course “Hearts on Fire”.
HAMMERFALL Photo Gallery
After HammerFall cleared the stage, the unfurling of Sabaton’s set began, with a fully assembled and full scale military tank stage center, with Hannes van Dahl’s drum kit sitting above the turret. A wide video screen started playing behind the drum kit with the epic story of the Great War (WW1) and how the United States entered to help end the conflict. Chants of USA, USA, reverberated through the hall.
The band emerged onstage at the conclusion of the video with Hannes van Dahl appearing on top of the tank with his drum kit, followed by Tommy Johansson and Chris Rörland on guitars, Pär Sundström on the bass followed by the highly energetic Joakim Brodén, lead singer and sometimes guitar player, wearing body armour and reflective aviator sunglasses reminiscent of a modern day Call of Duty meets Power Metal combo.
Sabaton’s war cry started of with “Ghost Division” which had the fans in the crowd highly motivated to sing along or stage dive into the photo pit during the show making it seem like we were in a foxhole avoiding crossfire.
Next up Sabaton rolled with “Great War” with Joakim picking up a guitar partway through the set. Other songs included war themed epics like “Resist and Bite”, “Fields of Verdun”, “The Attack of the Dead Men”, “The Red Baron”, “The Price of a Mile”, “Bismarck”, “Dominium” and “The Lion From the North” .
They really had a hell of a set; perfect examples of clean and heavy power metal. The band played 18 songs in total for Worcester finishing up with “To Hell and Back”.
Sabaton will continue to tour through Europe for the next few months, and HammerFall is actually set to come back to Worcester headlining again next year, which I am looking forward to.
SABATON Photo Gallery