Date : 15.09.2012
Bands : Wisdom (HU), Eluveitie (CH), Sabaton (SWE)
Location : Gießen (DE)
When I first saw the bands for the Swedish Empire Tour, I knew I had to go this gig ; I just could not miss seeing Eluveitie live again and I have never seen Sabaton and Wisdom live so I thought I would see some new bands. I have heard about the reputation of Sabaton (and their live shows) before so I was also a bit excited about this show.
The concert started with the Hungarian power-metallers Wisdom. I haven’t heard or listened to this band before but Wisdom played beyond my expectations. Normally, I am not a big fan of power metal but they were really powerful on stage. Furthermore, opening acts in concerts can be a bit boring or even monotonous but this was not the case this time ; Wisdom was completely on fire. Especially, the vocalist Gábor Nagy‘s powerful ‘power metal’ voice was really successful. Wisdom started the show with ‘Fallin’ Away From Grace’ from their new album “Judas” and continued with songs like ‘Somewhere Alone’ and ‘Live Forevermore’. The highlight of the performance was the vocalist shouting “Scream for me Gießen” (Bruce Dickinson style) just before the band covered the famous Iron Maiden song “Wasted Years” and I have to say they did a pretty good job with the cover. Lastly, Wisdom played “Judas” and left the stage happily. I really liked the band in general , they may not be so original but they surely have talent and I am sure they will be more popular in the future ´:)
After approx. 45 minutes of power metal, it was time for some new wave of folk metal and Eluveitie was next! As the fans know, the Swiss folk metal band released two albums this year ; the brand new album “Helvetios” was released in February and then the band released another album called “The Early Years” on August which consisted of the songs from the earlier times of Eluveitie. After the release of “Helvetios”, the band has been on tour ever since and I wasn’t surprised to see them in another tour this time as well.
Eluveitie started the show with the first three songs from Helvetios ; Intro , Helvetios and Luxtos. I have to say that I really like the combination of those three songs in the show. The band played these same songs in Paganfest earlier this year and I had the exact same chill during the performances. Those songs really define what Eluveitie is with the mainman Chrigel’s powerful vocals, Anna’s sweet voice and the many instruments played in between. The highlight of Eluveitie’s performance was the song “Divico” from their new release “The Early Years” ; in this way, the audience could get a taste of the new as well as the old Eluveitie. Surely, the band did not forget to play the favorite ‘old-but-golden’ song “Inis Mona” and made the crowd happy.
When we are talking about Eluveitie, we should not forget the hurdy-gurdy player and the second vocalist Anna Murphy. Anna was the main girl in the songs “Alesia” and “A Rose For Epona” ; she really managed to catch the attention of everyone in the hall with her amazing voice and she proved once again that she really is one of the best female vocalists out there. Eluveitie finished the set with “Havoc”, which is the first single from “Helvetios” and left the stage for Sabaton. Eluveitie’s performance was as great as usual although I sort of felt the absence of Patrick “Päde” Kistler who could not join the tour because of him serving his civil service. Moreover, it was interesting and nice to see the new guitar player Rafael Salzmann playing with his own style and I could already see that he got used to the band (The guitarist Simeon Koch left Eluveitie last month due to family reasons).
Sabaton’s show started a bit later because of the problems in the soundcheck but this did not change anything at all. The group started the show with TWO intro-songs 😀 They first warmed up the crowd with the famous Europe song “The Final Countdown” and then started the show with the song “March To War” from their Primo Victoria (2005) album. They then continued with “Ghost Division” from their “Art of War” album. From this moment, I could see that the Sabaton setlist was quite colorful. This was obvious though, because Sabaton has been active since 1999 and they have quite a lot of albums so the setlist was a combination of new as well as old songs. The vocalist Joakim Broden managed to mesmerize the crowd with his powerful voice whereas the new guitarists Chris Rörland, Thobbe Englund and the new drummer Robban Bäck added more power and more uniqueness to the band with their new sounds and new styles. (Just a quick note ; Sabaton had a major line-up change and all the bandmembers except the vocalist Joakim Broden and the guitarist Pär Sundström are new)
There was no doubt that the Sabaton performance was beyond amazing. Moreover, Joakim was one of the funniest and the most sincere performers I have ever seen. This attitude led to the Sabaton concert having many highlights :
- The Drinking Contest : After every song, the audience shouted “Sabaton” and then “Noch ein Bier(which means “one more beer” ) and after hearing all the shoutings, Joakim was given a glass of beer from the backstage and he gave this glass to a person from the front row. As that person drank that beer, one of the guitarists counted how many seconds it would take for that person to finish the beer. At one point, Joakim also joined this contest and his record, as far as I remember, was below 3 seconds
- Exchanging the famous Joakim-jacket AND the sunglasses : After a song, Joakim asked the crowd if anyone was wearing the same jacket as he was wearing. It turned out that one of the fans had the same jacket on and after a few misunderstandings, Joakim gave his jacket to the boy and the boy gave his rather-small jacket to Joakim, which did not fit him at all! 😀 After this, Joakim also wanted to give his sunglasses in exchange of another pair of sunglasses but since noone had sunglasses with them, he had to exchange his sunglasses for a packet of cigarettes which he mentioned that he needed a lot!
These two highlights made me realize just how sincere Sabaton is ; they are not only technically and musically amazing but they are also very fan-friendly and I think this is really important when it comes to fan-band relationships. With these moments, Sabaton really gained my respect. These moments were also like pauses since Sabaton managed to make everyone sing, scream,jump,headbang,dance for 1,5-2 hours.
I have mentioned previously that the band had a colorful playlist. Sabaton played songs Poltava, Carolus Rex and The Lion From The North from the brand new album Carolus Rex. They also played White Death from their album Coat of Arms and they played Ghost Division, 40:1 and Cliffs of Gallipoli from their album Art of War. The band also did not forget to play the infamous song Attero Dominatius from the album Attero Dominatus. Apart from all the English songs, the band also played a song in their own language since the vocalist mentioned that the fans had wanted to hear Swedish songs in the tour so they played “Karolinens Bön”. The most wanted song of the whole concert was Primo Victoria of course and the band did not disappoint anybody and played Primo Victoria as well.
Sabaton finished the concert with the song “Metal Crüe” from their album Attero Dominatus and managed to make everyone tired as hell as well as happy. At the end of the gig, I could see everyone sweating and wanting for more and this was an amazing feeling! I have to admit that after this concert, my thoughts about Sabaton have completely changed ; Sabaton may not be an original band but when it comes to a live performance and making the crowd happy, they are surely one of the best!
Rating : 10/10
Setlists of the bands :