MAY 7th 2017

Review by: Metal Mom
Photos by: Char Tupper

Sabaton was making "The Last Stand" tonight on Vancouver’s front line. These Swedish conquerors have hit our city before, and they never disappoint.  I for one would walk through mud, flying bullets, hell and back to stand at the front of the line for this, and I did.

Up first was supposed to be UNLEASH THE ARCHERS, but due to some logistic problem, they were taken off the bill for tonight. This created many angry fans, who upon hearing this, refused to attend the show, in fact they right away went about selling their tickets. I don’t know what the logistic problem might have been, but this local band would have been the most suiting local Vancouver act to open the night with, it was too bad.

LEAVE’S EYES, one of the best symphonic metal acts hit the stage next, (but not according to the tour poster). Once again, so many angry fans outside when they found the billing order had changed. Many only came to see them and Sabaton. So of course, with the lineup change, it meant their fans missed out. Not cool. Anyway, how do you do justice to a band with such diversity. I am really impressed with Elinas vocals, she has such a soprano vocal range, one that kept me watching her all night. I saw Leave’s Eyes last November, and when I reviewed the band then, I didn’t seem to enjoy it so much, whether the sound wasn’t as good, being a smaller venue last time, who knows really. That being said, I quite enjoyed them this time around, I highly recommend them, they pull the crowd together, they seem to bounce off each other, getting pumped up. You really need to see this band live and see how well they do as a band together, to appreciate them. Get out there, don’t miss this show.

Next is Finnish metallers Battle Beast, and for me, this was a first, and a kick ass first time, truly they know how to please a crowd, good music, great energy, and all around great band chemistry and fit together well. For anyone doubting whether to see them, or just go to the last two bands don’t.  You would be missing out on some spectacular, powerful heavy metal.  Do I dare say it was ‘fun’ to watch this band crank out their songs, well I did have a smile on my face the whole time. There is no doubt, they have what it takes to really propel themselves into the top of heavy metal. Everyone in that band had their sound down to perfection, and their energy just gave the show so much more. Another ecstatic moment, at the end of their set, they told people to come to their merch table to say Hi and meet them. There are not too many bands that do this anymore. Good old fashioned one on one with the fans (and free, which is even more rare these days), making it even more of a spectacular memory for us. Amazing band, don’t miss them. They also played a great selection of songs.

Are you ready … look to the stage, and you know who is about to come out ready for battle, with military boxes, ammo, nets, and helmets. “Fast as the wind, the invasion has begun”, Sabaton hits the stage full blast, and never slows down.  “Thus, earning their name, earning the fame”. There is no doubt about the intensity of the night, the fans were going crazy, but it also matched the powerhouse of Joakim. He chatted with the audience between songs, which he kept saying we were crazy. 😉 Yes, we are, and proud to say so. Especially when you get 90 minutes of your favourite band. We would go “Through the gates of hell” to be there and show our support. In fact, I haven’t seen so many crowd surfers in a long time. All happy, and giving security high fives as they go by. At one point Joakim asked if we wanted him to sing in Swedish or English, guess what we picked, “Swedish”, now he really thinks we are crazy. But there is something really unique when a song is sung in their own native language. I didn’t know the words of course, but I sure enjoyed.

Of course, for 2 very young Sabaton fans, they had something extra special, they were asked to come on stage. They got wrist bands, picks, a drum stick, and well just being on stage is FREAKIN AMAZING, and of course, one of the boys got Joakim’s sunglasses. God how I wish I was young 😉, or maybe next time, pick some of the older fans, hint hint.

We are the samurai and like Saigō Takamori we also make our last stand, in support of Sabaton. Some say the fans "Went to Hell and Came Back", and maybe we did, it was like a battle in the Vogue, all sweaty, sore muscles, and voices hurting from all the yelling as we sang along. Still feel a little quilty though for enjoying, smiling, and just being so darned happy even though they are singing about some very historic wars. Yes, buy their CD’s, vinyl’s, shirts, but please, SEE THEM LIVE. Best concert ever.

Remaining tour dates:
May 11 - City National Grove - Anaheim, CA
May 12 - Marquee Theatre - Tempe, AZ
May 14 - Gothic Theater - Englewood. CO
May 16 - Trees - Dallas, CA
May 17 - Alamo Music Hall - San Antonio, TX
May 18 - Scout Bar - Houston, TX
May 20 - Orpheum - Tampa, FL
May 21 - The Underground - Charlotte, NC
May 22 - The Filmore - Silver Spring, MD