SABATON, ACCEPT & TWILIGHT FORCE – Jäähalli, Helsinki – Feb 24, 2017
My buddy Giovanni, who I know not from the metal scene, but rather from Haidong Gumdo swordfighting lessons, is well aware of my predilection for music of the punishing persuasion. Perhaps this is why he decided to punish me one day, by asking if I’d be down for some Sabaton when they’d be playing Jäähalli. Thinking it might be amusing to observe Gio at his second ever metal gig (the first was when I dragged him begrudgingly to see Possessed and Absu at a black metal festival in Italy!) where he might actually be able to get something out of the show, I acquiesced. Aaaand I decided to make him uncomfortable and ask him to jot down some post-gig thoughts from his fresh and unadulterated viewpoint, since I’m not so sure it would be kind for me to say what I actually thought of the gig… [I will, however, bitch a little about how much of a raw deal Twilight Force had gotten as far as sound engineering goes, acknowledge that I thoroughly enjoyed the professionalism, gusto and metal thunder of Accept, and when it came to Sabaton, I spent more of my time thinking about the logistics of stage production and road management to produce a “show” of that magnitude.] But I digress… take a listen to what the Sabafanboy had to say instead!
Intro and photos by Lady Enslain, text by Giovanni
The first band of the concert, Twilight Force, was obviously quite young both in age and experience. As a Pathfinder [role-playing game] player, I quite appreciated their elven clothes (and ears!) and their obvious fantasy inspiration (most probably from Dragonlance). They were nice, [and watching their cheeseball costumery and stage antics most definitely put a smile on Giovanni’s face! ~ed] but honestly not comparable with the metal giant that followed.
When Accept took the stage, I didn’t even know their name. Halfway through their concert, they were getting closer and closer to becoming my second personal favorite metal band (first stays Sabaton!). They made the whole hall feel the power of their music, and I was probably jumping for them without realizing. They were amazing.
Then Sabaton, my ultimate favorite band, finally arrived. I guess from this point on I can hardly be objective, but when they started playing, I started having my best metal night ever. Song after song I was jumping and singing (screaming could be more descriptive probably) their songs together with the whole hall. It was just great. Just great.
Most of the songs were obviously from The Last Stand, the tour’s album, but to celebrate Finland they also played “White Death,” “Soldier of 3 Armies” and of course “Talvisota”; and included a lot of fire and some fireworks. Other songs like “Carolus Rex,” “Lion from the North,” “Night Witches” and “Primo Victoria” completed the show.
As singer Joakim Brodén said, Sabaton has been multiple times in Helsinki, and so they had to be sure to make a great show for us. They definitely succeeded.