Our Swedish friends just can’t stop visiting Vancouver. The latest in a string of great acts from Scandinavia to visit the city were Hammerfall, who were touring to promote their latest album, Dominion. Hammerfall were opening for Sabaton at the Vogue Theatre on a very wet Wednesday. I think it is fair to say I have never seen such a long line up for the coat check at the venue. It was so long in fact I only just managed to make it to the pit as the band were taking to the stage.
There has been a lot of noise recently about support acts not getting the appreciation they deserve, if that is generally the case, it certainly wasn’t tonight. Sabaton’s fans had arrived early, and they were fully onboard with what Hammerfall had to offer.
It was a first time for me seeing them, and I was very impressed. There music is solid no-nonsense metal. It was almost a throwback to the shows of the early ‘80’s. Great fist pumping, head-banging music that everyone could get into.
Over the space of an hour the band managed to crank out almost a dozen great tracks, opening with Never Forgive, Never Forget, and One against the world from the new album. It was clear from the start that a decent number of the crowd were fully familiar with the words and were ready to rock..we would get to hear the title track later in the set.
The set was high energy with singer Joacim Cans doing well to run around a stage which was somewhat tighter than normal due to the size of Sabaton’s tank ( I mean drum riser 😊 ). Founder member and guitarist Oscar Dronjak wasn’t far behind in the amount of ground he covered onstage.
Highlights of the set included the anthemic crowd pleaser Hammer High, and the corny, but catchy (We Make ) Sweden Rock. I think by the end of the set there was no one left in any doubt not only do Hammerfall make Sweden rock , they do a damn good job of making Vancouver rock too.
At the end of the set the band mentioned that they are hoping to be back for a headlining tour early next year, and based on tonight’s show, I am sure that will be a sell-out also.
Photos: Stewart Johnstone