Sabaton – Vogue Theatre, Vancouver – October 16th, 2019

On Valentines Day in 2018 I got to spend my evening with a bunch of blonde Swedes, with around 1000 of my closest friends 😊.  Tonight, we got to do it all over again, as Sabaton returned to the Vogue Theatre on the first Canadian leg of The Great Tour.

The band have a new album out, The Great War, which this time around has a focus on World War I and has been getting a lot of praise since it’s release.  Whilst Tommy Johansson was touring with them before the release of the album, this is the first one on which he has featured.

Along with a new album the band have really amped up the stage set as well.  This time out drummer Hannes van Dahl, is seated high up in the rafters astride a huge tank loaded with two massive machine guns.  It is a striking visual, which has the audience in the mood way before the set begins.  So much so that even the sound check guy was getting chants from the crowd.  The fans were clearly hear to party.

With the lights dimmed the set opened with the familiar Ghost division and wasn’t long before camouflaged fans of all ages and sexes where crowd surfing over the barrier, most notable was one decked out in full WWI battle gear complete with gas mask. I have no idea how this one survived the night because it was steaming in venue.

The band went all out with tracks from the new album in the first half of the set, with Great War, Fields of Verdun, and The Attack of the Dead Men, followed up by some hearty audience participation in for The Red Baron. All songs were complimented by some great video back up to set the mood.

The Lion from the North marked a frenzied change of pace, as the band slipped into thrash metal territory, much to the delight of the crowd, which quite frankly were lapping up anything the band had to offer.  It seemed very much like the band were enjoying the show too. Lead singer Joakim Brodén had a smile on his face for the entire show, and several times seemed genuinely touched by the audience response.

The latter part of the set was full on favourites, including my favourite The Lost Battalion, The Last Stand, and closing out with To Hell and Back.

Hopefully the band will not have to go that far before they are back in Vancouver, and if tonight’s show is anything to go by the rest of the Canadian dates on the tour are going to be epic.

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