Sabaton brought The Great War to North America as part of their Great Tour, along with Swedish legends Hammerfall. The tour made a stop in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 21, 2019, and destroyed all in their path as part of their quest for total world domination.
The Sabaton faithful showed up in their band inspired street camo pants. Previous sabaton tour shirts pledged their allegiance to the Swedish battalion.
The evening started off with Hammerfall, who are also legends in their homeland of Sweden. Sabaton themselves have even credited Hammerfall as musical inspirations. Led by vocalist Joacim Cans, Hammerfall took the Salt Lake crowd on a power metal history lesson that spans 25+ years. Songs like “Renegade” and “Let The Hammer Fall” took fans back to the origins of the band. Songs like “Never Forgive and Never Forget” solidified Hammerfall relevance in 2019. The setlist encompassed 10 separate albums by the legendary band.
A set change was necessary to prepare for the ensuing blitzkrieg of power metal that was to invade the auditory as well as visual senses. The tension began to grow as false alarms were seen on stage as techs set up the necessary gear needed for the show. The countdown began as the masses shouted “Sabaton” and a projected video began. A short film gave an account of America’s involvement in World War 1 and brought awareness to a much-needed WWI memorial. The video abruptly ended, and the battle was imminent. Soon shadows of the band could be seen. The familiar voice of singer Joakim Brodén could be heard announcing the battle cry, “Alright Salt Lake City, we are Sabaton and this is Ghost Division.”
Just like that the crowd was thrust into “Ghost Division.” The drums of Hannes van Dahl sounded like mortars exploding in the venue. His drum kits position was atop a tank. The thumping bass of Pär Sundström sounded like boots marching in unison on the battlefield. The set continued as Sabaton launched into the title track from their latest album Great War. The song is a humbling account from the perspective of an infantry soldier in the war to end all wars. Poised to strike, “Resist and Bite” was propelled at the crowd, followed by “Fields of Verdun.” Chris Rörland and Tommy Johansson used their six string axes as weapons to breach the eardrums of the crowds. When things on the ground seemed lost the attack turned to the sky with “The Red Barron.” Shortly after that the mighty “Bismarck” was deployed to continue the offensive by sea.
Sabaton soon switched gears and took the crowd into the history of Sweden with “The Lion of the North.” Next was my favorite Sabaton song, “Carolus Rex.”
“Shiroyama,” the last stand of the Samurai took the battle back to the forefront in Salt Lake City. “Night Witches,” the silent strike from above took the battle back to the air. “The Lost Battalion” led up to what would seem like “The Last Stand” for Salt Lake City. Awe, but out of nowhere would appear “82nd All the Way” led by Sergeant Alvin York.
A short reprieve would ensue, followed by the landing in Normandy “Primo Vicotria.” It was now time to celebrate VICTORY!!! “Swedish Pagans” would take Salt Lake City safely to the hands of the gods.
By the end of the night, the crowd had been “To Hell and Back” and would not forget what had been delivered. Sabaton could have played until the sun brought the dawn of a new day. The crowd was poised to raise the roof of the building as well as the flag of Sabaton. All good things must come to an end, but Sabaton came, saw and kicked Salt Lake City’s asses. This would signify the surrender of Salt Lake City and another city conquered on the road to total world domination.