Saxon 8-12-22 @Gröna Lund in Stockholm, Sweden

The sound of clattering roller-coaster and screaming riders can engulf Gröna Lund, Stockholm, Sweden, but on August 12, 2022, the sounds of “Heavy Metal Thunder” would silence any auditory signs of an amusement park as the mighty Saxon brought their own brand of heavy metal to Stockholm.

Saxon’s roots go far back into Sweden as the band played their many times in the early 80’s and toured there as openers. As the doors for the show began to let fans through a number of younger die-hard fans immediately made their way to the front wearing their  denim jackets covered with their favorite bands patches.

The area around the stage filled up quickly as the show was about to begin.  Saxon took the stage and it would be the last time rollercoasters and their riders would be heard for almost two hours.  Saxon opened with “Motorcycle Man,” and the crowd began to cheer wildly.  Saxon then quickly struck the crowd with “Thunderbolt” from the 2018 album bearing the same name. A quick introduction was in order and followed by “Wheels of Steel.” A tribute to Lemmy was in order and “They Played Rock and Roll” was the perfect song for that tribute.

Biff’s stage presence was that of a legend as the band blasted into “Strong Arm of Law.”  At this point “Denim and Leather” began with its familiar drumbeat followed by the guitar riff that has been mimicked numerous times over the years. Denim jackets began flying through the air landing on stage. Biff picked up one and inspected it and put it on. The jacket was obviously too small, but he wore it proudly anyway. He then took it off signed it and sent it back to the owner while singing “Battering Ram.” He explained afterwards that they always examine jackets for a Saxon patch before wearing it. If there isn’t one prominently attached, they tear it up on stage.

The set continued with “Dogs of War / Solid Ball of Rock,” and bass player Nibbs Carter shed his bass to put on a fan’s denim jacket while Biff took over bass duties momentarily.

The show continued with every classic song one would expect at a proper Saxon show. They saved the essentials for the end of the show.  “The Power and the Glory” was followed by my personal favorite anthem, “Heavy Metal Thunder.” 

The band leisurely exited the stage, but no one was fooled because we all knew they would be back.

Indeed, they were, for a crushing live version of “Crusader.”  One more encore would delight the hungry crowd, it would include the classic “747 (Strangers in the Night)” which was followed by an introduction of the band that had just thrilled us for almost two hours. The final song of the evening was “Princess of the Night.”

As the show came to an end, the sounds of an amusement park resumed. The legend of Saxon will live on long after they are gone, but they are still around going strong.  So don’t let another opportunity pass you by, see Saxon while they are still killing it on stage. 

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