We were lucky enough to see Swedish rockers Sabaton sell out their tour The Great Tour, at Wembley Arena. It’s been a long time since they’ve headlined in London, but this show certainly makes up for it, with intense staging and powerful production we knew we were in for a good night!
First to take the stage are Swedish melodic metal band Amaranthe. With their strong entrance on to stage, they demand your attention with their dynamic vocals. Having three vocalists in a band, you may think it could get too much, but they compliment each other perfectly as they fly through their set with popular tracks like Maximise and Digital World. If you haven’t heard of Amaranthe before, where have you been? Their energy is infectious, and the crowd were definitely up for it! They play Download Festival for the first time this year, and you need to make sure you’re there.
Next up to warm up the crowd are Finnish instrumental rockers Apocalyptica. Instrumental music may not be your thing, but it’s impossible to deny their musical skills. Part-way through the set, they bring out Amaranthe vocalist Elize Ryd to accompany them which really brought out some depth and the crowd went wild for it! We even were surprised with a cover of Seemann by Rammstein.
Nearing the end of the set, Eicca Toppinen of Apocalyptica spoke of how the band got to this point, and personally I found it fascinating! By starting out their career covering Metallica, it all grew massively from that, which segued beautifully in to a cover of Seek And Destroy.
I think it was really smart of Sabaton to bring Apocalyptica out with them on this run, they certainly kept the crowd entertained and was filled with pure rock.
Now for the main event. The stage is set up to look like a war zone, we’ve got barbed wire across the stage, sandbags, cannons, fire, and gigantic words The Great War across the back of the stage, what more could you want? Sabaton make their way to the stage, and burst in to tracks Ghost Division and Great War. The set is quite fasted paced, they have a lot of songs to get through to give the crowd absolutely everything they’ve got. Even though it’s fast paced, it most certainly didn’t take away the quality. Every time vocalist Joakim Brodén takes time to talk to the audience, he expresses how grateful he is that the band has made it this far, and back in the day when they played the Camden venue The Underworld a few years ago.
Track Attack Of The Dead Men shows how much they take their production to the next level, not only is there fire in 90% of the set, but they have props! Gas masks are worn throughout the song which really portrays the atmosphere. Track The Red Baron displays an organ in the shape of The Red Baron plane, with a working propeller!
Working their way through the powerful set, they welcome Apocalyptica back on the stage to perform Angels Calling and Fields Of Verdun. It is easy to tell how much they enjoy performing on stage together, as faces are filled with intense expressions mixed with smiles.
Both bands exit the stage, which we can only assume is the encore to come after a heavy night of one hell of a show. D-Day footage is shown on the screens to set the scene, before more pyro hits the stage and they burst in to Primo Victoria.
Finishing off their set with To Hell And Back, Sabaton really proved what a production they can give, and presenting it to a sold out Wembley Arena really was the ticket. Ending the show with confetti, and of course more pyro, I can guarantee that everyone went home very happy with the show they’ve just witnessed – the standard has been set.