SABATON - Heroes On Tour
March 15, 2016, 2 years ago
One of the fastest rising stars in the metallic universe, the Swedes tour relentlessly, headlining the biggest European festivals (as evident on this 2 DVD, one CD package), yet are still an opening act in North America. The band has repeatedly been handpicked by Iron Maiden, as a support act, on both sides of the Atlantic. This is their third live package since 2011. World War Live: Battle Of The Baltic Sea featured one complete show, from their annual self-financed cruise and a second, compilation of 2010 dates. An accompanying DVD showed a third concert, from 2008, at their annual Open Air festival, in hometown of Falun. Swedish Empire Live offered DVD/CD formats for multiple dates on the Carolus Rex tour, including a headline gig at the 100,000 person Woodstock fest (Poland), as well as club dates in Gothenburg and Oberhuasen. Unbelievably, the Earbook edition had visuals of a full London show, as well! Saw them eight times, in Canada, US, Germany and the UK, between the Carolus Rex and Heroes records.
Enter the new, triple disc Heroes On Tour: audio culled from the titular album, again headlining at Wacken (vast portions of said performance were available online, thanks to simulcasts on German television). While they aired 15 songs at Wacken 2015, a Sabaton gig is more than just music, including pyro/effects and the self-deprecating, oft profanity laced humor of frontman Joakim Broden, some evident on the CD, which contains just the Wacken performance. The first of a pair of accompanying DVDs includes the same '15 Wacken set, professionally mixed/edited. The second disc, 18 songs from the same year, at their hometown, outdoor show, allows the user to alternate angles/cameras. After “Ghost Division”, one of the greatest concert openers anywhere, the crowd starts yelling "Noch ein bier," the ongoing "joke" between Broden and the German people (although thanks to YouTube, fans at virtually every concert shout the same thing), demanding he drink a beer. The chant gets louder, after successive songs, when he doesn't oblige. The legend has taken on a life of its own, changing the titular chorus of “Gott Mit Uns” to "noch ein bier" and last year, staging a live open air Deutsche festival under said banner! High energy, start to finish, with plenty of audience participation and no less than a half dozen Heroes tracks aired. “Screaming Eagles” ends the proper set, returning to the stage for a three song encore, kicked off by the ultra-fast “Night Witches”. The setlist, while skewed towards the last two studio platters, offers a good selection of the Swedes' military history themes, perfect for investigating, if you have yet to fall under their spell.