I was urged to go and watch Sabaton by most of my fellow camp-mates...I'm glad I listened to them.
When a band uses 'The Final Countdown' as it's intro music, it's probably fairly safe to assume that they don't take themselves too seriously. Sabaton definitely couldn't be accused of that, but that's not a criticism, far from it. I have to admit to being a little weary of the 'dark and serious' mood that often surrounds metal music. Surely a band can be serious about their music whilst having some fun with it? Well thank-you Sabaton for hitting that nail squarely on the head.
Five Swede's in matching combat trousers burst out onto the stage and frontman Joakim Broden literally tears up the stage as he runs up and down, matching the upbeat tempo of opener 'Ghost Division'. This guy has more energy than the Duracell bunny on a doughnut binge! Unfortunately, technical problems at the end of the first song brought a halt to proceedings. But fear not, this merely gave Joakim the chance to showcase another of his talents in the form of stand-up comedy. He decides to share with the crowd a note from his dressing room which politely requests that he doesn't swear between songs. This is a problem he says, "not because I feel the need to swear all the time, but because I have a very limited English vocabulary!" He then offers beer to whoever is first to let him know if he slips up, which he does, twice.
Technical issues resolved, they continue the set with 'Gott Mit Uns' until Joakim realises that he doesn't have his trademark armour vest, “the airport f'd that up”. Luckily someone in the crowd is wearing a replica and offers to loan it for the duration of the set, in exchange for a 6-pack.
Despite lyrical content mainly centring on war, Sabaton manage to keep it fun. Their lyrics tell stories of conflict and the band members are like history teachers to the 'metal masses'. Powerful, harmonic riffs, gunfire drums and commanding vocals evoke a kind of primeval emotion.
They made me laugh, headbang and try to sing along to lyrics I didn't know. If that doesn't make for good festival fodder, I don't know what does. This band make infectious battle power metal and I loved it.
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