Sabaton’s Last Tour Marches Into Anaheim, CA

May 11, 2017
The Grove – Anaheim, CA

Swedish power metal war historians Sabaton released their eighth studio album The Last Stand on August 2016. The band’s name is a reference to a sabaton, a knight’s foot armor. The band’s main lyrical themes are based on war and historical battles and have made them very popular with fans that are interested in those subjects. With Sabaton having a huge Southern California fan-base, it was no surprise to see a huge line forming at the venue well before doors opened and made for a packed venue. Orange County was set for battle as Sabaton had plenty of surprises in store for the fans.

The stage was set as it was covered with camouflage nets, guns, and war helmets. The intro track The March to War started and fans were already excited knowing that the band was coming out real soon. The band members came out one by one as they started the show with their usual opener, Ghost Division, about Erwin Rommel and the 7th Panzer Division. It serves as a perfect opener with fast-paced music and lots of energy that also has the audience singing along. Frontman Joakim Brodén was very mobile throughout the whole show as he would often pose, do hand gestures, and kick in the air. The Art of War was the next song played and is a fan favorite where fans could once again sing along. After the performance of Blood of Bannockburn, a female fan threw her bra on stage to which Brodén picked it up and said, “I believe this is a gift for me”. He gladly put it up against his chest to display it and the fans got a good laugh out of it. A wig was also thrown on stage and the fans started chanting, “Put it on! Put it on!”. Brodén had no choice but to comply with the fans’ request so he wore the wig and straddled the sabatonsc-7mic stand in a sexual manner. The things he does to put smiles on the fans’ faces.

One of the highlights of the show was when fans started chanting the “oh-wah-oh” chorus to Swedish Pagans. Brodén let the fans know that the song wasn’t on the setlist. He asked the fans, “Do you think you could come to a Sabaton show and request Swedish Pagans to be played?” the fans cheered loudly and Brodén replied with, “You are absolutely right!”. The band started Swedish Pagans and the fans continued chanting to the chorus and everyone was on their feet, clapping, and jumping. The past few times that Sabaton has toured the USA, they had been a supporting act usually only playing 40 minutes. Now that they were a headlining act, they were able to play a much longer set. Sabaton played more fan favorites such as: Attero Dominatus, 40:1, Carolus Rex, and Screaming Eagles. At one point, Brodén gave fans the choice of what song to play next; either Poltava or Gott Mit Uns (German for “God With Us”). Fans went crazy when he announced Gott Mit Uns and so that was the song of choice. Brodén also gave the fans the choice if they wanted to hear the English version of the song or the Swedish. Roughly ten people raised their hands for the English version and everyone else raised their hands for the Swedish version of the song. So, Swedish Gott Mit Uns it was and fans were loving it. The show seemed to come to an end when the band played Winged Hussars and left the stage. Fans weren’t ready to go home just yet and kept chanting the bands name for them to come back out. Sabaton listened and started their encore set with Night Witches from their previous Heroes album. Primo Victoria is another one of the band’s most famous songs and fans loved singing along to it. Sabaton was to finish the show with To Hell and Back, but not before making a ten-year old fan super lucky by bringing him up on stage. Brodén gave the fan his signature sunglasses as a keepsake and the other band members also gave him guitar picks and drumsticks. Sabaton went on to play To Hell and Back with the young fan on stage to further prove that Sabaton loves their fans no matter what age. The show sadly came to an end and Sabaton bid farewell to their loyal fans and left the stage. Fans were seen smiling, hugging, sweating, and everything else that makes metalheads one huge and happy family.

Review by: Misael Ruiz