OCTOBER 1st 2014
Review By: Metal Mom
Photos By: Char Tupper/Peter Ruttan

Where to start, I was counting down the days for this tour as soon as I knew about it. Time felt like it was standing still, it was painful, but today is the day. We quickly stood in line since , for once, a long line was out-front the Commodore. That being said, the show was after all, SOLD OUT! Not often that a metal show attains that.

As my usual, I got in and rushed up to my spot right up front, but off to the side just in case some moshing happened. My safe zone. Surprisingly though, it didn’t really look like a sold out show.

So first up tonight is SKELETONWITCH (https://www.facebook.com/skeletonwitchmetal), a heavy metal band from Athens, Ohio that formed in 2003, and these metallers came to crush Vancouverites. They succeeded, from the onslaught of cheers and horns high, they played a variety of songs from their repertoire. The floor had also filled up a lot more, and I was surprised I could stand up front and not get slammed in the back. Skeletonwitch is brutal, shred masters at their finest. They had the crowd’s attention, and held it for their whole set.

Set up for the next band took too long for me, because you see, this is who I came for.  SABATON, (https://www.facebook.com/sabaton?sk=wall) rising from the history books out of Falun, Sweden in 1999. A couple of years back I was first introduced to the music of Sabaton, and I have been captivated ever since. There are two original members, Joakim Brodén and bassist Pär Sundström, and joining them to continue carrying the shield is Chris Rörland, Thobbe Englund, and Hannes van Dahl, who complete the army. You know, I often feel a little guilty listening and enjoying so much when they are telling the stories of such tragedies of war. They do it with such vigor and talent, you just have to smile, jump, raise your horns, clap your hands, do whatever because SABATON knows how to please a crowd. They have so much energy, always swapping sides on stage, smiling, it’s so obvious how much they enjoy what they do, and it transfers to the crowd. The band played numerous songs from their catalogue, the crowds went crazy for each and every one, shouting Sabaton, cheering and clapping in-between. Everyone was singing right along, including myself (off key of course), but I didn’t care, I don’t think I could have enjoyed their set more than I did. They executed it to perfection. The crowd appreciated every minute they could get. The only downside to Sabaton’s set, it was way too short for my liking. In fact, if there was only Sabaton on stage for the whole time, I would have been in my glory. I listened all the way home to their cd’s, and am still listening to it today. There is nothing better to me, then experiencing such talent in all five of these musicians. Please come back soon, and thank you for coming to Vancouver and giving us such an amazing show.

Last tonight, is none other than AMON AMARTH (https://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth?sk=wall) ,a viking death metal band from Tumba, Sweden who was founded in 1992. I stood up front and I knew that it would not last long, the crowd spilled onto the floor, and had me crushed into the rail. The crowd can surprise you though, and leave you alone, but that wasn’t going to happen tonight, I only stood up front for 2 songs before I was crushed, so I had to get out. That floor was absolutely packed, with non stop crowd surfers, drunks and lots of blood, yes, blood, and maybe a broken bone. Now this is not something that’s normal for Amon Amarth, at least not that I have seen.  I have travelled down to Seattle to catch them the last couple of times, as they didn’t come to Canada, and fans in Seattle, just go crazy enjoying, singing, but that didn’t happen tonight. The guys played a variety of songs, and you knew the crowds favourites, because they went berserk, I am not kidding. I have never seen a crowd like that. I think I enjoyed a handful of songs, some I didn’t recognize, but I hate to say it, they started to blend together. I am not saying it was boring, because I do, like everyone else, enjoy Amon Amarth. I figure I would have enjoyed more if there was a little more variety. That is just my opinion though.

I enjoyed this lineup tonight, it was good, and it had something for everyone. You know if I had to pick my favourite, it would have to be Sabaton. Hands down. Great show, great set, and all around enjoyable from start to finish. That being said however, all three bands gave 110% and played excellent sets to a sold out Vancouver crowd.