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LIVE – Sabaton, San Francisco, CA, February 9, 2013

| 12 February 2013 | Reply


Venue: Thee Parkside

City: San Francisco, CA

Date: February 9, 2013

Reviewed by: Robert Kitay

I have seen Sabaton a couple times before, but this was the first time as a headliner and the first with the new lineup.  Sabaton is probably the fastest rising star in the power metal scene, and I have been looking forward to seeing them play a full set.  This was my first time seeing a show at Thee Parkside.  Although this venue has been around for a while, it has just recently started booking big name metal bands.  As I entered Thee Parkside I noticed a pleasant courtyard area with a bar and the band merchandise area.  Reasonable prices on drinks too, about half of what you might pay at the Warfield or the Fillmore.  As I continued into the venue, I was very surprised to such a small room with a small, very low stage tucked into a corner.  There was a low ceiling and only 5 stage lights.  The setup was such that there was a very little “front of stage” area and no separation from the crowd and the band.  It was very surprising to see Sabaton playing such as small venue.

There were two decent opening bands, Midnight Chaser and Hatchet, and the crowd had already arrived in full before the first opening band took the stage.  The room was hot and packed like sardines.  When Europe’s “The Final Countdown” started playing indicating Sabaton hitting the stage, the crowd surged forward strongly.  It has been years since I’ve felt quite a crush this strong against the stage.  I tried to stay up toward the front of the stage at least long enough to get a couple good pictures, but this would prove impossible.  Behind the crush was a mosh pit that extended almost to the bar against the back wall.  In such a small venue, there would be no standing and watching the band calmly.  This was a full participation concert.

I’m not sure how their normal stage setup looks on this tour, but there was no backdrop or even a drum riser (no room), just the band, their instruments and speakers on the stage.  With the stage so low and the lighting fairly dark, it was a bit hard to see the band at times.  The sound, however, was really good, very loud and clean.  The band sounded just as good with the new lineup as it did with the previous lineup.  With the very small stage, Sabaton did not have room to work the stage as they have on the previous occasions that I’d seen them, but that didn’t keep them from extending energy and throwing fists in the air and rocking their ass off.  They were obviously enjoying themselves with big smiles and they seemed to love the crowd reaction.  They did, at one point, actually ask the crowd to stop the crush forward with Sabaton’s lead singer Joakim Broden stating that he was concerned someone might get injured and saying “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but let’s make love and not war.”  Security helped pull a couple people from the stage out of the crowd.  Yes, you could say the crowd was a little excited.

During a couple of occasion, the band gave a choice as to what song we wanted to hear.  I love when bands do that, and it’s something we seldom get these days in the ago of the static setlist.  Thankfully, one of the choices the crowd made was “Attero Dominatus,” which was just fantastic.  At what would have been the end of the regular set, the band said that normally we would leave the stage right now before coming back for the encore, but since it will be hard to leave they we’re just going to keep on playing, and play they did as they launched into a great version of “The Art of War,” followed by “Primo Victoria,” which really got the crowd jumping in unison, and finally “Metal Crue.”

Despite the tiny, crowded, and hot venue, a great show it was. I’m already looking forward to seeing them again.

Setlist: Ghost Division – Gott Mit Uns – Poltava – White Death – Carolus Rex – Karolinens Bon/Livstid I Krieg – 40:1 – Cliffs of Gallipoli – Lion From The North – Midway – Attero Dominatus – Art Of War – Primo Victoria – Metal Crue

Category: Live Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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