At the Threshold of Europe 2007
18/1 – 2007
By: Anders Sandvall
Pictures: Anders Sandvall
The European kick off of the Hammerfall tour was my first show for 2007. The show was held at Vega, a venue that has a capacity for about 1500 people and I estimated the place to be semi sold-out. As support acts Hammerfall had taken along the Swedish rockers, The Poodles and the legendary Swiss act Krokus. I have to admit that THRESHOLD opened my eyes for Hammerfall and I can honestly say that the album is brilliant, therefore I anticipated to see how the guys were about to perform the new songs.
Here in Scandinavia Hammerfall hasa pretty young fan base which was obvious when I entered the venue. Most of the crowd seemed to be at an age between 15 to 25 and the older audience was probably there to see Krokus.
The Poodles was the first act to kick off the evening and they played for about 25 minutes. There wasn’t any unnecessary talking in between the songs, the band focused instead on playing as many songs as they could. The day before the show The Poodles debut album was released in Europe and both the Swedish and the Danish fans sang along to the lyrics. To call The Poodles music hardrock is a bit misleading, instead let’s call it melodic rock/or light melodic hardrock. The band sound harder live then on cd.
After The Poodles came my childhood heroes Krokus who are now touring Europe for the second time on their new album HELLRAISER. The only remaining original member in today’s Krokus is lead singer Marc Storace. Krokus got 50 minutes to play with and they mostly played their old classic songs like “Stayed Awake All Night”, “Screaming in the Night”, “Headhunter” and “Eat the Rich”. Unfortunately Krokus felt really dull and they didn’t do their best show ever. Storace sounded really tired in his voice. Krokus did a few longer instrumental solos and that must only depend on Storace’s tired throat. The Poodles totally ran over Krokus this evening no doubt about that.
Hammerfall showed then at the top of the stage above Anders Johansson’s gigantic drumset that this time involved even more drums than before. Behind Johansson and the band was a huge backdrop with the band famous mascot Hector.
Johansson and the drumset were placed on top of bricks, besides him were two stairs on each side so the band members could run up and down.
The lighting was magical this evening. It was really nice and thought through and when the show kicked off with “Threshold” the entire Vega boiled. After that came “Templars of Steel” and “The Way of the Warrior” before singer Joakim Cans said a word.
The front combo used the stage to the fullest and ran around and got the crowd going in a really intense way. For some strange reason the band played hardly any songs from the new album THRESHOLD, that IS the album the band ought to be out to support. The only two songs from the new album were “Threshold” and “Rebel Inside” in which Cans has a little problem with the lyrics. Beside these two songs the band did the instrumental track “Reign of the Hammer” from the new cd to.
Cans did his usual talk, he got the people singing with him in “Let the Hammer Fall” and the song “Hammerfall” was dedicated to every true metal fan. Cans talked Swedish in between the songs which felt a little arrogant because they were in a different country, and even if many Danes might understand Swedish I think he could have spoken English. Hammerfall felt a bit unfocused up on stage, in the middle there was a drum solo where Johnsson lit up the cymbals. Dronjak came out with a torch attached to his guitar during his guitar solo. He proceeded to do a “Gene Simmons” and swallowed the fire, then came the best part where a scared little roadie came out and collected the torch from Dronjak. I had no idea what he was doing, it just looked stupid. No matter what people say I think it’s Elmgren that’s the real cornerstone when it comes to the guitarplay in Hammerfall.
Rosén on bass must be one of the greatest bass players around at the moment and its great fun to watch a genius at work. Luckily Cans got his voice together and he sounded actually really great this time.
The ordinary show closed with “Hammer Fall” after 70 minutes but of course the guys were cheered back on stage to do encores which were “Destined for Glory”, “Glory to the Brave” and “Heeding the Call”. But the audience wasn’t satisfied and cheered out the guys once again to do the last encore “Hearts on Fire”. After that was the show finished and the clock stopped on 95 minutes.
Templars of Steel
The Way of the Warrior
Legacy of Kings
A Legend Reborn
Let the Hammer Fall
Guitar solo – Oscar Dronjak
Reign of the Hammer (instrumental – solo Stefan Elmgren)
Destined for Glory
Glory to the Brave
Heeding the Call
Hearts on Fire
With thought that this was the first show on the European tour I have to give the band credit. But they should think about incorporateing a few more newer songs into the setlist. By now I think all the fans can sing along in the new songs.
The entire pyro-show wasn’t featured and the band lost a little on that, it needs a little more than only the songs to make the band justice on a big stage. They should also re-arrange the setlist a bit and play more new songs. The lack of photos depends on my trouble with the security; I could only take pics during one song because of the guard that kept on saying that I should leave my camera bag in the wardrobe. By the time the mishap was over there were only one song to take pics on.
For a critical soul like myself I think this was an OK show with a few rough edges that ought to be worked on otherwise it was a great night with a lot of good music. This tour is also the last with bass demon Rosen’ in the band.
Thanks to Malin Gustafsson at Sound Pollution for press/photo pass
Thanks once again to Tero “Blood Brother” Ristakoski for keeping track of the setlist
No Thanks to the Vega security guards for their ignorant behavior this evening
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