Swedish Outbreak Tour 2012
Imminence – support act
11/3 – 2012
Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The Hammerfall show was the first live show for me this year and what better way to begin the gig year than an exclusive and intimate club tour with Hammerfall. Together with Volkswagen automobiles, Hammerfall out on an 11 gig tour through Sweden and you can follow the tour on the bands website where they also say what they think about the test-bus from Volkswagen they're driving through Sweden. In a few selected cities the band is holding signing sessions at the local Volkswagen car shop. In Malmoe, Hammerfall landed at the best club in town – Kulturbolaget, and the show was set to begin at 8pm. Imminence was the support act who I had never heard before. I looked forward to see if their music and performance could manage without all the pyro and flames and big stage show that they usually use on the larger stages.
It went pretty fast to get into the club and I couldn't see any fence in front of the stage which meant that I was going to have a hard time taking pictures but I guess that the band wanted to get closer to the fans and therefore had asked for no fence. The only thing showing on stage was a drum-kit and the Hammerfall backdrop. The audience consisted of a mix of younger kids that went to the show with their parents or an older sibling and headbangers in denim vests and patches.
The band walked in and only stood there. It felt a little awkward to look at a band that doesn't begin to play the moment they arrive on stage. It turned out that everyone but the singer was on stage and when he entered began the band to play. After the first song the singer said that it was an honor to be opening for Hammerfall. It was a strange choice to put Imminence as the support act because their thrash music with progressive elements had little in common with Hammerfall. Their music sounded tight but the weak link was the singer and his vocals that didn't really carry the music well. 30 minutes flew by and soon it was time for Imminence to say good bye to the Malmoe crowd.
A lot more people had dropped into the club and you feel the excitement in the air. After about 30 minutes was it time for Hammerfall to enter the stage to the tones of the intro to the song “Patient Zero”.
As soon as the band showed up, the crazy audience screamed their lungs out (something that kept on going pretty consistently during the entire show) and while the first note was played on “Patient Zero” the singer, Joakim Cans, came running onto the stage and kicked off the show.
The band members are:
Joakim Cans – lead vocals
Pontus Norgren – guitar
Anders Johansson – drums
Fredrik Larsson – bass
Oscar Dronjak – guitar
“Heeding The Call” and “Any Means Necessary” followed and Cans had the crowd in the palm of his hand right from the very start. Cans said it was nice to be back in Malmoe again and that it had been a while since their last visit to Sweden's third largest city. Cans said that he felt that the crowd was much better than the previous crowds in the cities they had visited and urged everyone to sing a long in the next song which was “Bang Your Head” taken from the latest album INFECTED. The temperature had risen pretty fast and the club was really hot when Cans introduced the song “Blood Bound” and the crowd sang a long throughout the entire song. Norgren and Dronjak delivered some really edgy guitar riffs and they are very compatible. Even if Cans not may be the best singer in the world, you can't take away the fact that he is a strong frontman! Cans continued telling us that it has been 15 years since Hammerfall released their debut album and that this summer at the end of July they will do their biggest show ever to celebrate that. It's going to take place in a natural built amphitheater called Dalhalla and the event is going to be recorded. The next song was taken from the debut album and it was “Glory To The Brave” and it was shortly followed by “Last Man Standing”.
It was really different to see Hammerfall without all the flames, sparks, pyro and the usual bigass stage show but it was not an unpleasant experience. The major thing that struck me was that many of the songs sounds almost the same and that Dronjak still hasn't learned how to play guitar properly. It's Norgren who is the strongest guitarist of the two just like Stefan Elmgren was before he left. A motorcycle roar came out from the speakers and when you hear that you know what song to expect - “Renegade”. It was followed by “Riders Of The Storm” taken from the 2002 year hit album CRIMSON THUNDER. Dronjak contributed with a shorter solo but what I think of that can be left behind. Cans said it was time to head back to 1998 and the song “Legacy Of Kings” and it seemed like Cans had a great time on stage because he laughed and joked around all the time. It was Cans and Dronjak who took care of the audience the most and Norgren and Larsson had a more laid back attitude and focused more on the music. Cans let the audience scream the end of the title “Let the Hammer Fall” after which he introduced the band. “The Dragon Lies Bleeding” and “The Templar Flame” ended the show and the band had been playing for about 75 minutes.
The audience screamed and cheered their favorite band out on stage again for encores and the band shortly returned and fired off the first encore which was “Glory To The Brave” and Cans wanted the crowd to sing the first verse which the of course did. Both the sound and the lights worked perfectly and luckily the band didn't use a smoke machine at all. “One More Time” and the bands biggest hit “Hearts On Fire” put an end to the show. Cans said that they couldn't leave before they had played a song with the word heart in the title. It felt like the older songs worked better on the Malmoe crowd and Cans thanked everyone for being there and for making the show a super show. Altogether lasted the show for about 90 minutes and by then was I satisfied.
The show was a standard show, not really great but not bad either but I bet that the younger fans was really pleased with what they had seen. It was what you could expected from a band of Hammerfall's caliber. The most fun this night was to see Johansson in action behind the drums. Normally he is jammed way in the back amongst his drums and amps and stuff but now sat he more closer to the fans and it was amazing to see such a legend in action.
Heeding The Call
Any Means Necessary
Steel Meets Steel
Last Man Standing
Riders Of The Storm
Guitarsolo by Dronjak
Legacy Of Kings
Let The Hammer Fall
The Dragon Lies Bleeding
The Templar Flame
Glory To The Brave
One More Time
Hearts On Fire
Thanks to the head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass. Thanks to Kristian Kornhage head of press for Kulturbolaget.