Sabaton & Hammerfall
October 19th, 2019
Live in Calgary Alberta
The Palace Theatre
Story by JP
Photos by Randy
Over the past decade the mid-to large level European bands have fallen into a nice pattern of touring the secondary markets (i.e. North America) in the autumn after the end of the big money-making European festival season. Occasionally these bands will do a little pre-summer tour in North America as well, almost like a warm-up for the summer season. Like clockwork, bands like Sabaton and Hammerfall have been hitting these secondary markets year after year and this year was no exception. Both bands had been in town several times in the past few years. It is the fifth time in five years Sabaton has been in Calgary and the 3rd time in three years that Hammerfall has been in Calgary. Now in 2019, they toured together in a pretty flawless Power Metal double bill.
Hitting the same venue as last time, The Palace is an old converted movie theater with good sight-lines. It was pretty cramped as the near-2000 capacity venue was sold out well in advance. Next time Sabaton might have to upgrade to a bigger venue.
It seemed weird to me that Hammerfall who have been around significantly longer and have more albums than Sabaton were the openers, but the numbers don’t lie, Sabaton is the bigger band right now. As is often the case the venue just wasn’t prepared for the massive influx of people and the show started 30 minutes late. However, that is far more desirable than starting right on time while hundreds of people are still standing outside in the line-up!
I’ve seen both bands many times and both are humming along at arguably the height of their power and popularity. As a side note, I’m pretty late with this review, the North American leg of the tour is over so this will be a bit more of a photo essay of a killer double bill!
Hammer fall started off with a striped down stage and their mascot Hector did not make an appearance, but the band just delivered the classic/traditional/Power metal goods for an hour of Heavy Metal heaven.
Sabaton is not the first band to have their stage set up to look like a tank and they probably won’t be the last but ya gotta admit, it looked pretty cool. The only issue was that the tank was big it obscured the rear screen projector making it hard to see! The band ripped through a greatest hits set started with the somewhat predictable ‘Ghost Division’ and never looked back.
Both bands came and saw and conquered Calgary once again. Hammerfall even announced they would return in 2020! I’ll be there!