Swedish power metal band Sabaton released their newest album The Last Stand in 2016. Their name is a reference to a knight’s foot armor. Since the release of the new album, Sabaton has been actively on tour in support of it. They treated their US fans by announcing a tour and their return since they last came in 2017. They didn’t come alone, tho. They brought with them German thrash metal legends Kreator and Los Angeles-based thrash metal band, Exmortus. A bill stacked like this was sure to please metal fans of all ages and guaranteed to be a good time.
Exmortus started their show at 7pm sharp to an already filled venue. Plenty of fans wearing the band’s merch was seen so you know there were fans in attendance. Exmortus released their newest album Ride Forth in 2016 and have been touring almost non stop in support of it. Exmortus came out and started the show with Immortality Made Flesh from their previous album, Slave to the Sword. A shred-tastic song to kick things off. Foe Hammer was the next song of choice followed by a song from the newest album, Death to Tyrants. Exmortus has been rising to the top with their thrash metal music with their tasty and catchy riffs. They are also heavily influenced by classical music and it is shown as they played a cover of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (Act 3). Regardless of whether you’re a fan of classical music or not, it is a musical piece to listen to. Next, they played a cover of the instrumental intro of Foreplay/Longtime from classic rock band, Boston. Another beautifully executed instrumental cover. Exmortus bid farewell to the audience and finished their show with Metal Is King. The only disappointing part was that their performance was plagued by the Wiltern’s terrible and dark lighting making it difficult to see them. Exmortus always puts up a great performance so if they ever come to your city, be sure to check them out.
Kreator were up next with lots of fans waiting and hungry for some old school thrash metal. Kreator released their newest album Gods of Violence in 2017. The lights went out and the crowd went wild as the intro track Mars Mantra started and the members of Kreator came out and started the show with Phantom Antichrist. The crowd wasted no time in starting a mosh pit to one of Kreator‘s best songs. Hail to the Hordes is a song from the new album and was received really well with the fans. For the third song, Kreator played another one of their best songs, Enemy of God. Before that, singer/guitarist Miland “Mille” Petrozza made the mosh pit on the floor split in two and on his count of four, to crash together into a wall of death. The Los Angeles crowd did not disappoint with it. Satan Is Real is another song from the newest album and has quickly become one of the band’s most cherished songs and a staple song live. Kreator never slowed down their performance and kept up the energy and chaos as they performed songs like: People of the Lie, Phobia, Gods of Violence, and Hordes of Chaos. Petrozza went backstage for a bit and came back out with a flag with the band’s name on it. Fans of the band knew what was coming next as Petrozza waived the flag and announced it was time to wave the Flag of Hate. Kreator finished the show with Totalitarian Terror then left the stage. The crowd chanted their name and after a few minutes, Kreator came back out to deliver some more thrash metal. The first encore was Violent Revolution. The show came to an end as Petrozza asked the audience if they were ready to kill each other. With that, Kreator played what is perhaps their most famous song, Pleasure to Kill. The audience delivered a brutal mosh pit and gave Kreator a proper farewell.
The lights went out once again and the audience went wild once again as Sabaton came out and started the show with Ghost Division. Right away you’ll notice how the band’s mic stand are covered by old war helmets as well as rifles to show how they embrace their lyrics that deal with war, battles, and history. Ghost Division always makes for a great opening song as it is catchy and always the fans singing along. The next song performed was Uprising followed by Blood of Bannockburn. Sabaton always make sure that the fans are having a good time. The band is always seen smiling and interacting with fans in the crowd whether it’s fist-bumping, waving, or giving high-fives. Sabaton also tend to joke around on stage with one another which is always comedic to see. One of the highlights of the show was when singer Joakim Brodén announced to the audience that they will not be playing the crowd-favorite, Swedish Pagans. The crowd sounded disappointed, but then proceeded to chant the intro chant of the song. Guitarist Tommy Johansson played his guitar to the chanting of the audience to further fuel how badly the audience wanted the song. Brodén proceeded to call out Johannson by calling him a “motherfucker” and pointed out that the song was not on the setlist which was taped to the floor. Regardless, Brodén asked the audience if they wanted Swedish Pagans. The audience screamed as loud as they could. With Brodén convinced, the rest of the band chimed in and the band started playing Swedish Pagans. Brodén also announced that the next song would be another crowd-favorite, Gott Mit Uns (German for “God With Us”). He asked the audience if they wanted the English version or the Swedish version. In true European metal fan style, the fans obviously chose the Swedish version. Brodén made a joke on how suddenly the fans got to decide what songs Sabaton plays and how they play them. Sabaton would continue to teach the audience about war and battles as they played classics like: Night Witches, Sparta, Primo Victoria, and Winged Hussars. Now that Sabaton had come to the end of the show, it always ends with Brodén calling out a child on stage. This time, a young boy named Kyle was chosen to be up on stage while Sabaton played the final song of the night, To Hell and Back. The show came to an end and the audience stood up and gave them a standing ovation as Sabaton bowed to the fans and left the stage. If any of these three bands come to your area, be sure to check out as they are an amazing experience and you will not be dissapointed.