|Celebrating Amon Amarth's headline show at the Ace of Spades, Sacramento CA|
Saturday's show at the Ace of Spades
was for sure a death metal night, and it was already off to a great start before 7 p.m., with a line of fans stretching right around the block, waiting for the doors to open. Many of them did, indeed, look a little like Vikings--Amon Amarth were topping the bill--and many were really big, tall dudes, making me wonder if you really do have to be of a certain stature to really appreciate this style of metal... or if death metal makes you grow taller? (Or... are we acting on inate herd behaviour, and gravitating to the the people, musicians, who look most like us?)
|Johan Hegg, Amon Amarth, at the Ace of Spades, Sacramento CA|
Three bands on the bill on a Saturday evening: Skeletonwitch
, and then top-of-the-night, Amon Amarth
. First time for me seeing any of these guys: and while I've listened to Amon Amarth, I had no clue what to expect from the two supporting bands. More death metal, heavy-heavy metal, I expected. And for the most part, that's what it was.
|Amon Amarth, Ace of Spades, Sacramento CA|
Headliners, Amon Amarth: songs for Vikings, and oh my... when Johan Hegg walked, no, strode! on stage, I had visions of longboats arriving on the northern shores of England, and marauding men striding up the beaches, with spears and shields and wearing helmets with horns on. (Yes, it was on the stage artwork, but Johan made it real... he is NOT short.) Johan Hegg wasn't wearing a viking hemet, but he was carring a horn (drinking vessel?), attached to his belt. And his voice is enough to make villages quake!
|Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth, Ace of Spades, Sacramento CA|
Great fun... I can't say I could understand the lyrics, (it's the death-metal-vocal-style), but the fun was immense. Lots of growling. Lots of headbanging and swirling of hair and beards. Excellent guitar and bass. Extremely involved and invested fans!
Many more photos from Amon Amarth's show in the Toon's Tunes photo gallery
|Sabaton, Ace of Spades, Sacramento CA|
were the middle act between the death metal sandwich of openers Skeletonwitch and headliners Amon Amarth (ouch!) They were not what I expected! Not death metal but something weirdly, intriguingly good... imagine a mix of Deep Purple, Queen, Europe ("The Final Countdown"), Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, and The Village People. And no growling!
|Joakim Brodén of Sabaton, Ace of Spades, |
Not what I expected at all. ("Village People in Camo Pants", that's how singer Joakim Brodén described the band.)
Oh did I mention? It works, really, REALLY well! If you don't believe me, check out the official lyric video for To Hell And Back
And the look... everyone in urban-grey camo pants. Even bassist Pär Sundström"s bass was camo. And Joakim Brodén was wearing a (vest? flack jacket?) which can only be described as something a grown-up teenage ninja turtle might wear on a night on the town...
(Sabaton, like Amon Amarth, are from Sweden. There is a lot of excellent, very-heavy metal that comes out of the Nordic countries.)
Lots and lots of Sabaton
fans in the audience. Great show, great interaction with the audience, really good music--I loved Sabaton
! (All the songs are about war--not Viking wars, but more recent conflicts.) Will definitely put them on my list of Bands to See Again.
|Chris Rörland, Sabaton, Ace of Spades, Sacramento|
Many more photos from Sabaton's show at the Ace of Spades are in the Toon's Tunes photo gallery
|Skeletonwitch, Ace of Spades, Sacramento CA|
Opening the show was Skeletonwitch
: also death metal, also with a big fan following--that's why so many people turned up early for the show. Photos from their show in the Toon's Tunes photo gallery now!
Beautiful artwork on thei backdrops and drums, plus some rather impressive armbands... lethal weapons, those!
|Fans watching Sabaton, Ace of Spades, Sacramento CA|
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