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Iced Earth Sabaton Revamp tour poster 2014

Hail power fucking metal! To regular readers, I’m sure it is abundantly clear by now that I love power metal in all its cheesy glory. I’m sure there are reasons people don’t like it, but I can’t figure them out at all.

As a continuation of the Week of Mayhem whereupon Vancouver was gifted with five amazing shows in eight nights (one of which landed on my birthday) I attended Iced Earth‘s headlining show at The Venue (what a creative venue name) with Sabaton and Revamp opening. There was also a Meet and Greet with Sabaton and Revamp, which I absolutely attended. It was really cool meeting Sabaton, whom I am a big fan of. I wanted to get an interview with them to talk about military history, but sadly, it was not to be. Still, it was great getting some things signed, plus now I have a pre-order for their new album.

On to the show!

First off, I have to say that, due to the lack of a photo pit, I was not able to get great photos. I’m none too happy about this, but what do you expect from a venue that doesn’t actually name itself?

Revamp is the band of the super talented singer Floor Jansen, who is the newest vocalist for Nightwish, and she has previously worked with prog master Arjen Lucassen on his Star One project. I went into the show without knowing much about the band aside from having listened to a couple of songs a few months ago. With that in mind, I was fairly impressed by their live set. Floor Jansen is a fantastic vocalist, with quite a lot of charm and power to her voice. Revamp is not your average female-fronted Nightwish-ripoff band, but rather a much harder edged progressive metal type group. and are quite fun to listen to. They even managed to get a moshpit going, which isn’t always a given for opening bands. While they weren’t revolutionary, Revamp was enjoyable and enough to make me into a fan.

Revamp setlist

  1. Wild Card
  2. Head Up High
  3. The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown: On the Sideline
  4. The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown: The Limbic System
  5. In Sickness ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain
  6. Wolf and Dog

Up next were the Swedish pagans known as Sabaton, who are absolutely one of the most enjoyable power metal bands of all time. I have seen them before, and the energy these guys always bring to the stage is phenomenal. This time was no different. Their opener, “Ghost Division” is a great opener, which is likely why they’ve used it as such for every tour since it was released on the magnificent The Art of War album. Right from the start, the crowd was completely into it, singing along, jumping around like maniacs and, every time the band finished a song, a chant of “Sabaton! Sabaton!” would spring up from all corners of the venue. The band, and especially frontman Joakim Broden, were clearly really feeling it. The set included one new song, “To Hell And Back” from their upcoming new album Heroes. It is a great song even if by this point Sabaton don’t really deviate from their tried-and-tested formula. The chorus is as strong as any other Sabaton song, always the best part of their music. The closers of “Primo Victoria” got the crowd jumping around like mad and then the fist-pumping metal anthem “Metal Crue” was the perfect cap to their night, driving the crowd absolutely wild. Their ten-song setlist was far too short for the band, and I hope to see them as headliners again soon.

Sabaton setlist

  1. Ghost Division
  2. Gott Mit Uns
  3. Carolus Rex
  4. Swedish Pagans
  5. To Hell and Back
  6. White Death
  7. 40:1
  8. The Art of War
  9. Primo Victoria
  10. Metal Crüe
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The headliners for this show was the American power metal group Iced Earth. This was another band I had seen before a couple years ago. This time around, I felt somewhat disappointed. Vocalist Stu Block‘s voice wasn’t great, but I found out later that it was due to him having bronchitis, so he gets a pass for sounding even as good as he did. The setlist was somewhat disappointing though. It felt too short and the songs they chose were not quite as good as the first time I’d seen them. They opened with the title track from their new album, Plagues of Babylon, which is a great song, but other than that and the song “V” there really wasn’t any point where I felt very invested in to any of the songs until their encore, which consisted of the fantastic anthem “Dystopia“, the tragic ballad “Watching Over Me” and the band’s eponymous song. I had been under the impression that the set would include classics such as “The Hunter” and “The Coming Curse” so the exclusion of those songs was disappointing. Given that Stu was sick however, it perhaps makes some sense that they didn’t include as many songs. The most telling moment of how they were received was that Stu had to prompt the audience to chant their name. When you have do that while the band that went on before got raucous chants for them between every song, you know you had an off night. That said, it was a decently enjoyable set, just not one that will stand out as a favourite.

Iced Earth setlist

  1. Plagues of Babylon
  2. Democide
  3. Burning Times
  4. V
  5. Red Baron/Blue Max
  6. If I Could See You
  7. Vengeance Is Mine
  8. Cthulhu
  9. My Own Savior


  1. Dystopia
  2. Watching Over Me
  3. Iced Earth

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I walked away from the show having thoroughly enjoyed Sabaton, been pleasantly surprised by Revamp, and mildly disappointed by Iced Earth. I know that these bands will return eventually, and I know that they can each put on better shows than they did, even Sabaton who were at the top of their game which tells just how good they are.

Until the next show, then!
Kevin writer banner Jan 2014