European Metal Bands Sabaton and Epica Invade the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colorado on September 28, 2022



Denver Colorado’s Fillmore Auditorium was in for a special treat with Swedish power metal masters, Sabaton and the Dutch-based symphonic metal powerhouse Epica. Sabaton invaded Denver with their “Tour To End All Tours” at the Fillmore Auditorium.  Every song on the Sabaton setlist was a sing-along with the audience. The Dutch-based symphonic metal powerhouse Epica kicked off the power metal night with their mixture of symphonic power metal and melodic death metal.

Epica is one of the original beauty and the beast symphonic metal bands. They are led by the beautiful, captivating mezzo-soprano operatic vocals of Simone Simons and the guttural vocals of guitarist and songwriting mastermind Mark Jensen.  The intense, non-stop one-hour nine-song set from Epica consisted of classic hits from their 20-year discography and a few from their latest release, Omega.

The packed house of the Fillmore Auditorium screamed and cheered as Epica ran onto the stage. Simone Simons was in prime form as Epica kicked off the night with the epic “Abyss of Time – Countdown to Singularity” from their latest 2021 release, Omega. This was followed by one of their early hits, “Sensorium.” The final song I saw from the photo pit was the dark duet “Victims of Contingency,” which is the signature Epica dichotomy of Simone’s operatic vocals to Jensen’s guttural growl through the song.

“Unchain Utopia” and “Cry For the Moon” saw the talent of drummer Ariën van Weesenbeek with his rhythm and double bass drumming mixed with snare accents intersperse through the vocals. At the end of “Cry For the Moon,” Weesenbeek went into a blistering drum solo to the fist-pumping screams of the crowd.

Epica ended the evening with Jensen getting the audience to separate down the middle, for a wall of death mosh for the second to last song, “Beyond the Matrix.” This was followed by the band getting everyone to jump and down in rhythm to the music. “Consign to Oblivion” which ended the set with a crazy fun circle pit in the audience.

Epica is one of the most entertaining metal bands to see. A non-stop progressive symphonic metal journey. Catch Epica if you can, as they are one of the original symphonic metal bands with operatic vocals mixed with guttural growls that many bands have copied.



Mark Jansen – Rhythm Guitar, Growled Vocals
Coen Janssen – Keyboards
Simone Simons – Lead Vocals
Ariën van Weesenbeek – Drums
Isaac Delahaye – Lead Guitar
Rob van der Loo – Bass






1.) Abyss of Time – Countdown to Singularity
2.) Sensorium
3.) Victims of Contingency
4.) Unchain Utopia
5.) Cry for the Moon
6.) Storm the Sorrow
7.) Code of Life
8.) Beyond the Matrix
9.) Consign to Oblivion



After a quick stage change and removing the tarp covering the tank drum riser, Sabaton walked onto the stage to the screams and cheers of the packed Fillmore Auditorium. I have seen Sabaton almost every time they have toured in the United States. Each time the venue grows more prominent as the number of Sabaton fans increase. It took ten-plus years, but Sabaton is very close to conquering America with its brand of power metal based on historical military battles. The most striking observation is the increasing attendance of veterans coming to Sabaton shows alone or with their children.

Sabaton started the 90-minute show with the classic Sabaton hit, “Ghost Division.” The packed Fillmore Auditorium screamed and sang along. Two new songs followed this, “Stormtroopers” from their latest release, The War to End All Wars, and “The Red Baron” from the 2019 release, The Great War. Throughout the evening, Sabaton played classic hits from their 20-year discography and new materials from their latest release, The War to End All Wars. It didn’t matter what song was sung by lead vocalist Joakim Brodén; the Sabaton fans knew every word and sang along. The theatrics of a Sabaton show started after “Bismarck.” The band left the stage, returned in full World War I gas masks, and played “The Attack of the Dead Men.” Joakim sang the whole song through a microphone in the gas mask. He was also wearing a smoke machine that looked like a German poison gas thrower shooting smoke at the audience and the band.

The band continued the onslaught of fan favorites, including “Soldier of Heaven,” “Steel Commanders,” and “Carolus Rex.” I always wish they would play this in their native tongue, which is Swedish. But I got my wish in the next Sabaton hit, “Gott mit uns.” Joakim asked the screaming fans do they want to hear the next song in English or Swedish. With an overwhelming cheer, the packed house wanted to listen to it in Swedish.

Sabaton ended the set with the World War I Christmas ballad, “Christmas Truce.” A historical song about Christmas Eve 1914, when both sides left their bunkers for one night to celebrate Christmas with drink, smoke, and fun. It was a sea of tiny lights as the audience turned on their cell phone flashlight for this song.

Sabaton quietly left the stage to return to the chanting from the fans of Sabaton, Sabaton, Sabaton for the four-song encore. The four-song encore consists of the biggest Sabaton hit and one AC/DC cover. “Primo Victoria” was followed by “Swedish Pagans.” Guitarist Tommy Johansson jumped on lead vocal for the verse and chorus of the AC/CD Classic “Highway to Hell” and the night ended with an explosive version of “To Hell and Back.”

Sabaton is becoming more significant with each new release and tour. The well-turned war machine known as Sabaton knows how to give its fans a terrific live experience and continue bringing new fans into the Sabaton army. The venues will continue to get larger as Sabaton’s audience grows, but every live show is an intimate pub-style sing-along with fellow Sabaton friends. If you like power metal, don’t miss Sabaton when they invade your city.



Joakim Brodén – Lead vocals

Pär Sundström – Bass

Chris Rörland – Lead guitars

Hannes Van Dahl – Drums

Tommy Johansson – Lead guitars






1.) Ghost Division
2.) Stormtroopers
3.) The Red Baron
4.) Bismarck
5.) The Attack of the Dead Men
6.) Soldier of Heaven
7.) Steel Commanders
8.) Carolus Rex
9.) Gott mit uns (Swedish Version)
10.) Night Witches
11.) Dreadnought
12.) Shiroyama
13.) The Last Stand
14.) Christmas Truce

15.) Primo Victoria
16.) Swedish Pagans
17.) Highway to Hell (AC/DC cover)
18.) To Hell and Back





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