As people poured into The Ryman Auditorium prior to the show. I was puzzled by the long, snake-like line of people that wound through the balcony area of the theater and out into the lobby.  I came to learn it was the line to buy merch, and I immediately knew that this Sabaton and Epica had a VERY dedicated fan base!

Epica opened the show and Simone Simons’ soaring vocals filled the auditorium. Their music is melodic metal, with a sort of playful twist, and the band’s chemistry with each other echos the playfulness.  Throughout the show they seemed to joke with each other on stage, making heart-shaped hand gestures and other fun things that showed the crowd that metal can be a dichotomy at times. A few songs into their set, they commented on how the auditorium seating made them feel like it wasn’t a metal show. The band then led the crowd in a “STAND” chant, and no one seemed to sit back down the rest of the night!


Epica is:

Simone Simons – Vocals
Isaac Delahaye – Guitar
Mark Jansen – Guitar
Ron Van Der Loo – Bass
Coen Janssen– Synths & Keys
Arien Van Weesenbeek – Drums




Epica Set List

1. Alpha -Anteludium
2. Abyss of Time
3. The Essence of Silence
4. Victims of Contingency
5. Unchain Utopia
6. Cry for the Moon
7. Sancta Terra
8. Code of Life
9. Beyond the Matrix
10. Consign to Oblivion


Transitioning the show to Sabaton, a heartfelt video in tribute to WWI veterans. The video called out the inequities in the way we honor other war veterans, but overlook WWI. It was eye-opening and heartfelt. At the conclusion, Sabaton barrelled onto the stage with their military-themed set which includes a life-size tank as a drum riser. They opened with “Ghost Division” and the crowd chanted “SAB-A-TON! SAB-A-TON!” over and over until the band had to politely and playfully request “Silence! ( kill you!” (referencing Jeff Dunham’s comedic character). The band delivered a hard-hitting set that left the crowd screaming and wanting more. 

Sabaton continues the US leg of their tour through October, then goes overseas and wraps up in June of 2023.  For metal fans, this show is a must-see!


Sabaton is:

Joakim Brodén – Vocals & Keyboards
Tommy Johansson – Guitar
Chris Rörland – Guitar
Pär Sundström – Bass
Hannes Van Dahl – Drums



Sabaton Set List

1. Ghost Division
2. Stormtroopers
3. The Red Baron
4. Bismarck
5. The Attack of the Dead Men
6. Soldier of Heaven
7. Screaming Eagles
8. Carolus Rex (English version)
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. Run to the Hills (Iron Maiden cover)
18. To Hell and Back





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