When Hammerfall make a stopover in Luxembourg for the first time with their tour European Outbreak Tour, that´s of course a must-go. Therefore quite a respectable number of metalheads gathered in the Rockhal Club to witness the performance of those Swedes.
They had a bunch of support bands with them who presented quite a varied mix of music styles.
The first to enter stage at 20:15 were the Swedish guys Death Destruction. The name might be still quite unknown, but the members of the band are for sure no newcomers. Hammerfall fans could recognize bassist Fredrik Larsson, who also stood on stage again later on with his main band Hammerfall.
Originally Death Destruction had been formed back in 2004 as a side-project by Jonas Ekdahl (ex-Evergrey drummer) and Henrik Danhage (also Evergrey). Vocalist Jimmie Strimmel (Dead By April, ex-Nightrage etc.) completed the band. The band kicked off with „Mark My Words“ and the audience seemed quite reserved at first. It seems, as if the Death Metal played by the Swedes was not everybody´s cup of tea and maybe a bit hard for the Power Metal audience. However, the guys did a great job and towards the end, they obviously convinced a part of the audience to scream along and throw some horns. „Fuck Yeah“ and „Hellfire“ ended their set, which for sure was way too short. I´m quite sure, that after 10-15 more minutes they would´ve got the audience!
Death Destruction Setlist: Mark My Words - Crank It Up – Shredding - Kill It - Fuck Yeah – Hellfire
After a pretty quick changeover, it was time for the next Swedish outfit to enter stage: Amaranthe. The stage was crowded now, as they didn´t only have one, not two, but three vocalists. If this was totally necessary was another question. Their music however seemed to fit better to the taste of most fans.
During the first song „Leave Everthing“ and „Enter The Maze“ you could still see grinning faces that rather looked like „what is this?! Why is it so poppy“, but exactly this mix of ultra cheesy and melodic parts with poppy almost techno rhythm and growls/shouts worked perfectly. The audience warmed up rapidly and clapped along to their well-known „1000000 Lightyears“ and „Automatic“.
The two male vocalists left a pretty good impression, the female vocalist, however, seemed weird as she appeared to sing playback at parts. A female vocalist more or less as a decoration? Would be a pity, since she seems to have a nice voice. Musicwise nothing too original, but in terms of live performance and ability to entertain a big thumbs up!
Amaranthe Setlist: Leave Everything - Enter The Maze - 1000000 Lightyears – Automatic - Call Out My Name – Rain – Hunger
Originally it would´ve been time for Riot now, but the band that was replacing them was surely no bad alternative- Vicious Rumors the oldest band of the evening. Those guys have been around for respectable 31 years now! So they of course had more than enough songs and albums to choose from. They presented songs from the 80s such as „Minute To Kill“, „Lady Took A Chance“ or „Soldiers of the Night“. As well as totally new material from their latest release Razor Back Killers: „Murderball“ and „Let The Garden Burn“. Amazingly many people didn´t even seem to know them that well, judging from the now more reserved reactions. It took the band a bit to get a grip on the audience, but vocalist Brian Allan, who joined the band in 2009, did a good job at entertaining the audience. Musicwise their Heavy/Power Metal mix should´ve fitted pretty well!
However, „veteran“ Geoff Thorpe, the only member that had been part of Vicious Rumors from the very beginning, did a short speech to the audience and made them go crazy towards the end of the show.
Vicious Rumors Setlist: Don´t Wait For Me - Minute To Kill - Murderball - Lady Took A Chance -
Abandoned - Let The Garden Burn - Hellraiser - Soldiers of the Night - Digital Dictator
One last change over, that took a bit longer and it was time for Hammerfall. Now the entire stage was used for the performance. A big setup with steps, LED illumination had been installed and that had limited the space for the support bands quite a lot.
Anyways, now it was time for melodic stuff suitable to sing along. The Swedish quintet opened the about two hour set with „Patient Zero“ from their latest album „Infected“, after an intro with alarm sounds and blue and red lights. Some would not call it their best album, but they concentrated on the best song of that record tonight. After 14 years of band history, naturally they also had a huge back catalogue to choose from and presented material from the very first album in 1997 until today. The band was in great mood and made use of the big stage, jumping on the steps and coming to the front. The huge LEDs created great effects such as flames or sometimes even parts of the lyrics. So not knowing the lyrics was no excuse to not sing along this evening.
The audience was fully alert now and sang along to the great „Last Man Standing“ and „Renegade“. Vocalist Joacim Cans really enjoyed the gig and chatted with the fans. It didn´t seem to matter whether the band was presenting old or new material, the fans went off the rails. One of the calmer songs was announced as „a song for the girls“ and „a song that hadn´t been played live for about 10 years“: „Always Will Be“. After this ballad it was time for faster stuff again, and after a bunch of songs and „The Templar Flame“ the band left stage.
The audience of course immediately started screaming for more, as Hammerfall hadn´t played the band hymn, for which fans had been screaming during the gig, yet: „Hearts on Fire“.
The band returned and played three more songs, „Hearts on Fire“ being the last song and last chance for the fans to sing along.
Hammerfall set list
Patient Zero - Heeding The Call - Any Means Necessary - B.Y.H. - Blood Bound - Lets Get It On - Last Man Standing – Renegade - Always Will Be - Dia de los Muertos - Riders of the Storm - Steel Meets Steel - Legacy of Kings - Let The Hammer Fall - The Dragon Lies Bleeding - The Templar Flame - Glory To The Brave - One More Time - Hearts on Fire
All in all this was quite a successful evening for all bands, even though Death Destruction didn´t fit into this line-up properly and would´ve probably been better off in a more brutal band combination. However, the fans seemed quite satisfied with the long set, the bands had enjoyed it, a successful evening!