At The Threshold Of …Festivals
22/8 – 2007
Reviewed by Anders Sandvall
Pictures by Anders Sandvall
This was my first time seeing the new bassplayer Fredrik Larsson in action. He has been part of the band back in the days but was then replaced by the bass genius Maguns Rosén who now has chosen to leave the band.
The Malmoe Festival is an annual free festival that goes on for a week with several bands as well as several food stands placed in the center of the city.
Hammerfall were about to play on the biggest stage in a place called Stortorget (Grand Square) but they were unfortunatley scheduled pretty early during the evening, at 19.00. So the big question was if the bands huge pyros and effects were going to have any luck and impress the crowd on the 14.000 people that had shown up.
As always I turned up at the show a few hours in advance and already when I arrived to the stage there were already many fans there. It’s well known that Hammerfall have a very young fanbase with the age range between 15-25 and it was probably because of that the show started so early.
I saw the bands first show on their European tour earlier this year and that was a really shaky premier to say the least so it was going to be interesting what the band had to come up with this time.
Just as scheduled ran the band out on stage and the crowd exploded. It looked like the guys had narrowed down the stageprops compared to the earlier show I saw because they only had a huge backdrop and Johansson only had 4 bassdrums compared to the 10 he had before this year.
The show kicked off with the title track from their new album THRESHOLD, that continued into “Templars of Steel” before it was time to sing along in “Riders Of The Storm”. Singer Joakim Cans used the entire stage to run around on and he worked extremely hard to get the crowd going. The brightest shining star in the guitar department was as always Stefan Elmgren. Cans told us that the band had been in the business for 10 years now and that they hoped for another 10 years at the top. He also said that being a hardrocker is something that’s in your soul and not in your hair or approach. That gave him huge applauds and Cans then introduced “Fury Of The Wild” and already in the beginning they threw out cascades of fire, sparks and smoke. Cans introuced every song with a little history and this time they played more material from THRESHOLD than they did at the opening show.
There were sing-a-longs in “Bloodbound” and “Let The Hammer Fall” amongst others and before they fired off “Renegade” Cans introduced the band and then it was time to kick off “The Fire Burns Forever” and with thought of the name of the song the band fired off flames and fire again.
Bass player Larsson did an OK show, he seemed a little shy but he did a good job anyway. It can’t be an easy task to replace such a genius and showman as Magnus Rosén.
All of the songs were delivered with passion and precision and they had taken away all the longer guitar solos and drum solo which was fine by me. The only negative thing was that the sound were too low but that depended on the laws in Sweden that forbids the bands to play louder than a certain level on festivals and shows.
The last song for the evening was of course “Hammerfall” and Cans thanked all the fans that showed up for the gig and he said that he thought that Hammerfall should come back to Malmoe soon again.
Encores were “Heeding The Call” and “Natural High”, after that asked Cans if the crowd didn’t missed a certain song with the word heart in it. Then “Hearts On Fire” was played and of course were there sing a longs by the extatic fans. When the band thanked the fans and the show was over they had played for 1hr 15mins.
Even if I’m not a huge fan of Hammerfall's power/heavy metal I can agree that their latest album was really good and that they sure know how to handle a audience. But their show works much better in the dark but this show was in fact pretty OK I think.
Templars Of Steel
Riders On the Storm
Fury Of The Wild
The Fire Burns Forever
Let The Hammer Fall
Heeding The Call
Hearts on Fire
Thanks to Mia Stendahl at Malmöfestivalen for the help with photo-pass to the show
More info about the band
More info about the festival
More pictures from the show...