I anticipated this concert for months. As soon as it was known that they would be touring in Seattle, I bought my ticket. Three months in advance. It’s Amon Amarth with the opening acts of Sabaton and Skeletonwitch. Who wouldn’t be there? It’s over 20+ years of prime metal locked into one stage! Of course the venue was rather small, packed, and blistering like a hot oven, but it’s the sacrifices you make to see a damn good show. El Corazon, which used to be The Off Ramp, has been a staple in the metal and punk community for over 20 years. Even though it’s not the most celebrated venue in the city for various reasons, including poor lighting for us amiable photographers, it catered to the needs of us fans who showed up to witness the magic of metal that night. Sounds kosher eh?
Skeletonwitch pretty much set the tone for the entire show. What a great band. The whole room lit up when they played Beyond The Permafrost. Chance Garnette delivers a solid and engaging performance as he growled his way through amazing macabre lyrics. He smiled, was friendly, and excited to be there. Sweat box venue and all. I hope to see them tour Seattle again!
I think the above photo speaks volumes for the performance by Sabaton. Humble and light stage presence, friendly and enigmatic; I really can’t say enough good things about these guys. They just had so much fun with each other and really enjoyed the crowd. Hi-fives were abundant to say the least.
Joakim had a smile on his face the entire time and the dood can rock his heart out! Great to see them perform here and with Amon Amarth no less. The Art of War found its voice within the hundreds of fans singing along with the band. Horns up and heads rocked!
Towards the end of their set, Sabaton consecrated their brotherly love with a little bow of appreciation and some camaraderie in tossing out guitar picks and drum sticks to the slavering fans. Great job guys. We love you, we love Sweden!
Amon Amarth. The name is amazing, the band is awesome, and the guys are just fucking stellar. Johan Hegg was born to be a frontman. He knows how to work the crowd and he enjoys every minute of it. You can say what you want about metal, but if it had a warm and fuzzy side, Johan Hegg would be the teddy bear of metal. Jeez I hope that reference doesn’t come back to bite me. Needless to say, in between his growling historical lyrics of Loke, Odin, and Asgard, he takes a moment to smile. But I have differentiated his “smiles”. He’s got a nice and charming smile and then he has THE GRIN.
It was nothing short of magic as the crowd pressured song after song. They opened with Deceiver of the Gods, for me personally, it gets me in the feels every time. I do happen to know the lyrics, but as Johan stated that night when he asked the crowd to sing along, “It doesn’t matter if you do not know the lyrics, it is death metal, who cares?”
There was even a point when we thought the band was done with their set, they said good night and left the stage. Of course the crowd booed and shouted for “ONE MORE SONG!”. Then the rumbling of thunder began and that only meant one thing. Twilight of the Thunder Gods, mjolnir and all. The entire place erupted into a jovial frenzy of excitement as Amon Amarth delivered another solid performance.
We were fortunate again to receive an encore song just because they loved the crowd so much and we couldn’t have been more grateful. With a swig from his mighty Viking horn he set out for another 5 minutes of a rumbling and enigmatic performance.
Hopefully Seattle left a lasting impression and we will see them again sooner than later. Even though it was in a sweatbox venue, they performed like professional veterans in their field. The rest of us did the same. Dripping with sweat, horns up, and singing along…these are the things I love most about the metal community. We bond for a night, for a moment, until we meet again.
Thank you to Amon Amarth, Sabaton, and Skeletonwitch for delivering solid performances. Thank you to SWEDEN for giving birth to quality metal. Thanks to El Corazon and Mike Thrasher for providing key entertainment and last but not least, Thanks to Metal Blade Records for giving me the chance to photograph this band. It was a night of epic proportions.
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