Manowar @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SWE)

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MANOWAR

Date: 29-30 March, 2011
Venue: Trädgår’n
Ticket: €65
Promoter: Live Nation / Magic Circle Music


I think every metalhead in the world has an opinion about MANOWAR; some love them more than life itself, others hate them and it is almost never in between. And you have to admire them for their odd ideas when it comes to concerts. The ‘Magic Circle Festival’ where they played their first 6 albums in their entirety and then the five hour long concert in Bulgaria a couple of years back, for example. On this tour MANOWAR played several shows in each city, three were scheduled in Gothenburg to start with but it the end only the first two happened.

Apart from the multiple concerts in each town the tour was even more special. MANOWAR celebrated 30 years since the release of “Battle Hymns” and played the entire album. The cool thing with concerts like this one is that songs that rarely are played get a chance, the downside is that it is known before it starts what will happen. Ok, with MANOWAR you never know what will happen, where the macho ranting will show up. The chanting really belongs to the MANOWAR concerts and it would be very strange if they decided to skip it completely. Of course, it can be too much sometimes, when more of the show is talk than play. This wasn’t the case here, Joey DeMaio had some valuable points about the black market T-shirts being sold outside and how dedicated fans MANOWAR has, a salute to everyone in the venue really. There was only one thing, which bothered me quite a bit actually, on the first night, in the middle of mighty beautiful “Battle Hymn” Joey took the microphone and started talking to some girls in the front row, cool for them maybe but for the rest, to hear him say; “I’m going to f**k you so hard” and so on wasn’t fun. Especially the quite brutal attitude in his voice felt very unpleasant. Luckily that part was cut the next night.

But when MANOWAR play, they kill. And damn they did on these two nights. Song after song, hit after hit was served and they sounded amazing. Eric Adams voice has taken a bit of a toll over the years so no, he cannot hit all the extreme high pitched notes anymore but the only time I was bothered with that was in the absolute last song “Black Wind, Fire & Steel” just because the brutality of the last verse and then going over to the chorus screaming his throat out on “Fighting The World”. I just love that part and would have loved to hear it live too. But then, the benefit with an aging voice is the gain in depth, “Heart Of Steel” sounded better than ever and so did “Blood Of My Enemies”.

Trädgår’n was, if not completely sold out, very close to but the crowd seemed a little tired. That was actually a surprise since MANOWAR fans normally give everything they got. The first night there was an area just in front of the stage and about a quarter of the venue that were screaming like crazy. The second night it was better but I still expected more from the crowd.

To compare the two nights it’s easy to say that the second night was the best. The sound was very sharp the first night, loud as hell and sharp but not powerful. All of that had been sorted out to the next night. MANOWAR seemed a little more charged then too and their performance was better. Now I’m not saying the first night was bad, I was really excited after that one too and was looking forward even more to the show the next night. Even if it’s just marginal differences, just such small details can make everything so much stronger and dynamic.

The last speech from Joey was really impressive, he talked about true Heavy Metal and diehard fans for about 10 minutes and all that in Swedish. I don’t know but I suppose it was the same in all other countries as well, not in Swedish of course but in the country’s native tongue. His pronunciation was superb too.

So, this was two amazing nights, that’s for sure. MANOWAR proved they’re stronger than ever now and that their classic still holds after 30 years. The downside was first the ticket price, these show were extremely expensive. MANOWAR played for about 100-110 minutes and that felt a little short, especially since they didn’t have any opening act. I guess the ticket price can have something to do with the last planned concert didn’t happen, it is understandable that people can’t afford all three concerts no matter how big fans they are. And with these prices no one will just tag along because there’s something going on. The upside of that though is that there will only be real fans on the concert. In the end, it was absolutely worth every penny.

MANOWAR setlist March 29:

01. “Manowar”
02. “Death Tone”
03. “Metal Daze”
04. “Fast Taker”
05. “Shell Shock”
06. “Dark Avenger”
07. “Battle Hymn”
08. “Sun Of Death”
09. Karl Logan guitar solo
10. “Brothers Of Metal Pt. 1”
11. “Kill With Power”
12. “Heart Of Steel”
01. “William's Tale”
13. Joey DeMaio bass solo
14. “Sons Of Odin”
15. “Call To Arms”
16. “Sign Of The Hammer”
17. “House Of Death”
18. “The Power”

Encore:

19. “Kings Of Metal”
20. “Warriors Of The World United”
21. “Hail And Kill”
22. “Black Wind, Fire And Steel”
23. “The Crown And The Ring (Lament Of The Kings)” (outro)

MANOWAR setlist March 30:

01. “Manowar”
02. “Death Tone”
03. “Metal Daze”
04. “Fast Taker”
05. “Shell Shock”
06. “Dark Avenger”
07. “Battle Hymn”
08. “Sun Of Death”
09. Karl Logan guitar solo
10. “Brothers Of Metal Pt. 1”
11. “Blood Of My Enemies”
12. “Thor (The Powerhead)”
13. “Heart Of Steel”
14. “William's Tale”
15. Joey DeMaio bass solo
16. “Fighting The World”
17. “Sons Of Odin”
18. “Hand Of Doom”
19. “Sign Of The Hammer”
20. “King Of Kings”
21. “The Power”

Encore:

22. “Kings Of Metal”
23. “Warriors Of The World United”
24. “Hail And Kill”
25. “Black Wind, Fire And Steel”
26. “The Crown And The Ring (Lament Of The Kings)” (outro)