HAMMERFALL @ Hard Club, 2011/12/09

Original Portuguese version here: http://www.backstageforum.com/t4615-reportagem-hammerfall-vicious-rumours-amaranthe-hard-club-2011-12-09

» The Renegade World Crusade visited Portugal in 2001 (with VIRGIN STEELE and FREEDOM CALL), but after that, HAMMERFALL never crossed the Portuguese border again. Joacim Cans was well aware of that, saying that after ten long years they would play some old stuff, some new stuff, and inbetween we would have fun “as if there was no tomorrow”.

It was something new they started with. Surrounded by red lights and smoke, Anders Johansson , Oscar Dronjak, Pontus Norgren and Fredrik Larsson took their places on stage, to the sound of the intro of “Patient Zero”, from this year’s album “Infected”.

Later, Cans told a little of his story: in 1981 he listened to a vynil (“do you know what that is? Round… Not a cd, not mp3…”). And that afterwards he had no doubt about what he wanted to do in his life. So it was introduced “B.Y.H. (Bang Your Head)”, which first verse is precisely “In 1981, the metal struck like thunder”.

There was no need to introduce “Renegade”, as the sound of the Harley Davidson in its beginning gave it away immediately. Also afterwards, when a roadie brought an acoustic guitar for Norgren, one could guess “Always Will Be”. Cans said that before they went on tour – which ended that night – when deciding which songs to play, they’d found out that one had been the 7th most heard. Because now it wasn’t only guys who listened to HAMMERFALL, there were a lot of girls – who promptly marked their presence by screaming loud. “This is for you, this is ‘Always Will Be'”. The whole room sang, not only the girls. “Beautiful, thank you”, said Cans.

For his solo, Dronjak came to the center of the stage, but didn’t bring the pedalboard with him, leaving Cans in charge of it.

After “Dia De Los Muertos” came a handful of oldies – “Riders Of The Storm”, “Steel Meets Steel”, “Legacy Of Kings”, “Let The Hammer Fall” and “The Dragon Lies Bleeding”. Cans had already said he was feeling sorry for those who didn’t know the older stuff as they would now open “a big can of old school HAMMERFALL. And before “Let The Hammer Fall” he asked how many of us was seeing them for the first time. When the majority raised their arms, he expressed a worried “uh-oh”. To confirm the number, he asked how many had seen them before. And, in fact, they were less. “We have a problem. We will have to show the newcomers how this is done: LET THE HAMMER….?” But one didn’t need to have seen them before to know one had to scream “FALL” at the top of one’s lungs. Still, Cans emphasized the task by asking us “the longest, hardest and meanest ‘fall'”. And in the end he declared “and the hammer fucking fell right here in Porto!”.

Before “The Templar Flame”, Cans introduced the band, starting by Norgren and giving him one minute to do a solo. When introducing Larsson, he asked him if he also wanted to play one. The audience did, starting to scream “solo, solo!” but that didn’t happen in the end.

Not even Johansson, who just fooled around a bit with his drumkit. Cans told that he, in the eighties, had invented the destruction of hotel rooms when on tour with Yngwie Malmsteen (forgetting to mention he did so with his brother Jens Johansson, now keyboarder in STRATOVARIUS – seems like they were a true terror).

Dronjak, Cans introduced as “the proof that blondes have more fun”.

And he was just “the man with the microphone”, saying his name with a small bow.

After leaving the stage, the crowd shouted the usual “olés” and the name of the band, to bring it back. According to the setlist, they should have done it with the ballad that the debut album (1997) was named after, “Glory To The Brave”, but they ended up going straight to the first single of “Infected”, “One More Time”.

They closed with “Hearts On Fire”, hoping to come back soon. For us to bring our friends and have as much fun or even more than that night. Very amusing and, at the same time, very professional, with Cans singing with a much stronger, much firmer voice, and whose high tones aren’t as shrill or go out of tune as once before, this was definitely an unforgettable concert.«


About Pieni

A metalhead who loves photography and her friends.
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