DVD REVIEW: SABATON – “Heroes On Tour”
With Sabaton self-describing themselves as “always aiming to be a band that people love to see live, for the simple reason we love to play live”, Sabaton’s ‘Heroes on Tour’ DVD is a cathartic exploration into some of the band’s biggest performances to date. Not content with only providing footage of one performance, the band has created a double DVD that has footage which covers the band’s performances at Wacken Open Air Festival, and Sabaton Open Air festival during 2015.
The first disc is focused on the band’s performance at Wacken Open Air Festival in 2015, and given that the band has a massive following in Germany, it’s little difficult to see why this particular show was picked. Only having 10 minutes of set-up material, including a highly humorous pre-performance skit, the show gets beautifully set up before running through a 90-minute romp of war themed power metal. Having been present at Wacken 2015 amidst the crowd for this set, I can attest that the DVD captures the energy level of the performance perfectly, and the use of the different camera angles at appropriate times gives viewers one of the best live performance recordings in recent memory.
The band’s performance is as energetic as you would expect from Sabaton and this is portrayed perfectly on the DVD. While some interludes between songs are time consuming and seem heavily put on (the running joke for “Swedish Pagans”, and the ever constant pauses during the Noch Ein Bier chants come to mind), the performance as a whole just exudes an infectious air about it which is characteristic of Sabaton and their music.
In comparison to the show in Wacken, the second disc covers the band’s show in Falun during Sabaton Open Air, and proves that the intensity doesn’t change during their live show for the band even when they perform to their home crowd. This set runs a little longer, coming in just shy of two hours, but it does a great job encapsulating every nuance of Sabaton’s performance that would have people dancing along in their living rooms.
The DVD itself is quite basic in that it is purely a recording of the bands performances for the most part. However, the benefit of having these two shows recorded at such big events means that there is a multitude of camera angles that are used to great effect throughout the production. Switching between band, crowd and pyrotechnics at just the right time bring the whole experience together in one neat little package.
It was great to see that the setlist for both shows are different. While keeping the main anthems that you would expect the band play constant on both discs, the setlist is diverse enough that you could watch both shows back to back and only a few songs twice. This makes for a great watch and helps engage viewers for a longer period of time.
If you are looking for something of substance, or of great insight into the Sabaton as a band, then this release probably isn’t for you. However, if you are a massive Sabaton fan; want to feel the energy of some of the largest metal festivals on earth without actually being there; or want to watch the set of a band performing on some of the largest stages on earth, then this is a DVD for you.