On August 23rd, 2022, SABATON with support from their Swedish friends AVATAR and local support NOCNY KOCHANEK hit Tauron Arena in Krakow as part of their The Tour to End All Tours. The show was organized by the booking agency Knockout Productions.
AVATAR was the first band to kick off the show. The band has a style described as “grease-painted Swedish death/industrial/progressive metal ensemble” and it was exactly what we got. Black leather and red tights, blasting riffs and insane guitar solos, the intense, and dark energy of Johannes Eckerström with his clown face paint and impressive vocals… all this made a freak show to remember! The musicians were enjoying every second on the stage and the crowd was in a full-on engagement mode. The 40-minute set included bangers like “Smells like a Freak Show” and “Hail the Apocalypse.”
NOCNY KOCHANEK was the local Polish support. Translating to “night lover,” they are a classic heavy metal band inspired by the giants of the genre. The group has been extremely popular in Poland for many years. On the occasion of a joint concert with SABATON in Krakow, Krzysztof Sokołowski and co. recorded a new song. The piece, which is a remake of a SABATON song, is called “Short Fuse” and it is the Polish version of “Gott Mit Uns.” Their show was accompanied by pyrotechnics and the highlight of their performance was the intermission, in which bass player Artur Pochwała showed his naked behind to the full stadium.
SABATON has been around since 1999 and is considered one of the most successful rock bands in Swedish history. The preparation of the stage took a while but the wait was worth it. As the curtain fell, a loud blast of the canon opened the show. The scenography was impressive, the stage looked like a scene from a war movie: barbed wire stretched across the front of the stage, sandbags, and the drummer playing inside an actual tank. And a moment within their set, singer Joakim Brodén picked up a giant bazooka and fired it at his bandmates. The Swedes band’s stage show featured fire – a lot of fire. The opener was “Ghost Division” and continued with tracks from their latest albums, “The War to End All Wars” and “The Great War.” The setlist was a journey through historical conflicts, normally those that occurred during the first and second World Wars. The show had many highlights, but fans sitting on the floor during the power-ballad “Bismark” was the highlight. They closed the set with five encore songs like “To Hell and Back” and “Primo Victoria.”
Overall the show was on fire! Full stadium, scenography, and high-quality performances from all bands. Everything was flawless.