First things first: go see Sabaton if they are EVER near you. They packed the most energy and showmanship into a live performance I may have ever seen. And this is coming from someone who really hadn't even listened to the band before this week!
Before the band took the stage, they played The Final Countdown over the speakers and everyone was singing along. It was in that moment that I knew the crowd for this show would be amazing, and it really was one of the best crowds I've ever been a part of, even if there weren't a ton of people there. The band exploded onto stage for Ghost Division, and the vocalist Par Sundstrom had the most energy I've seen from a frontman in a long time. He was all over the stage, pounding his fists and jumping up on the monitors. Very animated and very fun to watch. The new guitarists did their jobs perfectly and didn't miss a note. The whole band was all smiles and joking around with each other during the show and it just made the whole experience that much better.
The crowd was very, very loud and energetic throughout Sabaton's entire performance. After every show, we started chanting "Sabaton!" and every time it flabbergasted the band. I know every band says something to the same effect, but I truly believe they weren't expecting a small crowd (200~) on a Thursday night at their very first show in Kansas City to be so crazy and sing along with every single song in the set. The crowd went nuts for every song, but mostly for 40:1, Attero Dominatus, and Swedish Pagans. Par threw his sunglasses out into the crowd during Metal Crue, and it just capped off an excellent night. As someone who was pretty much oblivious to the band until I saw them, they put on one of the best shows I've EVER seen. No joke. See them.
The opening bands were awesome as well! The first band was Alsatia, and they might just be my new favorite power metal band from Kansas City. They were really fast and pretty technical power metal, and it was just great fun. Every member of the band was fantastic.
The second band of the night was Obliterate the Apex, featuring James King (ex-Origin) on drums. While that dude is a beast, so is everyone else in the band! They were the odd band out on the line-up, being technical death metal, but I think their talent and technical prowess won the band over. The two guitarists were blowing my mind at multiple times during the set. Can't wait to see them again!
The last opening band was classic KC power metal band Ancient Creation. Nearing their tenth year as a band, these dudes had a throwback sound to other KC metal like Manilla Road, and it was awesome. Lots of great melodies and great vocals to compliment their fun set. Some of the crowd was singing along as well!
All in all - DON'T MISS SABATON.
Intro: The March to War
Cliffs of Gallipoli
The Art of War
Into the Fire
The Price of a Mile
Coat of Arms
Ancient Creation (out of order/partial):
Bringer of Evil
[artist]Ancient Creation[/artist]: 8/10
[artist]Obliterate the Apex[/artist]: 8.5/10