The heavy metal juggernaut of Sabaton and Kreator turn a Monday into Metal Night at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids.

Monday typically is the dreaded beginning of another long work week. Sabaton and Kreator tore into Grand Rapids to spin the night on its head with a teutonic punch of thrash and power metal. As doors opened, the fans swarm into 20 Monroe Live adorned with images of their favorite bands on t-shirts, back patches, and hats. Eager excitement gleamed in everyone’s eyes.

Getting the evening started is Cyhra. While the band and their music are new, the members are well-known. Cyhra combines the vocal prowess of Jake E (Amaranthe), the twin guitar fire of Jesper Stromblad (In-Flames) and Euge Valovirta (The Shining) with the powerhouse drumming of Alex Landenburg (Rhapsody). Their dazzling performance is as polished and brilliant as a diamond. Using the magic of melodic metal, Cyhra quickly garners the attention of audience earning them a host of new fans.

As the lights dim and the notes of “Mars Mantra” play, the roar from the crowd rattles the roof as Kreator lay siege to the stage. A firestorm of metal ignites the mosh pit as Kreator blaze into “Phantom Antichrist”, “Hail To The Hordes”, and the brutal “Enemy of God”. The band is a terrifying thrashing machine.

Jurgen Reil is demolishing his drums while Christian Giesler adds to the tumult with his thundering bass on “People of the Lie”. Sami Yli-Sirnio appears effortless laying down a searing solo for “Satan Is Real” as the circle pit writhes. The maestro of thrash, Mille Petrozza incites the moshers in the circle pit waving the Kreator flag before ripping into “Flag Of Hate”. These progenitors of thrash and death metal give the crowd a menacing performance to savor for days to come.

Chants of “Sabaton” resonate throughout 20 Monroe Live as ardent fans anticipate the arrival of Sabaton. As the intro to “The March to War” fades, the lights flare and Sabaton rides in on “Ghost Division”. The re-telling the story of the Polish resistance in “Uprising” has fans throwing fists into the air. The tales turn toward the heroes of Scotland with “Blood of Bannockburn”. The house is bouncing, cheering, and crowd surfing with the valiant metal of Sabaton.

Joakim Brodén takes note of the Swedish flags draping the front barrier asking if anyone is Swedish before pouncing into “Swedish Pagans”. The glorious marching drums and bass of Hannes Van Dahl and Pär Sundström send happy fans coursing over the crowd to the awaiting security guards at the barrier. Guitarists Tommy Johansson and Chris Rörland wave and beckon to the crowd in between blistering solos on “Resist and Bite” and “Night Witches”.

As cheers ring out after the final notes of “The Last Stand”, Joakim brings Scott Gerych, Kevin Gerych, and Dennis Skupinski from the Michigan Military Heritage Museum in Grass Lake, MI on the stage. The trio are here to present the members of Sabaton with awards and challenge coins from the Michigan World War I Centennial Commission. The certificates of excellence are in recognition of the history that Sabaton exposes to their fans through such music as “Angels Calling”, “Cliffs of Gallipoli”, and “The Lost Battalion”. The band express their humble gratitude and thanks with the audience roaring in approval. In honor of this award and the lives lost in World War I, the band plays “The Lost Battalion”.

Sabaton try to close their set with “Winged Hussars”, but the audience will have none of that. More chants of “Sabaton” fill the hall before the band come back to the stage for an encore featuring the songs “Shiroyama” and “To Hell and Back”. The looks of pure elation on the fans was priceless.

Kreator and Sabaton made for a very metal Monday at 20 Monroe Live. Many thanks to the venue staff and security for outstanding service. They made this epic night of metal even better.

Sabaton
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Kreator
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Cyhra
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Michigan Military Heritage Museum
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20 Monroe Live
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Event Date: 26-FEB-2017