• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Sabaton & Epica Bring Metal to Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

September 25, the Brooklyn Bowl here in Las Vegas was packed to the brim with metal fans from all over. I was shocked at how insane it was for a Sunday night.

I had heard of both bands thanks to multiple friends, but I had no idea what I was in for!

Coming from the Netherlands, opener Epica took to the stage as the crowd went wild. I was blown away not only by vocalist Simone Simmons, whose operatic soprano style juxtaposes the melodic, heavy instrumentation provided by her bandmates, but also the band’s interaction with the crowd.

It is always a thrill to watch the energy between the stage and the floor, and Epica had one of the most solid connections to their fans I have ever seen. At one point, keyboardist Coen Janssen jumped into the photo/security pit and pulled a kid who couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 from the crowd, propped him on his shoulders, and continued the song.

It was just the energy needed to start off the night as the crowd awaited Sabaton.

Epica Gallery.

Next up was Sweden’s own Sabaton.

I had heard that this was their first stop in Vegas since 2015, and it was quite obvious the crowd was eager for their arrival. Their stage set up depicted a war zone, including the drum riser being atop a tank, which was incredible.

As the band took the stage, dressed in camouflage, images from the World War I played on the screen behind them, with tributes to those who fought and gave their lives to the battlegrounds. Much of their music is inspired by historical events, and this showed.

The crowd sang along with each word as Sabaton broke into “Ghost Division”. I can’t really describe their sound. It’s not quite symphonic metal, but it isn’t as heavy and abrasive as other forms of metal either.

It was obvious that each band member was just as happy to see their fans as their fans were to see them. There wasn’t a single moment during the set where any of them stopped smiling, waving, and acknowledging the people before them. I believe it was once Dee Snider who said in an interview regarding Bon Jovi that “there’s no smiling in metal!” Clearly, he’s never seen Sabaton. Vocalist Joakim Broden interacted with each and every fan he could reach, laughing, smiling, and looking like the happiest man on Earth.

Sabaton delivered banger after banger, leaving us all exhausted, thrilled, and honestly, sad that it was over. I walked in to the show not totally familiar with them, and I left a fan.

Sabaton Gallery.

PHOTO CREDIT: ALL PHOTOS BY STEPHY HAYWARD (MUZIO) FOR ZROCKR MAGAZINE – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

By Stephy Muzio

Stephanie " Stephy " Muzio (formerly Hayward) - Public Relations / Writer/ Photographer and Co-Founder of ZRockR Magazine Co-host of ZRockR Magazine LIVE! Stephy was raised on rock and roll. Originally from Illinois, Stephy is the daughter of an aspiring metal guitarist and a former rock n roll radio dj. Stephy’s first concert at the tender age of 8 was Rob Zombie at the original Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas, where she happily threw horns up and sang along to "Dragula" with the best of them ( she incidentally loves horror films too!) . She performed with the VGA choir at the 2007 Video Game Awards show at Mandalay Bay when it was hosted by Samuel L Jackson, sharing the stage with the likes of Foo Fighters as well as Kid Rock. An LVA alum, when she isn’t singing or playing herself (she plays a few different instruments), she is out in support of the local scene and at her friends gigs around the southwest and even when she is back home in Illinois! She has written as well as done some photography previously for a couple of smaller zines including Vegas SoundZ when it was in print. Stephy takes the adage of ” If it’s too loud that is just too damn bad! ” to heart- after all- she was raised around screaming guitars, thunderous drums, production studios and only Led Zeppelin and Nirvana played extremely loud would put her to sleep as a kid! Stephy is a large part of the backbone of ZRockR.

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