Amon Amarth, Carcass, Obituary and Cattle Decapitation at the Hard Rock Live in Wheatland
The Great Heathen Tour which got folks hoofing it from Sacramento, Reno and the Bay Area for a healthy dose of black Viking metal! While Wheatland is arguably inconvenient for everyone, what that means is that the Hard Rock Live’s shows tend to attract the most committed fans who line up early and stay to rage throughout all the sets so when Cattle Decapitation took the stage for their opening set at 6:30 pm the barricade was already packed!
While a four band lineup sometimes seems like overkill, with additional support from Obituary and Carcass, this evening’s bill was undeniably stacked and the crew did an excellent job keeping the set changes quick and leaving more time for the music. By the time Carcass took the stage the general admission floor was packed and when frontman Jeff Walker placed his left foot on the stage monitor, planted that bass on his knee and tilted his head back to roar into the mic Lemmy-style, the crowd predictably lost its shit with two circle pits quickly opening up.
The opening bands alle played on a fairly shallow stage split by a large curtain that only hinted to the production that Amon Amarth had in store for the Hard Rock crowd. Of course a black scrim was lowered across the front of the stage while the crew cleared Carcass’ equipment, only adding to the anticipation and when Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” started blasting through the house as the band’s intro music, Wheatland was more than happy to oblige by singing along.
When the curtain finally dropped, the full extent of the Hard Rock stage was revealed, showing a massive Viking helmet with blazing eyes as the drum riser flanked by huge statues and ramps and Amon Amarth wasted no time tearing right into “Guardian’s of Asgaard” which was met with a predictably enthusiastic response including a huge pit and plenty of headbanging and flying hair up front.
With the tone appropriately set, frontman Johan Hegg only paused briefly to pump their latest album before inviting the fans to join The Great Heathen Army to which they were more than happy to oblige. While only a few months old, the new material had clearly been fully appreciated by the Amon Amarth fans and both “The Great Heathen Army” and “Find a Way or Make One” easily slid in with the classics like “Deceiver of the Gods” and “The Pursuit of Vikings.”
The aforementioned statues were appropriately swapped out for Viking ships mid-set for “Put Your Back Into the Oar” during which the crowd was commanded to row! Neither than band nor the crowd showed any sign of slowing down through the sword fights and finally a giant dragon that wrapped its way around the stage for “Raise Your Horns” which closed the night in truly epic form! It’s so great to see a band like Amon Amarth continue to up their game and continue to exceed their fans’ expectations. The tour wraps up tonight in Los Angeles at the Forum.
- Guardians of Asgaard
- Raven’s Flight
- Deceiver of the Gods
- Oden Owns You All
- The Pursuit of Vikings
- The Great Heathen Army
- Find a Way or Make One
- Destroyer of the Universe
- Put Your Back Into the Oar
- Cry of the Black Birds
- The Way of Vikings
- First Kill
- Shield Wall
- Raise Your Horns
- Twilight of the Thunder God
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