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Concert Review and Photos: SABATON with KREATOR and CYHRA at the Ritz – Raleigh

Photo © James Geiser

The Swedish War Machine Conquers the Ritz in Raleigh, NC

The Ritz – Raleigh, NC – 08 March 2018

Sabaton is one of those bands that no matter how many times you see them you will never get tired of their live performances, this was my third time seeing the band live, and they still steal the show, no matter who they share the stage with.

My night started off not too awesome after a late delivery of the guest list left me standing at Will Call while CyHra was performing. Once everything was taken care and I was awarded entrance into the venue, I rushed to try to find a decent place to get a good view of their performance. CyHra is a newer band but is composed of some serious legends in the metal world. I was simply amazed at the band’s on-stage chemistry and the way they bonded on stage especially weighing the fact that this was CyHra’s first major tour together. I spoke to frontman, Jake E (formerly of Amaranthe) about the connection that the band seemed to almost immediately have, you can check out his response in my exclusive interview with the guys of CyHra. The band experienced a few bumps at the start of the tour, missing a show because of sicknesses but that didn’t seem to faze them one bit as they delivered an energetic performance of their songs from their debut release, “Letters To Myself”.

The Co-Headliner for the night was German Metallers, Kreator. This was my first time seeing these guys live and I was genuinely surprised by their live show. Their production quality is absolutely stellar, incorporating powerful lighting rigs into their heavily backlit performance. The band’s crowd interaction is something that seems to be just natural for them, engaging fans to mosh and create circle pits, helping the fans to enjoy the show in the best way possible. I do have one complaint and I did hear this from a few of the members in the crowd as well, the lighting, although it was very cool, it caused a few concert goers to feel ill also giving some people including myself a headache from the powerful strobes. Kreator played a stacked set list of some of their biggest hits as well as some of their newer songs, delivering a solid hour of heavy hard-hitting metal.


So, it seems like any time that I go to a show in any of the local venues I regularly attend, I run into this young man. He usually will start off a few rows back at the start of the shows and then slowly he will work his way to the front, trust me you will know him because he will be on the rail with a fury of headbanging hair with his horns in the air. He is dedicated to his love of heavy metal and live music, always wearing the same patched vest, dead center of the stage, having the absolute time of his life. If you are in NC and see this guy, shake his hand because he is one of the best things about the metal community.

After the dust settled from the spectacle that is Kreator, it was time for the Swedish War Machine, Sabaton to invade the stage. Like I said in the introduction of this review, no matter how many times I see this band, I will never tire of their performances. It does not matter if it is the first show of the tour or the last, Sabaton will deliver a performance with more energy than any band that you have seen. Between their fun and prankster onstage interactions with each other or when they get the crowd as excited and energetic as possible, this band has live performances formulated into the perfect mix. I have one complaint though…where is the fucking tank?! I have been dying to see drummer Hannes sitting behind his drum kit surrounded by reinforced metal as the band blows the roof off of a venue, hell maybe next time…Please?

Overall, with the tour winding down and the bands parting ways for the summer festivals, studio revisits and production on new music, the next time you might see these bands on this side of the globe might be a while, but next time you will not want to miss them, you will walk away pleased that you attended the show.

All photos © James Geiser




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