Saxon - Oxford O2 Academy 13-12-11
First up were Hammerfall from Sweden who got the rapidly filling crowd off to a great start.
Playing power metal like a combination of Helloween, Priest, Saxon and Maiden with some Thin Lizzy duelling guitars their 45 minute 9 song set flew past with a more rabid response after every song.
Led by the very melodic voice of Joacim Cans and the twin lead guitars of Pontus Norgren and Oscar Dronjak with plenty of synchronized headbanging songs included B.Y.H. (Bang Your Head), Last Man Standing, Let The Hammer Fall and One More Time and left the crowd wanting more.
Saxon were back in Oxford for the first time in over 20 years (my second ever gig way back in 1982 was Saxon at Oxford Apollo) with their second set of UK dates this year in support of their 19th studio release the excellent “Call To Arms”.
Here’s what they played over the course of 2 hours
Hammer Of The Gods
When Doomsday Comes
Chasing The Bullet
Back In 79
Solid Ball Of Rock
To Hell And Back Again
I’ve Got To Rock To Stay Alive
Call To Arms
Demon Sweeney Todd
The Eagle Has Landed (the crowd had the choice of this or Broken Heroes. I lost!!)
Mists Of Avalon
Power And The Glory
Denim And Leather/guitar solo by Doug
Wheels Of Steel
Encore 1 Crusader and 747 Strangers In The Night)
Encore 2 Bass Solo/Strong Arm Of The Law
Princess Of The Night
A fantastic selection of hits, new songs and some long forgotten nuggets which the large crowd sang along to every note.
Special note of thanks to the sound man who gave us a loud but very clear sound and an impressive light show considering the size of the venue and the low roof!
Led by Biff who was in great voice and backed up by Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt on guitars and the backline of Nibbs Carter on bass and Nigel Glockler on drums we were treated to a night of old school British Heavy Metal that left everyone with a smile on their face.