This was one of the most anticipated shows of the fall Vegas concert season, and the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay played host to this standing room only Swedish affair, with a four band lineup all hailing from viking country. The line outside the venue formed early, and stretched way past the venue nearly two hours before the doors opened for The Berserker World Tour, with Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, At the Gates and Grand Magus.
GRAND MAGUS was the most melodic of all the bands on this night, a talented trio of Janne "JB" Christoffersson on lead vocals and guitar, Mats Skinner on backing vocals and bass and Ludwig Witt on drums. Due to the headliners stage setup, these guys were pushed all the way to the edge of the stage with their drum kit right at the edge, and members way to the sides of the stage. This challenge did not stop the band from performing a fantastic set.
AT THE GATES is an old school Swedish death melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, formed in 1990, with a history of breaking up and getting back together throughout their career. This band really fired up the crowd, with “To Drink From the Night Itself”, opening up the first mosh pit of the night, and the crowd kept it up through the bands entire set. At The Gates kept up the pace through their show, until the blistering “The Night Eternal”, that slowly ended with a melodic guitar, as the bands members would each stop playing and walk off the stage. The chants from the crowd brought them back out, where they tossed out drumsticks and handfuls of guitar picks, along with setlists to the outstretched hands of their rabid fans. This was a band that the fans definitely loved seeing.
ARCH ENEMY finally made a Vegas appearance with this tour, formed back in 1995, and now fronted by Canadian-born vocalist Alissa White-Gluz, known for tight leather outfits, flowing blue and white hair and guttural vocals. As with the other bands they were also right to the edge of the stage for their set, but even the condensed stage could not contain Alissa, who jumped and leaped back and forth over the risers and drum setup. Alissa stood swinging her long hair into a circle as the soaring twin guitars of Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis screamed out across the crowd.The band opened the show with “The World Is Yours” under a blaze of flashing blinding white lights which once again sent the crowd on the main floor into a frenzy. “War Eternal” kept up the energy and Alissa asked the crowd to sing along with her for the chorus. Arch Enemy's set was about 40 minutes in length, and included just 8 songs, but even with the shorter set created a huge impact. Arch Enemy closed out their set with “Nemesis” under flashing bright yellow lights, with Alissa running back and forth holding an Arch Enemy flag, waving it wildly to the roars of the fans, and screaming out “Las Vegas, We Are Arch Enemy” as the band concluded their scorching set.