at Le Trabendo, Paris, France, February 1, 2023

HAMMERFALL (Live at Le Trabendo, Paris, France, February 1, 2023)
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Touring around Europe with Helloween, Hammerfall took the time to stop for three headlining shows in France, in Strasbourg, Paris and Lyon. So on Wednesday 1st of February, Le Trabendo, a small and somewhat convoluted venue north of the city was eagerly awaiting the saviours of Heavy Metal.

Nothing concerning an opening band had been published on social media the previous days. So it was a rather disgruntled audience who endured the half-hour set of a DJ to warm up the place: a very basic setlist of Heavy Metal hits to pass the time in the most complete indifference.

One could only hope that some unfortunate mishaps in the organisation of the tour happened and led to this very disappointing opening. A ton of French, and even Parisian bands would have been happy to open the show for Hammerfall, but as to why only a pale excuse for an opening gig was here, it shall remain a mystery.

Setting the record straight

Luckily everyone seemed to forget all that when Hammerfall entered the stage, blasting “Brotherhood” from their newest album Hammer Of Dawn. In spite of the limited space at their disposal on stage, the duo of guitar heroes, Oscar Dronjak and Pontus Norgren, were already jumping all around with big smiles on their faces. The enthusiasm climbed up with their unparalleled hit “Any Means Necessary”. While Joachim Cans was on top form, it was also the case for the occasional backing vocals from the musicians and evidently the audience who knew Hammerfall’s discography like the back of their hands. They had had time to brush up on all that since Hammerfall’s last show in Paris was in 2017.

The setlist was clearly built to review the entirety of their career, as only Threshold from 2006 was missing. Otherwise, they picked songs from all of their albums to please anyone and to celebrate their 30 years!

In a warm and cheerful atmosphere, the evening carried on with other great songs and playful banter between Joachim Cans and the audience: or more like a crowd of undisciplined pupils. “Renegade” and “Bloodbound” were of course amongst the most popular hits and the pit was starting to look like a very agitated playground. There was no need to explain what to shout during the chorus of “Let The Hammer Fall”, but a quick reminder never hurt anyone. The audience did not become quiet, only a little solemn, with “Glory To The Brave”.

One thing that Hammerfall does better than anyone else is to create memorable choruses, which you only need to listen to once before knowing them by heart, and that is a terrible asset on stage! By the time the band exited the stage, and then came back for two encores, it seemed the show had passed in a frantic heartbeat. A great Heavy Metal night with top-notch headbanging on both sides of the stage! What more could we wish for?


  1. Brotherhood
  2. Any Means Necessary
  3. The Metal Age
  4. Hammer of Dawn
  5. Blood Bound
  6. Renegade
  7. Venerate Me
  8. Last Man Standing
  9. Hero’s Return / On the Edge of Honour / Riders of the Storm / Crimson Thunder
  10. Let the Hammer Fall
  11. Glory To The Brave
  12. Hector’s Hymn
  13. Dominion
  14. (We Make) Sweden Rock
  15. Hammer High (Encore)
  16. Hearts on Fire (Encore)


  • Séverine Peraldino

    Reviewer, interviewer and apprentice photographer for Metal Express Radio, Séverine comes from a small place in the Southern French Alps, near Grenoble. Her taste for classic Heavy Metal is a family heritage and after growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica and Angra she expanded her horizons with almost every subgenre of Metal, from Power, to Prog, a little bit of Death and Black Metal. She mostly enjoys albums telling stories with originality. When she is not travelling around for concerts and festivals, you can find her reading a good book, or playing board games with friends.

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