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Bataclan - Paris, France
May 12 2011

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Saxon at the Bataclan in Paris
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2010 was an amazing year in terms of concerts, but I didn't catch two bands that are very often on tour: Saxon and Motörhead.
Saxon were finally back in Paris in May 2011 at the Bataclan, the same venue where they played 2 years ago with Iced Earth on the Metal Crusade Tour.

Biff Byford from Saxon

This tour was made to promote their new album, Call To Arms, but also to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Denim & Leather, which they'll play complete at the Sweden Rock Festival.

A Saxon show is always a good party. It's one of those bands that you can't get tired of seeing them!

Nibbs Carter headbanging

The band had a powerful sound from the begining, and there was a huge Saxon backdrop on the back.

Saxon also brought some customized lights on their amps: during the song Crusader they were showing crosses.
Later, during the song Denim and Leather, a wall of amps showed the word "Denim" and the other "Leather".

Worth to note, Nibbs Carter was headbanging like a helicopter!

Doug Scaratt on guitars with Saxon

21 powerful songs in the setlist, that's what I call a quality show! A band that gives people what the want, and a concert totally worth the money.

Even if the new album Call To Arms wasn't out yet at time of this concert, they played quite a few songs from it.
The show started with Hammer Of The Gods. Quite risky to start a concert with a song that the audience doesn't know (yet), but this fast song sounded really well. To reassure the audience, it was followed by the classic Heavy Metal Thunder.

Paul Quinn and his double guitar

Another new song, When Doomsday Comes, had an oriental feeling. It made me think of Kashmir from Led Zeppelin. This tune will be part of the sountrack of the British film Hybrid Theory, by James Erskin.

Back in 79 is a heavy and quite slow song.
The title track Call To Arms is a monumental mid-tempo piece.
In other words, those new songs sounded really good, so be at the record store on June 3 when it's released!

Nigel Gloclker on drums

For its 30 year anniversary, the album Denim and Leather was represented by no less than five songs: Princess of the Night, Never Surrender, And the Bands Played On, the title track Denim and Leather and the rare Play It Loud.

Biff introduced the song Rock'n'Roll Gypsy as a tune written "for a bunch of groupies they used to have in the 80's".
He also said that And the Bands Played On was about the Monsters Of Rock Festival, nowadays called Download Festival.

Paul wearing a tower - Saxon live in Paris

Biff made us sing loud during I've Got to Rock (To Stay Alive) and louder during Wheels Of Steel.
He said that there was nothing wrong with Bordeaux, Clermont Ferrand and Lille, the other cities included on the Saxon French Tour... but this was Paris so expected us to be louder!

By the end of the show, paul appeared with a towel covering his head. Maybe a hint to Osama bin Laden's death the previous week?

After the show the party wasn't over: there was a meet & greet with the whole band at a bar called Le Furieux, which also included a listening session of the new album Call To Arms.

In a word, it was a magical evening!

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Setlist Saxon – Bataclan – Paris, France – May 12 2011

01. Hammer of the Gods
02. Heavy Metal Thunder
03. Never Surrender
04. Motorcycle Man
05. Back in 79
06. I've Got to Rock (To Stay Alive)
07. Dallas 1 PM
08. Call to Arms
09. Rock 'n' Roll Gypsy
10. Demon Sweeney Todd
11. And the Bands Played On
12. Man and Machine
13. The Eagle Has Landed
14. Play It Loud
15. When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)
16. Denim and Leather
17. Princess of the Night
18. Crusader
19. 747 (Strangers in the Night)
20. Strong Arm of the Law
21. Wheels of Steel

Saxon Links:

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Saxon Line-up:

Biff Byford – Vocals
Paul Quinn – Lead Guitars
Doug Scaratt – Lead Guitars
Nibbs Carter – Bass
Nigel Gloclker – Drums
Biff Byford in Paris with Saxon
Nibbs Carter on bass with Saxon
Saxon Guitars: Doug Scaratt and paul Quinn
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