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Nightwish/ Sabaton/ Delain

Date: 4/9/15
Venue: Hammerstein Ballroom
Report By: Rich Catino

Tonight’s openers, Dutch/Netherlands Delain, play symphonic metal with a female singer in a similar style to Nightwish. While there are similarities, Delain’s music is less progressive, still incorporate the genre’s often used keyboards, but minus the layers of orchestrations. Check out their single/video for ‘Starlight’ and you will draw parallels, but Charlotte’s tone, and the keyboards, gives Delain their own voice. Solid band, good tight energetic performance and complimenting contributor to this style of European metal.

Sweden’s Sabaton have really rose to the occasion for the new generation in the new millennium. Again, another European band who is very popular over-seas (also see Blind Guardian, Edguy, Stratovarius, Gamma Ray, Hammerfall, etc) , who has yet to gain a larger American audience. As with their latest release, “Heroes”, Sabaton continue on their successful string of war historically based albums. Tackling such strong topics, the music should be as equally stimulating…right? Well it is, both the song titles/ lyrics, and band members work as a unit and deliver high energy performances. The five members never stop moving about the stage, smiles from ear to ear, and lead singer Joakim Broden rallies his boys like a military general. Yet, still having fun and not taking the subject matter too serious, ‘Metal Crue’ is an anthem for all the hard rockers and headbangers that incorporates the names of legendary bands past and present.

Opening (and ending) their set with portions from ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’, the closing epic from their latest album “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, Finland’s Nightwish demonstrated they have returned strong, maybe even stronger, than ever. With new sexy siren Floor Jansen at the mic, almost twenty years making music and eight albums, Nightwish have earned their status as one of the biggest bands to come out of the Scandinavian, and European countries. I mean these guys play arenas in their home country, so its only right this talent is seeing continued, and growing success, here in America.

Kicking things off comes two from the new album; ‘Shudder Before The Beautiful’ is an opener that exemplifies the bands power and grace, creativity, its members sharp dressed appearance, and stage presentation. A heavy use of blue, purple, and red lights created excellent contrast and black areas which really brought the Nightwish backdrops and stone mic stand statues to life.

Like many of Nightwish’s heavy metal tracks, ‘Shudder’ balances between the hard driving guitars, bass, and drums, with the melodic complimenting keyboards, and female voice. A purposeful keyboard and guitar solo finishes off the track. ‘Yours Is an Empty Hope’ keeps the energy level intense as the aggressive rhythm is finished off by Floor’s edgier delivery and bassist Marco joining here for some backing vocals. ‘Amaranth’, video single from “Dark Passion Play’, showcases the commercial rock radio strengths of Nightwish, and the crowd sang along like champs. “Once” album single ‘Nemo’ also generates the same sing along excitement with the fans, and ‘Elan’ off the latest album obviously equally accepted by the people. Really…why is American rock radio still clueless about this band after three hit singles??? Duuhhh! Troy, on the uilleann pipes, pulls in the sounds of European (Ireland) culture for ‘My Walden’, with Marco taking lead vocal, and guitar, for ‘The Islander’. Returning classics ‘She Is My Sin” (off the “Wishmaster” album), and Stratovarius influenced ‘Stargazers’ dusted off from the “Oceanborn” got a rousing response from the die hard fans, but Floor really brought house down for her interpretation of the classic ballad ‘Sleeping Sun’. I bet even Tarja (whose lovely operatic tone helped make Nightwish a household name) would be touched by Floor’s performance.

Great band, awesome show, can’t wait for them to return in 2016. Hope more Americans wake up to the new generation for the second go around.


Mother Machine
Get the Devil Out of Me
Army of Dolls
Not Enough
We Are the Others

Ghost Division
To Hell and Back
Carolus Rex
Resist and Bite
Swedish Pagans
Night Witches
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe

Shudder Before the Beautiful
Yours Is an Empty Hope
She Is My Sin
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
My Walden
The Islander
Weak Fantasy
I Want My Tears Back
Sleeping Sun
The Greatest Show on Earth
(Chapter II: Life; Chapter III: The Toolmaker)
Ghost Love Score
Last Ride of the Day

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