NIGHTWISH / DELAIN / SONATA ARCTICA
Grove of Anaheim
Having had a banner year in 2015 with their new album ‘Endless Form Most Beautiful’ breaking new ground and a second tour with Floor Jensen (After Forever & Revamp) taking over on vocals, Finland’s symphonic metal troupe Nightwish returned to the USA and Southern California’s City National Grove of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA on March 12, 2016 to a sold out show with Delain who was also out with them Stateside last year alongside openers Sonata Arctica.
Nightwish played a 16 song set, including “Shudder Before the Beautiful” (bringing the crowd to a roar) “ She Is My Sin”, “Storytime”, “My Walden”, “Élan”, “Bless The Child”, “Nemo”, a rare performance of “While Are Lips Are Still Red” and closing with “The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter II: Life; Chapter III: The Toolmaker)” from the new album. Tuomas Holopainen, of course handles all the writing for the band and it’s his influence from film music that seems to take on a new life in a live situation. Floor’s operatic vocals and strong stage presence show her to be completely at ease as she treads the boards. Even the band’s back catalogue seems re-energized with Floor taking the reigns. Their next album should be a live one coupled with a DVD from this tour.
Support tonight was provided by longtime touring partners Dutch symphonic metallers Delain, pumping outa 40 minute set of 8 songs, including new single “Suckerpunch” from their new Ep ‘Lunar Prelude’ as well as material from current album ‘The Human Contradiction.’ Other songs on the night included, “Get The Devil Out Of Me”, “Army of Dolls”, “Mother Machine”, “We Are The Others”, “Turn Out The Lights”, “Don’t Let Go”, and “Not Enough”. Delain bring a new dynamic into the setting as they currently have a female guitarist Merel Bechtold replacing Timo Somers as the female duo play off of each other in a unique way.
The night’s openers, Sonata Arctica (who, like the headliners call Finland home) still supporting their 2014 release ‘Pariah’s Child’ gave a strong 8 song / 40 minute set with singer Tony Kakko keeping the crowd energized and on their feet. Opening with “The Wolves Die Young” they tour straight into “My Land”, before leading us through ”Fullmoon”, “Tallulah/ Last Drop Falls, “I Have A Right”, “The Cage” and “Don’t Say Word”.
After the run with Nightwish ends in August (complete with dates across Asia and Europe) both Delain and Sonata Arctica have plans to finish up the States later this year.
– Craig Newman