|Review: Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful Tour
|Endless Forms Most Beautiful Tour
Venue: The Palladium
City: Worcester, MA, USA
Show date: April 11, 2015
Guests: Delain, Sabaton
Review online: April 25, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Endless Forms Most Beautiful Tour
Rated 4.29/5 (85.71%) (14 Votes)
Having never before seen Nightwish, one of the most influential Symphonic Metal bands and one that helped get me back into Metal when I first "discovered" them 10 years ago, I made it a point to attend their Endless Forms Most Beautiful tour when it rolled into Worcester, MA I figured it was high time I checked them out. The opportunity to see opening bands Delain (again) and Sabaton (also the first time) certainly made the experience much more interesting. Make it a Saturday night and how could I say no?
2015’s seen a damn cold winter in the United States’ northeast and this day was no different. Clear and sunny but low 50s and windy was order of the day. Why the weather forecast? I’ll get to that in a minute. Standing in line (on line for the New Yorkers, in queue for the Brits) is a typically drab experience when you go to a show by yourself as I often do. Listening to all the other nerds (oh yeah, I’m a nerd too, I have no illusions about that) talk about their recent show especially when one keeps bringing up the same damn show over and over is mind-numbing. One even asked another "have you ever read Hitchhiker’s Guide?" What?? Dude, do you think there is ANYONE in this line who hasn’t read that book? Cripes. Anyway, the standing and waiting started around 5:30 with doors scheduled to open @ 6:30. No, make that 7:00 according to the staff keeping us updated. Next thing we know, the sun has gone down and the wind has picked up and the temps dropped into the 40s. I didn’t get in the venue until 7:30 and by then my teeth were chattering but I was still better off in my long-sleeve than all the fans in just t-shirts. Still, I love it when a band keeps me waiting outside in the cold so all the VIP ticket holders can get their limited edition vermillion and mauve vinyl albums signed.
The Palladium holds upwards of 3,000 people and the show was sold out so the line stretched from the door all the way around the block and ended with the people at the back able to chat with the people at the front. I’ve never seen that many people here for a show. Nightwish’s popularity has certainly survived the Annette Olzon experiment. First up was The Netherlands’ Delain, a band that just recently played here with Sonata Arctica last September. The stage is not big in Worcester ("wuh-ster" as we say here and ALL the bands got it right! The crowd flips when someone says "woo-ster" or "wor-ches-ter") and was made even smaller by Nightwish’s gear which was already set up but covered. Front woman Charlotte Wessels made good use of the space she had and the rest of the band was energetic as they played their 30 minute set including "Get the Devil Out of Me," "Army of Dolls" and the crowd-favorite "We Are the Others." The fans gave them a decent response but were clearly there for the headliners and didn’t go overboard. Sweden’s Sabaton, a band that seemed to fit least well with the Symphonic Metal theme of the evening, weren’t about to let that happen to them. From the get-go, Joachim Broden and crew came out and bull-rushed the crowd with their twin-guitar assault. Dressed in their camo pants, Sabaton jumped, swayed and threw fists in the air in unison as they rocked songs like "Carolus Rex," "Soldier of Three Armies" and the awesome "Resist and Bite." Broden even engaged the crowd between songs with perfect English, including a few four-letter words, and some less-than-perfect jokes (the Michael Jackson joke drew heavy groans from the crowd). The Swedes rounded out their 45 minutes with a couple for the true Sabaton fans in attendance; "Primo Victoria" and "Metal Crue." Great job by Sabaton.
After a relatively quick stage change-over the intro music for Nightwish started, the lights went down and the band hit the stage. Floor Jansen is a huge presence for Nightwish and not just because in heels she is the tallest person on the stage. Bathed in a spotlight, the band seems comfortable letting her be the focus and she embraces it. The first 2/3 of the show focused mainly on newer songs, mostly from Endless Forms Most Beautiful. If you don’t like the album you’re going to want to skip this tour but I have to say songs like "Shudder Before the Beautiful," "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" and "My Walden" sounded great live. Floor banged her head with abandon as she and Marco shared vocals on the excellent "Weak Fantasy" and even "Elan," which I originally didn’t think much of, sounded great. The slower tracks didn’t fare as well and slowed the show too much though Marco’s solo performance of "The Islander" from Dark Passion Play was an exception. Fans of the older material weren’t forgotten with "Nemo," "Sleeping Sun" and an amazing version of "Stargazers." Floor has an excellent voice though she clearly is more comfortable with the new material written specifically for her. She did well with the Tarja-era songs but there was clearly some help from the soundboard as her vocals were often double (though some of that was her singing high and Marco low). Even if she had help, she was still on key the entire show and has a great range. As for the show itself, I found the lights a bit too bright and couldn’t even look at the stage a few times but that’s minor in the grand scheme of things.
So there you have it; Nightwish put on a very good show, if heavily weighted in favor of newer material, that made a lot of fans happy. Delain and Sabaton both proved entertaining openers that also played highly enjoyable sets even for those only there to see Nightwish. If you thought it was over for the Finnish legends, think again and grab a ticket.
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