Nightwish, Sabaton, & Delain Give Los Angeles The Greatest Show On Earth

Nightwish, Sabaton, Delain
May 1, 2015
Greek Theater- Los Angeles, CA

       Nightwish, Sabaton, and Delain came together for a huge US tour. This trio of talented and amazing bands didn’t come from US soil though, but rather, from across the sea. With just over half the tour over, they made their way to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California where a huge line had already formed well before doors opened.
The first act to go up was the symphonic metal band from the Netherlands, Delain! Delain has been regularly touring the USA for the past couple of years and delainsc2has been making tons of new fans with each stop. They are currently out supporting their newest album, The Human Contradiction. By the time Delain was ready to go on stage, the venue was already packed with people waiting to see them whether they were there to see them for the first time or had seen them before. Four of the band members came on stage and they started with their opener, Mother Machine from their previous We Are The Others album. Just a few seconds later, front-woman Charlotte Wessels made her way to the stage and was greeted by cheers from fans. Wessels7.n t has a strong stage presence as she walks and dances on stage while always maintaining her sweet and bubbly personality as she constantly smiled so you know she loves what she does. Bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck seemed to be back to normal after his rupture incident in Birmingham late last year. The rest of Delain’s setlist had songs like: Get the Devil Out of Me, Stardust, and Not Enough which can be found on their new and previous album. When they played The Gathering, they brought out Nightwish bassist Marco Hietala to perform the song with them as a special guest. Delain finished the show with We Are The Others and left the stage. They were the opening act, but the crowd was already pumped from their performance and ready for more!
Up next was the Swedish power metal band, Sabaton! They were out on tour to support their newest album Heroes which was released on May 2014. They had plenty of fans in attendance as they wore shirts or camo pants themselves. All the band came out wearing camo pants with the addition of frontman Joakim Brodén wearing a battle vest which looks super cool. They opened their set with Ghost Division which immediately made everyone that was sitting, stand up. The song has a very catchy chorus and people everywhere could be heard singing along to “They are the Panzer elite, born to compete, never retreat (Ghost Division!) Leaving our dead, always ahead, fed by your dread!” Brodén kept the crowd pumped as he ran and jumped on stage and had an energetic stage presence that he kept up the whole show. After the third song, Carolus Rex, Brodén was all smiles as you could tell he was overwhelmed by the positive response that Sabaton has received from the Los Angeles crowd and was very grateful for everyone. To start the song Swedish Pagans, Brodén had the crowd chant the opening song by having them say, “whoa-oh-oh, Whooaa-oh-oh-oh-ah-oh” Other songs in their setlist included: To Hell and Back, The Art of War, and Primo Victoria. Before playing their final song, Brodén brought up a little boy on stage. Brodén mentioned to the boy that he remembers him from a past show, possibly Sabaton’s 2014 House of Blues sabatonsc-8show. Brodén handed the boy his glasses as a memento and Sabaton proceeded to play their final song, Metal Crüe. Sabaton let the boy have his time on stage as guitarist Chris Rörland allowed him to play the guitar solo of the song. Brodén had his last moments of fun by giving Rörland a titty twist to which Rörland retaliated by flipping him the bird in return, but it was all in good fun as the band is known to have fun on stage and still entertain the crowd. The band finished their show, bowed with the little boy, and left. That’s two acts down, and just the main event was left.
Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Finland and are one of Finland’s biggest-selling bands. Nightwish released their eighth studio album titled Endless Forms Most Beautiful (taken from the writings of English naturalist Charles Darwin) on March 27th. This makes the first album to feature new Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen after replacing previous singer Anette Olzon whom was dismissed from the band on October 2012. This album also features the newest member of the band Troy Donockley whom has been with the band since 2007’s Dark Passion Play, but was just recently announced as an official member making Nightwish a sextet band for the first time. He handles uilleann pipes, whistles, and backing vocals. The only presence missing was original drummer Jukka Nevalainen whom decided to sit out this tour to deal with his insomnia. Kai Hahto from Finnish melodic death metal band Wintersun would fill in for the tour. As Nightwish prepared to go on stage, the venue had already filled to almost full capacity with only a few empty seats in view. The lights went out and the restless crowd cheered and yelled almost to where they could shatter your eardrums. The intro consisted of the fifth and final part of the final track of Nightwish’s new album, The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter V: Sea-worn Driftwood). After that finished, the intro from the first track from their new album (narrated by Richard Dawkins) started and by then, the band members made their way to stage to begin Shudder Before the Beautiful as Jansen was the last person to come on stage to begin singing the song. The whole band has a beautiful presence on stage; it’s almost like watching a live orchestra. The stage was filled with elements derived from the new album. With the new album being a concept about the beauty of life, the beauty of existence, nature and science, it was no surprise seeing stage props of a DNA backdrop and the mic stands made of trees and founding member/lyricist/keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen’s keyboards were held up by tree stumps and branches. The second song was another new song titled Your Is An Empty Hope followed by She Is My Sin from the Wishmaster album which let Jansen utilize her vocals to sound like original Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen. The fourth song was Amaranth which is one the band’s biggest hits and got the crowd singing along to “Caress the one, the hiding Amaranth in a land of the daybreaaak!” Floor Jansen kept her stage presence alive by dancing and swaying to the music as well as head-spinning throughout the show.  The time came to play the ballad, The Islander, and bassist Marco Hietala played out the first half of the song in acoustic form before the rest of the band came out to join in and play the rest of the song in full form. Most of the setlist was dominated by new tracks like: My Walden, Weak Fantasy, Alpenglow, and the title track Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Storytime was played from the previous Imaginaerum album which remains a favorite for many people as they sang along, clapped, and danced to the song regardless of who was the singer. Everyone was having a good time. Following that was Dark Chest of Wonders which was another fan favorite where Jansen got to utilize her opera-like vocals to match Turunen in style. One of the staple songs of the night was Stargazers which the band hasn’t played in 10 years since original singer Tarja Turunen’s dismissal from the band. Jansen took on the song with her own vocals and sounded spot on to sounding just like the original. Old school fans were just happy to see the song being in the setlist again after so long. The second to last song was one of Nightwish’s most beautiful songs, Sleeping Sun. It’s been a long time since this song made an appearance and once again with the help of Jansen’s vocal range, she made it possible to hear this song in its opera-like glory. The crowd remained silent and watched in awe as Jansen performed Sleeping Sun with precision to the original and you can feel her emotions coming out from her singing. After the song finished, Donockley finished off the song by playing the final chorus on his uilleann pipes which added more beauty to the song. Donockley then started playing the last song which would be parts two and three of the 24-minute last track of the new album, The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter II: Life and Chapter III: The Toolmaker) which takes its name from Richard Dawkins’ 2009 book on evolution . That alone made for a 12 minute song, but made it all the awesome as a finisher to the show as Jensen went full force with her vocals as she used lots of high notes to match how the song sounds on the album.
nightwishsc-13Everyone thought the show was over, but not before the band came out to play two more songs for their dedicated Los Angeles fanbase. The first encore was their 10-minute symphonic metal masterpiece and possibly their best song, Ghost Love Score. Jensen would dance to the song while giving out her opera-like vocals a workout and even Holopainen joined in on having fun by head banging and playing his keyboards with such fun and a smile like he was having the time if his life. This was easily one of the best songs of the night. It was sadly time for the concert to come to an end as Nightwish took the Los Angeles crowd for one last ride as they finished their spectacular show with Last Ride of the Day which was the perfect finisher. The band finished with huge smiles on their faces and the crowd was just as happy to have them return after taking a break. They took their bows and left yet the crowd still seemed to want more as they waved goodbye and yelled out, “We love you!” One thing you gotta love about overseas bands like this is that people go there for the bands and music as well as friends whether they’re old friends or making new friends. People don’t usually attend these shows to get piss drunk to where they don’t remember the show or to get into random fights with the first person that looks at them funny. If you see that this tour is coming to your area, it is mandatory that you attend it as it is for sure one of the best shows of the year and you will regret it if you pass on it.
“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species.

Review by: Misael Ruiz