Magnificence is the only word to describe the symphonic metal that is Nightwish. The Finland-based unit is considered a pioneer in the genre of symphonic metal and their success in Europe has garnered acclaim across the globe; since their debut in 1996, the group has moved over 8 million records and received more than five dozen gold and platinum awards.
Along with these numbers comes a sizable fan following, which turned out in numbers when Nightwish descended onto Orlando, Florida at the House of Blues in support of their eighth studio album ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ for a night of dramatic and melodic metal that fans would be talking about for a long time.
A Nightwish concert is a spectacular experience seldom seen before this side of the pond, being likened to a powerful movie soundtrack of classical symphony, coupled with heavy guitars and drums, then soaring with the beauty and elegance of stunning vocals from Metal Goddess Floor Jansen.
Jansen was obviously made for Nightwish and her resume as a dynamic lead vocalist surely points that out. With the addition of Jansen’s vocal power, the band has undergone an evolution that’s created yet another harmonic masterpiece.
Finland’s most successful band is accustomed to playing before thousands of metal fans in concerts across Europe. But this night, devoted U.S. fans would have an up close encounter with Nightwish as only the House Of Blues could provide, and provide they did. The House of Blues is a premier venue destination, hosting some of the biggest names in music within an intimate setting.
The ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ tour would include two solid opening acts in Delain and Sabaton, both of which have strong followings of their own and proved to be fantastic openers for the symphonic headliner. Both Delain and Sabaton were the perfect compliments to open the concert and were so impressive that if you didn’t know who was headlining, you may have made the mistake of going home early.
As explosive as both Delain and Sabaton were on the stage, dedicated fans had come to experience the classic live metal show that Nightwish has become known for. They would not be disappointed.
The capacity crowd erupted as figures began appearing on the dark stage, signaling the arrival of the masters of symphonic metal. The wait was over. Nightwish would captivate their fans with an extensive collection of tracks from seven bodies of work, all sung through Floor Jansen’s beautiful vocal interpretation.
Most of the tracks on the setlist came from the band’s new effort, ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful,’ which served as the first Nightwish album to showcase Floor Jansen as their new frontwoman.
Nightwish began their set with the opening track to the new album, “Shudder Before the Beautiful”. Other fresh compositions that were presented over the course of the evening included “Yours Is an Empty Hope,” “Endless Forms Most Beautiful,” “My Walden,” “Élan,” “Alpenglow,” “Weak Fantasy” and “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Timeless tracks to come included ‘Imaginaerum’s’ “Storytime” and “Last Ride of the Day,” “She Is My Sin” from the band’s ‘Wishmaster’ album, ‘Dark Passion Play’s’ “The Islander” and “The Poet and the Pendulum,” “Oceanborn’s” “Stargazers,” “Sleeping Sun” from ‘Four Ballads of the Eclipse,’ and “Ghost Love Score” from the band’s ‘Once’ album.
Floor Jansen’s rendition of “Sleeping Sun” was absolutely enchanting, causing one fan to lose themselves in the moment and dance in harmony as Jansen sang for the duration of the song.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that Nightwish consists of a collective that are true artists, each contributing their own element to the lyrical brilliance of Tuomas Holopainen. When those elements come together on the stage, it makes for a concert experience like no other, proving that metal can be a most beautiful thing.
If you happened to miss Nightwish’s 2015 North American tour, they’ve just announced a 26 date tour of North America for 2016 and opening for them will again be Delain. If you didn’t miss the 2015 tour, my guess is you’re already making plans for another epic night of symphonic perfection.