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Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Arctica
Written by Doctor T.   
Saturday, 26 March 2016

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Arctica
Live in Minneapolis
2/29/16

 

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 


(Delain photos by Deb Freytag Photography)

If you live long enough you pretty much get to see everyone, although I did miss Frank Sinatra, Liberace and the Andrews Sisters. Caught Elvis, when he was still Elvis, even got a peak at the Beatles. But, until this night, I’d never seen Nightwish. So, this was a big bucket list item. I had originally expected to see them in Milwaukee during their Midwest Tour with Delain and Sonata Arctica but that didn’t quite work out so I ended up heading north (and escaping a southern Wisconsin snow storm) for the next presentation on the tour. So far, so good.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

The timing was critical, Minneapolis may not be New York but you can get lost there as well as anywhere and I ended up in a well concealed parking lot waiting on a Twins game that was still some 2 months away. Finally escaping, I checked in to a high rent lodging down the street from the venue and put myself in line. That’s when the problems started. The First Avenue venue in Minneapolis either has little regard for their patrons or they just fooked up this one. I ended up sitting in line in 15 degree temps waiting to be strip searched before entering the venue until about 6:30. Problem is, Delain went on stage about 5:45. So, I got in for the final song and got nowhere near the stage with my camera until Charlotte, Merel and the boys were packing their bags and winding up chords. And, I wasn’t the only one. You really gotta try harder than that boys. Fortunately, I made the acquaintance of a lovely Minneapolis photographer, one Deb Freytag, who didn’t go through the same Gestapo search I enjoyed and managed to provide the Delain shots included here. Thanks Deb, and welcome to the SonicCathedral family, our newest photographer.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

Well, anyway, I talked to Charlotte and some of the Delain folks and much of what they’d covered was similar to what I had heard and seen twice on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise in the Caribbean a couple weeks previously so I had some idea what I had missed while enjoying the hospitality of a frigid Minnesota winter outside in the venue’s version of a Dachau lineup. If you’ve seen Delain you understand that this is about as good as it gets in this style of music, they always put on a first class show.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

I took the next 20 minutes or so to warm up sufficiently to exhibit a pulse and get a lens on my camera while waiting for Sonata Arctica. This isn’t a band I’m familiar with for obvious reasons but they’re well known, even in Minneapolis. Good material, good presentation and I got time to work with my new camera and get ready for the main act.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

Nightwish took the stage to some interesting background music and we photographers took to the pitt with trepidation after harsh warnings from the goose stepping First Avenue security guys who must have been anticipating Pontius Pilate on his way to enacting the Big Crucifixion. Pontius didn’t appear but Floor did, in high heal boots that put her up to about 6’8”.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

There’s a reason why this is continues to be one of the biggest acts in the genre, indeed, one of the biggest in metal. The new drummer was a bit more reserved than Jukka Nevalainen, but he was so far back you could barely make him out. And, besides, with Floor prowling the floor in black on black it was hard to remember that Nightwish is a lot more on stage than just one large Dutch girl.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

But, I did manage to take time to watch Marco Hietala and Emppu Vuorinen who prance around on stage pretty well themselves. Floor and Marco took turns talking to the crowd and this was one enthusiastic crowd, and one that seemed well versed in the Nightwish music. I know most of the old stuff but, since these days I tend to cover new sounds and bands from Eastern Europe, I’m probably less familiar with newer Nightwish than the average patron that night. And, I was too busy trying to get shots to spend much time singing, and, besides, that wouldn’t have added to the musical excellence on stage.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

It was a little more difficult to catch Tuomas Holopainen, especially with the camera. They had more smoke on stage for much of the presentation than a Rastafarian crop celebration and most of it seemed to congregate around the keyboard. But, keyboards are my particular interest area so, when I wasn’t watching Floor strut around, that’s where much of my attention was focused.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

The band, interestingly enough, did a fair amount of Tarja era material, songs like Ghost Love Score and Wishmaster. There was an interesting segment in the middle when Marco addressed the crowd before launching into his vocal contribution, While Your Lips are Still Red. To paraphrase, he said something like, “We live in interesting times, and we Europeans are watching things in America closely. By the way, whats with that guy with the combover”? Bawhaha, guy plays a solid bass, sings and delivers a one liner. And, it was well received, this was Minnesota, after all.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

After a few more songs, the photo section was cleared by the prison guards with stern warnings that any further camera utilization would be dealt with harshly by the guys with the water boards. So, I retreated to the bar, as far from the SS boys as possible to enjoy the rest of the music with the paying customers. Nightwish did a 16 song set so everyone got their money’s worth, and I had at least 5 large Fat Tires to compensate for my troubles.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

At some point, following that last Fat Tire, things came to a close and I exited with the rest of the throng to the closest saloons to discuss the nights entertainment. I found it amazing that everyone I talked to seemed to know as much about Delain and Nightwish as I did and I’ve been covering them for years. My first review at SC was a Nightwish release. That was an eye opener for me and a very satisfying revelation. You keep hearing from people that the last thing we need is another Nightwish sounding band and I keep saying Bullshit, you can’t get enough Nightwish sounding bands (you know who I’m speaking to, right). And, based on the comments I heard, that was a popular opinion.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

So, all in all, a successful venture, no complaints from me. . . . It’s amazing how much you can tolerate when the payoff is Floor and the best band in the venue working 90 minutes for your enjoyment. Would have been better with a little more Charlotte and Delain but there will be other days. Hopefully, warmer days.

Nightwish, Delain, Sonata Artica

 

T out.

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