Finland’s symphonic metal band returns to Southern California on the second leg of Endless Form Most Beautiful with Delain and Sonata Arctica.

2015 was a banner year for Nightwish. The Finnish symphonic metal band released a new album, Endless Form Most Beautiful, and completed their second tour with lead singer Floor Jensen (formerly of After Forever and Revamp) on vocals.

Nightwish open the show with a “Shudder Before the Beautiful,” a fast number with intricate time changes. As the band plays, Jensen emerges from backstage bringing a roar from the crowd. The opening tune is the first of what will be a setlist with emphasis on the latest material.

The band continues with “Yours Is an “Empty Hope,” also from the new album, followed by “She Is My Sin.” Two more new songs follow, “Storytime” and “My Walden,” and then a rare performance of “While Your Lips Are Still Red,” a track they haven’t toured with since 2009.

As their set continues, Nightwish plays “Élan,” the first single off of Endless Form Most Beautiful. Fans sing along as Jensen holds her microphone out to the audience. They also play “Weak Fantasy,” the sixth new track of the night.

Most of the rest of the set is a journey through previous albums with “Bless the Child,” “I Want My Tears Back,” “Nemo,” “Sahara,” “Stargazers,” “Ghost Love Score,” and “Last Ride of the Day.”

Jensen’s operatic vocals and strong stage presence breathe new life into the older Nightwish catalog. She brings a palpable energy to the stage, dancing and swinging her hair, connecting with fans, and leading them in singing the choruses.

Nightwish closes with one final selection from their latest release, “The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter II: Life; Chapter III: The Toolmaker).”

Opening the show is Dutch symphonic metal band, Delain, lead by Charlotte Wessels. They play a 40-minute set including their new song, “Sucker Punch.” They also played “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”.

Next is Finland’s, Sonata Arctica, still supporting their 2014 “Pariah’s Child.” Singer Tony Kakko keeps the crowd energized, fans participate by singing along, pumping fists, and jumping about. They open with “The Wolves Die Young” and follow with “My Land,” “Fullmoon,” “Tallulah/Last Drop Falls,” “I have A Right”, and “The Cage.” The band closed with “Don’t Say Word”.

Sonata Arctica and Delain will continue to perform US shows after their tour ends with Nightwish, whose shows take them China and Russia before returning to Europe to wrap their tour in August 2016.

Photo credit: Craig Newman

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