I arrived 30 minutes prior to the doors opening. Nothing new about that. Usually there is time to go find some food prior to the show, but not this day. I pull up to The Bomb Factory, THE newest music venue in Dallas….and the line was already two blocks long!!! Wow. I parked the truck in the designated place indicated by the flaggers around the venue. Not bad as it was only half a block from the front door.
Honestly, I did not know much about NIGHTWISH or DELAIN, except that I have friends overseas who have seen them and all had good things to say. A very unique pairing, NIGHTWISH from Finland and DELAIN from The Netherlands in Dallas, Texas. Unusual in and of itself. Well, let’s just see how this goes. Symphonic metal….never been, but looking forward to it.
We got to the front door and actually nice to see, people were having to show ID’s. If you were under 21 you got a certain color wrist band or over, another color. Balcony….yes balcony seats, got a second wrist band. So everyone was sorted out when they went in. Very impressive, really. Never having been in The Bomb Factory before, it was merchandise tables first, then off to the right you enter the bar area. I counted three very large bars, stocked with anything you would want. Very nice in that it catered to so many people, never was anything crowded with long lines.
The floor, very, very large. If I were to guess, there must have been 2,000 people standing on the floor to see the show. All around and above, in a “U” shape were the balcony seats. All in all a great theater seating design with about four or five rows, each six inches higher than the row in front, so a great and unobstructed view, of the stage. Each seat with a small elongated table shared with everyone on that row. Just all very well designed….and holy crap, just WAIT for the stage lighting. Just incredible.
After being awed by the venue, DELAIN took the stage. Members Martijn Westerholt, Charlotte Wessels, Otto Schimmelpenninck ver der Oije, Timo Somers and Ruben Israel began their set with the hard pounding “Mother Machine”. Charlotte (lead vocals) comes on stage and welcomes Dallas to the show…nice touch. An incredible vocalist, Charlotte’s background is in jazz and classical music singing, but she adds a nice touch to DELAIN’S symphonic melodies. The light show was perfectly coordinated with the band, highlighting her at the perfect times. Kudos to the light crew as well. Don’t get me wrong, DELAIN is no jazz or classical band, they have plenty of good headbanging moments. One highlight to the show was when Marco Hietala (NIGHTWISH bassist) came onto stage to share vocals on “Sing to Me” with the band. Of course, me being a novice to these bands, thought it was sort of cool, but the crowd, who obviously loved them all, were freaking. Nice job DELAIN.
OK, so now we come to the headliner NIGHTWISH. I did not know what to expect as I was not familiar with the band, except, as I said, I had heard great reviews from some friends. Yeah, I’m a heavy rock/metal head…..symphonic metal??? What the heck is that? I was not really sure what to think beforehand, but I knew there were lots of NIGHTWISH t-shirts standing in line outside to get in….so there must be something to it. The stage goes dark, you hear drops of water and dinosaurs wailing in the background, the overhead blue lights come on and the camera phones immediately alight the floor and you hear, “The deepest solace lies in understanding, this ancient unseen stream, a shudder before the beautiful”… a slight pause, then let the ass kicking begin in earnest. Floor Jansen, metal vocalist (EPICA, AVALON) has such an incredible voice and the band has great harmony. Not death metal by any stretch, but holy crap, taste out the ying-yang, great vocals and an excess of palm muted notes chords, explode on the stage.
Floor Jansen’s incredible vocals blew the doors off the club. After the first song, I picked my jaw up off the floor and screamed like a little girl at how awesome it all was. And this was just the beginning. A two hour set of songs kicking ass, the music increasing in intensity. “Yours in an Empty Hope”, “Storytime”, “She is My Sin”, “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” (which ran around in my head for hours afterwards) and others totaled a set of 16 songs……it went on and on and on.
Intensity, great vocals, palm mutation, great solos…..2 incredible hours!!! About two thirds of the way into NIGHTWISH’S set I thought to myself “I better get a tour shirt as I now love these guys”. Just an incredible show. NOW I know why people were lined up around the block when I got there. Can’t wait to see them again. Cheers.
LIVE WORDS: MARK EHRLICH
LIVE PHOTOS: ANYA SVIRSKAYA