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Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from the fair lands of Finland. Performing in front of a sold out crowd at the Town Ballroom, the group presented their gripping blend of orchestral arrangements and power metal. The group was formed in 1996. Since that time they have released 8 full length LPs, seen multiple lineup changes, and have become recognized as authorities of the genre.

Opening for Nightwish was Sabaton. A Swedish, heavy metal band, Sabaton brought the speed and aggression typical of a heavy metal band. Less common was the group’s lighthearted sense of humor. Joakim Brodén, lead vocalist for the group, did his best to keep the crowd engaged with a nonstop stream of jokes and wisecracks between songs. Their music primarily addresses war and combat in a narrative form while heavy laden with fiery guitar riffs and battering drum fills.

Nightwish took to the stage in a shroud of darkness led by new vocalist Floor Jansen. Touring in support of their new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful, the band opened with “Shudder Before the Beautiful.” This song contained everything one would expect from a Nightwish album packed into 5 minutes. Soaring vocals, blistering guitars, grand orchestral arrangements, anthemic melodies and hooky as hell choruses. The song started the night right and the group never lost pace.

Cohesive and precise, the band’s 17 song setlist was over in what felt like no time. The crowd’s enthusiasm was sincere and consistent. Jansen’s stirring vocal performance left no doubt that she was a worthy heir to the role at the band’s front. All in all, a very satisfying evening for fans of metal in its most grandiose form.