Concert Photo Review: NIGHTWISH and BEAST IN BLACK @ The Warfield – San Francisco, California

Beast in Black went onstage first and kicked off the show with a sci-fi themed song named “Blade Runner”, from their album Dark Connection (2021); A tribute song to the 80s masterpiece film “Blade Runner”.Beast in Black also performed one of their earlier hits and fan favorite Blind and Frozen from their from their debut album Berserker back in 2017, Moonlight Rendezvous and One Night in Tokyo had synths and electronic beats elements that took me back to the wonderful 80s.

I was amazed how these guys sound so great live, I had such a blast watching their set I immediately became a fan and bought their merchandise. Fun fact: Guitarist and songwriter Anton Kabanen was a founding member of heavy/power metal band Battle Beast which was formed back in 2005, fast forward to 2015, Anton leaves Battle Beast to form heavy metal band Beast in Black. Beast in Black won Emma Gaala Metal of the Year 2022 award with the Dark Connection album and it’s not your typical heavy metal album, it has a lot of 80s influences and elements and also includes a metal version of “They Don’t Care About Us” (Michael Jackson cover).

Next up was the headliner, Finland’s finest symphonic metal band, Nightwish. When you think symphonic metal, Nightwish comes to the mind of most people as they are one of the most well known and successful bands in the symphonic metal music industry along side bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Within Temptation, Theatre of tragedy, Epica, Delain, Visions of Atlantis, Xandria and a few others.

 The stage was in complete darkness, a few seconds later we see some flashing lights hitting the drummer and we get an intro with a drum solo by Kai Hahto which gets the crowd super excited. After he finishes the drummer solo, the stage was engulfed with bright lights and we see Tuomas, Emppu, Troy and Jukka Koskinen spread around the stage and  get in position; the band switches to the song Noise from their album Human. :II: Nature, seconds later Floor Jansen (vocalist) enters the stage greeting the crowd.

For the next song, Nightwish switched to Planet Hell, one of their heavier classic songs from the album Once, which happens to be their best selling album. Third song was Tribal from their latest album Human. :II: Nature, to be honest the first couple of times I listened to Tribal I did not care for it much, however it slowly grew on me and I consider it to be one of their best songs from the album along with the track Noise.

The crowd (including myself) had such a blast with the performance of “I want my tears back”, Troy Donockle did an excellent job on the male vocals part and overall it was very entertaining seeing Floor Jansen dancing and having fun while being fully engaged with the crowd.

It was a nice treat to see Floor Jansen perform some Tarja era classics like Nemo, She Is My Sin, Planet Hell, Dark Chest of Wonders and Everdream; For Everdream Floor sang female and male parts of the song that Marko Hietala (former bassist and male vocals) used to sing. However in my opinion the song that Floor Jansen executed the best from that era was Ghost Love Score in which she does a fantastic job, especially towards the ending lyrics:

 “My fall will be for you, My love will be in you, You were the one to cut me, So I’ll bleed forever…”

When I saw the setlist I honestly thought “Ghost Love Score” would have been the perfect song to end the show with a really big bang instead of “Ad Astra”, however being at the show I understand why they went with Floor wrapping up with Ad Astra (latin for “to the stars”)as it fitted perfectly well with the closing of the performance. Fun facts :Both Kai Hahto and Jukka Koskinen are in the heavy metal band Wintersun also former Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen and current Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen are very good friends.

Pictures and review by Alex Macias. Please visit Alex @ his website for more stunning images.

Categories: Beast In Black, Concert Photography, News, Nightwish

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