I was very fortunate on November 25th to be in Buenos Aires, Argentina for one of the concerts of the year. I was at Luna Park with a capacity at just over 9,000. I do not belive the show was sold out, but it was pretty close. Tarja spends a lot of time in Buenos Aires since that is where her husband is from and they treat her as one of their own. I am getting ahead of myself here though. We had two phenomenal opening bands that usually headline almost every time I have seen them recently.
Amaranthe started the evening off. Unfortunately the Amaranthe camp had been hit hard by a virus that was going around and a lot of the band and support staff were sick. Elize Ryd was one that got it the worst. That being said, she was a trooper and went out and left it all on stage. It was also my first chance to see Nils Molin live and he did not disappoint. I can’t wait for the next album coming in 2018 that he will get to be a part of from the beginning. We also had Johan the bassist in a chair due to a broken foot, but he was also gutting it out and performing for the fans. Even with all that working against them, Amaranthe put on their usual high energy show. They played an eleven song set the was largely composed of their newest album Maximalism and their first self-titled album. It was great hearing some of the older tunes like “1,000,000 Lightyears”, “Amaranthine” and “Hunger“. The songs from Maximalism were great and come across a lot harder live in concert. “That Song“, “Fury” and “Maximize” really tore it up. The show finished with “Drop Dead Cynical” and “The Nexus“. The crowd had been well-entertained by Amaranthe and I really appreciated the effort they put in.
Next up we had Delain. They did not have all the challenges that Amaranthe did. I had not seen Delain open in so long it was a weird experience seeing a short set. I was fortunate enough to see their 10th anniversary show in Amsterdam and their Danse Macabre show in Utrecht earlier this year. They still came out and left it all on the stage. The crowd had continued to file in and after Amaranthe had them revved up, they were ready for more. Delain had an eight song set that was heavily influenced by their newest album Moonbathers. They opened with “Hands of Gold“, “The Glory and the Scum“, “Suckerpunch“, “The Hurricane” and “Fire With Fire” all from Moonbathers. All great songs, but “The Glory and the Scum” and “Fire With Fire” were highlights to me. Those songs come off really electric live. The set ended with “Don’t Let Go” which always gets the crowd off their feet jumping and “We Are The Others” which any Delain fan knows is their main anthem. Charlotte sounded great on vocals and Timo tore it up on guitar as usual. From talking to a lot of people there, they were really blown away by how good Amaranthe and Delain were. I was so glad to hear that since they are two of my favorite bands.
Next up would be the main headliner of the night and the crowd was on fire to see Tarja perform. You know you have made it in the music business when people know you by just one name. I had not seen Tarja perform since 2009 at the Female Metal Voices Festival in Belgium so this was a special occurrence. The place exploded when Tarja hit the stage. It had been a long time since I had seen so much love pour out of a crowd for a musician. Tarja came out swinging with a 26 song set, but some of those songs were abbreviated parts of a Nightwish compilation and an acoustic set. She is such an intense performer. She always has an emotion on her face. Usually a smile, but sometimes the pure emotion she puts into her performance can come across as mad, sad or joyful depending on the song. She has always been one of my favorite performers and this night she was amazing!
She hit the stage with “Demons In You“, “500 Letters” and “No Bitter End” and let me tell you it was fantastic. She was in perfect voice and the crowd was blown away. This may all sound a little over the top, but it truly was an incredible night that I will never forget. Songs from her 2016 album The Shadow Shelf dominated the set, but it still had a great mixture of songs from over the years. At one point she did a little Nightwish medley that included “Ever Dream” and “Slaying The Dreamer“. Even though she has really moved on from those days, it was fun to be taken back to where it all began, if even for just a little bit. Soon after we had an acoustic medley that include “Until Silence” and “I Walk Alone“. Those have always been two of my favorite songs and it was great to hear them done acoustically. Her band as usual was very good. Whether it was electric or acoustic they were a real treat to listen to. Another amazing part of the evening is when Charlotte from Delain and Elize from Amaranthe joined Tarja on stage to sing “Together” from her new Christmas album From Spirits and Ghosts. It was breathtaking to see three such great singers performing together on stage. The night ended with two absolute classics in “Die Alive” and “Until My Last Breath“. The crowd sang back to her in full voice and serenaded her for a long time. I think she had a hard time actually leaving the stage to say goodbye.
Every year there are always a couple of concerts that stand out for me and this was definitely one of them. First to see three of my favorite bands in one night was very special. Then to see them in Argentina just added to the spectacular night all around. It sounds like Tarja will be touring the United States in 2018 and I hope that is true. I can’t wait to see her again. Thank you to Tarja, Delain, Amaranthe and Argentina for making this a night I will never forget.