Live Report - Sonata Arctica/Delain/Xandria
Live Gig

Release year: 0
Reviewed by Joel
On the afternoon of the 17th of Sepetember I got in my car with my sister(Aka concert buddy) and headed roughly one hundred and twenty miles from the Milwaukee,Wisconsin area to Joliet, IL(southwest suburb of the big city of Chicago). This is a concert I had heard about for several months, and could not wait to go. I had seen both Sonata Arctica and Delain once, but never had seen Xandria. I was looking forward to seeing Xandria, and their newest singer, Dianne Van Giersbergen live. With an interesting twist, within the last year, I have reviewed all three of these bands here on MetalReviews. I had the upgraded tickets(a gift to my sister) to meet Sonata Arctica before the show, and they were great guys, down to earth and very polite and not in a rush to go do whatever bands do, backstage. As a bonus, I got to hear the end of Xandria's soundcheck, which was fun while waiting for the Sonata Arctica guys to show up.

I knew coming in that Xandria was only going to play five or maybe six total songs for about thirty to forty minutes. I already knew I was going to be wishing there was going to be more. Starting with their first single from their latest disc Sacrificium, Nightfall sounded the same live as it did on disc. Dianne Van Giersbergen's voice soared throughout the small club, hitting every note within her soprano range. She commanded the stage from start to finish. Between hitting staggering high notes, dancing on stage, she held the audiences captivated, which is definitely rare for the opening band of the night. A pair of Neverworld's End(their previous disc, which featured Manuela Kraller on vocals, and saw a shift in their musical direction) songs were next. The moody but powerful Blood On My Hands was first, followed by the majestic Forevermore. The latter starting with soft piano as it did on the disc, with Van Giersbergen singing softly before the rest of the band kicked in. The mid-paced Dreamkeeper and Neverworld's End's first single, Valentine closed out their set. Like I said I wish I could have heard more, but that is how it goes for the opening band. They played a great set for the time they were given, and I hope I have the opportunity to see the band again, very soon.

Next was the lovely Charlotte Wessels and company, in Delain. Starting with the April Rain track, Go Away started off the set, and like when I saw them last year, the songs sounded a lot heavier live, then they do on disc. We Are The Other's, Get The Devil Out Of Me was next and it must be in the way that Wessels performs this song, because there is this attitude to it, that really got my attention this time like it did before. She is definitely a great stage performer, but definitely has the vocal talent to back it up. Next was two songs off their latest release, The Human Contradiction, the dark Army Of Dolls and Stardust(which had a video for it). A pair of songs of We Are The Others, Electricity and moody, Milk and Honey. Reaching back to their debut, the song Sleepwalker's Dream was next, and I honestly had not listened to Lucidity in awhile, so it took a little while before I remembered this song. The last four songs were a nice balance of their last three discs. With the fan favorite and emotional We Are The Others. A song I know that reaches out to fans of all ages, who have either been bullied or treated differently because of how they dress or act. A perfect song to close out what was a very solid set.

Finally it was time for Sonata Arctica, and I had not seen them since 2011. I was not a fan of Stones Grow Her Name(I did like a few songs on there, but not the disc as a whole). Pariah's Child was a whole different story, and it was one of their best discs in a long time. The first single and track off that disc, The Wolves Die Young was first. Instead of starting off with something blazing fast, they decided to start off with something very melodic, which I did not expect. Speaking of the Stones disc, next was Losing My Insanity, a song off that disc I actually liked. The classic My Land was next, and sounded as it did fifteen year ago. The epic What Did You Do In The War, Dad was next. This Pariah's Child track is one of the bands most ambitious and emotional tracks, and it was performed really well live. Mixing new and old, the next two songs, Cloud Factory and Black Sheep, gave you a sense of now and then as far as where the band has come musically. Midway through the set the speed went full throttle, with the anthemic, Flag In The Ground. I think this is a good time to mention that guitarist Elias Viljanen is an amazing guitarist, while he may not receive the same amount of attention, that original guitarist Jani Liimatainen had, he deserves to be mentioned next to him. Elias plays with precision and technique, and is virtuosic in his own right. The sing-a-long song that is I Have A Right was next, followed by X Marks the Spot from Pariah's Child. It seems as if Tony Kakko and company were saving the classics for last, with four songs from their first two discs. The ballad Tallulah was followed by the speedy Kingdom For A Heart. Silence's San Sebastian was followed by Ecliptica's Full Moon. After a brief break the band returned for a three song encore that featured both old and new. First was the new, with the song Blood off the latest disc, and the classic was Wolf & Raven, which is one of my favorite Power Metal songs of all time. The lone Reckoning Night song, was the closer, Don't Say A Word. The set ended up with a Vodka themed rendition song which sounded a lot like the Israeli/Jewish dancing song, Hava Nagila with new lyrics about needing and wanting vodka.

Xandria, Delain and Sonata Arctica, what a night, and it was a great show, from start to finish. After Sonata Arctica's set, Xandria and Delain spent time with any and all fans who wanted to speak with them. Both bands were very approachable, kind, and what you would hope for. These are bands that definitely appreciate the following they get from their stateside fans, regardless of the size of the crowd. This is the type of show, I would have driven more then the hundred and twenty miles I drove to see, because shows like this in the States, don't happen that often.
Killing Songs :
Joel quoted No Score
Other albums by Live Report that we have reviewed:
Live Report - Mgla, Lvcifyre, Wode - 15th March 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Pestilence, Grimaze, Damim, Cryptic Shift - 23rd February 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - King Crimson - Uncertain Times Tour - 9th November 2018 - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Voivod & Bio-Cancer - 6th October 2018 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Xandria, Kobra and The Lotus, Once Human and Bullet To The Heart reviewed by Joel and quoted No Score
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