Well, in addition to being a producer extraordinaire, Tagtgren fronts his own band, Pain, and a very interesting proposition they are too. Difficult to classify, they are – if such a genre existed – a symphonic power industrial metal band. The White Zombie-esque stomp of “Dirty Women” is perhaps their most immediate number, with the disco stylings of “On And On” and set closer “Shut Your Mouth” displaying a confident swagger that wins the huge crowd over.
Nightwish, as is evidenced by the sold out signs outside are a seriously big deal. That they have done all this despite losing a vocalist on October 1st says much for their consummate skill.
Annette Olzon left the band barely a month ago, but rather than cancel shows as many bands would, instead they drafted in former After Forever singer Floor Jansen and on the evidence of her quite magnificent show this evening they made the right choice.
Jansen, dressed strikingly in red, is very much the focal point of the group, sharing talking to the audience duties with Marco Hietala and is seemingly comfortable in her role, grinning throughout.
The band are here on the back of the quite brilliant “Imaginaerum” record, a fine opus that takes in many styles and in microcosm it encapsulates the ethos of the live show. There are very few metal bands – and make no mistake this is very much a metal show – who could headbang their way through set opener “Storytime” and “Dark Chest Of Wonder” and then ease themselves into the jazz of “Slow, Love, Slow” without batting an eyelid.
The show is built on the intricate guitar work of Emppu Vuorinen, as much as the vocals of Jansen and Hietala – their interplay at its peak during “Ghost River” - but comes into its own with “I Want My Tears Back” with its echoes of Iron Maiden, and as if to emphasise the eclectic nature of the near two hour show, one minute it is “Ever Dream” and some tremendous double kick drumming, while the next, Englishman Troy Donockley is adding a folky bent to proceedings.
The result, by the time “Last Ride Of The Day” closes things is a frequently bewildering, but always brilliant show. It is also one which, given the circumstances, is perhaps an even bigger triumph than might have been expected. This was truly memorable and we couldn’t have wished for more than that.