Just back from seeing Nightwish at the Astoria. Good band, performed very well; shame most of the audience seemed to be on valium, nailed to the floor or something else that prevented them from moving much. There were several tracks which required pogoing like Zebedee on speed, which was mostly ignored; as were the times that clearly required a violent mosh-pit boiling against the front barriers. It wasn't that it was the band failing to hold the audience, there was always some reaction and lots of cheering and clapping; it was just all a bit subdued, even when they played a good cover of Megadeath's Symphony of Destruction. The close of the main part of the set was superb, with Wishmaster followed by their cover of Gary Moore's Over the hills and far away. (They do seem to have a thing for covers, they played one other cover, Rice/Lloyd-Weber's Phantom of the Opera). They finished their encore with the very thrashy Wish I Had An Angel from their recent album, by which time the crowd had cleared enough that I had space to really let my hair down.
Nightwish are a great fun band, who don't take themselves too seriously (witness the Phantom cover). Strong, clear female vocals over fast, powerful metal, occasionally symphonic and a bit proggy. I'm surprised I only found out about them recently, why hasn't everybody been telling me about them for years?
The support were surprisingly good too; Brainstorm, German power-metal in a very traditional mold. They're not doing much that's new or clever with the genre, but what they do, they do well. I must buy a CD or two of theirs. I've rarely seen a band look like they've enjoyed playing a set as much as Brainstorm did.