May 8, 2009 – Winding down the North American leg of their Dark Passion Play 2009 tour, Finland’s symphonic power metal royalty, Nightwish, laid into an epic set of crushing riffs, fluttering keys, and soaring vocals.

This was a fun set to photograph, in part because the band themselves seemed to be having such a good time on stage. In particular, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen seemed to have a non-stop grin plastered over his face while soloing with his purple ESP.

One of the main challenges for this set was a massive wall of speaker monitors positioned at the front of the stage, which restricted shooting angles and added another 18-inches or so to the four-foot stage. The wedges also limited the usability of wide angles, so the Nikon 14-24mm didn’t see as much action for this concert as I would have hoped. Luckily, Emppu and bassist Marco Hietala took ample opportunity to get a leg up on the monitors during their solos, which afforded some nice photo ops.

Overall, lighting was fairly sparse for this set, with much of the work being done by the house lights. The tour’s own lighting came into play more as accent bursts from the LED par lights from the back of the stage.

I photographed this concert with the Nikon D3 and Nikon 24-70mm for the majority of the allotted time, with occasional switches to the Nikon 14-24mm.

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