First i would like to say that this was my first time at the Nokia Theatre, and it's a pretty spiffy venue. There are services for just about anything you could want or need, and it's quite spacious. Once you go down the stairs/escalator you are in a sort of main lobby with the coat check. There are a few different bars. Some serving alcohol, and at least one serving non-alcoholic drinks (it looked a bit like a juice bar), i thought that was cool. In this main lobby area is a huge wall sized screen which displays the concert. Also cool. Down another set of stairs is the merch area, which is also spacious. Once you get into the main concert area, you have a few options. You can either go down like three steps into the main area in front of the stage, or you can lean against a barrier and watch outside of that main area, so you avoid the risk of being in a mosh pit. OR, you can go up a few more steps and into the seated area. In case you are having trouble seeing the main concert (which doesn't seem to be an issue) there are 4 fairly large HDTV's that display the concert so that no matter where you are, you are sure to see what is going on. In short, i was impressed with this venue and the options you have. For those in the tri-state area who have never been and may be attending the Nightwish concert there, this should be good to know. As for the concert itself, I planted myself third row from the stage, so i was nice and close. The first band up was someone called Sanctity. I had not heard of them before (or so i thought at the time), but it seems everyone else did. I have to admit, they were pretty rocking. I definitely enjoyed their brand of thrash (metalstorm labels them as "melodic thrash"). They were energetic and fun. Later, when i was home and looking them up, i would realize that our own Kingtoad had told me about them some time earlier, so i was able to be like "remember that band you told me about? Well i just saw them live! heh". I don't really remember what they played beyond the title track of their only album, Road To Bloodshed. I could guess at a few others, but i like to be certain. Next up was some crappy (at least to me) hardcore band named Throwdown that was, as you'd expect, all about being hard as nails. The kiddies loved them and went nuts, and apparently knew them. I gathered from some of the stuff they said that they are pretty well known. Anyway, not my cup of tea, but i survived the extremely brutal mosh pit that erupted all around me without injury. If punching each other in the face makes them happy, so be it. I just wish Arch Enemy wouldn't tour as part of that particular scene (our usual scene is much better), but what can you do? Luckily there wasn't much in the way of (if any) moshing for Arch Enemy. Of course canned sardines also have more room to breath than we did, but i can deal with that. Half of the crowd almost wound up on our asses a few times, and although i am not exactly keen on that either, i can deal with that too. After their set, a friend of mine asked me if the crowd was as bad the last time AE toured. The answer was no, they certainly weren't. Anyway, Arch Enemy was in top form. It's nice to see Christopher Amott back and playing like he means it. It's been a while. The setlist: Intro, Blood On Your Hands, Enemy Within, Dead Eyes See No Future, My Apocalypse, Out For Blood, Revolution Begins, Ravenous, Dead Bury Their Dead, Burning Agenl, Nemesis, We Will Rise, Fields Outro. Rofl.. as i am posting these pictures i realized that i accidentally put my camera in portrait mode last night, that explains why most of my pictures are kind of weird. I'll just blame fighting to stay on my feet half the time and being squished to death the other half Oh well, no biggie. Here's some of the less egregious ones: Ok so i meant to get them standing up, it just didn't work out that way. Anyway, after AE went off, i started hollering for a set list. I swear, it's like no one ever heard of asking for a set list before because the second i started hollering, a dozen other kiddies started going nuts for one too. It wouldn't have occurred to them otherwise. So i wasn't able to actually get the set list this time, but as long as i get a picture, i am happy. After i got my picture, i decided i needed to cool down as i was soaked to the bone with sweat, and not really looking forward to a 4th set of insane core kiddies, so i went and checked out the merch area, where i incorrectly counted on them talking credit cards (like BB Kings does.. hey Nokia is a pretty professional place, why not?), the guy said cash only but there was an ATM machine. Bugger that, i've already been draining my bank account far too much this month, so i skipped on a shirt this time. After that, i decided this would be a good opportunity to see what a concert was like from the seated area of Nokia. I grabbed myself a seat and settled in for the Machine Head portion of the concert. Now i have never really been into Machine Head. Mostly, i don't care for American sounding vocals. They weren't bad, though it's not like i am suddenly going to run out buy some albums (or even download them). You can see the stage pretty well from the seated area, but as i said earlier, even if not, you have those nice screens to view. The only real issue is that taking pictures from so far back is pretty impossible as the flash obviously cannot reach nearly far enough to do any good. I wondered how this would play out for video recording, but i didn't feel like wasting my batteries to find out. Still, as far as security goes, one could record a whole concert this way and no one would even notice. It's something to keep in mind. I didn't get a set list from these guys as honestly i didn't care. About the only songs i remember them playing was Halo and Aesthetics Of Hate, both from their new album The Blackening. Anyway, dealing with core-kiddies and hardcore bands and all of that kind of stuff was still worth it to see Arch Enemy on this tour.