Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Tour: Decades World Tour
Promoter: Lucky Man
Venue: Marquee Theater
Date: Sunday April 15th, 2018
In 2005 a friend introduced me to a number of metal artists. One of the groups was this symphonic metal band, Nightwish from Finland that was fronted by a female singer. The band was formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen and lead singer Tarja Turunen. After releasing their first album, Angels Fall First they added drummer Jukka Nevalainen. In 2001 they replaced the bassist with Marco Hietala who also took over lead male vocals. In 2007, Tarja left the band for a solo career and eventually was replaced by current lead singer Floor Jansen. In 2013 the band added Troy Donockley who plays a number of instruments including Uilleann Pipes (Irish bagpipes), low whistles and provides backing vocals. This was the line-up that I saw back in 2015 and is the current members for this tour. The band is now on tour promoting their new Decades double CD that covers songs from over the last 20 years. At our show, the band’s manager was passing out free copies of their new Decades CD. For the last 2 days I have been listening to it and it is great.
The show started with “Swanheart” from their Oceanborn album playing in the background. The band emerged and started to play “End Of All Hope”. Then they went into one of my favorite songs, “Wish I Had An Angel”. For the next 2 hours we were enveloped in pure symphonic metal bliss. From the haunting melody of “Dead Boy’s Poem” to the driving power of “I Want My Tears Back”, “The Kinslayer” and Marco’s roaring voice during “Slaying The Dreamer”. The show had everything from amazing vocals, power riffs and heart pounding bass from the drums and bass. Most metal fans would not think that Troy Donockley playing Uilleann Pipes or low whistles would be appropriate, but for Nightwish’s sound it fits in perfectly enhancing the mood for a number of their songs. They ended the main set with one of their newest songs, “The Greatest Show On Earth” and you could tell that they were spent afterwards. But after a short break they came back for an encore with “Ghost Love Score” where they used additional back vocals to supplement Floor’s voice. It is definitely one of their more powerful songs and a great way to end an outstanding performance.
I was surprised that they did not play any songs from their album Dark Passion Play. I also missed my all-time favorite song “Storytime” from Imaginaerum. But they played 2 solid hours of songs from all of their other albums including a few songs I have never hear them play live before. Throughout the entire show that had a large screen behind the drummer that they showed images or played videos on to enhance the music. I remember this one image of this beautiful wolf and another of candles. This seems to be a new thing for a number of the European metal groups. Sabaton did the same when they toured this year. I hope other bands keep up this display because it really added to the overall experience for us the audience.
If you have never heard Nightwish then I would recommend listening to “Storytime” and “I Want My Tears Back” from Imaginaerum. In concert they are fantastic. Floor floats around the stage as she belts out the lyrics. How she doesn’t have neck issues is beyond me because she was constantly whipping her long hair around in a modified headbangers move. Also, Marco and Emppu were constantly moving around on the stage and playing to different parts of the audience. From one of the Facebook comments after the show, Floor actually asked one of the security people to get a small child from the audience and put her in the security/photographers pit area her she could see the show. What a wonderful thing to do and now they have a lifelong fan. From the large crowd at the Marquee, it looks like the next time they come back they will have to play at larger venue.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018, All Right Reserved
Nightwish Setlist: (Album)
Intro – Swanheart (Oceanborn)
End Of All Hope (Century Child)
Wish I Had An Angel (Once)
10th Man Down (Over the Hills and Far Away, EP)
Come Cover Me (Wishmaster)
Élan (Endless Forms Most Beautiful)
Sacrament Of Wilderness (Oceanborn)
Deep Silent Complete (Wishmaster)
Dead Boy’s Poem (Wishmaster)
Elvenjig + Elvenpath (Angels Fall First)
I Want My Tears Back (Imaginaerum)
The Carpenter (Angels Fall First)
The Kinslayer (Wishmaster)
Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean (Oceanborn)
Slaying The Dreamer (Century Child)
The Greatest Show On Earth (Endless Forms Most Beautiful)
Ghost Love Score (Once)