Nightwish have done what they know best: reinvent themselves!
The evening started with Mister Misery, this weird horror metal band from Sweden. I had seen them before some years ago opening for Beyond the Black in a small-ish club in Germany, so this was definitely a step up. They were announced a week before the show and I think the crowd was very skeptical, but won over eventually. They were interesting to watch for sure.
This was my 5th Nightwish show and right from the beginning it didn’t look like any other. They came with way more lights, videos, and pyros. And when I say pyros… they went all out! The stage was on fire! To be honest, in the beginning the stage looked like Nightwish Eurovision version (and I don’t mean about that time 20 years ago when they did go Eurovision). I did appreciate that the sound was clear enough without being cranked to the maximum – things old people say, you know?. But all throughout we had a lot of fun! You just gotta give them that they are one of the great ones.
They started with some projections of the signs from their latest album and obviously a single from that one, Noise. Then came Planet Hell, funnily enough with a projection of the Romanian Parliament behind them. Because hell.. get it? :)) I don’t understand why they chose such an iconic Marko song as a single after he left, when they had just so much to choose from their back catalogue and bring something new for Floor to wow us on. She is great, truly. And Troy can also sing. But if your point two songs in is to show us that you’re still here without Marko, you are indeed showing us that you’re still here … without Marko.
Nightwish are able to create a setlist with essential songs. It might not be your favourite or the best of, but they always bring enough diversity so that they keep things interesting. Nothing wow this time around. We had some more songs from their latest album: Tribal, How’s The Heart, Shoemaker. I need to make a special point of saying how glad I am they are playing Shoemaker live after initially saying they would never do it since it’s too complicated. And I mean wow!! Floor is just in a league of her own. Throughout the concert we were amazed by her, but that was a big one. I am not even a Floor fangirl but this whole show seemed like “Floor Jansen and band” . Mostly because she was the one that shined the most and also the only one that really moved around the stage. Even Emppu who used to be a a human spring running around the stage has been rather reservered. We’re all getting old it seems. As for the rest, not much movement/crowd interraction. And that’s a big part of why we miss Marko, the wittiness, the friendliness. Troy tried to adress the public in a rather cringe-ish way “you are probably the best audience in the world” … okay Calsberg.
I think that was what I missed the most in the show… the connection. It’s true, I stayed in the “poor people” area all the way in the back, but it felt like something was lost. Nightwish are my favourite band so I am biased but somehow not right now. I feel like the production overtook the stage and the wow value of the pyros was more than the wow value of the stage presence. Like they were telling us they are a great band, not showing it. But they are still a great band and this was a killer show. It wasn’t the best Nightwish show that I have seen, but it was still Nightwish and that is enough on any day to have a great time.
Tuomas has mentioned many times that Nightwish is a well-oiled machinery that must keep going and I guess I felt a bit of that. Where you know they are big and have been doing this for some time, so they can create some magic big impact low effort (obviously not Floor. she was very high effort).
I think the show really picked up some speed when they pushed the pedal to the metal … pun intended with 7 Days to the Wolves, Dark Chest of Wonders, I Want My Tears Back. Now we’re having a party. And time for two absolute classics with Nemo and Sleeping Sun. God, Sleeping Sun is such a beautiful song and it made us all a bit weak in the knees to hear it.
Nothing wow in terms of setlist, especially considering how we last saw them with Decades. Or before that they played While Your Lips Are Still Red (and also Sleeping Sun).
Overall good show, impressive pyro, out of this world vocals from Floor. I don’t know how she does it. Or how she can headbang for that long. Ending the show with Last Ride of the Day, Ghost Love Score, and The Greatest Show on Earth like we’ve been accustomed to. It felt strange not to fangirl as I once used to and just enjoy the concert like a normal event. There was so much nostalgia in it. Nightwish are still great and they can deliver for sure. Once all the “50 year anniversary” bands do retire, Nightwish are really set to be among the biggest names you could get, so let’s hope they don’t retire soon.