Listening to Nightwish is a lot like biting into a York Peppermint Pattie…you get the sensation of flying into their ethereal images and the feeling of fantastical transportation, weaving through a complex, otherworldly sonic tapestry. Their symphonic metal overtures transmute sound to adventure through a delicate alchemy of crunch and vigor gilded with elegance and intellect. Close your eyes and you’re the hero in your own Skyrim or Finnish version of Final Fantasy. And that’s just the album by itself….
Nightwish live is the most decadent of guilty pleasures. They sound lux and exquisite, yet their stage presence is warm and welcoming. The hauntingly iconic Nightwish sound of Troy Donockley playing the Uilleann Pipes and tin whistle set the tone for the evening as a sort-of call to gather at the feet of a famous storyteller awaiting the tales of Man’s daily trials and tribulations told with bardic flair and contemplative depth. Quoting such celebratory sources as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Charles Darwin, keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind behind the music, is an exquisite wordsmith who transforms the doldrums and challenges of average life into thoughtful sonnets of celestial intensity. The music has motion and groove driven by a seraphic mix of electronics, beat, and signature metallic grunge, while the lyrics portray the excitement of one eloquent escapade after another. Every song is a miniature opus. The curtain opens with End Of All Hope from the 2002 album “Century Child”, an appropriate phoenician tragedy in the lyrical spirit of Hamlet which inquisitionally chronicles the struggle and previous death of the band and its resurrection into the magnificence that currently graces the stage. As one chapter closes, another one opens and transitions down the setlist to the raucous Wish I Had An Angel, a brutally romantic reflection of the emotions of a Mercution friend in love with his Romeon rival’s Juliette. As the band meets its fans all across the globe in this their 2018 Greatest Hits tour entitled “Decades”, Nightwish has carefully added these and others of their most riveting and emotional selections to their set list from their past accolades from all across the calendar, including Come Cover Me from one of the band’s earliest releases, year 2000 album “Wishmaster” which back then featured former lead singer and three-octave soprano Tarja Turunen, and Elan, the release from the most recent 2015 album “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, which was the subject of a scandalous pre-release sabotage which leaked the album’s debut single. As a special gift for their guests, we were given copies of their compilation album “Decades” with which to remember this night.
Floor Jansen is my spirit animal. Your hostess for the evening, Nightwish’s lead singer is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the musical stage. She is the epitome of strength and grace. Her voice is rich and full of passion as she captivates the audience with her hypnotic transitions from operatic goddess to Death’s Roar incarnate. She floats across the stage in heels and a fluttering asymmetrical hemline dress. She is an elegant siren. Her luring and fan-lulling is fashionably disrupted periodically, juxtaposed by a blast of icy, earthy reality in the raspy vocals of bassist, Marco Hietala. Founding member and lead guitar player Emppu Vuorinen lights up the stage with his smiling eyes and his variety of technique, rhythms, and lofty melodic solos, occasionally ripping and shredding behind the tinkling, contrapuntal piano sprinklings of Tuomas Holopainen in such songs as Gethsemane. To enhance the marriage of emotion and music in this most grandest of evening illusions, the stage was brilliantly lit with ginormous LED screens that flickered complementary breathtaking imagery from beautiful animated snowscapes to the grandeur of Monument Valley.
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