On April 17 something extraordinary happened in Dallas, Texas. Finland invaded The Bomb Factory, spearheaded by the band NIGHTWISH. On their international tour and promoting their new album Decades, the symphonic \m/etal band from Kitee shot out the lights and blew the doors off the place. The opening act? Are you kidding?
The first time I saw them, they were with SABATON and DELAIN. I only knew of them, but had never heard a single song and thought to myself “Well, there are quite a few people here for them (all the t-shirts), maybe they will be… OK”. The lights went down and the kid next to me was about to come unglued in anticipation and I thought “WTF is wrong with this guy?”. After the first two tunes, I picked my jaw up off the floor and reattached it to my skull. I had been sucked right into that NIGHTWISH black hole. So this time, I was almost like that kid: about to lose my shit in anticipation (and with a meet and greet ticket in my nervous, sweaty hands). If you have never seen them live, about all I can say is that I think they are probably the most perfect band I’ve ever seen on stage.
NIGHTWISH is currently Floor Jansen – vocals, Tuomas Holopainen – keyboards, Marco Hietala – bass & vocals, Emppu Vuorinen – guitars, Kai Hahto – drums and Troy Donockley – Pipes, flutes & whistles. They have various, professional backgrounds and they are truly the real thing. About two weeks earlier, I reviewed their Decades album for A&GS, an excellent walk back through their history. They opened the performance with “The End of All Hope” and went all across the troup’s history with killer tracks such as “Deep Silent Complete”, “Elan”, “Nemo”, “The Elvenpath”, “I Wish I Had an Angel” and way back to one of their very first, “The Carpenter”.
I’ll save you the history lesson. Please read my review of Decades to find out a little more about this album and what they presented to us in this 19-song setlist. Most of the album was played, however. The two hour show was tireless. The exquisite vocals of Jansen will just just blow your mind. She’s no slouch, with a huge singing professional background and teamed with Hietala, they have a very unique-sounding vocal score. Jansen is one of the very few female rock singers that when she hits the high notes, I get a chill right up my neck. Although not in this concert, when she sings the song “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, it literally brings tears to my eyes because it’s completely perfect to me. It’s indescribably beautiful.
The quintet from Kitee, Finnished the night with one of my all time favorite and I think one of THE most masterful rock songs ever written, being “Greatest Show On Earth”. They played the 14-minute version (the original is 10 minutes longer) and it was exquisite. They slayed us all with the nuclear crescendo, “Ghost Love Score”. I’ve heard it recorded, but NEVER have I seen an end to a show that was probably more perfect. They were done. We were done. Days later, I’m still on a high. If you become a NIGHTWISH fan, they will suck your essence from your soul before you know what happened to you.
I was very honored to have been selected to not only review this gig, but also shoot this fantastic concert and want to thank NIGHTWISH and my friend and editor, The Maestro, for the opportunity. Salude’
LIVE IMAGES: M ERLICH PHOTOGRAPHY
LIVE WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH