The Decades tour began in Atlanta, March 9, 2018. From there NIGHTWISH visited thirty-four different cities in the US and Canada, including Dallas at The Bomb Factory. I had the great fortune to meet the band and cover the gig for A&GS. This was my second time seeing them live. I love them, their shows are just incredible. From North America, they toured fourteen European, five Latin America and then another twenty-nine cities back in Europe. A total of eighty-two venues across the globe in a year. Exhausting, I’m sure. Along the way, they stopped in Buenos Aires, Argentina where they recorded a CD and DVD of the show. Decades: Live in Buenos Aires was born and it is out now on Nuclear Blast Records.
They began the tour with a set of nineteen different selections, many of which had not been played live for years. Lucky for us, the live disc ended up with twenty-one selections. Past lead singers Tarja Turunen and Anette Olzon last sang many of these songs live, some as far back as 1999. Floor Jansen stepped in and replaced Olzon during the Imaginarium US tour. She learned the songs in a matter of days, completed the tour and has been there ever since. With this road set, NIGHTWISH obviously felt it was time to let Jansen embrace some of these songs as hers, and rightfully so.
Twelve of the twenty-one tunes featured on the live recording were premieres for Jansen on stage. One debut (a new one to my knowledge) was “Elvenjig”, a lively little elvish instrumental dance number. Eh, could have done without it. Their Dallas show was just fucking fantastic, but by the time they got to Buenos Aires, it sounded like the steam was about gone. Most of the set was very similar to what they breezed through Dallas with, but by the time they got to South America, the music sounded tired, the musicians sounded tired and that spark and liveliness was noticeably absent.
They blew the dust off so many tunes. Many are Turunen efforts and NIGHTWISH fanatics (like me) will recognize them instantly. Leading off the album is the instrumental “Swanheart”, ”Elvenpath”, ”Devil and the Deep Dark Ocean” ,”Gethsemane”,”The Carpenter”, “I Wish I Had An Angel” (the only NIGHTWISH song I know on guitar), “Dead Boys Poem”, “The Kingslayer” and much more. Revisiting the Olzon efforts, only several were her songs, but many are crowd favorites: “I Want My Tears Back” and “Amaranth”. Jansen’s efforts on albums were “Elan” and “Greatest Show On Earth”. The finale is “Ghost Love Score”, likely the most beloved NIGHTWISH track.
I was sort of lukewarm about this live album to be honest. I really think it should have been recorded much earlier in the tour. I love Jansen’s vocals. To me she is one of the best singers on the planet, but the timing of the recording, so far along in the tour, really did not do her justice. It didn’t do the band any either. It’s a great sounding album and really well done, but I think man, when on a long tour it would be better to make a recording shortly after everyone is sounding tight. So like I said, lukewarm on the effort. However, the Argentina crowd interaction was just awesome. Salude’.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Wish I Had An Angel”, “Come Cover Me”, “Elan”, “Sacrament of Wilderness”, “I Want My Tears Back”, “The Greatest Show On Earth”, “Ghost Love Score”.
-MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH