By Steve Neff, Rock At Night Orlando
Venue: Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, Florida–April 21, 2018
Symphonic metal titans Nightwish came to Jannus Live in St. Pete, Florida. Jannus Live was a bit fitting as Nightwish is used to holding similar concerts, but with several thousand more people. In Europe, Nightwish is likened to metal royalty, where their influence has been impacting the masses for over two decades. Because of this, Nightwish has set out on a world tour known as the Decades Tour which supports their new album known as “Decades”.
I’m one of those fans that came in late, right after the removal of Annette Olson, and was introduced to Floor Jansen’s goddess like vocals. Olsen was the replacement of Tarja Tarunen; Nightwish’s original frontwoman.
I went to Youtube to listen to Nightwish’s other frontwomen where I found the Tarja snobs, a few Annette supporters, then the supporters for Floor. I listened to and watched all women and have come to the conclusion that Nightwish has evolved with Floor. Neither Tarja nor Annette could command a stage the way Floor can and it’s Floor that interacts with the fans more that her predecessors. Her strong operatic vocals can shapeshift into a delicate line of magnificent lyrics that carries Tuomas Holopainen’s beautifully epic tracks to another level effortlessly. It was those delicate vocals that contributed so well to the band’s latest studio album Endless Forms Most Beautiful.
Truth be told, Tarja Turunen’s latest studio album finds her displaying similar delicate, Floor Jansen like vocals. This style lends to an exquisite experience, especially live.
Jansen and the band have gone through a rebirth of sorts to become what they are today and Jansen has proven herself the metal form most beautiful, helping the band in becoming something greater than their previous incarnations. Every instrument creates its own separate experience to the listener. With already a beautiful experience coming from each band member, Nightwish is also well known for inserting a Danny Elfmanesque type of soundtrack, courtesy of composer Tuomas Holopainen; which sends the crowd into metal euphoria.
The Decades Tour seemed to be a continuation of the beginning of the next decade of Nightwish and possibly a new studio album will follow. This concert would last 2+ hours and track listing spanned from 1996 to 2015, a solid collection of tracks not heard by fans for a while. An unexpected move by the band is that they were passing out free Decades albums. Nice.
Fans erupted as the band took the stage. Nightwish fans are always accustomed to an epic concert experience, and people at Jannus Live received no less. The setlist began with “End of All Hope” and 2+ hours later ended with the magnificent “The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter IV: The Understanding). The tracks sounded new all over again with a new frontwoman and continued showcasing the talent of this band.
Intro (With Swanheart instrumental snippet)
- End of All Hope [Century Child Album 2002]
- Wish I Had an Angel [Once Album 2004]
- 10th Man Down Album [EP 2001]
- Come Cover Me [Wishmaster Album 2002]
- Gethsemane [Oceanborn Album 1998]
- Élan [Endless Forms Most Beautiful Album 2015]
- Sacrament of Wilderness [Oceanborn Album 1998]
- Deep Silent Complete Wishmaster Album 200]
- Dead Boy’s Poem [Wishmaster Album 2002]
- Elvenjig) [Live Premier]
- Elvenpath [Angels Fall First 1997 Debut Album]
- I Want My Tears Back [Imaginaerum Album 2011]
- Amaranth[ Dark Passion Play Album 2007]
- The Carpenter [Angels Fall First 1997 Debut Album]
- The Kinslayer [Wishmaster Album 2002]
- Devil & the Deep Dark Ocean [Oceanborn Album 1998]
- Nemo [Once Album 2004]
- Slaying the Dreamer [Century Child Album 2002]
- The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter I: Four Point Six) [Endless Forms Most Beautiful Album 2015]
- Ghost Love Score [Once Album 2004]
- The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter IV: The Understanding) [Endless Forms Most Beautiful Album 2015]
Floor Jansen – female vocals
Tuomas Holopainen – keyboards
Emppu Vuorinen – guitars
Kai Hahto – drums
Marco Hietala – bass, male vocals
Troy Donockley – Uilleann pipes, tin whistle, bouzouki, vocals, guitars
SPECIAL THANKS GO TO:
Special thanks go to Nuclear Blast’s own Kristin Torres. Your dedication to bands, fans, and us make it possible for us to cover these great shows and for that we are so grateful to you.
Thanks also go to Roger Smith. Thank you Sir Roger for making sure we were able to cover this show without a hitch. You are appreciated.
Lastly, thank you to Nightwish for 2+ decades of music.
Tuomas Holopainen- Tuomas, thank you for two decades of brilliant compositions. We look forward to continuing this journey with you for another two decades.
Floor Jansen-Thank you for ‘learning the setlist’ and bringing such a beautiful sounding voice to fans.
Marco Hietala-Your expert bass playing, along with your powerful vocals; have proven a formidable pair of instruments that fans truly appreciate.
Emppu Vuorinen- Emppu, you have been there from the beginning, managing to synchronize your guitar with the heartbeat of the composition, then giving fans some of the most epic guitar solos. We look forward to the next decade with you.
Troy Donockley-Troy, your contributions with your Uilleann pipes, tin whistle, and bouzouki have brought fans a whole new experience and we can only hope this continues into for decades into the future.
Kai Hahto-Kai, your extensive resume as a drummer made you a perfect choice to replace Jukka Nevalainen. You bring a fantastic experience for fans and we look forward to seeing you at the helm of the drums as we make our way to a live concert.
Steve is a Brevard County, Florida based concert photographer who loves the experience of live shows and tries to bring that experience back to fans through the great medium known as Rock At Night.
Whether it’s a one concert event or extended on the road tour coverage with music’s best bands, Steve covers the exciting experience of “the moment” and paints it across a blank canvas that he hopes music connoisseurs will enjoy.
A graduate of the prestigious New York Institute of Photography, Steve’s music of taste ranges from the symphonic awesomeness of bands like Within Temptation and Nightwish to the rock heavyweights of the 80’s and back to the beat of Armin van Buuren, with a little jazz and blues mixed in for some variety.
One of his favorite mottos: “Life is too short to drink grocery store coffee.”
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