Steve and I saw Nightwish at the Corner Hotel in Richmond last night. After listening to Vanishing Point for about an hour, there was a painful half hour period where we just had to…wait… for Nightwish to come onstage.
We started out near the entrance – a perfect view of Vanishing Point on stage. However, I noticed that activity was happening in the far corner, and realised that Nightwish wouldn’t be performing here, but over the other side of the room, which we could hardly see! Thankfully not too many people realised this at this point, so we were able to make our way over and find a decentish possie. Well, by decent, I mean Daniel and I could see, but short-ass Steve couldn’t. It’s not like Steve’s been obsessed with Nightwish for years and would have killed for one whiff of Tarja’s perfume or anything…
After half an hour of live music-less waiting, the scene was set and you could feel the anticipation amongst the 600-strong sellout crowd. A huge cheer arose as the band members strode onstage. Nothing short of awe accompanied Tarja’s entrance… if I could have seen Steve at that point amongst all the waving arms, I’m sure he would have been drooling.
Nightwish kicked off with Kinslayer (I think), and progressed well with a good mix of old and new (i.e. stuff from their Once album). A lull occurred in the proceedings after about half an hour – just as I was getting warmed up! We were treated to a Tarja-less filler (was it ‘She is my sin?’ – Update: no, it was Sleeping Sun), thanks to microphone failure.
After this, the pace picked up and before I knew it, Tarja was announcing ‘and this will be the last song for this evening’ – sounding exactly like in the From Wishes to Eternity album. But we were actually there!!!
The final piece was Nemo (I originally wrote Wishmaster – it was near the end). They left to tumultuous applause, but of course the lights stayed down, awaiting their return. Unfortunately, this took way too long as the Aussie crowd was obviously to thick to stand behind a united ‘We want more’. It took a good 2 or 3 minutes of people attempting ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie’ and variously clapping before a united cry came forth. Once the room was trembling, out they came again to Ghost Love Score!!! My absolute favourite song! At the very start I said to myself, ‘They had better save Ghost Love Score for the encore!’ If you haven’t heard this song, go out and buy the Once album at once (no, don’t pirate it ). It’s awesome.
The 10 minute journey through musical elysium finally came to an end, and the crowd went wild. The band members lingered on stage and started downing Finlandia, to cries of ’scull! scull! scull!’ – such a great cultural mix! (Will someone please explain to me the correct spelling and etymology of scull?)
Tarja was last with the vodka – much less able to down it than her male compatriots. They proceeded quickly into an awesomely head-banging performance of Wish I had an angel – again, from the Once album. What an uplifting end to the performance!
All in all, 100 minutes of Nightwish bliss with absolutely perfectly chosen encores. Throughtout the performance we were treated to the best of all their albums. Those from ‘Once’ included (corrected from original post):
* Dark Chest of Wonders
* Kuolema Tekee Taitelijan (Finnish)
* Planet Hell
and the two encores:
* Ghost Love Score
* Wish I had an angel
Update!!! Setlist is here:
As the crowd dispersed, Steve made his way to the front to try to catch a glimpse of Tarja and the other band members. Tuomas (pianist and songwriter) was there quietly packing up and signing various items. Steve waited eagerly with his sketchbook. He showed Tuomas, who was visibly awed, and kept asking how Steve did it. He was impressed enough to dart backstage and look for the remaining band members to sign his drawing. He returned with a total of 3 signatures – 2 short, and critically, minus Tarja’s. She had apparently left.
Steve talked all the way home of the logistics of sending his sketch to Finland and back! He was disappointed to learn their World Tour wasn’t ending until August! Steve also promised Tuomas that he’d do individual sketches of all of them – something that will no doubt take him many days of frustration and pain! As always, the result will be worth it.
Anyway, the concert was purely awesome. I was eagerly awaiting it, but had no idea it would be that good!
It fully justifies my 40GB iPod having nothing but Nightwish on it and 37GB of free space!!!
DRK, signing out.
Steve’s sketches can be found (for the time being) here. Note that the sketch of Nightwish he showed to Tuomas is not there as of this post.