The 1st of January 2008
The Old Ice Hall
Pics by Marko Syrjälä and Arto Lehtinen
Article by Arto Lehtinen
Nightwish definitely creates emotional feelings amongst fans all around the world. The band’s pompous and symphonic hymns create a unique musical experience and journey into the world of souls of Tuomas Holopainen. Above all Mr. Holopainen’s extremely talents and skills to compose capturing and dramatic songs have utterly spelled thousands and thousands of hearts.
When the original vocalist Tarja Turunen was sacked after the massive concert in Helsinki back in 2005, most of fanatical Nightwish fans were more than worried about a possible new singer filling the larger than life vocalist spot and in which direction the band would ultimately go. Due to the incredible pressure caused by the media and press coverage, a new vocalist was announced who after all turned out to be previously unknown to the whole fanbase of Nightwish.
Nightwish’s tour across Finland was a huge success. Every venue was entirely packed by thousands of fans willing to see Anette fronting Nightwish. Besides the band’s sixth opus DARK PASSION PLAY has been tremendous success in Finland. Over 100.000 sold copies only proves Tuomas Holopainen’s magical skill to create touchy songs capturing the hearts of the Finns. However the sixth opus has generally done well in several European countries, reaching high sale figures and chart positions.
As far as the first show on the first of January is concerned, The old ice hall having app 7500 capacity was entirely sold out. It was quite expected to witness families and middle aged concert goers in the attendance, who don’t regularly attend to a metal or hard rock gig. Nightwish has been and will be a household name for years therefore witnessing the different kind of audience was more or less expected.
When a domestic chick combo had finished the warm-up gig on the stage and the construction of the stage got an entire visual approach. When the lights were turned down, the loud and rhythmic cheers and screams welcomed the five-piece on the stage. The whole two hour spectacle was set off by “Bye Bye Beautiful” and was followed by a number of other songs picked up from the new album. There was a plenty of fireworks and pyros blowing off during the first opening songs. To be honest huge flames and sparks gave their own amazing visual aspects to the whole show.
Of course most of you are curious to find out about how the Swedish female singer recruited to band last year succeeded in front of the critical Nightwish fans. Anette Olzon is definitely an entirely opposite character compared to the previous vocalist presenting the more dramatic diva opera approach. As she has more down-to-earth and above all rocking attitude. Above all she was willing to communicate with the audience and tell some dirty jokes. She has brought more of a sense of humour to the band whereas the whole joking and in general being fun used to be Marko Hietala’s role in the band in the past. Well at least both Hietala and Olzon seem to equally share the sense of humour whereas Tuomas Holopainen definitely represents the dismal and more melodramatic side of the band, but in a good way indeed. The mastermind himself remained behind the keyboards, banging his hair and drinking a little bit red wine.
As for Hietala’s way of communicating with the audience was extremely amusing because someone being in the frontrow shouted some jokes back. The guitarist Vuorinen seems to stay a little bit on the background whereas both Hietala and Olzon used to communicate with the audience. Instead the guitarist’s attitude on the stage can’t be underestimated at all.
But when following the reaction of the audience and the general atmosphere, it was really pleasant to realize how the Finnish audience has accepted and warmly welcomed Anette Olzon as a replacement for the hard job of a singer in Nightwish. Hundreds and hundreds of people kept singing along new songs off from the new album along with Anette. That only proved that acceptance toward the band and the singer has come true and didn’t turn out to be a nightmare as the band used to be afraid of before the world tour started.
Marco Hietala is a master of creating a dramatical one minute silence moment in the whole hall when he announced a departure of one of long time members. At least the whole hall went totally silent and apparently someone must have swallowed more than once. It however turned out be to a long time roadie of the band who was going to be pulling out of his long roadie responsibilities. Frankly Hietala’s way to make an announcement without any doubts caused some kind of shock reaction going thru the 7000 people.
As to the setlist, for obvious reasons the night’s setlist had been created to include most of the songs from the sixth album. Of course the newer material fit to Anette’s own approach, whereas the older material sounded kind of eccentric such as “Wish I Had An Angel”. For obvious reasons these older songs such as “Wish I Had An Angel” had been re-arranged a little bit in order to fit to Anette’s singing style. It has to be admitted songs such as “Sahara” and “7 Days Of The Wolves” sounded nothing, but absolutely great in the live situation, maybe even better than on the album. The radio hit “Eva” and the Eurovision semi final contest song titled “Sleeping Sun” had been skipped from the set.
After “Nemo” Anette kept joking with the audience by telling them that the more the audience shout the better the chances that they will return to do some encores and meanwhile she has got some time to rush to the toilet. Well that kind of joking would have never happened before, well everyone reading this, can figure out why.
The show as well as gig in general was definitely entertaining and enjoyable. Anette Olzon survived her first big show in Helsinki with the success and gained more and more fans and more amarantharmies for sure. Nightwish definitely deserves to aim to the larger success with Anette Olzon.
Bye Bye Beautiful
Cadence Of Her Last Breath
Dark Chest Of Wonders
Whoever Brings The Night
Poet And The Pendulum
Sacrament Of Wilderness
7 Days To The Wolves
Wish I Had An Angel
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