Nightwish, Enmore Theatre, Sydney Australia

March 3rd, 2008
by Brat

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 Review and photos by  Brat

with special comments from Aussie Metalchild (bassist of LORD)

"I love you Anette!" rang out from a young female fan in the first few rows of Sydney’s Nightwish show.

"I love you too," came the wide-smiled and warm reply from Nightwish’s new singer, Anette Olzon, as she made the stage her own and left us with no doubt her place was with this band.


LORD took to the stage in front of many new and fresh faces in the crowd. The boys very used to support international bands on good stages looked right at home. Those eagerly awaiting NIGHTWISH made LORD feel welcome on stage—some surprisingly singing along with some of the older tunes and a surprising Bon Jovi (WTF?!) cover. Even NIGHTWISH’s famous managers where nodding with approval as they watch LORD between selling tour T-shirts to the multitude of NIGHTWISH fans—young and young at heart.

The air of anticipation was thick as the chants begun. We’d heard the new CD but that wasn’t enough. It would be the live performance that would determine if we accepted the new singer, Anette Olzon, into the NIGHTWISH family and be damned if the band actually had a say…


I didn’t know what to expect coming into this show. Nightwish were doing quite well last time they were here in 2005 with Tarja. With her departure I thought that it may have affected the fan base in a negative way. I was pleasantly surprised to walk on stage to see a near packed house. To see such a cross section of metal/non-metal fans as well as people of all ages was a great sight.


Whilst DUNGEON had supported NIGHTWISH in 2005, this was my first time supporting the Scandinavian heavyweights in LORD. It was an absolute honour for myself and the band. We had a blast, and the crowd response proved that there is still a strong market for melodic metal/rock in Australia. (Aussie Metalchild)

I expected NIGHTWISH to open with The Poet and the Pendulum—the epic song that opens Dark Passion Play, but was happy that I wouldn’t have to endure it straight away when the opening riffs of their heavy and aggressive number Bye Bye Beautiful ripped the set open. A public purging of the Tarja Turunen, perhaps?

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The pit was the scene of a feeding frenzy as photographers and camera operators fought for photos of Anette smiling out to the crowd and belting out the words along with Marco in her pop/rock style.

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Not expecting to be taking photos, I didn’t bother to pack extra batteries and halfway into the first song my camera batteries died. As the next song wasn’t a favourite of mine from Dark Passion Play (Whoever Brings the Night I think) I sprinted across the road, long dress, high heels and all for a packet of disposables.

Third song in and Tuomas tinkered another well-known introduction—Amaranth. I found it unusual that 2 songs from the new album, also released as singles, were put so early in the set.

It was after this song "I love you Anette!" rang out from a young female fan in the first few rows of Sydney’s Nightwish show.

"I love you too," came the wide-smiled and warm reply from Nightwish’s new singer, Anette Olzon, as she made the stage her own and left us with no doubt her place was with this band.

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In contrast to NIGHTWISH’s debut tour of Sydney, this show was open to all ages and the youngest generation took the opportunity the press themselves against the barricade like sardines in a tin can. Three songs in and I was saturated and regretting my choice of outfit. Humidity had finally hit the Sydney summer and rains have been falling on this bone dry land as if Thor has been suffering a urinary tract infection all summer.

The first of the old catalogue was eagerly anticipated by old NIGHTWISH fans. We’d all seen the anti-Anette propaganda clips of her performing older songs, so this was her opportunity to put those unflattering clips to rest. Dark Chest of Wonders was a great song for Anette—she smiled during the entire delivery and made it her own by delivering it with warmth and lightness and not a note out of place even if she also liked to play air guitar along with the music.

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The next of the old songs seemed laced with meaning as Anette stood in front of Tuomas singing "Ever felt away with me, just once that all I need, entwined in finding you one day. Ever felt away without me, my love, it lies so deep, ever dream of me" to him in the opening lines of Ever Dream.

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The band was on fire and I was loving it. Jukka beat the life out of his drums, Emppu raced around the stage like a tornedo, Marco’s cool blue-eyed glaze was fixed on the crowd and Tuomas thrashed about his keyboards with wild abandon occasionally resting his chin on the stand on the keyboard stand in a way that can only be described as puppy dog pose—puppy dog with eyeliner, that is. "How much is that doggy in the window?" I thought.

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Stools, acoustic guitars and a tiara were the props used for folk sounding The Islander. Anette made a comment about her princess tiara, but I missed it.

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The Poet and the Pendulum was introduced as a dark number by Marco as the band cleared the dim stage for its introduction. It was probably the only of Marco’s many comments that I managed to understand that night.

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I’d been making sure most of my friends were organised to see the show months leading up to the event, even buying tickets for some to make sure they didn’t miss out as the last tour sold out. During this epic, I moved to the back of the theatre where a few of my friends were standing to get a more even front of house sound and was bombarded with "This singer’s better than the other", "What a difference not to have the ice queen on stage" and so many similar comments.

Sacrament of the Wilderness, began bringing hoots of joy and a whistle or two from me and I waved away my friends to enjoy one of my oldest favourites in peace and to get a good listen of how Anette would sing this number. I then moved back to the front of the venue to capitalise on being able to take photos for the whole set and no restrictions.

Anette didn’t stop smiling the whole time she was on stage even while singing—as stark contrast to Tarja who smiled occassionally, but in her defence, the basis of bel canto singing is rich rounded tones which is near impossible to achieve if your mouth and cheeks are stretched like a squirrel’s storing nuts for the winter.

As the piano keys played the first few notes of the last song of the main set, Nemo, the crowd erupted louder than at any other time during the night—Anette was fully accepted by the crowd and they were happy for her to infringe on NIGHTWISH’s back catalogue.

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Probably my favourite off Dark Passion Play, 7 Days to the Wolves opened the encore.

The crowd again erupted for a NIGHTWISH oldy, Wishmaster, but I wish I could have said it was a goody that night; although the verses were great and didn’t need much adapting to Anette’s vocal style, it was the screached high note of the preverse that made not only me cringe but few other older fans standing around me. Regardless, feet still stamped, arms still clapped, youngsters still bounced.

Overall, the sound was good and would have been better if I hadn’t been standing almost directly under stage right front of house speakers, but it’s a hard choice to make—stand close enough to see all the action on stage (you can listen to the CD anytime) or stand back and enjoyed a full-mixed sound and wait for the close-up vision to be released on DVD. Did I mention the cameras? I counted 3 in front of the stage and 1 on. With the quality of DVDs NIGHTWISH releases I’m sure they wouldn’t pass the opportunity to capture Anette’s first world tour and their revolution.

The final song of the night was I Wish I had an Angel. Again, no quality was lost in the delivery of this song and the crowd was left wet, exhausted but still craving more. The whole band reached into the audience and shook adoring hands outstretched from the first few rows before coming together for the final bow.

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Nightwish will always be seen as the birth band of a classically trained lead singer and those who could not see NIGHTWISH beyond Tarja have probably vowed never to buy another NIGHTWISH album again. For those who could not listen to Tarja’s operatic voice now rejoice in the streets as they freely listen to the symphonies of Tuomas Holopainen. The rest of us—we just keeping listening to the albums as if nothing of importance has transpired.


NIGHTWISH surprised the hell out of me. I was never a huge fan of Tarja’s voice or older NIGHTWISH material, but with the new album and an amazing new singer, I was blown away by their performance. It was simply brilliant. I know that I wasn’t the only person converted on the night. (Aussie Metalchild)

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