Nightwish: Once World Tour Copenhagen Denmark 2005

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Once World Tour
23/9 – 2005

By: Anders Sandvall
Pictures by: Anders Sandvall

Since the latest Nightwish album ONCE was released, the band has toured the world over. They have been on and off tour for about 1.5 years, but after this show in Copenhagen they had only a few more gigs before the tour finally ended in Helsinki, Finland. That show is taped for an upcoming DVD later next year. As well, after that show is when the band fired their lead singer. Nightwish is probably the biggest Finnish metal act today and ONCE have sold tremendously.

This night it was time for me to take the train and cross the bridge over to KB-Hallen and Copenhagen. As always I was there way before the gates opened and I therefore took the chance to wander around and explore the area because it was quite a while since I was to KB-Hallen. I was supposed to meet up with a few friends of mine and when they arrived at the venue it was time to enter. Everything went really well and I was on the press-list as promised. As usual I was permitted to photograph the first three songs.

It looked like KB-Hallen was sold out. The venue holds about 3000 people, I wasn’t interested at all in the support act so instead of listening to them I walked around and looked at people, while strolling around I met the guitar player Jonas from Debase. I spent 35 minutes talking with him and after that it was time to enter the pit and wait for the main act.

The lights went out and Nightwish kicked off the evening with the opening track on ONCE – “Dark Chest Of Wonders”. When Tarja got on stage a few minutes into the intro the crowd went absolutely crazy, the cheering and clapping almost blew the roof off KB-Hallen.

Since the last time I saw the band in Malmö, I have listened a lot more to the older Nightwish albums and one thing that comes to mind every time I listen to them is that Tarja has a tendency to sound monotonous. She has an amazing voice but it feels quite overburdening to listen to a full album of it. Luckily she now shares the vocals with bassplayer Marco and those two complete each other extremely well. Her beautiful and epic voice matches Marco’s deep and dark voice brilliantly and together their voices add more depth, mystique and character to the music and it’s sad that they don’t use Marco’s voice more in their music.

Nightwish set the tempo from the beginning and followed in the same vein when the next song “Planet Hell” began. The main focus was on the new album ONCE which they have taken most of the songs from. Besides the already mentioned songs, the band also played “The Siren”, “Ghost Love Score”, “Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan” and “Nemo” from the new album as well as “Ever Dream”, “The Kinslayer”, “Bless The Child” and “Wishmaster” from their older albums during the 90 minutes the show lasted.

About halfway into the show the tempo dropped and the band fired off “Phantom Of The Opera” (even if I’m not a musical fan, I do think that Tarja makes this song interesting because of her voice) followed by “The Siren” (the third single from ONCE and it’s NOT single material at all) and “Sleeping Sun”, songs that not are known to be their fastest ones. Those songs and the tempo dropping feels extremely boring but Tarja saved this low moment with her outstanding lead vocals. After that, it was time for Marco to take over the mic, he sang the Pink Floyd cover “High Hopes” while Tarja was out changing clothes. It was an OK cover but I’d rather hear him do the Megadeth cover “Symphony Of Destruction” that he did in Malmö. After changing outfits it was time for the Finnish nightingale Tarja to take over the mic and fire off “Bless The Child”, “Wishmaster” and “Slaying The Dreamer”. 

The stage this evening was incredibly large and all of the members had enough space to move around on. The only thing that actually was on the stage besides amplifiers and bandmembers was a big backdrop with the bands new album cover hanging behind Jukkas drums. They didn’t have the same show they had the in Malmö with fires and waterfalls. Tuomas stood on one side with his large keyboard equipment beside him, across from him stood guitarplayer Emppu and in the middle stood Tarja and Marco. The ones that did the most to get the crowd going were Marco and Emppu. Tarja didn’t move hardly at all, instead she just stood in the middle and headbanged. The front duo Marco and Tarja didn’t do so much talking in between the songs either, they mostly introduced the songs and thanked the audience for coming. But on the other hand there wasn’t any need for talking because the crowd did their best to scream and support the band anyway. It seems like Nightwish are as highly loved in Denmark as they are in Sweden.

I think I could sense some tiredness in the band. Perhaps the members were going to focus all their last energy on the final gig in Helsinki. The sound and lighting did the band justice and before the show ended they played the songs “Nemo”, “Ghost Love Score” and the final song was “I Wish I Had An Angel”.

The only negative thing with the show was the slower part in the middle which they could have, if not narrowed down, then taken away completely.

Eventhough the gig stumbled a bit in the opening songs, and the band was a bit tired, they did a great show. They are excellent musicians and Tarja is an amazing vocalist. She impresses everyone with her angelic appearance. My final conclusion is that ONCE is going to sell even more copies after this second tour throughout Scandinavia and if you haven’t heard the band yet, it’s time to go out and buy ONCE right away.

After the Helsinki show, Tarja was surpringsinlgy fired from the band after receiving and reading an open letter from Tuomas. A letter that shortly after could be read on the bands homepage. The Nightwish saga will continue and for more updates check out the news-section.

Set list

Dark Chest OF Wonders
Planet Hell
Ever Dream
The Kinslayer
Phantom Of The Opera
The Siren
Sleeping Sun
High Hopes (Pink Floyd Cover)
Bless The Child
Slaying The Dreamer
Kuolemo Tekee Taiteilijan
Ghost Love Score
I Wish I Had An Angel

 Big thanks to Heidi Nielsen at ICO & ET Concert Promotion for help with press/photo pass to the show.

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