Nightwish: Endless Forms Most Beautiful
European Tour 2015
Arch Enemy – special guest
Amorphis – support act
Falconer Theater, Copenhagen,Denmark
16/11 – 2015
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Earlier in 2015, Nightwish finally released their long awaited new studio album ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL. Then band went out on a European tour to support the album. A lot has happened in the Nightwish camp during the past years: Troy Donockley joined the band in 2014, original drummer Jukka Nevalainen stepped down for the album as well as the tour and was replaced by Kai Hahto (Wintersun). The first single out from the album was “Elan” and I thought that singer Floor Jansen especially delivered a remarkable performance on the album. I saw their show at Wacken Open Air 2013, which later became the live DVD/CD SHOWTIME STORYTIME and I was already, back then, blown away by how well Jansen fit in with the band. Many of the shows on the tour were sold out and that also went for the show I saw at Falconer Theater in Copenhagen where the band joined forces with Arch Enemy and Amorphis.
The venue is located inside a SAS Hotel in central Copenhagen and it takes about 30-40 minutes to walk to the venue from the central station. I’ve had information that the club holds 3000 people, but have also heard that it can host 4000, I have no idea which figure is correct, nevertheless, it’s a lot of people. Me and a friend took the train over the bridge to Denmark and arrived during the day to Copenhagen. The hall was set to open at 7 so we had a lot of time to check out the city and take a look at a few record shops. When we got to the hotel/hall I met up a few of the members in Arch Enemy as well as a few members of Nightwish. Since my friend is from Finland he was really happy to speak Finish with Nightwish. The rain had been hanging in the air during the day and when we were chatting with the bands it started to pour down, we left to take cover and when we got back a line had been formed outside the venue.
When I was about to enter the hall there were some uncertainties when it came to how many songs the photographers were allowed to take, we got the answer that we were allowed to photograph the first three songs when it came to the opening and support acts and two songs during Nightwish. We couldn’t take our camera bags with us into the hall and had to leave them in the wardrobe or wait outside in the hall until we were escorted inside the photo pit by one of the press responsible people for this show.
The Finish act Amorphis has been around since 1990 and released their 12th album at the beginning of September called UNDER THE RED CLOUD. And it was Amorphis that was going to open the night and when we finally got into the hall and the photo pit the band had already played one song.
The band had ended “Death Of A King” when we were let into the pit and the band kicked off “Sacrifice” which was the first song we could photograph. By now the club was pretty jammed with people and it was almost hard to see the band because of all the smoke on the quite big stage. “Hopeless Days” followed after which singer Joutsen thanked for the applause and said that it was time for “Bad Blood” taken from the new album.
The band is:
Tomi Joutsen – lead vocals
Niclas Etelävueri – bass
Santeri Kallio – keyboards
Jan Rechberger – drums
Tomi Koivusaari – rhythm guitar
Esa Holopainen – lead guitar
Joutsen’s mic stand was covered with things, and it was almost hard to see his face, the third song ended and it was time to make our way out from the pit. It took a while to put down the camera in the bag so when I came inside the hall again I heard the end of “Silver Bride” and “The Four Wise Ones” followed right away. Joutsen had fans to clap along with him in the middle of the song. The final song for Amorphis this night was “House Of Sleep” which made the crowd go crazy and already now the temperature started to rise inside the hall. Amorphis did a good job as opening act and it was surely a solid show, however I missed a few personal favorite songs but I guess it’s hard to please everyone when you have the huge catalog of songs like Amorphis has. The sound system was good, but not the lights and the smoke made it partially hard to see the band.
Death Of A King
The Four Wise Ones
House Of Sleep
So we had to leave the big hall and stand and wait to be let in to shoot pics of Arch Enemy. The break was set to last for about 20 minutes. We got the info that we were probably going to shoot the 3rd and 4th song by Nightwish and not the first two because of all the pyro that the band was going to ignite! Well, back to Arch Enemy now which is a band that rarely do shows in Scandinavia and Sweden – which by the way is their native country. Chris Amott left the band 2012 and was replaced by Nick Cordle who also left in the middle of their US tour. Jeff Loomis (formerly of Nevermore) is now the new axe man and in March 2014 the band of course announced their new singer – Alissa White-Gluz (ex- The Agonist). WAR ETERNAL was released 2014 and was the first album with White-Gluz and since I loved the former singer Angela Gossow’s work in the band,
I was a bit hesitant towards White-Gluz, but she proved me wrong when I saw the band live. She impressed me and the new album isn’t too bad either. I think that if White-Gluz is allowed to make her mark in the band and grow into her role as front person, she is really going to convince anyone with doubts. This show was the first inside show for me with the new line-up. I have only seen Arch Enemy at festivals before, so I was really eager to see what they would be like in a hall. It took a while to get to the pit and when we made our way through the crowd it felt like more people had arrived.
The fans screamed at the top of their lungs when they heard the intro music and saw the band members come on the stage. “Yesterday Is Dead And Gone” marked the beginning of the show and the it was full speed ahead from the very first note. White-Gluz ran around on stage during the entire show and connected with the fans from the very start. She thanked the fans and fired off “War Eternal” and the line-up in Arch Enemy is:
Alissa White-Gluz – lead vocals
Michael Amott – guitar
Daniel Erlandsson – drums
Sharlee D’Angelo – bass
Jeff Loomis – guitar
The bands backline looked as usual with a huge backdrop behind the drums which was positioned a bit to the right. On each side of the drums, flags were placed and when White-Gluz announced “Ravenous” the crowd exploded. Amott took most of the lead guitar parts while Loomis took on a more background approach. When the three songs were over we were led out from the pit and out in the hall to leave our bags with the press people that sat in the lobby of the hotel. Unlike me, as I both review and take photos, most of the photographers only shot the three songs and then walked out and hung out at the press center waiting for the next band?!
When I got back into the venue, no bands were on the stage and when I asked a guy what had happened he said that the power was off and it had happened right before the band was going to play the next song. It took about 10-15 minutes until the power was fixed but during that time we had no info about what was going on and if the show was going to be continued or not. I don’t really know what happened when the power went out since I wasn’t in the venue when it happened. The band returned and fired off “Stolen Life” and White-Gluz encouraged everyone to clap their hands and she expressed thanks for the amazing support the band received. She thanked the fans for staying put and wanted the fans to scream for her – then “As The Pages Burn” followed. Just like Amorphis, Arch Enemy suffered from bad lighting and the heat inside the club started to become noticeable. White-Gluz wanted the fans to jump with her in “Avalanche” and the band felt really solid and it seemed like they enjoyed performing together. Amott and Loomis completed each other and D’Angelo and Erlandsson were tight and brought a solid foundation for the rest of the band to rely on and the new singer felt strong and I think she sure has the ability to fill the shoes of Gossow.
Arch Enemy are now legends within their genre and this show was no exception to the greatness of their past shows I seen. White-Gluz said it was nice to see that so many had come to the show and said that everyone should remember that we decide of our lives ourselves because remember there are “No Gods No Masters”. The audience sang a long and jumped during the song and the fans really enjoyed hearing an old classic tune. It felt like the band had to cut their set list short due to the power failure and White-Gluz didn’t do much talking in between the songs either. She had the fans sing a long in the chorus with her and she asked if the fans were ready to face their “Nemesis” and the fans shouted at the top of their lungs of joy when they heard another classic pick. That song ended the terrific show and the band took off their instruments and took a picture with themselves and the audience after which they went off the stage.
Arch Enemy once again impressed me and I was especially impressed by White-Gluz who I think did a remarkable job as front woman of the band. Also, Loomis is worth a mention, but on the other hand I knew he could deliver a solid performance – after all he is a skilled and experienced musician. After the power failure, it felt like the show lacked tempo and unfortunately brought down the atmosphere just a bit. However, Arch Enemy did their best to deliver a solid show and they succeeded with that. I really hope the band is going to visit Scandinavia and Sweden in the near future on their own tour and not just do more festivals here as I really want to see them live in action soon again.
Yesterday Is Dead And Gone
-10 min break
As The Pages Burn
No Gods, No Masters
More photographers were now waiting in the lobby to get into the venue and we all had to wait until the third song before we could get into the photo pit. I spoke with a photographer who had asked if it was possible to go inside a bit earlier to watch the two first songs and she got the answer that it was OK but then we had to stand in the crowd. Nightwish were scheduled to begin their night at 10pm but already now people started to leave the venue after having seen the Arch Enemy show. I was really eager to see what the Nightwish back line was going to look like. The band always bring amazing sets with them. We were led into the pit and were told that it was song number three and four we were allowed to photograph and the temperature was smoking hot when we came in. The place was boiling and when the intro was heard the Danish fans screamed and gave their idols a warm welcome.
“Shudder Before The Beautiful” marked the beginning of the show as the band came in and fire came from both sides of the stage. The pyro and fire looked really cool and I realized why we couldn’t take pics during the first song. “Yours Is An Empty Hope” followed and once again flames and pyros blasted out from the stage. The Nightwish of today is:
Floor Jansen – lead vocals
Tuomas Holopainen – keyboards
Empuu Vuorinen – guitar
Marco Hietala – bass, vocals
Troy Donockley – killean pipes, guitar
Kai Hahto – drums
As soon as the two songs were over we were let into the photo pit and Jansen thanked the fans for the warm welcome the band got. It was time for Holopainen to show off in the older song “Ever Dream” that now followed and Jansen worked really hard to get the crowd going even more than they did. Behind the drums, two screens were put on top of each other but besides that nothing more was put there and it gave the band plenty of space to move around. Jansen headbanged her way through “Wishmaster” and she really impressed me big time with her stage presence and brilliant voice. She sure fits into the band perfectly. I was a bit reluctant towards former singer Anette Olzon, but I do fully embrace Jansen because her voice and presence is of such high caliber compared to Olzon. While the band fired off “My Walden” we were escorted out from the pit and to the lobby where we left our bags in the wardrobe.
When I re-entered the venue, Hietala asked how the Danish crowd was doing and told them to sing a long to “The Islander” which was sung by Hietala with only an acoustic guitar as back up. As soon as the fans heard which song it was, they all sang along and he hardly had to sing a single word on his own. The rest of the band joined Hietala on the stage in the middle of the song and everyone finished the song together, it was a special and beautiful version of the song. Jansen said it was her first time with the band at Falconer Theater and that she wanted the night to be special. “E’lan” continued the night and the screens showed waterfalls, it looked really nice and a white dove flew from one screen to the other which added atmosphere to the song. Fire went off at the end of the song and made it even hotter inside the place. It felt like the band sure had put some serious thought into designing the backline as well as the pyros. When Hietala asked if the fans were ready for “7 days to the Wolves” everyone shouted at the top of their lungs. Beautiful landscapes were shown on the screens. During “Aplenglow”, mountains were shown together with the words ‘We were here’. By now, I saw that several people had to go outside to catch some air because of the heat had become so intense. “Maybe it’s time to tell a story” Jansen said and it was of course “Storytime” which followed.
Sparks flew on stage and the flames filled the edge of the stage. The crowd went crazy when they heard Holopainens keyboard intro to “Nemo”. The song is one of the bands most successful, and one of the songs the band has to play during a show. Jansen let the fans sing the first part of the verse and she also had the fans scream and clap their hands. She smiled and said it was really fun to be in Copenhagen and wanted the crowd to give a hand for Amorphis and Arch Enemy. Jansen asked if the fans thought it was time to travel back in time to the older albums, first out came “Stargazer” taken from the 1998 year album OCEANBORN followed as well as “Sleeping Sun”. Jansen thanked for the applause and asked if we wanted to have more and fired off “Ghost Love Score” taken from the bands fifth album ONCE. Flames came out from the stage and the screens also showed fire. The song ended with the screens showing a lit candle.
“Last Ride Of The Day” continued the show and the screens showed a Tivoli and a rollercoaster ride. Hietala said he wanted the fans to welcome Holopainen on keyboards, everyone except him went off the stage and it was time to hear a keyboard solo from the founder and band leader of Nightwish. It took a while, but then I realized he was playing “The Greatest Show On Earth” and the first chapter of it in “Four Point Six”. Then followed chapter 2 “Life” and the band returned back, a lot of faces were shown on the screens during chapter 3 “The Toolmaker” with the words “We were here”. A break followed and then followed chapter 4 “The Understanding” and 5 “Sea Worn Driftwood” ended the suite. A rain of confetti poured down over the crowd while Jansen thanked the crowd for the night and the outro was heard from the PA.
The 2 hour show was magnificent to say the least; I loved the set list as well as the pyro and the good looking video screens. I missed a few personal favorite songs, but I guess that was OK since the show was one of the best ones I’ve seen this year. The band has found the perfect lead singer and I really hope the band is going to keep this line-up intact!
There are a few songs that wasn’t as great as the rest, like, why did the band choose to play the and end the show with the marathon long song “The Greatest Show On Earth”? I can come up with several other magnificent songs the band could have played instead of that. There were no encores because of that looooooong song. Jansen didn’t say anything to let us know that this was the last song, and that made many believe the show was going to continue, it was a strange way of ending the show. Besides that, I had a terrific night at Falconer Theatre with three great bands and everyone that left the place looked as happy as I felt.
Shudder Before The Beautiful
Yours Is An Empty Hope
Weak Fantasy w. Intro
7 Days To The Wolves
Ghost Love Score
Last Ride Of the Day
The Greatest Show On Earth – chapter 1-5
Four Pond Six
-Short break then the last two chapters –
Thanks to Markus Wosgien, at HQ Nuclear Blast Germany for help with press/photo pass to the show