Nightwish Shows Off New Album
By nightingail from Columbus, OH on 10/29/2007
Crowd Was In To It, Engaging Stage Presence, Great Encores, Great Lighting, Great Sound
This is my sixth Nightwish concert, but my first since Dark Passion Play came out with the new singer. The show was excellent, with nothing lacking on the band's part. Nightwish did a great job with their new album, and the new material was definitely the highlight of the show. They started with Bye Bye Beautiful and leapt straight into Amaranth. The crowd was very excited, especially considering their non-enthusiasm for the opening band Paradise Lost (I thought they had some decent music, but they really did nothing to engage the crowd). Everyone was waiting for NW, though, so the screaming started for them. I was surprised, however, that they were not as excited as any of the past shows I've been to, especially considering the venue was sold out. I had plenty of room to move around in the second row behind the rail - a first at any NW show.Still the crowd responded with enthusiasm for old favorites like Wishmaster (it's time to retire that from the setlist, guys...), Ever Dream, and especially Nemo. Dark Chest of Wonders fell a little flat, though I don't know why. I think another song might have suited better.The band quieted down about halfway through with The Islander - drummer Jukka even left the stage, while the rest got a chance to sit down. The crowd seemed restless, however. The Poet and the Pendulum picked the energy back up. Here it was more obvious how new the material was to the band. I could see them checking with each other - there was a lot more onstage communication than I had noticed in their Once and CC performances.Several of the old songs were performed in a different key or at least a lower voice. I could only tell because I could sing along to all the notes, which is NOT something I could ever do with Tarja. This actually pleased me, though I suppose it's sad that the range is more limited. Annette was a good performer, however, playing the crowd well and giving attention all around the stage. She took more liberties with the vocal line, too, adding movement and harmonization at time. It made it more interesting to listen to.A great hit with the crowd was definitely 7 Days to the Wolves, lots of singing and shouting going on for this one. The band left for their usual break, waiting for the cheering to bring them back out near the end. They dispensed with the formality of pretending it was the end, however, and soon came out to perform several more songs, ending happily with Wish I Had an Angel.Some detractions for the show: the crowd was not keen on picking up clapping or shouting from each other. Even when the band indicated clapping, it would immediately die.[...]The only bad part on the performance side of things was that sometimes I couldn't hear Annette. I knew Wishmaster had started, but I didn't hear her sing until the second verse. It might be a sound-mixing thing or simply where I was standing. I started to hear her after she came over to our side of the stage.Jukka never visited the front of the stage :(I never got to ambush the tour bus because House of Blues doesn't let you. They didn't throw out the setlists (NW always did that!) and the HoB people wouldn't let us have them. Als, HoB let in tons of VIPs for spending money in the gift shop or restaurant, so the people who stood outside for 4 hours and were there first had no chance at all of being in the front. Also, NO CAMERAS. ARG! Personally, I think they are way too uptight... I prefer the run-down venue I went to in Cleveland on the previous tour. Grr, HoB.Highlights: the performances of the new songs were excellent, especially 7DttW, Sahara, and Whoever Brings the Night. The Poet and the Pendulum was pretty cool, but the audience seemed a little restless during the quiet parts. I loved the song, though, and now I con't stop it playing through my head. The three guys played the end of the song in a little circle, and it was really neat to watch them as they finished the song together.Tuomas has a Jack Sparrow doll on his keyboard :D He's also really nice and tried to pick up things (gifts, etc) if people throw them up on the stage. He even went to pick up some guy's hair tie - though I think in part it was because he didn't know what had been tossed. He was the first band member willing to grab hands with the audience at the end (thank goodness he's talented at staying ON the stage, since I saw him be pulled off balance). He's a great performer, especially considering he can't move around behind his three keyboards... he's so nice to us crazy fans.Marco really shines in the new Nightwish, somehow managing to play bass, sing, and hype the crowd. He is definitely awesome.The whole band is excellent - engaging, entertaining, and fun to watch.Emppu is a ton of fun, ranging around the stage, showing off for riffs, getting cheers, tossing off guitar picks...Basically, the concert was great. I think with a little more practice, they'll get it all down to a polish as they had it for Once, and the crowd won't be even slightly laid-back anymore.I'm buying tickets for the spring.