The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Nightwish Live Australia Perth January 2013



20th JANUARY 2013




It has been five years since we last saw Nightwish in Australia

What a band they have become in that time...







Dark Chest of Wonder

Wish I Had an Angel


7 Days to the Wolves

Slow, Love, Slow

I Want My Tears Back


Last of the Wilds

Planet Hell

Ever Dream

Over the Hills and Far Away (Gary Moore cover)

Ghost Love Score

Song of Myself

Last Ride of the Day




It’s almost 5 years to the day since Nightwish last played in Perth and the excitement of seeing the masters of symphonic metal was mixed with a curiosity of seeing them perform with new lead singer Floor Jansen.



It was only in October 2012 that we learnt that lead singer Anette Olzon and Nightwish had parted ways after 5 years and two albums together. They quickly moved to bring in former After Forever and current Revamp vocalist Floor Jansen to complete the remaining dates on their North American tour and this current Australian tour.



I arrived at an already surprisingly full Metros with Melbourne power metal band Black Majesty in full flight. They received a very healthy response from the crowd and were then followed by another Melbourne band Eyefear who also gave a good account of themselves with their own brand of slightly more progressive power metal. Special mention must be made of their lead singer who must definitely have the longest hair in music today! The enthusiasm of the crowd so early only added to the anticipation of the main act to follow.



Waiting for Nightwish to come on stage, it was hard not to wonder if this was the last time we would see them. They were now onto their third singer and in a band where the singer plays such a crucial role in their sound, it was hard not to wonder if this was one blow to many to take.



Finally after a 45 minute wait the lights went down, the intro music started and out strolled Tuomas, Emppu, Jukka & Marco launching straight into “Storytime” from the Imaginaerum album. A few seconds later out came a stunningly tall and elegant Floor Jansen and any previous reservations about her and Nightwish were blown away as she launched into a furious windmill headbang…this was more like it!!!! Where Anette felt like a pop singer in a metal band and Tarja like an Opera singer in a metal band, there is no doubt that Floor Jansen is a metal singer through and through.



After “Storytime” there was no let up with the band jumped straight into two of their best songs, “Dark Chest of Wonders” and” Wish I had an Angel”, by this time they had the crowd in the palm of their hands.



They next visited the Dark Passion Play album with “Amaranth” and ” 7 Days to the Wolves” with the later song showcasing just how good a singer bassist Marco has become. He & Floor really had a great connection on stage and their voices really worked well together.



After the ferocious onslaught of the first 5 songs they slowed it up with the jazz tinged “Slow, Love, Slow”. After initially not liking this song, it has grown on me to the point where I fell it was one of the standout tracks on Imaginaerum and I believe it was the highlight of Anette Olzon’s time in the band. It’s certainly a difficult song to sing and Floor nailed it, showing she has great versatility in her voice.



Touring musician Troy Donockley now joined the band on stage with his uillean pipes and they played the folk/metal orientated “I Want my Tears Back”, another great song of the latest album.  After following up with” Nemo”, Floor took a short break and the band launched into the folk metal instrumental “Last of the Wilds”. This was the real surprise of the evening. Usually for instrumentals it’s a good time to go to the bar but the crowd fed off the bands enthusiasm and just lapped this song up.



 Credit must go to the band, it was getting pretty hot in there but they were giving it their all. Tuomas was showing why he is the most entertaining keyboard player in rock and Emppu didn’t stop prowling the stage from side to side egging on the crowd for more. Marco the blond viking looked to be having a ball while drummer Jukka was relentless and right on the money, powering the band along with a typically powerful display of drumming. This was perfectly highlighted when they ripped through “Planet Hell”, definitely the heaviest song of the evening.



After going back a bit in time with ”Ever Dream” and “Over the Hills and Far Away” they then went into the song that for me was the highlight of the evening. After showing she could handle Anette’s songs, she then showed Tarja’s were no problem either. “Ghost Love Score” was just epic and if one song could showcase what this band is about, this is it. Heavy yet unbelievably melodic with soaring vocals it just builds and builds until you almost can’t take it anymore. This song defines symphonic metal for me.



Somehow they still had the energy to finish the night with a couple more tracks from Imaginaerum, “Song for Myself” and the rousing “Last Ride of the Day”, which saw the crowd go suitably nuts for the last song of their Imaginaerum World Tour.



I must say that as the band was saying their thank you’s and goodbyes, they came across as a very happy and satisfied group. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was worried I could be seeing the end of an era and a wonderful group. Instead I feel I have seen the start of a new more successful era for this band who really deserve to go to that next echelon of bands…they have the songs, they are great live and now I feel they have the found the final piece in the puzzle in Floor.  Floor was a natural on stage and had the crowd in the palm of her hand. I caught her bandmates watching her a few times and exchanging satisfied looks with each other. They would be nuts not to offer her the gig fulltime.



2013 is an absolute bumper year for live metal in Perth and the bar has been set very high very early by Nightwish. If any bands top tonight we are in for one Hell of a year!





words Mike Fistonich and photos by Mark Diggins