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nightwish introHartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland
15th December 2018
Nightwish - “Decades 2018” - Support: Beast in Black

I had booked a flight to Helsinki to see MUSTA PARAATI at Nosturi when I realized that NIGHTWISH would play the final gig of their “Decades” tour in Helsinki the day after. By that time Hartwall Arena was sold out, but I was lucky and found a seating ticket with excellent view. I took the train to Pasila and I have to say, the guys at HSL know how to get more than 12,000 people to the venue without any delay. Security check was pretty fast and there were nearly no waiting lines. Near the entrance to my seating area I found a cloak room, and left my warm winter coat there for I believed a T-Shirt and a hoodie would be sufficient (I would regret leaving my coat there later that night).


Beast in Black

I was very looking forward for the opener BEAST IN BLACK, Finland is their home country and I was pretty curious, if the people in Finland would like them as much as the fans abroad. Most support bands have the problem that people will arrive late and only will attend the show of the main act, but BEAST IN BLACK was attended by more than 2/3 of the audience. Their new drummer entertained the crowd with some funny slapstick actions and everyone had a lots of fun. At the beginning mix was “foggy” sometimes which meant that the performance of the instruments was sometimes dominated by the synths which was most annoying when you could see that there was a solo on, but you couldn’t identify it, but this improved as the gig went on. But there could have been definitely less stroboscopic lights so you had to focus on not getting blinded instead of attending the band. Let’s hope that they will create a new light show for their upcoming headliner tour.

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All in all the show was a blast and vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos gave everything he could showing he can manage the lowest and highest ranges and everything in between. The crowds cheered and during ‘End of the World’ the pit was a sea of clapping hands and raised arms, on the ranks most people were standing, too. Helsinki celebrated BEAST IN BLACK. At end of the gig, the band announced that there would be a “meet and greet” after NIGHTWISH’s gig and that they would be around in the arena to sign everything the fans wanted and to take photos. The band kept their word, but I will not pester you with my private shoots. Guys please remain so welcoming and down to earth and welcoming. BEAST IN BLACK’s new album ‘From Hell with Love’ will be published in February, it’s likely they put in all their enthusiasm and talent.

Setlist
01. Intro: Night Crawler (Judas Priest)
02. Beast in Black
03. Eternal Fire
04. Blood of a Lion
05. The Fifth Angel
06. Born Again
07. Ghost in the Rain
08. Crazy, Mad, Insane
09. Blind and Frozen
10. End of the World
11. Outro: Golden Age (Battle Beast)

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 10
Light: 7
Sound: 7
Total: 8.3 / 10

nightwish audience


Nightwish

Most people left their seats in the break to get some drinks or food. Catering options at Hartwall Arena are really good. When the organizers made announcements the show would start soon and people should take their seats, you could see a parade of Metal fans of all ages and genres, trying to find their seats. Once more the arenas staff proved to be well informed and told everyone where his seat was located. Lights went dark and a countdown started on the screen. An off-voice reminded the audience, that they should enjoy the gig with their eyes and ears instead of following “digital-slavery”. The set was built against an enormous LED-screen that showed sequences supporting every song and created a perfect mood. For those who were unfortunate and couldn’t see what was happening on stage, there were gigantic screens on the walls and the camera team did an excellent job filming the artists without standing in their way.

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Troy Donockley’s pipes opened the show, which turned out to be a long ride on the road of NIGHTWISH’s career. What really surprised me was that Floor Jansen talked a lot to the audience compared to other shows of this tour and in my opinion this was really good. She stressed out that they had been on tour for weeks now and they were happy to be at home again. Floor covered the whole catalogue of the evening with a perfect vocal performance. She is not Tarja and by performing the old songs in her own way she made clear she’s not striving to imitate Tarja but to perform the way she thinks to be the best. Having attended several gigs in Finland I’m used to the fact that Finish audiences stay rather calm and nearly unexcited (compared to German or multinational audiences) when the godfathers of a genre perform for them.

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‘Dead boy’s poem’ was one of the highlights. Empuu Vuorinnen’s solo intensified the dark mood of the song and you could spot many people swallowing hard or fighting tears. Floor Jansen was right, when she said, that this show would be “a ride down memory lane” and adds “it’s a bumpy one”, it throws you through all stadiums of NIGHTWISH’s career and through many emotions. The second part of the show got you back to harder songs like ‘Devil and the Dark Deep Ocean’ or ‘Slaying the Dreamer’. Everyone’s performance is perfect and you never would get the idea, that the band played a big tour before this gig. But it would not be NIGHTWISH, if there weren’t epic songs like ‘The greatest show on earth’ and ‘Nemo’. My personal Highlight were definitely ‘The carpenter’ and ‘Wishmaster’ when Netta Skog joined NIGHTWISH on stage and was greeted cheerfully by the audience.

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Once more Tuomas Holopainen remained in his “castle” of keyboards never stepping down, but it was a nice scene, when Floor walked up the stairs and shared some red-wine with him. The cameras showed every artist on the screens but attending what happened on stage, Floors energetic performance and Marco Hietala’s calm and routined presence were dominating. The final of the show is dominated by a confetti-shower during ‘Ghost Love Score’’ and lots of pyro. The voice of Richard Darwins, quoting from his works ‘The Origin of Species’ and ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’, closed the show. NIGHTWISH came back on stage and asked the audience for applause for whole crew, who made this tour possible. Looking at their faces I got the impression that NIGHTWISH were relieved that the tour is over.

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All in all, it was a nice evening. Fans got their favourite songs and a flawless live-show and many will call this “an evening to remember”. Let’s hope Magician Tuomas Holopainen will create more magical music for the band and the journey will go on for more decades. And finally… Why I regretted leaving my coat in the cloakroom? Hartwall Arena houses an ice-rink and sitting for about two hours in a rather poorly heated arena, I knew why even most people were wearing long sleeves and many on the seats had jackets over their shirts. I was really frozen and walking through Helsinki’s winter night to the station did not really warm me up. But I was lucky my favourite “after show bar” had still some of their fantastic “Glöggi” available.

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Setlist
01. Intro: Swanheart (performed by Troy Donockley)
02. Dark Chest of Wonders
03. Wish I Had an Angel
04. 10th Man Down
05. Come Cover Me
06. Gethsemane
07. Élan
08. Sacrament of Wilderness
09. Dead Boy’s Poem
10. Elvenjig (traditional cover)
11. Elvenpath
12. I Want My Tears Back
13. Last Ride of the Day
14. The Carpenter
15. Wishmaster (with Netta Skog)
16. The Kinslayer
17. Devil & the Deep Dark Ocean
18. Nemo
19. Slaying the Dreamer
20. The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter I: Four Point Six)
21. Ghost Love Score
22. Outro: The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter IV: The Understanding)

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 10
Light: 9
Sound: 10
Total: 9.5 / 10

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All pictures by Munich Vampire
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