Nightwish - End Of An Era
Already with the opening bit Dark Chest Of Wonders, Nightwish manage to floor me completely and throughout the concert I am struck by awe over how mighty this is. This concert is the last one on the gigantic tour they did in support for their latest album Once (2004) and is taking place on the 12th of December 2005 in Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, in their home country Finland and the response from the fans is of course huge. A Nightwish concert must be one of the most mightiest musical events you can experience. It is great enough on dvd and I can only image how it would be to be there in person during the concert. Of course, I am sure that for example Pink Floyd in front a six figured audience with a full light show would be more mighty but now I am talking about bands of this size and in this genre.
The initial quarter of the concert is nothing but brilliant. Great songs in breathtaking and energetic versions. Absolutely nothing else to wish for there. Unfortunately they lose a bit of the tempo during the next quarter where two songs are included that I personally would like to have seen them scrap completely and instead replace them with two others. Those are Siren and High Hopes (where bass player Marco Hietala alone takes care of the vocals). They are nice to listen to since Nightwish have not yet in their career made a "bad" song, per say, but these songs do not do anything for me and that is really the only weak moment of this concert.
What about the production and the package in general? The sound, the lighting, the coreography - everything is really top notch. I do not find much to remark on here except for Tarja's voice actually, which is not really at top level this night, and the setlist, as usual. It is enormously hard to please all fans and at the same time satisfy yourself as an artist on stage but I believe that they are slightly overdoing the slow songs in the second half of the concert. It is close to overkill with the block of Slaying The Dreamer, Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan, Nemo, Ghost Love Score, Stone People and Creek Mary's Blood right after each other. But they manage to pull it off at the end of the day.
And the ending is also up for discussion. A cover in form of Over The Hills And Far Away, albeit a great version, and as grande finale the song Wish I Had An Angel. It is a great song and has its place in the setlist and here it comes in a stunning version but it just don't feel like closing material if you ask me. I personally would like to have seen a classic like Wishmaster rounding it off. But that is just a minor detail really and nothing that takes away any points.
The extra material consists of an average 50 minute documentary showing the life on the road the weeks prior to this concert and an, as ususal, useless photo gallery. Nothing to be excited over and quite below what I had expected on a release like this.
This performance shows that the band possesses a great deal of routine by now. They are tight and safe in their respective roles on stage, something that have grown on them after several years of massive touring. It leaves a little bitter after taste, though, knowing that right after this concert the band handed over a letter to Tarja saying that she was sacked. It kind of lies in the back of your head all the time while watching this and takes away a small bit of the joy. It is most likely an after construction but when looking at keyboard player Tuomas during the concert he looks kind of moody and there are some somber looks from his eyes from time to time. Nevertherless, this a very solid buy for the already initated fan as well as the Nightwish-rookie.