– “Nightwish is bigger than just the five people playing in it.”
– “Nightwish is an institution that must go on no matter what.”
– “Nightwish is like a carousel that needs to go on spinning.”
No matter if you agree or disagree with these quotes, it’s quite clear that Nightwish – or more specifically mastermind / keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen – will carry on until the end of (his) time. Fans will continue to protest and cry with each change and Tuomas, I bet, will remain the band’s sole member as long he can conjure notes and images from his feeble mind. I just hope that this incarnation of the band – fronted by the “Flying Dutchwoman” Floor Jansen (Revamp, ex-After Forever) – will last a bit longer than its predecessor and that it will be more musically fruitful.
Showtime, Storytime sums up Nightwish‘s world tour in support of their latest effort Imaginaerum. “Showtime”, as you might have guessed, gives us a front-row sit to the band’s massive Wacken Open Air performance from this past summer, as well as an introduction to Floor as Nightwish‘s new vocalist. Whether you attended any of the gigs with her or didn’t manage to do so, you’re in for a treat. Floor not only proves that she was the right choice all along, but she actually pushes the band to another level thanks to her versatile vocal (and headbanging) abilities. She can do opera, she can sing pop, she can scream rock and most importantly she can hold a note. Basically, she delivers big.
Listening to Floor singing both classics and newer stuff from Nightwish‘s repertoire gave me chills and I can’t wait for her to tackle some more “oldies” like “Wishmaster” which I sorely missed from this set-list. A few songs sound as if they were better off with their original vocalist(s), though I do believe they just need some minor adjustments to make them perfect for Floor. Otherwise, the rest of the band members seem relaxed and happy to perform – Marco Hietala (bass) is having a blast singing alongside Floor, Tuomas is still too emotional, Emppu (guitars) and Jukka (drums) are energetic as ever, and the band’s latest addition, Troy Donockley, adds a lot of flavor with his Uillean Pipes.
On the visual side, to be honest, there isn’t much to discuss. If you’ve been to (or seen) any gig (that was filmed) in Wacken, expect to be underwhelmed. No matter how cool is their backdrop and how much Floor headbangs, it’s still the same roaring crowd, camera angles, pyro-technics and everything else. According to Tuomas the band didn’t really want to put a show on this release – so I guess it’s up for the “Storytime” to provide some entertainment. This part consists of a long documentary titled “Please Learn The Set-List In 48 Hours” which starts right when (former-singer who didn’t want appear on the film ’cause apparently she’s a bitch) Anette Olzon dropped out, makes a u-turn to the beginning of the tour, and then chronologically continues to the last summer dates.
Overall Nightwish present a nice (yet somewhat stretching) tour-diary, and show how the band’s mood changed for the better once Floor (and Troy) came on board. While I don’t think the show and documentary are enough to purchase one of the visual editions of Showtime, Storytime, I do believe that the live album will give you a lot more play value. I also believe that while Tuomas might think Nightwish is bigger than its members, he wasn’t actually thinking of Floor at that time. This lady is not only big with her talent but she’s also big with her size, so you be careful, puny Finnish musician!