Fronted by the beautiful and talented Dutch singer Floor Jansen, Finland’s Nightwish took fans on a 20-plus-year journey through the band’s history on their Decades tour performance at Stage AE in Pittsburgh on Sunday evening.
Having grown in popularity in the United States this past decade, the band was founded in Finland in 1996 by main composer and keyboard player Tuomas Holopainen and guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, as well as their original singer Tarja Turunen.
Nightwish treated the crowd on their way into the venue with a physical CD copy of their 2018 Nuclear Blast release Decades, which is an excellent introduction to the newer fans of the band and a solid “best of” package for longtime fans. We certainly applaud the gesture and strategy of getting physical copies of the album into the hands of the audience!
This trip down memory lane provides Nightwish with the opportunity to acquaint newer fans with deep cuts like “Gethsemane”, “10th Man Down”, “The Carpenter” which was introduced by Troy Donockley (Pipes, flutes & whistles) as well as “The Devil and the Deep Dark Ocean” which was introduced by bass player and vocalist Marco Hietala.
Their time-machine journey encouraged fans to put away their devices and enjoy the music without distractions, and a packed-in crowd of multiple generations did just that. With fists pumping and legs moving to crowd favorites like “Elan” and “I Want My Tears Back” (the latter of which left the audience out of breath from exhaustion).
In contrast, Nightwish showed no signs of tiring as they delivered nearly two and a half hours of symphonic metal finishing with the first 3 movements of “The Greatest Show on Earth” and “Ghost Love Score”. No matter how amazing their overall performance was, Nightwish left the audience hungry for more. Considering the better-known songs that were left out of the set, Nightwish easily could have played past midnight. (Easy for us to say from the crowd!).
Overall, Nightwish delivers complex yet accessible songs, precision musicianship as well as amazing vocals and proved why they are one of the most popular heavy metal bands in the world. 20+ years in their journey, the crowds are getting larger and the material is getting stronger with each release.