Nightwish at Marquee Theatre Coverage

Coverage/Photos By: Hannah Nichols

Nightwish continued through the desert with their Decades world tour. The crowd was pleased to welcome the Finnish symphonic metal band back to the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona. Dedicated fans from across the valley gathered knowing this tour would encompass songs of the Nightwish we know today back to the very roots they came.
Their latest release of “Decades” is the perfect album for any new or curious individual wondering what this band is all about. It holds 22 songs from 1996 – 2015 hand picked from Tuomas Holopainen himself, giving the listener the chance to experience the evolution of Nightwish throughout the many years.

The show began with a message to the crowd asking to go back to simpler times when technology wasn’t so essential, and to resist the urge to record or take so many photos. Most fans were happy to follow this request… well maybe most of the fans, but at least most kept it to a minimum per their technology addiction. Next the countdown was displayed on a huge LED screen behind the band until they were ready to make their grand entrance.

The lights dimmed down to just a few soft blue lights as Troy Donockley was first to enter the stage. He played an instrumental bit from the song “Swanheart” with his uilleann pipes followed by the band bursting onto stage with “End of All Hope”. The contrast between the two songs alone was a great example of how versatile this band truly is.

The set went from songs across nearly all eight of Nightwish‘s studio albums, including the song “The Carpenter” which I had never heard live before. It was definitely a special treat for all of those who have been following the band for decades (see what I did there?). But really, in all seriousness the set couldn’t have been better; “Gethsemane”, “Dead Boy’s Poem”, “Élan”, and “I Want My Tears Back” are just few to name out of the two hour set. The background LED screen lit up for each song showcasing album covers, artwork and short videos to fit the mood of each song, but of course not too distracting to take your attention away from the band.

Lights glowed in the foggy stage as the band showed us what they are made of. Marco Hietala even set aside his regular bass guitair for a beautiful double neck bass/guitar combo for and stood next to Emppu Vuorinen. Kai Hato blasted away on the drums and when the lights went out you could see the kit had some glow in the dark designs, pretty cool. And of course how could anyone not be impressed by the lovely Floor Jansen herself.

Last time Nightwish had made an appearance in Arizona was in May 2015, but it is always an incredible treat to see their performance, so full of life and energy, just as their music. They closed out the set perfectly with one of my personal favorites “Ghost Love Score” as a fabulous exit to this spectacular performance. One of the greatest on Earth (ahhh, again)… until next time Nightwish, we will be here.

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