The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA was the first stop for Nightwish on their new world tour. The tour, called Decades, is a 10-year anniversary tour featuring a unique setlist only performed during the tour. It is celebrating the compilation album Decades which was released the same day the tour began on Mar. 9. The album features songs from the early days of the band as well as their more modern music, and as a treat for both long-time fans and new fans free copies of the Decades album were given out at the door.
Before beginning the setlist, the band played a themed announcement asking the audience to turn off phones during the show, requesting to return to the days when one could get lost in the musical experience without distraction from the outside world. This request was largely honored and did make the experience more enjoyable. The set list included at least one song from each of the band’s eight studio albums, beginning with an instrumental into of “Swanheart” from their second album.
The current female vocalist, Floor Jansen, who joined Nightwish in 2013, continued to demonstrate her ability to honor the essence of older songs originally performed by classical lead singer Tarja Tururnen. However, Jansen is also distinguishing herself from the bands previous by working in her own singing style to the classic songs. This gave even the older songs a different, fresher feel. Fans of Tururnen and the old style Nightwish had were certainly not left disappointed.
“The Carpenter” was one of the songs from their first album which was featured on the set list, which came as a surprise to some fans. This song was originally performed by Thomas Holopainen, Nightwish’s keyboardist and songwriter. The honor of singing the song went to Troy Donockley, a guest musician specializing in various types of pipes and other folk instruments who has become a more permanent fixture of Nightwish in the last five years.
The entire show was accompanied by themed images projected on a giant screen at the back of the stage. These images provided visuals ranging from dark and menacing, to beautiful and fantastic making a great accompaniment for Nightwish’s epic cinematic musical pieces. Perhaps one of the most outstanding visuals was the slideshow of animals and landscapes and cities and people of various cultures from all over the world which accompanied “The Greatest Show on Earth” culminating in a montage of human faces while Nightwish and audience together cried out, “We were here.”
The first stop of the tour was a thrilling experience, exciting fans of Nightwish both old and new. The Decades tour is off to a strong start and is unlikely to lose momentum as the band continues to tour the world. Any old fan of Nightwish should certainly enjoy their new album, and for any fans of symphonic, folk, power or gothic metal, it should serve for the perfect introduction to the band itself.