Saturday, 28 April 2012

Nightwish - Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam 13/4/12

It has been a long long wait to see Nightwish again too long. With no UK dates announced (yet) apart from the Download Festival it was time to get the Euros out and venture further afield. First stop was a wet and cloudy Amsterdam and in true Nightwish fashion I lost my umbrella again! Some things never change.....
Things didn't start too well in Amsterdam.... The previous night I was accosted by a 'beggar' in a mobility scooter who took great exception to me referring to him as a con man. What ensued was an embarassing chase through the main tourist area with me rapidly increasing my walking pace followed by a torrent of abuse along the lines 'I'm gonna kick your f**** white @rse! Which with hindsight would have been interesting considering his disability. Quote of the trip has to go to my wife who shouted 'keep running Peter, his battery will run out eventually' classic! He then with amazing dexterity pulled a crutch from over his shoulder and used it like a light sabre. However I had the last laugh taking a cunning detour down some steps. Only to my horror to see him coming around the corner ...... nightmare.
It was great to catch up with Tom, Ant and Trevor for a beer prior to the gig who took great delight in ribbing me about the previous nights incident. Anyway back to Nightwish and the Imaginaerum tour. The Tour started back in January in LA and runs through to mid October covering some 67 concerts. It is an open secret that some British dates will be added for the second half of the tour.
It was a wet and windy Heineken music Hall also known as the Black Box that greeted us. Thankfully although it was an hour before doors opened the queue was not so bad considering a 5,500 sell out.
German band Eklipse were the first on.They played mostly from their debut album 'A Night in Strings' Mostly they have taken established pop songs and turn them into a string quartet setting. The image is edgy, threatening, domineering but for me the music doesn't quite live up to the expectation and was tame. By comparison Apocalyptica take this kind of music to another harder compelling dimension. There is no doubt that the girls are talented and the songs beautifully performed but for me it was background music an easy listening experience. If you really want to hear Coldplay, Timberlake or Snow Patrol in a classical manner then you will be in your element!
Nitte Vallo of Battle Beast
Battle Beast were on next who I was very much looking forward to seeing as I know lead singer Nitte Vallo through Facebook. The website BIO sums up nicely - BATTLE BEAST represents the traditional Heavy Metal sound. Delivering crunching riffs, high screams, blistering solos and powerful choruses - in one word: Power. They very much reminded me of early Judas priest and I enjoyed their set immensely. Judging by the crowd reaction it wasn't just me either.
We decided to sit down for the first of the three gigs so we were some way back but still had a great view of ths stage show. Right from the start the pyros,fireworks and stunning light show were evident, backed by a massive graphics screen. ‘Storytime,’ off of the latest album ‘Imaginaerum' kicked off after the intro and the curtain exploded! They also performed other new songs such as the jazzy tune ‘Slow Love Slow,’ during which Annette donned a sleek 1940’s looking black, feathery fedora, but then sped things up with ‘I Want My Tears Back.’ Nightwish also performed fan favorites such as ‘Nemo,’(acoustic version), along with ‘Wish I Had an Angel,’ ‘The Islander’, 'Amaranth' and many others I shall talk about in later blogs. I must mention the contribution made by Troy Donockley (multi instrumentalist and master of the Uillean Pipes). Troy featured on seven of the tracks including the astonishing 'I want My Tears Back' which emerges into something like a heavy metal Riverdance.

Full Set list
  •  Taikatalvi
  •  Storytime
  • Wish I Had an Angel
  •  Amaranth
  • Scaretale
  • Slow, Love ,Slow
  • I Want My Tears Back (with Troy Donockley)
  • Come Cover Me (with Troy Donockley)
  • The Crow, the Owl and the Dove (with Troy Donockley)
  • The Islander (with Troy Donockley)
  • Nemo (with Troy Donockley)
  • Last of the Wilds (with Troy Donockley)
  • Planet Hell
  • Ghost River
  • Dead to the World
  • Over the Hills and Far Away (Gary Moore cover)
  • Finlandia (Jean Sibelius cover with Troy Donockley)
  • Song of Myself
  • Last Ride of the Day

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