Monday, April 6, 2009
Nightwish, Pordenone 31/03/2009
So you could say that I’ve seen an interesting and even odd act here or there in 182 concerts and thirty-three years of taking in shows, but Nightwish was a sort of an oddball-like concert: it felt as though I were at a Take That/Spice Girls performance, but in symphonic-power-metal-gothic form, all bunched up into one! Even the crowd was strange. There were people of all ages, but mostly teeny-boppers who were at the pre-Iron Maiden/Metallica/Motorhead stage (I’ve seen the last two groups by the way, the last one being THE loudest band so far in my entire life!). That’s the feeling I had taking in this group from Finland.
The other thing that grabbed my attention was that the poor security guys working right under the stage. All of them were wearing earplugs (admittedly, the sound level was supportable, but NOT if you also had to take in three bands BEFORE Nightwish)! The band itself was formed back in 1996 with the original singer, Tarja Turumen. She was replaced in 2007 by Annette Olzon who played at the Pordenone gig and who’s been part of the latest album, “Dark Passion Play”, a blonde singer worthy of a Playboy edition. Prior to their performance the band was backed up by three bands: Indica, Pain (an appropriate name for their style of heavy metal music!) and Volbeat which performed a heavy rock version of an old Johnny Cash tune.
In 2004 Nightwish`s album “Once” sold a whopping 1 million copies. That same year saw their U.S. hit single which also found its way into three U.S. movie soundtracks. On the one hand, Nightwish’s bass guitarist, Marco Heitala, looked like a musical version of a Viking ready to set sail for foreign lands while on the other hand, lead singer Olzon was decked out in a gold mini-dress and looked ready to hop around the stage as though she were at a beauty pageant. A spunky kid I must say (just look at the pics to get a confirmation of that!). Metal experts say that with the exit of Tarja from the band the group’s lost fans here and there. From looking around at the arena I’d say there were about 1,500 people and from talking to their German record producer who was on hand taking pictures with a very, very old Canon AE-1 camera, I had the feeling that this band was created in a recording studio solely for the purpose of being commercialised as a symphonic-power-metal-gothic group, nothing more, nothing less (all pics by M. Rimati).
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