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Nightwish - Showtime Storytime
This is the first full length live album CD / DVD Nightwish have released since 2006’s End of an Era. That album brought the story of Nightwish and original vocalist, Tarja Turunen, to a close. The second stage of their career came to a close in 2013 with the sudden departure of Annette Olzon during the tour for their seventh album, Imaginaerum. Suddenly faced with not having a singer the roller-coaster ride that is the career of Nightwish entered its next stage with Floor Jensen.
Showtime Storytime is the first chapter in an unexpected plot twist, the first release with new members Floor Jensen (vocals) and Troy Donockley (Uilleann pipes, Flutes), who were ‘touring members’ at the performance at Wacken Open Air festival on August 3rd 2013. After viewing this show you’ll agree the band would have been crazy to not induct them into the Nightwish family. The band is united as a unit, passionate about the music they’re performing and at the top of their musical talents.
The set-list is taken mostly from Imaginaerum and Once, with older tracks like She is my Sin and Bless the Child mixed in; both of which Floor breathes new life into.
From the opening track the band comes out full of energy and love of life. Floor, with a more metal stage presence than Annette, windmill head-bands at every break in the singing. Her vocals may not be as operatic as Tarja, but are more powerful than Annette’s, so in this sense, her voice fits perfectly into songs from both eras.
Ever Dream gives Floor a chance to show a softer side to her voice. This is where comparisons of all three singers could be properly debated, but there’s no denying the passion Floor puts into the song, which obviously spills over to the band, and from there the audience.
A personal favorite of mine is Last of the Wilds, the Uilleann pipes now officially an instrument of metal!
It seems the majority of fans have welcomed Floor with open arms. I do wonder what the reaction would have been if she had taken over from Tarja, without Annette having been in between to soften some of the blow. When I saw Nightwish in Melbourne on January 14 2013 I didn’t know who Floor Jensen was and I was disappointed I wouldn’t be seeing Annette. After the show, I couldn’t be more supportive of her and the amazing voice she possesses, used to best effect on Ghost Love Score. (Tarja who? – might get crucified for that one.)
The trouble with seeing or hearing a live recording from a band you’ve seen in person is it just doesn’t have that same ‘live’ element of actually being there. The production brings the listener as close as possible to actually being there.
If you haven’t had the chance to see Nightwish with Floor, or your interest has faltered since Tarja was fired, you should check out this release. I’m certainly looking forward to the next studio album from the now six-piece Nightwish.