Author: Roos Glastra
Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
February 11th 2005
Nightwish, After Forever and Imperia
People were spending the entire day waiting in front of the Heineken music hall (HMH) trying to keep warm through a single thought; standing in front during the concert of Nightwish.
I have seen Imperia perform before but never on such a big stage and I have to say this does them more justice. Considering they were the first band of this evening and not as well known as After Forever and Nightwish the audience was quite enthusiastic and willing to applaud.
The sound was great, from the first second on metal was thundering over our heads. It was a pity that when wanting to start up their second song the hard disk had fallen and we had to wait a while. When this was taken care of the show was off to a good start. Imperia sounded more bombastic then normally, more heavy. Which I think appealed to the audience.
As always Helena hit the high notes without any trouble but during this performance it noticed that she also sounds great when singing a pitch lower.
Helena is always quite a sight, this evening she had even added something to her outfit; hair extensions. She had incredibly long waving blond hair reminding me of a mermaid, or a siren perhaps which is off course more appropriate in this case. During the break caused by the fallen hard disk Helena persuaded us to enter a screaming contest, men against women. In between the songs we were often invited to shout or grunt, Helena is always busy entertaining the crowd.
Due to the bigger stage the guitarist (and bass player of course) finally had some space to move around the stage without getting in Helena’s way. This made us actually look at them for once, now that she wasn’t the only one moving and it also added to the energy level of the show. Even the lights did so for they seemed to really support the bombastic sounds this evening.
During the song ‘Mordor’ she kneeled down on stage, she always seems to loose herself in the songs, really feeling it, while singing ‘The lotus eaters’ Helena showed us some dance moves and it was clear that she was enjoying herself on stage. After their last song she even told us it had been an honour to play for us.
I think After Forever has shown a great amount of courage and perseverance by performing this evening. In the week of this performance they got some really bad news, their drummer André Borgman has cancer. When on stage they were supported by the entire HMH and they deserved it.
For this performance Ed Warby filled the position of drummer. In no more than two days he had learned to play al the songs for this evening which is quite an accomplishment. Due to the emotions of this evening Floor didn’t sing as perfect as always, you could hear the tears in her voice during the entire performance. All emotions came out through the songs, thus proving again that she is a fantastic singer. As to be expected in the HMH the sound was fine.
Imagine coming on stage in the HMH and then seeing cards, flags and t-shirts all to support your drummer who couldn’t be there for he is in the hospital. This was exactly what happened to Floor and caused her to sing with tears in her eyes for the entire first song making almost the entire audience feel tears welling up in their eyes as well. During the performance the crowd was very supportive, clapping, waving their lighters and shouting and screaming so hard to make André hear it in his hospital bed in Rotterdam all they had to do was ask. At one point during the show the entire audience started scanting André André.
The entire band was trying to keep the show going and ‘over shout’ their emotions by putting it al in to the music. They gave us their all and that resulted in a fantastic though emotionally heavy, show.
Total 8 (8,1)
Nightwish shows seem to get bigger with every new concert, first an empty stage, then a big backdrop with the album cover and now….. fireworks and even rain are a part of their show. Where will it end?
Dark lights slowly moving across the stage, accompanied by an intro spreading excitement and causing the audience to scream and applaud. The performance started off with ‘Dark chest of wonders’, a fast, bombastic and energetic start. The sound was great and everything sounded as it was supposed to.
At one point during the show Tarja left the stage and it was time for the men to perform without her. They played us ‘High hopes’ from Pink Floyd thus changing the entire atmosphere in the hall; a moment for relaxation. Tables were turned when Tarja sung ‘Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan’ the one song of the latest album ‘Once’ which is sung in her original language Finish.
The first encore consisted of two slow songs; one of them was ‘Sleeping sun’, we almost thought they were going to let us go home in the dreamy atmosphere created during these two songs but no such thing. The second encore was ‘I wish I had an angel’ which is a fast and very danceable song.
As always Tarja wore very stylistic outfits, when entering the stage for the first time she wore a long red jacket which was waving behind her as if it were a ball gown. During the show she changed 3 times each outfit was quite different, though they were all in different shades of red.
Nightwish always has great energy while performing, Empu and Marco running up and down the stage with their guitar and bass making faces at the crowd, Tuomas playing his synths as if his life were depending on it, Jukka drumming so fast you can hardly even see his sticks move and Tarja singing and stirring up the crowd. Al this energy is supported by a magnificent light show, using every colour of the rainbow and many different shapes and sizes this performance was a feast for the eyes.
During Nemo, we were surprised by actual rain just in front of the stage, when lights were shining through this rain it gave a beautiful effect. Besides rain all sorts of firework were used to heat up the show. When it was time for the final song, Marco held a little speech about the sacredness of pure spirits and when talking about spirits the only thing missing is an angel off course.
Total 9 (8,8)