Nightwish, Human. :II: Nature. World Tour Venue: 3 Arena (Point Theatre), Dublin, Ireland on November 23rd, 2022

It’s a cold and blustery night that greets the fans of metal titans Nightwish at Dublin's 3 Arena. The Finns are bringing their folk-tinged symphonic metal to Ireland for...

Words: Brendan O’Mahony

Live Photos: Olga Kuzmenko

© Olga Kuzmenko

 

 

It’s a cold and blustery night that greets the fans of metal titans Nightwish at Dublin’s 3 Arena. The Finns are bringing their folk-tinged symphonic metal to Ireland for the first time in fourteen years, a year later than originally planned as well as having been postponed from November last year. A lot can happen in a year, especially in the music industry, and so it comes to pass that original support for the evening Amorphis are now on a headlining tour of their own, having played in Dublin the night previously with Dark Tranquillity, alongside the updated tour support acts of Beast in Black and Turmion Kätilöt being unable to travel due to logistical issues meaning Floor Jansen and Co. are the sole entertainers for the evening. It is a shame, but understandable, as it would have showcased even more of Finland’s musical scene however the fact that Floor Jansen has just recovered from cancer surgery shows that this tour, let alone this show, going ahead is even more impressive.

The band is on tour to promote their ninth studio album, a double album, called Human. :II: Nature. The first side of the album, Human, is the symphonic metal that they are known for, also what they will focus on for this gig, while the Nature side is an orchestral story told in eight parts that allows founder and chief songwriter Tuomas Holopainen to flex his musical wings. As the curtain drops and the pyro begins the band starts with the opening tracks from Human, Music, and Noise. The former goes through a musical evolution from the opening primal drum solo to an orchestral choir style and then on into the symphonic metal while the latter is a much heavier song live, just pummelling from the get-go, and has Floor windmilling center stage. Next up is Tribal, also from Human, which begins with a middle eastern influence cascading towards a breakdown set up perfectly for the flame bursts in front and behind the stage all the while giving Jansen the space to provide her soaring vocals.

The next portion of the set is given over to some of the folk elements of their catalog in Élan from the album Endless Forms Most Beautiful, led by a flute solo from multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley, and Sleeping Sun from Oceanborn which brings a sea of lights from the phones of people in the audience. The pace is then suddenly quickened with possibly their heaviest track in Dark Chest of Wonders from the album Once, which has coincidentally just had a successful re-release. It’s everything you’d want and expect from a symphonic metal song, epic in scale, fast and heavy. Following this with Harvest from Human. :II: Nature. was the only misstep in the set for me purely for placement as the ebb and flow of energy being brought back up only to be scaled back once again jarred a little. I Want My Tears Back from Imaginaerum, complete with uilleann pipes, is always a welcome sound to those who appreciate Irish trad music alongside another Once track in Nemo, Latin for No One, bringing the energy once again before yet another one-two from Human in the acoustic How’s the Heart and the operatic sing-along of Shoemaker.

Another Imaginaerum song Last Ride of the Day brings us to the final stretch. A rare shredding guitar solo begs the question of why they don’t utilize more of them, however fleeting, followed by Ghost Love Score from Once, a song that moves some of the ladies in the audience to tears. Closing out with The Greatest Show on Earth from Endless Forms Most Beautiful, granted not the full twenty-four minutes, is a fitting end to an impressive gig. While the songs such as The Phantom of the Opera were missing from the set for the more casual observer and as Nightwish is still adjusting to life without former bassist/ vocalist Marko Hietala it was a great show and a commendation to a band who have faced many struggles yet successfully persevere. This tour continues throughout Europe in December before a run through Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan in January.

 

NIGHTWISH – EUROPEAN TOUR 2022
w/ Beast In Black + Turmion Kätilöt

01.12.22 DE – Dusseldorf, PSD Bank Dome
02.12.22 LU – Esch-Sur-Alzette, Rockhal
04.12.22 AT – Vienna, Wiener Stadthalle D 
05.12.22 DE – Munich, Olympiahalle
06.12.22 IT – Milan, Lorenzini District
09.12.22 DE – Frankfurt, Festhalle
10.12.22 DE – Bamberg, Brose Arena
12.12.22 DE – Hamburg, Barclaycard Arena 
13.12.22 DE – Leipzig, Quarterback Immobilien Arena 
14.12.22 PL – Gliwice, Arena Gliwice 
16.12.22 CH – Zurich, Hallenstadion
18.12.22 DE – Stuttgart, Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle
20.12.22 HU – Budapest, Sportarena
21.12.22 CZ – Prague, O2 Arena

HUMAN. :II: NATURE. was recorded from August to October 2019 at Röskö campsite, Petrax Studios and Troykington castle, as well as Finnvox Studios, by Tero Kinnunen, Mikko Karmila and Troy Donockley. The mixing was done by Mikko Karmila at Finnvox, with Tuomas Holopainen and Tero Kinnunen. Mastering was done by Mika Jussila at Finnvox.

Line-Up:
Tuomas Holopainen | Keyboards, Piano
Floor Jansen | Vocals
Emppu Vuorinen | Guitars
Jukka Koskinen | Bass
Troy Donockley | Uilleann pipes, Tin whistle, Low whistle, Guitars, Bouzouki, Bodhrán, Vocals
Kai Hahto | Drums

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Photo Credit: Ange Cobham / Cobspix Photography

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