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Gig Review: Nightwish + Taberah

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Nightwish + Taberah
The Forum, Melbourne
11 January 2016
Review by Damo Musclecar

Upon hearing of David Bowie’s death just mere hours before doors, seeing a show, any show, was a much needed evening. Something to take your mind off another fallen hero, even just for one day. Thank god that show was Nightwish. Finland’s legendary symphonic metal band who have trouble writing a song that doesn’t reek of awesomeness. Tonight we get to experience the Nightwish extravaganza in the confines of one of Melbourne’s finest venues, The Forum.

Taberah opened the night with the heavy metal laced with good time rock n roll. Wailing guitar solos, Black Sabbath interludes, strong songs and a solid performance, these Tasmanians delivered a well-received set of good times. While they are new to my ears, I’d definitely be keen to see them again. They have some sweet riffs and bitchin’ vocal harmonies.

By the time Nightwish were due on stage, The Forum was now packed solid and oozing with anticipation and once those lights dropped and the band appeared on stage, it was magical. We have arrived at that moment once again. The moment where you know that the next two hours are going to be nothing short of sheer greatness.

Opening with Shudder Before the Beautiful, which I have to say, if there’s one thing Nightwish hit the nail on the head perfectly, it’s their choice of opening tracks, be it on album or in the live context. Their latest album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, has definitely gone over well with the fans if tonight was any indication. Their love and adoration for the group speaks mountains and let’s face it, they’re on their third singer now (all have been and are great in their own right) which just goes to show the power and strength of their music when a song like 2004’s Nemo, possibly their biggest single originally sung by Tarja Turunen, is played to an embracing audience.

Vocalist Floor Jansen definitely steals the show. Here we have an Amazonian heavy metal goddess packed with a set of pipes that can both sing you the sweetest lullabies and wail with power through heavy rockers like Storytime, Elan and I Want My Tears Back. They really struck gold with finding her. From the moment she appears on stage she has the crowd eating out of her hand.

Focusing heavily on their latest album but still playing a handful of tunes from their back catalogue, Nightwish may not have played the greatest show on earth, no puns intended, but they did play one that will stay with their fans forever. I don’t own every Nightwish album nor do listen to them as often as I probably should but I can tell you now that seeing them live is a whole different story.

They’re one band I would see without hesitation purely on the fact that their live show delivers. Who am I kidding, it’s not even a show, it’s an experience, and one that is quite magical to be a part of. There are some bands who just excel in the live setting and Nightwish are most definitely one of them. Incredible performance time and time again from a band whose musicianship may be the brainchild of keyboardist and chief songwriter Tuomas Holopainen, but it takes the group as a whole to give you the full unforgettable night that is your time with Nightwish.

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