Home Gigs Gig Review: Nightwish Human. :II: Nature. World Tour The Resorts World Arena, Birmingham

Gig Review: Nightwish Human. :II: Nature. World Tour The Resorts World Arena, Birmingham

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Review & Photography by Manny Manson for MPM

Floor Jansen posted on her socials, only a couple of days ago, that she has been told she is now cancer free after her recent operation to remove a cancerous tumour.

The World Tour can now recommence, after its brief, 3week respite. The first show, post op, was to a sold out ‘Lotto Arena’ in Merksem, Belgium. The atmosphere was said to be electric, the love in the venue, simply overwhelming as the band of brothers and Floor fed off the energy in the room and delivered a stella performance.

The 21st saw the tour hit the UK at the OVO Arena, Wembley, London, where once again, reports coming back say it was a stunning show. Tonight, the 22nd I get to witness the full show at the Resorts World Arena, Birmingham. Sadly, brother Waldorf is again sitting this one out due to work commitments. Waldorf will be back for Saxon so keep an eye out for that one in a week’s time!

On the undercard we have a couple of Finnish powerhouse bands, ‘TURMION KÄTILÖT and their spin on Industrial Disco Metal, a band I’ve not caught before and the Finnish-Greek Power Metal Band ‘BEAST IN BLACK’ with the amazing voice of Greek, Yiannis Papadopoulos, a band I’ve seen multiple times, and who always put on a great gig.

Formed in 2003, by MV Raaka Pee (vocals) and DJ Vastapollo (guitar), TURMION KÄTILÖT, started out as a simple two piece, however the band quickly grew with the addition of ‘Master Bates’ on Bass Guitar, ‘Run-Q’ on Keyboard and synths, ‘DQ’ pounding the drums, and ‘Spellgoth’ a second vocalist. They signed a record deal and their debut album ‘Hoitovirhe’ was released in December 2004. In 2006 they released their Sophomore album ‘Pirun Nyrrki’. However, their deal with record company ‘Spinefarm Records’, subsidiary ‘Ranka Recordings’ hit some legal issues over income and the band decided to suit the label. The sophomore album was to be the last record on the ‘Spinefarm’ label.

The dispute was hammered out; the settlement was never revealed due to the terms of the agreement. During this time the band wrote and recorded the album ‘U.S.C.H.! ‘ this was released as a free download by the band. It was later released in physical form on ‘Raha Records’, after the settlement.

In 2009, after three albums, DJ Vastapollo left the band and was replaced by ‘Bobby Undertaker’ on guitar and backing vocals. In February 2011 the fourth album ‘Perstechnique’ was released on ‘Osasto-A Records’, it featured the catchy entitled, digitally released single, ‘IHMISIXSIXSIX’.

In 2012 lead vocalist ‘MC Raaka Pee (Petja Turunen) suffered a stroke, whereby a period of seeming inactivity followed as Turunen recovered, but behind closed doors the band had been hard at work, and in January 2013 they announced that an album would be released in the Fall. ‘Jalopiina’ was released as both a free download from their website or a purchasable 7 inch single. The album, ‘Technodiktator’ was indeed released later that year.

The sixth album, released on ‘Osasto-A Records, ‘Diskovibrator’ was preceded by the release of two singles ‘Vastanaineet’ and ‘Taiseluhuuto’ in the May of 2015, the album being released later, in the September.

Another line-up change occurred in 2017 when ‘Spellgoth’ decided he wanted to leave and follow his desire of being in a Black Metal band, he subsequently went on to form Finnish Black Metal band ‘Horna’, a bit of a change from the 80’s keyboard infused disco metal of Turmion Kätilöt.

It was at this time that ‘Shag-U’ became a full-time member of the band. He stepped into Spellgoth’s empty shoes as the second growling vocalist.

‘Dance Panique’, the bands seventh studio album was released in March of 2017, again on ‘Osasto-A Records. In 2018, the album, ‘Universal Satan’ followed, full of catchy tunes and more than a handful of earworms. ‘Shag-U’ delivers a juxtaposition with MC Raaka Pee that seems like he’s always been in the band, the critics said. It’s been critically acclaimed as being one of their stronger releases so far.

On April 17th 2020, just 6 days before the UK Pandemic lockdown, ‘Global Warning’ was released on the bands new label, ‘Nucleur Blast Records, Here we see ‘Disco Party’ Metal taken to the next level, claimed as a “tour de Force of electro beats, metallic riffs and feel good sing along vocals”, as long as you are fluent in Finnish that is.

This brings us up to date with the announcement of the album ‘Omen-X’ to be released in January 2023. So far two singles have been released to promote it, ‘Isä Meidän’ (Our Father) on October 5th and ‘Sormenjälki’ (Fingerprint) on November 11th. Both are accompanied by a Music Video. Isä Meidän is a dark brooding one about a mother and daughter, eerie from the start, where’s Sormenjälki is more travelling carnival magic con-man inspired.

TURMION KÄTILÖT kicked the night off with an outrageous display of Finnish Disco Metal. As the Eurobeat’s kicked in, the band hit the stage like a horde of Beserker’s having just feasted on women and children and were now on the look-out for pudding! Clad in their Sunday best, vocalist’s, MC Raaka Pee and Shag-U took centre stage as they delivered the opening track, ‘Grand Ball’ from their 2011 album Perstechnique.

The thudding bass of MasterBates hooked tight into the fast feet of DQ provided the backbone for the distorted riffing of Bobby Undertaker, to play all over on guitar. Run Q is providing the Eurobeat’s from behind his laptop. As the song finishes, we’re asked for Christmas, do we like turkey or ham? I didn’t get the connection but with the intimidating Black Metal face paint of white, black and red glowing eerily when caught in the lights, turkey was quickly answered by the crowd.

‘Verta ja Lihaa’ carries on with a stirring guitar riff and a heavy thunderous back beat. There’s a Nintendo Gameboy sound track pumping in the background. The lyrics are dark as the boy’s growl this one from the debut 2004 album Hoitovirhe. At times there’s a passing resemblance to the industrial sound of Rammstein in its delivery. Sung in Finnish, not my first language, it makes it a bit hard to understand, but it works so it isn’t painful to listen to.

The lights flash around as this one pulses out. As this one finishes MC Raaka Pee says it feels funny to be singing in Finnish for us, but none the less they run straight into the second single released from the new album scheduled for release in 2023, ‘Sormenjälki’ from the album Omen X.

This is a bouncy Eurovision number full of pulsing beats and distorted guitars. The guys dance around the stage as they deliver this new one. They then follow it with the creepy ‘Isä Meidän’. Starting off with kids singing it then drops into a raucous verse of growls and heavy beats, the heads are nodding to this one about a young girl and her mother, watch the video for the plot twist. Full of tempo changes this one twists and pulls as it soars along to its sudden stop.

With a shout for hands up all the way to the back, we’re told this one is about love. More chanting voices and haunting cries start, the ever-present Eurobeat is bouncing around in the back ground. A glass drops and breaks which heralds the thunderous industrial cacophony to knock it up a level. The growled vocal is menacing as the double kick drum pummels your senses.

We’re again asked if anyone has heard of the band before tonight, there’s a cheer from the crowd in the positive, Shag-U says we have only one more, “We are known for our disco songs”, ‘Last one’, MC Raaka Pee say’s “this one is about everyone” “it’s called ‘Sikiö”. This is from the 2018 album Universal Satan, their 8th album.

The Eurovision vocal flies from the stage, yes there’s a slight growl to the lyric but no denying its roots. Old’ Tel would have a field day commenting on these guys, I can already hear him crying.

Green spots dance around a stage bathed in red light as the band dance. The crowd are encouraged to make some noise as this fun tune plays out, the singers get close as they ‘madness’ centipede walk across the stage the song builds to its climax. The usual, asks for a photo is made and the crowd hit the poses! With a shouted Thank you Birmingham and a final ‘I LOVE YOU’. The band leave the stage to much cheers and applause.

TURMION KÄTILÖT are a hard hitting, disco infused metal band. The 80’s and 90’s disco beats that feature throughout each song, have the darker, heavy elements of distorted guitars, heavy drum beats and the guttural growls of the two vocalists entwined within its layers.

This fusion has your head nodding from the get go and a smile on your face as you recognise the keyboard driven 80’s disco sounds.

This is what happens when half your year is spent in the cold, and the dark, you eventually enter the twisted world of Turmion Kätilöt, crazy Finnish disco metal mayhem at its finest. Having never seen them before, I Loved it!

BEAST IN BLACK are another Finnish based band although they have a Greek singer and a Hungarian bassist in their midst. They were formed in 2015 by guitarist Anton Kananen. Yes, he was the guitarist in the Finnish Metal Band, ‘Battle Beast’.

To date the band have released three studio albums, all with Nucleur Blast records. The first, ‘Berserker’ being released in November 2017 to worldwide acclaim, to such a point that the band were chosen to open for Symphonic Metal giants, Nightwish on their ‘Decades World Tour’, well for the European dates anyway.

A change of who occupies the drumming throne occurred in 2018, when Atte Palokangas joined the band, replacing Sami Hänninen, who, with circumstances in his life, felt that he could no longer give the young band the dedication it deserved, as the permanent drummer, Palokangas had been touring with the band since the end of 2017.

The second album arrived in February of 2019, entitled ‘From Hell with Love’, with that, they ventured out on their first headline tour with the previously mentioned Turmion Kätilöt as support. They finished the mostly sold out tour in front of 4,500 fans in Helsinki’s Ice Hall in the December.

A third album was released in October 2021, the more sci fi twisted, Symphonic Metal inspired ‘Dark Connection’.

Throughout the bands releases there has been a nod to Anton Kananen’s love of Japanese Manga and Anime, specifically the series Berserk, and the new one is no different with tributes by way of ‘Dark New World’, ‘The Last Drop of Blood’ and ‘Broken Survivors’.

The sharp riffs, catchy chorus’s, again layered with Eurobeat sounds and Yiannis Papadopoulos’s ridiculously good vocal talent, have once more propelled this fresh band into the hearts of many a metalhead around the globe.

BEAST IN BLACK hit the stage quickly, following the simply stunning openers Turmion Kätilöt. I think the turn-around has been done in less than 15 minutes, that’s great going and shows how organised the crew are here at the Resorts World Arena.

The bass drone and keyboards riffs herald the opening to ‘Blade Runner’ from the bands latest offering Dark Connection, released in 2021. The walking bass thuds into your chest as Yiannis’s voice soars and swoops around it. the solo fills the song with 80’s cock rock runs and licks, a great opening song.

We follow this with ‘From Hell with Love’ from the sophomore album of the same name. This belter starts with an ‘Airwolf’ keyboard riff as the guitars rip in, the drums drop to a steady walking beat as Yiannis’s unbelievable voice soars once again, His held note is stunning. The harmonised vocal is sublime especially the scream that brings the next verse in. A simple but well executed song, full of 80’s cheese and some stunning guitars.

Fast feet bring in ‘Beast in Black’ from the 2017 debut album, Berserker. “Foul whores and putrid posers” and “it’s time you greet the dragon slayer”, “unleash the fury of your sword of hate” great lyrics cry out as the kick drums are pummelled, hard. A Quo style guitar rocking pose has the guitars and Yiannis in line in front of the drums rocking out. The harmonised solo is outstanding with some great speed picking thrown in, Yngwie Malmsteen isn’t the only one to nail it.

Yiannis address’s the crowd and asks how about we give you some of those ‘Sweet True Lies’. This has been added to the set since the band hit the UK shores. This is another one from the 2019 album From Hell with Love.

A keyboard flurry starts off this song as Yiannis delivers this ‘Skandi’ pop rock favourite. The crowd join in singing the chorus and the whoas! The band are spread out on the stage as they dance pointing the guitars into the crowd each time the beat drops. The horns and fists are flying as this song motors along.

Another from the same album follows, ‘Die by the Blade’, this one bounces along with its Eurobeat’s and thudding drums. Atte Palokangas is having fun on the kit, he’s bouncing sticks from the skins, his face a huge grin behind the beard. With more Quo style poses the guys rock out as Yiannis nails the vocal.

The voices cry, as the beats flow, this is ‘Moonlight Rendezvous’ from the latest album Dark Connection, shouts Yiannis before he leaves the stage. The band slam out the instrumental intro which is suddenly interrupted by a scream, an epic one of horror, slasher movie proportions, yes, Yiannis is back on the stage, his voice smashing the vocal.

The guitarists are heads down nodding in unison, and then on cue, they’re pointing their guitars to the sky. Kabanen rips a solid solo out on his bright green Ibanez guitar, the guy can shred! Yiannis, fist pumping brings the song to a finish, the crowd cheer loudly as Yiannis announces that they are a trio of Finnish bands tonight, as he introduces ‘One Night in Tokyo’ yet another from the new album.

This is full of the Eurobeat’s and metal guitar and drums that we’ve come to expect from Beast in Black. The band dance around as this one plays out, screaming guitars from Kabanen and Heikkinen play off one another as, Milnár and his cheeky imp bass dance them. Yiannis is bouncing and waving to the crowd. A Michael Jacksonesque OOH ooohs rings out as the song finishes.

‘Blind and Frozen’ is up next, this is an absolute banger of a track from the debut album. It builds slowly, the percussive drive from the drums propelling it along. The chorus soars as does Yiannis’s scream, he wanders the stage which now has purple spots dancing across it. The crowd around me are joining in with the chorus. Yiannis hits the big money note which is taken over by the guitars, he walks off the stage while they solo. Forming up as a Quo trio in front of the drums the guitars rock out to the steady beat. Yiannis returns and has the crowd singing along, his unbelievable scream has the fists punching the air as the song finishes with yet another one of his trademark, huge screams.

A quick announcement that the band will be at the merch stand after the show to meet and greet, and Feb 21st 2023 the Beast In back will be back in Birmingham for more metal madness. He then calls for hands in the air as the final song ‘ End of the World’, again from ‘Berserker’ blasts out.

Lights strobe and flash, as the drum beats fill the venue, the band scream out the words “the End of the World is coming”. Heads down and riffing hard the band continue on as hair and sweat fly across the stage. Another shred master class from Kabanen punctuates the song, his foot up on the monitor the guitar neck pointing skywards as he does so.

Swirling keyboards pulse and throb as the lights flash and the drums build to a screaming finish! The crowd love Beast in Black as the cheers and clap show. As the taped music plays out, the band ask for hands in the air for the photo taken by drummer Atte Palokangas.

A great set full of 80’s cheese and stunning guitar work. OK so the keyboards are provided by a backing track but that didn’t matter the quality of musicianship more than made up for it, and with Kabanen being both the keyboard player and guitarist, it was the obvious choice. With the promise to be back in the UK in 2023, with a bigger and better show going down well with the crowd, the band certainly ticked all the right boxes.

Nightwish, considered by many to be one of the big three, alongside Evanescence and Within Temptation, are another Finnish creation. Formed in 1996 by Songwriter and Keyboard player Tuomas Holopainen, Guitarist Empu Vuorinen and the original vocalist Tarja Turuunen. In 1997 the band released its debut album ‘Angels Fall First’ after which they were joined by Jukka Nevalainen on drums and Sami Vänskä on bass, who subsequently left in 2001, being replaced by Marko Hietala on bass and male vocal duties which he inherited from Keyboardist Holopainen.

It wasn’t until after the albums ‘Oceanborn’ in 1998, ‘Wishmaster’ in 2000 and ‘Century Child’ in 2002 did the band attract a wider audience outside of Finland. ‘Once’ released in 2004 was the gateway to America and success was assured. The single ‘Wish I Had an Angel’ appeared on MTV and was included in film soundtracks. The breakthrough album had three more singles released from it.

After the concert recording and DVD ‘End of an Era’ was in the can, in 2005, singer Tarja Turuunen was released from the band. Her replacement was Annette Olzon was found after the band held auditions and received over 2000 demo tapes for singers wanting the role, she joined the band in May 2007. The sixth album ‘Dark Passion Play’ was written with no specific singer in mind, it took 10 months to record, which is said to have cost in excess of half a million Euro’s. The majority of it spent hiring the Abbey Road Studios in London, the London Session Orchestra, Metro Voices Choir, A Gospel Choir and a further two Irish Musicians all in an 8day period, Holopainen told Kerrang Magazine back in 2008. The single ‘Amaranth’ was to become the bands biggest selling single in Europe.

In October 2007, the band embarked on a World tour, this would run until September 2009. Whilst touring they released ‘Made in Hong Kong (And Various Other Places)’ in March 2009 on both audio and visual mediums.

The 7th album ‘Imaginaerum’ followed in November 2011, less than a year later Olzon would leave the band. The Imaginaerum World tour, was finished using dep singer Floor Jansen, Floor would become a permanent fixture in October 2013. The Album ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ was released in March 2015 and featured the vocals of Floor Jansen, it also included new member Troy Donockley, a uillean pipe player. And if that wasn’t enough former drummer Jukka Nevalainen took a break from the from the band prior to the recording of the album. He was suffering with severe Insomnia. The drumming was filled in by dep Kai Hahto. The first single from this album was the formidable Élan.

In 2019 Nevalainen formally quit his role as official Nightwish drummer, Hahto was then moved into the position as a full-time member of the sextet.

The new album ‘Human. :II: Nature.’ The bands first double album, was released in April 2020, Nevelainen is credited. Long time bass player Marko Hietala took this juncture as a time to leave the band after 20years. He was replaced by Jukka Koskinen who became a permanent member of the band in August 2022.

The latest tour, Human. :II: Nature. World Tour, is the 8th World tour by Nightwish. It started on July 28th 2021 in Oulu, Finland and travel to North America in May 2022, Europe during June, July and early August 2022, Latin America throughout October. There is a break while Floor Jansen undergoes her Cancer treatment then the tour picks up again in Europe, November 20th in Belgium before moving onto the UK in Late November and back into Europe through out December. The band are then scheduled to go to Asia in January 2023, before a single showing in Bimini, The Bahamas at the 70000 Tons Of Metal Festival, a 5day cruise around the Caribbean before returning to Europe for a run of shows in June 2023, the final show being at Norway’s ‘Tons of Rock’ festival that runs from June 22nd to the 24th.

A busy few months ahead to say the least.

Again, another swift set change has us waiting in the pit holding area chomping at the bit.

The NIGHTWISH banner is in place, hiding the stage set up from view. The drums kick in as the Intro tune ‘Music’ starts up. The banner drops and is collected, quickly, by the crew. The stage has small ‘fires’ fizzling away as the drums thud and crash along.

All of a sudden there is an almighty bang, lifting us off our feet and loosens my bowels. Seismologists in Edinburgh have registered it on the sensitive equipment, as the band go into opener ‘Noise’, from the new album Human :II: Nature. With lights pulsing and smoke swirling around the heads of the band, Floor Jansen makes her entrance to huge applause.

As she floats up to her microphone, the grin on her face is massive. Here is someone happy to be back playing live music. With arms out she goes about her business, effortlessly. I have shot Amy Lee, Sharon den Adel and now Floor in a week, wow! Life is good as I snap away.

The band is shrouded in shadow as the set progresses, ‘Storytime’ from 2011’s Imaginaerum follows on. The steady drum beat and tinkly keyboard sound soon gives way to a solid guitar riff. Floor’s poetic delivery is mesmerising, the trademark hair wind mills are there, fill of gusto.

The song is being sung along to by the crowd. The keys are making this song sound huge as Floor paces the stage, delivering the lyric. Guitar and bass coming together briefly to riff out but it’s simply out shadowed by Floor simply breath-taking voice.

A drone heralds the start of ‘Tribal’, a nasty guitar and double kick drum thunder across the venue as the dancing bassline shadows Floors delicate vocal, which kicks up a gear and gets nasty, with plenty of fray. The marching skeletons on the back screens are lit by the flames as they pulse from the in front of and behind the band, Floor is again wind-milling front and centre. Troy Donockley has the uillean pipes full of puff as they warble their message as the song rocks on, it builds into a round of thundering drums and crowd hand clapping along. Floor stands arms outstretched enchanting the crowd with her voice. The song finishes with a final flurry of flames!

The ivories are tickled delicately by Tuomas Holopainen as ‘Élan’ is unleashed. Floor asks Birmingham to sing along, those stood around me duly oblige. Floor is conducting the crowd in the sing-a-long. The tin whistle gives it a Celtic lilt as the song powers on.

A thud and nasty guitar fires up the flames as the steady double kick drum beats out like clockwork. ‘Dark Chest of Wonders’ bounces along, flames bubbling to the roof as the band rock out. Floor is hitting the high notes as she does so she asks if she can here us. The “Hey Hey Hey’s” start soon filled by the anthemic break down, the song is brought to a finish with more earth moving bangs and a wall of fire, behind which Floor shouts Thank you!

‘Sleeping Sun’ from Ocean Born follows on from that battle field of a song. With ocean sounds, the band are bathed in magenta lighting up front Floor stands alone and softly laments the words to this tune from 2004. There are several phones up lighting the arena, like fireflies on a Summer’s night. ‘Harvest’, from the new album follows on, after a slight delay the percussive drums kick in joined by a drone from the keys.

Troy starts the vocal to this Celtic sound, he’s ready with the Uillean pipes. Floor sings softly to Troy’s lead. The stage is bathed in orange, trees are shown on the back screen the catchy keyboard fill has to thinking of the twilight zone as the breakdown commences.

The crowd have joined in with hand clapping as the Uillean pipe rocks out. Kai Hahto is keeping great time on the kit, as the band, apart from Floor on are on the top riser locked in tight. As the lyric starts up Floor comes back on the stage and sits in front of the keys.

The song finishes and we are straight into ‘I Want My Tears Back’. Floor tells us it’s the part of the show where we can dance and enjoy ourselves, the crowd don’t need a second telling, many have been dancing from the first note. The back screen has a broken smoked image of the band as they sing about wanting their tears back.

The crowd are cheering along as Troy remarks that Birmingham is wilder than Wembley, “it certainly looking that way” he carries on., He says “he expects Birmingham to rock as it’s the birth place of so many great bands like Duran Duran and UB40”, there’s a huge groan from the crowd which has him giggling. He quizzes the crowd as to the Latin for the word no one, the shouted response being ‘Nemo’, Co2 clouds shoot forward as Floor is bent over, arms outstretched.

This is another crowd favourite from 2004’s Once. The lights are dancing around the stage as Floors voice hangs in the air like the Low Whistle that takes over. Emppu Vuorinen lets loose with a tasty riff before more Co2 is set forth, the Amazonian figure that is Floor is unphased as she continues to belt out a stunning vocal, sweeping her hair from her face she takes it up a level to finish in a cloud of Co2that sweeps down towards the crowd.

The stage is cleared except for Floor who goes and sits next to Troy who has his acoustic guitar out. Floor says she is from the Netherlands, she is not used to sitting so high up, she is on the top riser, level with the keys and drums.

She says we do everything below sea level then realises she has said it out loud. She says “it’s a serious moment of the show” so asks “for the phone lights to light up the next song”, “it’s about someone close to you, who is with you or not who is here or has passed”. The song is ‘How’s the Heart’, with subtle lighting the pair deliver a stunning vocal to this soft ballad, again from the new album Human :II: Nature. As the song plays out the band come back on stage. A simple cymbal crash marks the end of the song and the crowd erupt.

Floor introduces the next song as “the absolute sing along from the Human :II: Nature album”. The rising inflections in her voice as she delivers give the song a buoyant feel.

The thundering bassline is pulsing ever onwards until the tempo change and Troy joins in with the lyric, only for it to pulse and thunder along again. The crowd seem to know the time signature as they are happily singing along, the breakdown has Floor wind-milling her hair again, she then air guitars to the distorted lick being played out, considering she was under the blade only a few weeks ago she has been astonishing tonight.

A taped voice rings out as Floor stands motionless at the microphone, she then let’s go an astonishing soprano section, a sound so pure it makes my neck hairs stand on edge, wow not had that happen for a while. With a furious drum crescendo, the song is brought to a close.

Floor asks “do you like rides”? there’s cheers, “Wild Rides”? more cheers, “how about last rides”? “how about ‘Last Ride of the Day”? from 2011’s Imaginaerum.

More balls of flames shoot skyward. With a Cranky Horse Carousel spinning around on the big screen, Floor climbs the riser and sings with Tuomas on Keys and Troy, again Troy joins in with the male vocal as this one gallops along full of big keyboards and thundering bass. Fire balls erupt at will as the song dies and we go into ‘Ghost Love Score’ a song of anthemic proportions from 2004’s Once album, more thundering drums and gigantic keyboards sound out as a compass spins on the back screen.

This song bounces along, in places it wouldn’t seem out of place on a big Hollywood Blockbuster Western. Scorching guitar and swirling keys lead into a section of darkness before the band strike up and the movie theme hits out hard. The song is eventually brought down with a huge flurry of drums and Floor wind-milling her hair as flames and Co2 fly through the air. The crowd are cheering like crazy as the divebomb scream of the guitar finally closes out the song.

With the Ukrainaian flag now sparkling on the giant back screen. The Uillean pipes and swirling keys provide the introduction to “The Greatest Show On earth’ from 2015’s Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Floor is front and centre enchanting us with her stunning voice before leaving the stage again. The song continues to grow as a taped voice sounds out. The drums and guitar immedietly kick in when it finishes. Smoke fills the stage as yet more flames strike up from the stage front. An almost robotic delivery, by Floor follows this.

The song is full of kick drum and tempo changes. The crowd are hanging on every note, clapping along to the huge drum riff. Floor thanks everyone for coming out and celebrating together. She shouts “I’d like to say to you” “thank You”. The music carries on with the crowd clapping in time. More pyro and flames has Floor wind-milling her hair yet again. The flames pulsing away as she does so.

The tempo has stepped up as she and Troy duet briefly, the breakdown sees more flames heading skyward. The front row will be toasty warm that’s for sure. As the song is brought down the back screen flashes up multiple portraits of people. Floor reminds us not to take anything for granted and to enjoy each day. A thunderous crack of noise and a flash of fire seals the deal and the night is done!

All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World VIII. Ad Astra plays out as we leave the arena.

What can I say, that was an epic night of Finnish Metal topped off with the Queen herself, Floor Jansen and Nightwish delivering a absolutely stunning show. If you get the chance to witness this super band then do so, it’s a night to remember. With Beast in Black and Turmion Kätilöt on the under card it certainly represents a great night out.

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