Nightwish – Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver


queen elizabeth theatre

Having missed Nightwish’s previous visit to Vancouver, I was keenly looking forward to Saturday’s return at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.  The six piece from Finland have a reputation for theatrical performances, and this time around they would be treating their fans to a showcase of their work spanning their entire career.

For those not familiar, the band comprises founder members, Tuomas Holopainen (Keyboards) and Emppu Vuorinen (Guitar), with Marco Hietala (Bass), Kai Hahto (Drums), Troy Donockley(Wind), and fronted by the irrepressible Floor Jansen.  Having formed in 1996, the initially acoustic sounds was quickly changed into a darker, heavier sound with a distinctively orchestral backbone. This is something that has made them so recognizable worldwide.

Given their theatrical leanings, the band certainly know how to build the anticipation for the show. Doors to the auditorium finally opened 30 minutes before the show, allowing the crowd to flood in and take up seats or positions close to the stage. With 15 minutes to go the huge backing screen sprung into life, and the excitement mounted.

The show had an amusing start, with a request to the audience to suspend their current day obsession with cell phones, and travel back in time for a couple of hours to a time before they existed.  This was a nice touch, although largely ignored.

The show began with multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley taking the stage for a beautiful intro before the rest of the band took the stage and launched into End of All Hope, which immediately had the crowd on their feet, this was a sound that has not been played for almost 15 years. This them of revisiting older, and less played tracks continued throughout the show, much to the delight of the audience.

Floor Jansen, who endeared herself to the audience by sharing that Vancouver is one of her favourite places, commanded the participation of the crowd easily, and lent her magnificent voice to such poetic numbers as Elan, Dead Boy’s Poem and The Carpenter, as well as belting out the heavier tracks such as the always popular I want My Tears Back. Marco Hietala joined her on vocals, adding his gruff, tuneful voice to the mix. The playfulness of Emppu, who was constantly engaging with the audience, the beautiful melodies provided by Troy on the Uilleann pipes, the solid back line of tour drummer Kia, and of course the masterful keys of Tuomas, the two-hour set came to a close all too soon.

The wonder Ghost Love Score, sandwiched by parts of the thought provoking epic Greatest Show on Earth, backed by some amazing visuals closed out the show. While the audience waited for maybe one more track the band came out, looking very pleased with the reaction of the crowd, and took their bows.

It was the end of a wonderful performance, and if Nightwish are heading on your direction you should snap up tickets now, as this is a show not to be missed.

More from Nightwish at

Check out our images from the show courtesy of Stewart Johnstone

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