Nightwish Live » Astoria, London, UK

Source: Terrorizer

London Astoria

Though Nightwish's decision to eject singer Tarja from their midst was viewed as commercial suicide by many who saw her as the horse to back- err, so to speak- there seems little doubt that it is the remaining members, along with their new singer, Anette Olzon, who appear to have won the hearts and minds of the great majority of followerd of this Finnish pop metal institution. Not only has the latest- and, many would argue, greatest- album, "Dark Passion Play" been warmly embraced by both critics and fans, but this trilogy of packed shows held at the sizeable Astoria casts a long shadow over Tarja's recent under-populated appearance at the Electric Ballroom. All things considered, it's hard not to conclude that the lineup change has been something of an upgrade, and here on stage, perhaps inevitably, Anette proves that she is a far more credible frontwoman than Tarja. Fans can argue the various merits of the two singers' vocal styles among themselves, but at least Anette doesn't dance like your mum. Let's face it, Tarja's stage presence was at best somewhat awkward, and at worst so wooden it could have been a full sized vetriloquist's doll fronting the band. Now there's a definite swagger about the proceedings, evident in both the member's demeanour, and their setlist, which leans unashamedly on the side of the band's current incarnation, with a heavy emphasis on the new material that sees even the unlikely inclusion of the stirring folk-metal pairing "Last of the Wilds" and "The Islander". Despite the brief period of reinvention, it's clear that this slick, well-oiled Finnish machine has lost none of it's momentum.


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