Monday, November 05, 2007

Nightwish @ Slims, San Francisco, 2 Nov 2007


If you look at this evil flash tool from Gracenote you can see what music people are actually listening to. This reveals that, whoa, the Beatles are very popular and that Pink Floyd have not been destroyed by the punk revolution. If you look at Finland you will see that the number one band is Nightwish. They are a sort of symphonic goth metal band. The keyboardist is the main writer but the focus of attention is the female singer. Two years ago their current singer was fired by the rest of the band using a not very subtle open letter. Now they are touring with their new singer. I'm not a big fan but I thought it would be fun, so I went to see them.

The support band was Paradise Lost who reminded me of Sisters of Mercy, perhaps it was the singer's Yorkshire accent. Then a long wait for the main act was made bearable by old film of Iron Maiden from the 80s. This caused great amusement for the guys behind me who marveled at the youth of the band. Metal crowds are so friendly (despite what they look like), however I did not reveal my dubious credentials of having seen "Maiden" in 1980.

Nightwish eventually appeared. In many places they are a stadium band and they had a funny stage setup with two screens at the back of the stage behind which the band would occasionally retreat. They have a good drummer, the aforementioned pretty boy keyboardist, a fork-bearded bass player and a shortish guitarist. New singer Anette looks relaxed and bounces around gleefully. Basically I found this band very agreeable. Maybe it's the Nordic connection but they remind me of Abba with their pleasant natures. Although they play a longish set I would have happily heard more. I would like to hear more of the guitarist, and even the bassist's support singing was pretty good. Anette has an unenviable task of replacing her classically trained predecessor, but she looks totally at home on stage. She is that goth girl who looks fierce but is fun to be with. She hugs the other members and they look like they can't believe how long they put up with the previous prima donna.

Nightwish aren't exactly my favourite type of band but I had a good time seeing them. Like the Donnas their professionalism makes for a fun night out.

Read a nice report from a real fan.

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