Nightwish North American Decades tour, Philadelphia, PA, USA, March 16, 2018
It is no small feat for a band to sustain a successful career that spans over two decades. It is rarer still for a band to remain relevant after that period of time by continuing to produce quality music without becoming a nostalgia act. As a band, Nightwish has accomplished all of that and more. First formed in 1996 the band is currently still at the height of their career and is considered one of the top symphonic metal bands in the world. To celebrate their career, the band has embarked on a world tour called “Decades” which is accompanied by the release of a double album by the same name. Although the new album contains songs that span Nightwish’s entire career, “Decades”, is not a greatest hits album. Many of the bands more popular songs are left off and the album also contains several songs that are more obscure. “Decades” is more of an album that showcases the songs that the band feels best represents their career and who they are. And it is a stunning collection of songs to be sure!
When Nightwish first announced the “Decades” tour, I know this was a show not to be missed. The tour began in North America and consisted of 34 dates running from early March until late April. I was able to catch up with the tour at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA on March 16, 2018. The Electric Factory is a relatively well known larger club type concert venue with good acoustics and a good view of the stage from all areas of the club. The venue has two stories with a balcony to the rear and stage left. The venue capacity ranges from 2500-3000 and from the size of the crowd I suspect the show was sold out or nearly so. There were no opening bands; tonight was all about Nightwish.
Prior to the band taking the stage, a brief video invited to audience to take a trip back to 1996, before the days of smart phones… strongly encouraging the audience to put away their phones and enjoy the show through their own eyes. Of course this did little to dissuade a large portion of the audience who still had their phones up during the show… but it was a nice attempt anyway. The show began as Troy Donockley took the stage to serenade us all with excerpts from “Swainheart” on his pipes and whistles. The remainder of the band then took the stage for the opening song “End of All Hope”. And we were off to a great night. Eighteen songs were played in all, spanning over two hours. Many of the songs haven’t been performed live in over 10 years.
Decades Set List:
End of All Hope
Wish I Had an Angel
10th Man Down
Come Cover Me
Sacrament of Wilderness
Dead Boy's Poem
I Want My Tears Back
Devil & the Deep Dark Ocean
Slaying the Dreamer
The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter I: Four Point Six; Chapter II: Life; Chapter III: The Toolmaker)
Ghost Love Score
The show itself was perfection, with each of the songs flawlessly played with intense passion and energy. The band really seemed to enjoy performing for the audience and the audience responded in kind with endless energy, cheers and singing along. There were also very dramatic visuals displayed on the large screen at the rear of the stage that greatly enhanced the overall experience. Although I’ve
heard it live several times, the final song of the night, “Ghost Love Score” gave me (and I’m sure many others) chills. The band said their goodbyes to deafening cheers to the Outro “The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter IV: The Understanding; Chapter V: Sea-Worn Driftwood)”.
If you are a fan of Nightwish, this is definitely a show not to be missed. If you are in North America, the tour is nearly over, but you can still catch some of the final dates. South American and European fans can look forward to this tour coming to them in the fall. Don’t miss it!