After a year-and-a-half of non-stop touring Nightwish has released Vehicle of Spirit; a multimedia boxset capturing the final show of the Endless Forms Most Beautiful tour at Wembley Arena and Tampere Stadium.
Both shows capture the bombast, emotion, ambiance, band comradery and popularity of Nightwish on the grand stage. Floor Jansen, the third woman to front the band, stood tall, strong and bewitching singing the groups catalog from the classics to the new record, though when covering older tunes she has more vocal similarity to Tarja’s operatic octaves than Anette Olzens pop oriented style.
Disc one features a packed Wembley on December 19 starting with Shudder before the Beautiful “Let this become a night we shall never forget,” she proclaims.
Of the two shows, Wembley covered more of the popular songs and classic staples with tour-long tunes taken from Endless Forms Most Beautiful. The Olzen era’s slightly favored but there are enough classic tunes to keep diehards happy. Yours is an Empty Hope is still red and devilish with trips to the forest on My Walden and Elan. While Ever Dream gives the first touch of Tarja.
Jansen turns enchantress on Storytime as facials sell the songs lyrical nostalgic playground tale. Wind instrument and guitarist Troy Donockley came out for My Walden.
While your Lips are still Red could be considered a rarity depending on level of devotion. The show was backed by three screens and a large stage length above, splashing visuals on stage for a passionate crowd captured by arena, pit and onstage cameras. Some of the cooler band POV shots showed the venue’s grandeur and scale. Steam cannons spewed on Weak Fantasy while the cold, frigid winter fell on 7 Days to the Wolves warming up with fireworks.
“This is a song that just makes you happy,” Jansen said as astrological landscapes appeared on Alpenglow.
The pomp, circumstance and bombastic visuals came out with gleaming astral light on Poet and the Pendulum. Then the most recognizable keyboard intro of all, Nemo, and the riffs of I want my Tears Back. Old-school tune Stargazers was followed by Ghost Love Score and Last Ride of the Day brought the carnival to town ending in eco-historical style on The Greatest Show on Earth. It was the last show of a global tour and the cameras show them still excited and happy to perform. Narrator Richard Dawkins appeared at the end.
Disc two: Tampere Stadium.
This show captured them outside on a clear night with extended ramp and a packed stadium. The set list hit a few more classics while staying faithful to Olzen material and the touring set. Though there’s no Nemo, sacrilege to some. Shudder Before the Beautiful began with Yours is an Empty Hope spanning the grandiose venue. A few stage shots showed the distance from stage to “the first row” against the barricade. To an audience of over 20,000, “Those cameras will make sure we never forget,” Jansen said.
She stepped/flowed down the ramp on Amaranth, as the camera captured the crowd’s excitement. The classics shined on She is my Sin and Dark Chest of Wonders opened as the screens went red. The Islander followed My Walden as Marco Hietala played solo “in the round,” smiling half-way through as the band joined in.
Elan, Weak Fantasy, Storytime and Alpenglow are played with Endless Forms Most Beautiful chosen. The camera caught a girl’s screaming reaction when Jansen announced Stargazers. Sleeping Sun is chosen with Ghost Love Score and fireworks added to Last Ride of the Day.
Disc three has extra’s from various shows, band interviews and a documentary.