With “Imaginaerum”, Nightwish’s most ambitious and all encompassing release to date, in tow the band went on a massive world tour playing 104 shows in 34 countries in total. During that tour singer Floor Jansen (ReVamp, ex After Forever) proved her worth in gold many times over, resulting in her being a permanent member of the band since last October. The band also played on Wacken Open Air that year and that performance is used as the basis for their latest DVD, entitled “Showtime, Storytime”.
For a better understanding of this review please note that I only had the audio files to review, so that I will refrain from commenting on the visual qualities of this DVD, but based on the band’s stature and past releases I’m sure it’s completely up to standard.
With the formalities out of the way let’s move on to the audio part. It comes as no surprise that a big portion of the setlist leans heavily on tracks from “Imaginaerum”, including ‘Ghost River’, ‘Story Time’ and the folky ‘I Want My Tears Back’. Although the studio versions of these songs sound too polished for my liking, the live performances give them a raw energy which they thrive on. They work nicely in tandem with the older material, like ‘I Wish I Had An Angel’, ‘Nemo’ and ‘Bless The Child’. Besides ‘She’s My Sin’, the band’s “Wishmaster” and “Oceanborn” eras are ignored altogether, but then again, with such an extensive discography to pull from it becomes inevitable that some sacrifices have to be made.
If anything, “Showtime, Storytime” is very much Floor Jansen’s rite of passage to Nightwish. This is pretty much symbolised when Marco Hietala formally introduces her after the third song and she gradually takes over the task of entertaining and addressing the audience from him. It has be said that Floor is a perfect fit to the band. She is a more versatile singer than predecessor ever was and she does tracks from both the Tarja Turunen and Anette Olzon eras justice. Never trying to emulate the aforementioned ladies, rather letting her own style shine through. Floor Jansen is the consummate front woman who knows how to work a crowd. Anyone who’s ever been to an After Forever or a ReVamp show will attest to that.
“Showtime, Storytime” shows a band that’s on fire and a crowd that totally relishes in that. Long time fans may miss a couple of older songs in the setlist, but I can’t say that I really miss them. “Showtime, Storytime” is a great live document of one of the leading acts in symphonic metal today. It certainly wakes my curiosity on where Nightwish will go next with their upcoming studio album and the first to feature Floor Jansen on lead vocals. Fingers crossed…