Nightwish Was The Greatest Show on Mother’s Day in NYC

Nightwish rocking Terminal 5 in NYC on May 8, 2022. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

New York, NY – Indeed, three times is a charm!! After two COVID induced US tour cancelations, Nightwish returned in glorious fashion to Terminal 5 in New York City on May 8, 2022 and the timing could not have been more perfect. I have always had an appreciation for their powerful symphonic sound combined with their operatic vocals. My recent ventures into the classical roots (opera and symphony) of this genre gave me that much more to look at and appreciate. 

The Mother’s Day crowd waiting for Nightwish at Terminal 5. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

The night started out with a bang… or, to be more accurate, a massive leap, as opening band, Beast in Black lead singer, Yannis Papadopoulos, took the stage. I saw him enter out of the corner of my eye as the band, consisting of Anton Kabanen (guitar and keyboards), Kasperi Heikkinen (guitar), Máté Molnár (bass), and Atte Palokangas (drums) played the opening to “Blade Runner”. Yannis had hit the stage running and I thought, “He’s going to jump”… and he did, making a perfect metallic landing. Beast’s melodic metal was perfect to prepare us for Nightwish. Yannis’s vocal range was as diverse as their setlist, which included “From Hell With Love”, “Moonlight Rendezvous”, “One Night in Tokyo”, “Blind and Frozen”, and “End of the World” to name a few. What a way to open for Nightwish!!  

Yannis of Beast in Black going airborne in NYC on 5/8/2022. Photo credit Dave Pearson

About 45 minutes after the Beast exit, it was time. The lights went down, Kai Hahto (drums) set upon his throne, awakening the applauding crowd. With the last strike, Tuomas Holopainen (keyboards), Emppu Vuorinen (guitar), Troy Donockley (everything else, including uilleann pipes, tin whistle, low whistle, guitars, bouzouki, bodhrán, backing vocals), and Jukka Koskinen (bass) emerged from the darkness, playing the intro to “Noise”. Floor Jansen appeared to the roar of the sold-out crowd, taking the Nightwish starved audience to a symphonic metal high not felt in New York City since March of 2018. The wait was finally over!

Floor Jansen of Nightwish at Terminal 5 on May 8. 2022. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

After a little “Planet Hell”, Floor worked the NYC crowd to ‘Get a little “Tribal” ‘ close to each other again!” with “normality restored”. Floor got a little tribal with a somewhat traditional dance before belting the first note. After “Élan”, complete with a whistle intro as only Troy can perform, Floor asked, ‘Do you like stories, New York? Because it is definitely “Storytime” ‘. I want to pause here, because if you have ever wondered what a correct metal hair twirl looked like, look no further than Floor. With Tuomas on keys and Kai pounding the drums, Emppu and Jukka joined in, producing a massive symphonic harmony.  Floor commenced twirling her hair to complete the full orchestration.  

Nightwish at Terminal 5 in NYC on 5/8/2022. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

As they played a few, new and old, they went into the acoustic, “Harvest”, which has an Irish flare. We were treated to Floor’s vocals once again and Troy also had the opportunity to show off his pipes, both vocals and uilleann pipes!

They played a mix of old and new throughout the night. An audience member, who had never been to a metal concert let alone Nightwish, watched in amazement as they went from piece to piece. After the show I had the chance to talk to her for a second and was told, “Their music was wonderful but I was also amazed that everyone around me seemed to know the words to every song.” I think they now have a fan for life. 

Nightwish at Terminal 5 in NYC on 5/8/2022. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

I Want My Tears Back” kicked off with a little pipes and Floor doing a little dance as she told the audience, “This is the place where you all get out of your seats!”. Being an obedient audience (and not being seated anyhow), Terminal 5 began to shake, rattle and roll!

Weaving through the middle of the set that included “Ever Dream“, “Nemo“, and of course, “Last Ride of the Day” the energy of the crowd reached nuclear levels (their label, Nuclear Blast, has to be proud!). 

Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish at Terminal 5 in NYC on 5/8/2022. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

The night started to wind down. Troy told us a tale of how, during an interview, they were asked why they were not as popular in the US as they were in Europe. His answer was simple, “Our songs are too long and we play weird instruments”. To prove their point, they went into what I consider their most iconic and reacted to songs, “Ghost Love Score” and “Greatest Show on Earth” (and yes it was). 

The night had been out of this world, and their final piece brought us back down to Earth. It was a fitting end, with “All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World: Ⅷ. Ad Astra” with Floor doing the vocals. After a thunderous applause, there was silence, the memorable night had come to a close. 

Floor Jansen of Nightwish at Terminal 5 in NYC on 5/8/2022. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

As I said at the beginning, my recent dive into the classical arts would give me a greater appreciation for the music that is Nightwish. The power of their sound with the key, time signature, and tempo changes made the music what it is. Yes indeed, the fans at Terminal 5 were definitely treated to what has to be the greatest show on Earth… getting greater with each performance. 

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Nightwish Setlist

Planet Hell
She Is My Sin
7 Days to the Wolves
Dark Chest of Wonders
I Want My Tears Back
Ever Dream
How’s the Heart?
Last Ride of the Day
Ghost Love Score
The Greatest Show on Earth
All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World: Ⅷ. Ad Astra

Show Date: May 8, 2022

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Dave Pearson is based out of Richmond, VA by way of Hayward, WI. He has long had a passion for music. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, he rocked out to the likes of Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, and The Lettermen. Then, one Saturday night, being the rebel he was born to be, he caught an Alice Cooper interview (it may have been on The Midnight Special) and saw him perform, “Welcome to My Nightmare”. Dave was hooked on Rock and Roll (and many other genres as well). Dave has enjoyed (amateur) photography to some degree most of his adult life. Recently Dave started to apply his event photography skills in various music settings with success. He finds that photographing a performance gives him a much greater appreciation for the artist.