Hot off the Press

LIVE! | Nightwish with Kamelot

by John Kindred
– Publisher —

Sept. 27, 2012 at the Beaumont Club in Kansas City, Mo.

Nightwish’s Imaginaerum North American tour rolled through Kansas City on Sept. 27, with special guest Kamelot. Interestingly enough, only several days after the concert, vocalist Anette Olzon and Nightwish parted ways. Whether amicable or not, there wasn’t any onstage tension that precluded this sudden change in direction by the band. Former After Forever vocalist, Floor Jansen, has stepped in to fill the void left by Olzon’s departure, allowing the band to complete its scheduled tour.

Kamelot photo by John KindredKamelot also has traveled down a similar road recently, as singer Roy Khan left the band a few months back. His replacement, Seventh Wonder’s Tommy Karevik, became the band’s new singer on June 22. The band features founding members Thomas Youngblood (guitars) and Sean Tibbetts (bass), drummer Casey Grillo, keyboardist Oliver Palotai and guest-vocalists Elize Ryd and Alissa White-Gluz. Preparing for the release of their new album Silverthorn in late October, the band currently is introducing Karevik to their fan base as they open up for Nightwish.

Performing an abbreviated set, the band promptly took the stage at 8 pm. The American symphonic metal band may not have been the focal point for many of the fans in the attendance, but that didn’t stop Kamelot from bringing their A-game. Kamelot opened their set with “Rules the World” and instantly was met with an enthusiastic response from the crowd. While time was a factor, Karevik worked the stage, engaged the audience and absorbed the energy within the venue, and then he casted it back into the crowd. Master shredder Youngblood was in fine form, delivering searing solos and crunchy rhythms.

Kamelot photo by John Kindred

The band performed their new song “Sacrimony” from the upcoming Silverthorn studio album. They also played “Ghost Opera,” “Human Stain” and handful of other songs. The highlight, though, was “March of Mephisto,” with which they closed out their set. The song’s driving rhythmic pulse provided by Tibbets and Grillo, anthem vocals and blistering guitars served up a fantastic live rendition of the song. Although their set was about an hour in length, Kamelot did the best they could under the circumstances. It was nice to see them finally stop in the Midwest and unleash their metal might.

Kamelot set list:
1. Rule the World
2. Ghost Opera
3. The Great Pandemonium
4. Humain Stain …. Karma
5. Drum Solo
6. Sacrimony
7. Pirates
8. Forever
9. March of Mephisto

Nightwish took the stage soon after. Not being a huge fan, still I was intrigued about how their musical delivery would unfurl in the live setting. Their musical compositions generally are lavish excursions, with layers of instrumentation. The band, at least on this night, comprised keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vourinen, drummer Jukka Nevalainen, bassist Marco Hietala and vocalist Annette Olzon.

What was apparent from the get-go was that the keyboards were the lead instrument, guiding the music of Nightwish. Throughout the set, the guitars played a supporting role to the music and provided a layer of rhythmic crunch to the keyboard melodies. Hietala and Nevalainen laid down a heavy groove for all involved to play over. While Olzon handled a majority of the lead vocals, she often shared her duties with Hietala, who provided a gritty metallic growl to her soulfully sweet delivery.

Nightwish photo by Kathy Kindred

The crowd was extremely charged to see their heroes hit the stage. The energy carried over from Kamelot performance, and the intensity in the audience definitely went up a few notches. Except for a drunken heckler in the audience, everyone was respectful of each other and the youth of America displayed a genuine passion for European symphonic power metal. The band delivered a flawless performance.

Nightwish set list:
1. Storytime
2. Wish I Had an Angel
3. Amaranth
4. Scaretale
5. The Siren
6. Slow, Love, Slow
7. I Want My Tears Back
8. The Islander
9. Nemo
10. Last of the Wilds
11. Planet Hell
12. Ghost River
13. Dark Chest of Wonders
14. Over the Hills and Far Away
15. Song of Myself
16. Last Ride of the Day