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NIGHTWISH - Olavinlinna, Savonlinna (FI)15/16.08.2009

Once... in Olavinlinna


Gallery link: Nightwish - Olavinlinna
Band: Nightwish

If there is a perfect location for a certain band to perform, then Nightwish must have found theirs. It is situated in a city called Savonlinna, in the southeast of Finland. One middle-august weekend the band invaded the legendary castle Olavinlinna and shook its medieval rocky walls for two days. It was an absolutely unique experience both for the band and the audience - to be a part of a concert which undoubtedly can be considered as the most epic show in the history of Finnish metal music.

The occasion for this event was Savonlinnan Puhelin Oy 120th anniversary. People behind the whole idea of this concert and the team of organizers did a remarkable job all together. The old castle was conveniently adjusted to welcome such a big amount of people at once and make their stay the most pleasant. Every little aspect has been carefully thought through from media instructions to security coverage. Admittance was organized as clockwork and no queues were seen.

Approximately 2200 people (per day) were lucky to witness the gig, which will be one of the brightest memories for most of them. Surprisingly the audience seemed older than the usual crowd you see at Nightwish gigs. Most of them were the locals and the clients of Savonlinnan Puhelin Oy. Only a minor part came from outside the area.

The band was welcomed with loud cheers and stomping of the crowd. As Tuomas Holopainen stepped on his boat, the show started with ’Seven Days To The Wolves’ and ended about 1,5h later with ’Wish I Had An Angel’. Two songs from the setlist were changed for the second day. It wasn’t the best idea to have a seated audience as at the Opera Festival (an annual opera festival, held in the castle - auth), because there is no way one can stay put to something as dazzling and bombastic as this performance was. However, at the beginning of the show Anette Olzon promised to have everyone up on their feet by the end. That promise was kept, during the last song only the most stubborn and tired ones were still sitting, and luckily there were very few of them. After 2 years of touring with the last album, Nightwish showed everyone that they still can kick it better than ever, probably also being enthusiastic about the long-awaited vacation coming closer.

Anette’s performance was on top. She was radiant, energetic and gave out all 100%. The hard work she had done, fronting Nightwish, and the long tour resulted in her improving a lot as a singer and a performer. Known for her extravagant outfits, on Saturday she went out in a classic black cocktail dress that fit her perfectly and on Sunday she was wearing a black airy-fairy dress. Tuomas came on stage with the usual aura of mystery around him, sailing on his boat through the ocean of melodies. He reigned the castle with his keyboards. Marco Hietala was charming as ever, always ready to make jokes and rock the crowd. Even the walls around the stage must’ve gotten shivers from the power of his voice. The band was rather excited about playing at such a location and this could be felt in the audience. People went crazy after every song, shaking the seating platform.

Every foot stomp or hand clap echoed from the stones of Olavinlinna, amplifying the sound. However, the technicians did a great job and the band’s sound was not affected. Pyrotechnics, light effects and the overall visual part of the show was the evidence of the high-class professional work. It took 2 days to put up the stage and the tent, which was covering the whole backyard area where the gig took place. The second day of the ’invasion’ turned out to be rainy and nothing should’ve spoiled such a perfectly planned show.

The castle of Olavinlinna has survived the Russians’ invasion back in the days and stood through over 5 centuries, but surely nothing as spectacular has ever happened in its walls. It took Nightwish only two days to bring the castle into subjection and leave a footprint in its history.

Pictures: Jana Blomqvist | Report: Tanja C.

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