Nightwish – Decades: Live in Buenos Aires



Nuclear Blast Records

Release: December 6, 2019


“We are going to take you on a little trip down memory lane”


Nightwish are master storytellers. If that wasn’t obvious enough with their latest albums and concerts, then “Decades: Live in Buenos Aires” will put any doubts to rest. Their newest release with powerhouse vocalist Floor Jansen and drummer Kai Hahto was filmed on September 30 while on their tour through South America and it is meant to show not necessarily the best of Nightwish, but definitely the quintessential Nightwish songs, those songs that have defined the band at various points in their career.


I said that Nightwish are master storytellers and this is evident from the production of this concert (and tour), from the way in which the visuals enhance the mood of the songs. Generally, I prefer smaller productions, where the music is front and center, without any gimmicks to take away from the performance.


But with Nightwish it’s a different story. Big productions merge perfectly with the music, the visuals being an extension of the music. The reason this works so well, is the fact that they don’t overdo it, they don’t rely on visuals or gimmicks to carry the show forward, on the contrary, it’s the human interaction that is the emphasis of the concert. In other words, the production is not necessarily the focal point of the concert, but a nice backdrop to the performances.



End of all hope

Wish I had an angel

10th man down

Come cover me



Sacrament of wilderness

Deep silent complete

Dead boy’s poem



I want my tears back


The carpenter

The kinslayer

Devil & the deep dark ocean


Slaying the dreamer

The greatest show on earth

Ghost love score

 And now onto the music itself. After the instrumental fantasy of “Swanheart” performed by Troy Donockley, the stage explodes with colors and music to the notes of “End of all hope” and the image of the waterfall, that is the cover artwork of “Century child” (2002), immediately transports me back to 2003 and my discovery of this band. Wonderful start to this journey, which continues with another blast from the past in the form of “Wish I had an angel”, one of my favorites from “Once” (2004).  Floor Jansen’s vocals are not as operatic as Tarja Turunen’s had been, thus giving these songs a more rockish flavor that works well in this live setting. This rearrangement is probably more evident on “Sacrament of wilderness” which became a livelier and more energetic song, rocking Estadio Malvinas to the core. Marco Hietala’s vocals are as powerful and menacing as always and his delivery on the hard hitting tracks “Slaying the dreamer” and “Devil and the deep dark ocean” further down the rabbit hole is just incredible and raw. I never thought I’d see a live version of “Devil and the deep dark ocean” and this one is just as glorious as I had hoped it would back, while I was rocking out to this song in 2004. Actually “Devil and the deep dark ocean” and “Over the hills and far away” were the songs that got me hooked on Nightwish.

 Among the rarest of gems that have been played live on this tour (and the reason I was most excited about this concert) are “10th man down”, “Come cover me”, “Deep silent complete”, “Dead boy’s poem” “Elvenpath” and “The carpenter” which show Nightwish’s somewhat softer side, as well as Tuomas Holopainen’s early musical influences. Floor’s gentle and sensitive rendition of “Come cover me” and “Deep silent complete” is as moving and emotional as it is flawless, and her rich lower register is on full display here. The emotions are flowing free on “Dead boy’s poem” as the backing vocal overlays and Tuomas’ piano harmonies add to the sorrowful and intense atmosphere that the lyrics bring forth. The almost acoustic “The carpenter” is both serious and fragile at the same time with a sense of mystery and mysticism coming from Troy and Floor’s superb delivery. And Troy Donockley simply made “The Carpenter” his own song, bringing forth his style and grace. For me these are the stand-out moments of the concert. The trio that consists of “Elvenpath”, “I want my tears back”, and “Amaranth” highlight the somewhat folkier side of Nightwish, with the whole venue dancing to Troy’s enchanting flute melodies during “I want my tears back”. All this because Argentina “is a tango country” as Marco states.

 “Gethsemane”, “The Kinslayer” as well as the aforementioned “Devil and the deep dark ocean”, “Slaying the dreamer” and the closing epics “The greatest show on Earth” and “Ghost love score” show Nightwish’s bombastic and more theatrical side with a display of virtuosity from everybody on stage. The backing image of candles on “The Kinslayer” coupled with Floor’s operatic vocals never fails to send shivers down my spine, especially considering the origin of this song (the Columbine High School mass shooting that occurred in April 1999). It brought me to tears on “End of an Era” (2005) and now once again I have tears in my eyes while listening to it. It’s one of the most powerful and emotional songs in Nightwish’s vast catalogue. The symphonic arrangements on these songs alone showcase why Tuomas Holopainen is considered as one of the best composers of his generation. Both “The greatest show on Earth” and “Ghost love score” are grandiose and majestic without feeling overbearing, bombastic and epic without being pretentious, and this fine line is what separates a great composer from a good composer.

Switching back and forth between operatic, poppy, and rockish vocals, Floor brings her own take on these songs, breathing new life into them, especially “The Kinslayer”, “Deep silent complete”, “End of all hope” and “Sacrament of wilderness” while Tuomas Holopainen’s enthralling piano notes, Emppu Vuorinen’s slick guitar skills, Kai Hahto’s precise drumming, Marco Hietala’s groovy bass lines and Troy Donockely’s enticing pipes made the band’s quintessential songs feel fresh and exciting. “Decades: Live in Buenos Aires” presents the metamorphosis Nightwish went through to become the phenomenon they are today, capped off by a magnificent live performance and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the fans.


Rating: 10 / 10







By Andrea



Floor Jansen – vocals

Emppu Vuorinen – guitars

Marco Hietala – bass, vocals

Tumoas Holopainen – keyboards

Troy Donockley – pipes, guitars, vocals

Kai Hahto – drums

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Lix (Saturday, 11 January 2020 14:53)

    This article only show it has been made by a fanatic, I mean I tryhard fanatic, those who only see perfection where there is not, those who praise singing when there's ridiculous singing.