(29 December 2013) Earlier this year Nightwish announced that the former lead singer for After Forever, Floor Jansen, who has worked alongside many artists since that band's demise, has been selected to front Nightwish full time going forward. Floor was earlier selected in October 2012, to replace Annette Olzon in the final stages of the Imaginaerum tour. Enthusiasts will recall that Olzon replaced Tarja Turunen in 2007, and recorded the two highly successful albums Dark Passion Play and Imaginaerum with the band.
Nightwish has also announced that Troy Donockley, most well known for his significant and long-standing role with Iona and extensive work with other progressive artists as well as his own solo work, has become a full time member of the band. Troy Donockley is likely the most well-known and well-respected Uillean pipes and whistle player of our generation.
Nightwish have said that their next album entitled Elegia will be released in 2015. To commemorate the band's incredible Imaginaerum tour, provide their fans recordings of the band with the revised lineup including Jansen and Donockley and to tide enthusiasts over until the new release, they have released a 2xCD plus 2xDVD set entitled Showtime, Storytime (Nuclear Blast (USA) NB 3206-4, 2013) in various formats including an edition with 2xBluRay DVDs. We were provided a stunning cardboard sleeve 2xDVD plus 2xCD set with a full-color, photo-laden, jewel box size booklet for review. Enthusiasts should check out the Nuclear Blast website in their territories for special packages on offer.
The Showtime, Storytime 2xCD set includes incredibly produced recordings of the live set captured on first of the accompanying DVDs. With sixteen tracks in total, the recording captures Imaginaerum live in full splendor, fronted by Floor Jansen and joined by the Nightwish members, including Troy Donockley. Suitable for listening anywhere either in full or in parts, this is a tremendous live recording.
The DVD set includes everything on the CDs plus two video bonus tracks, "I Want My Tears Back" (from Helsinki) and a reprise of "Ghost Love Score" (from Buenos Aires). The second DVD is chock full of bonus material. Directed by Ville Lipiäinen (30 Seconds to Mars, Him) and shot with seventeen cameras at this year’s Wacken Open Air Festival in front of 85,000 fans, Nightwish's live performance was the first of three final shows of the band’s 2013 Imaginaerum World Tour that consisted of 104 concerts in 34 countries to a paid audience of over 1.5 million fans.
The bonus DVD deserves a very special mention. The two-hour "Please Learn The Setlist In 48 Hours" tour documentary is an intimate look into Nightwish's innermost-workings and captures the story of what happens when persistence and desire pushes towards the fulfillment of dreams. Two bonus tracks include the "Nightwish Table Hockey Tournament" and "Christmas Song For A Lonely Documentarist."
Those that have heard the studio edition of Imaginaerum are in for a real treat when they see and hear Showtime, Storytime. Although the Nightwish tour was extensive, many of the band's loyal following will not have had the opportunity to see them or hear them live, and only those that did will have enjoyed the exhilaration of a live Nightwish performance of this incredible material. Further, those that have only heard the work with the former lineup will not have had the opportunity to see and hear Floor Jansen's incredible delivery of the vocal work and her amazing ability to command an audience response. Troy Donockley is also an amazing stage performer and viewers and listeners alike will be delighted with his contribution to this stunning release.
Showtime, Storytime is a true collectors edition although this value-packed release serves equally well to introduce new listeners to the magic of Nightwish. If your loved ones did not remember you
with this gift for the holidays, there's still time for them to purchase it for Valentine's Day. We can't wait for the next Nightwish studio album in 2015.