Byblos International Festival 2013 - Nightwish Concert
Author: Carmina Khairallah - 2013-07-25
On Thursday 4th of July 2013, Lebanon’s Metal enthusiasts experienced an event that they didn’t think would be possible: Finnish Symphonic Metal act NIGHTWISH performing at Byblos International Festival as a part of their Imaginaerum Tour.
For some, the experience began before the concert had even started. Not only were some lucky fans picked for a Meet and Greet session with the band, but others coincidentally bumped into one or more of the band’s members inside the venue’s grounds and exchanged a few words with them, as many were present way before the beginning of the event. Thus at 8:30 pm, each of the Golden Circle area, the Standing area and the Seated area were full of anxious fans.
The concert started at 8:40 with ANURYZM, a Progressive Metal band based in the UAE. The band’s fully original playlist consisted of the following songs from their album "Worm’s Eye View":
- Breaking the Ballot
- Sintax of Trinity
- Fragmenting the Sou
- Killing Time
The sound was a little muffled, but that seemed to be entirely due to the fact that it was an open air venue. Besides that, everything was setup in a very professional way, the lighting and sound complementing the band’s music accurately. A few of the band’s members are originally from Lebanon and they showed great attachment to their homeland as well as immense satisfaction for performing there. Part of the fans was head-banging happily, with a few attempts at mosh pits that were promptly interrupted by the security staff. Although, perhaps the band’s music was slightly too “violent” for this event and thus not exactly appropriate to NIGHTWISH’s music.
Nevertheless, everyone seemed to enjoy it. When asked about his impressions, band’s guitarist John Bakhos said: “We had a great time at the festival. It meant the world to come and perform in Byblos, partially because some of us are Lebanese living abroad and Lebanon holds a special place in our hearts, but also because Byblos Festival is world-renowned and the Lebanese are very receptive to listening to new music. We hope the audience had as much fun as we had, and we look forward to returning again in the future”.
About half an hour of dead time followed, and the only things the over excited fans could discuss was the band they were about to watch, debating what songs they would like to watch, which live performance they preferred, etc. But at 10:40, the maelstrom of excited voices merged into one loud scream to finally welcome the long awaited band, NIGHTWISH.
The first thing one could notice was the big poster depicting the album Imaginaerum’s cover, surrounded by an array of blue lights, creating a magical atmosphere. The band’s playlist for the night consisted of the following songs:
- Intro: Crimson Tide
- Dark Chest of Wonders
- Wish I Had an Angel
- She Is My Sin
- Ever Dream
- I Want My Tears Back
- Last of the Wilds (Instrumental)
- Bless the Child
- Over the Hills and Far Away
- Ghost Love Score
- Last Ride of the Day
- Outro: Imaginaerum
The band’s professionalism is obviously unquestionable; each member delivered their very best perfectly, along with a striking amount of raw passion. Glancing at keyboardist and song writer Tuomas Holopainen, one could see that he was lip-syncing during all of the songs, despite now being equipped with a microphone. Similar enthusiasm could be read on each of the members’ faces, as if it was their first time performing. An additional dollop of energy was exuded from guitarist Erno ‘Emppu’ Vuorinen as he kept running around the stage excitedly while performing.
Although part of the fans knew guest vocalist Floor Jansen from her personal projects AFTER FOREVER and REVAMP and already appreciated her greatly, some of them didn’t, and were not sure what to expect of yet another vocalist. But it’s fair to say that after only a few songs, everyone was overwhelmed by Floor’s breathtaking vocals and performance as well as her kindhearted nature and sweet words. This charismatic aura was perfectly complemented by bassist and backup vocalist Marco’s deep harsh vocals and radiant smile throughout the event.
It wasn’t hard for the fans to relate to their idols as each of the band members remained simple and deeply human despite their great popularity. They even granted their fans a touch of humor when during a certain song, drummer Jukka Nevelainen nonchalantly forgot that it was up to him to play and was eventually brought back to reality by guitarist Emppu.
As NIGHTWISH were taking their final bow after throwing their picks and water bottles to the ecstatic crowd, everyone wished it would’ve lasted longer, but the band definitely did not leave anyone hungry for more, and all of the exhausted fans were deeply satisfied. Thank you Byblos International Festival and thank you NIGHTWISH for this amazing night that will be engraved in all of our minds forever.
You can check the whole photo gallery on JorZine's Facebook Page
All photos are courtesy of Jad Tannous