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Nightwish: End of an Era, Beginning of a new Life

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October 21st, 2005. Finland’s most commercially successful group, Nightwish, after a long one and a half year on the road promoting their golden album “Once”, are due to end the tour by marking it with a live appearance and the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, with a concert which will be recorded for a DVD release. In front of the stage, 11.000 people are looking forward; right behind the curtains, five old friends from Kitee, hug each other, something that works as a ceremony for them every time they go on stage. Thus, we all hear “Once, I had a dream, and this is it!”. Nightwish appear on stage and the crowd goes wild. Goth girls crying in the front row, people of all ages acting extremely emotional, while the five musicians give the best of themselves on stage. For the four men, this day was emotionally charged in an unusual manner, while for Tarja, meant the start of a break and probably a further focus on her upcoming solo career. When “Ever Dream” starts, Holopainen stops the music and starts crying, because he knows. He knows that this Siren, for whom the song was written, will never sing for him again. Turunen and Hietala’s duet on “The Phantom Of The Opera”, Turunen’s wide variety of vocals on “The Siren”, the splendid cover of Pink Floyd’s “High Hopes” and the mournful vibe of both “Sleeping Sun” and “Kuolema Tekee Tailiteijan” ‘s performances, lead every person in the crowd burst into tears, as clearly shown in the cameras. After the middle of the set, John Two-Hawks joins the stage for a tearful performance of “Creek Mary’s Blood”, under the guidance of his flutes. The end is approaching, and Hietala’s voice matches with Turunen’s for the last time, for “Wish I Had An Angel”. Immediately afterwards, there’s a sense of relief and melancholy in the faces of the four musicians. The next day, the performance was discussed everywhere, everyone was praising the group but the next day, everything turned into dust due to an open letter on the band’s official website, which was personally handed to Turunen after the concert but was warned not to open it within 24 hours. From October 23rd and after, all kinds of press had the same headline: “End Of An Era; Tarja Turunen leaves Nightwish”…

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