Once Upon A Nighwish

Sometimes like right now, I have these days - or weeks - when I cannot seem to bring myself to concentrate on anything else than my .. uhh .. current addiction. Although it doesn't seem quite fair to call them addictions since it makes them sound like something you ought to go to rehab to get rid of, which is not the case at all. Well, it's not really of importance what name I use of these mind-occupying things as I don't intend to talk about them in a general level. Because, as I already hinted, I am presently at a very active phase in my addiction cycle .. or something like that. In English, 90% of stuff that comes out of mouth and goes round in my head is related to Nightwish so that's what I'm going to discuss today and you'll just have to bear with me or ... get away, run away, fly away! Yes, that was a Nightwish reference. There might be more.

I have in some of my previous posts stated that under no circumstances should I be allowed to attempt to write about Nightwish since in that particular topic I am entirely unable to express my thoughts and/or feelings in any coherent way thus always resulting in something that resembles a scribble from a 10-year-old's diary. And yet I always have to give it another try because maybe some day I'll succeed. Maybe it is today.
But I do apologise beforehand.
Because statistics are not on my side with this.

Where to start from?
Let us start from the situation where a highly traumatising sport, synchronized skating was like the gravity of my personal universe during ten years or so. Then at the age of fourteen or fifteen I suddenly transformed into a proper, hysterical Nightwish fan too. And trust me, when I go fangirl about something it's pretty intense. Anyone who knows me could back that up. So now, in addition to skating there was another force in my personal universe pulling from another direction. And I do mean what I say: Nightwish really was and is as a big a deal as a thing that took almost equally big a chunk of my time as sleeping or going to school. But let me clarify a little.
Obviously loving skating and loving a band are two quite different things because while I went to ice rink/gym/dance studio five times a week in average, I couldn't physically take part in Nightwish. At that time I couldn't even go their concerts because incidentally they didn't have any in Finland - except for the one that sold out in like twenty seconds and I never got tickets and I shall eternally hold a grudge against that person who almost sold his tickets to us but then retrieved at the final minute. And it was the last time with Tarja and it was in Hartwall Arena and it was fucking epic which I know because I have the DVD so fuck me.

Let us enjoy some copyrighted material from the Internet.
So physically - and economically - I was totally invested in skating, no contest. But then there's this weird, abstract, emotional level where things are in different proportions than what it might outwardly appear. And that emotional level was divided between skating and Nightwish for good five-ish years before I came to my senses and gave up skating. Despite that skating ate a massive chunk of my time I never ever felt like I was forced to give up on other things because of it - except for when I was afraid of possibly not being able to go to some Nightwish related event. That only happened a couple of times though, but it was extremely stressful for me. You see, I am one of those idiots who have to camp in front of concert halls and spend 12-hour long festival days waiting for the one and only Nightwish. I mean, who doesn't love queuing and running for dear life and all that stuff? Once I had to ask my coach to let me leave slightly earlier because I was going to a concert, and another time I went straight from an ice arena to camp overnight in front of another even though my mum insisted I should eat dinner first.
It was all fine though, and I think that the hardest part for me was that not a single person seemed to understand how important these two things actually were for me. Synchro people didn't understand Nightwish, my other friends didn't really understand skating supportive as they were; and then the rest of the world just didn't get either - with possible the exception of my mother who drove me from one ice rink to another, paid the astronomical bills and brought me hot tea in a thermos flask at New Year's Day's morning when I was queuing in front of an ice arena for Nightwish.

And now we're getting to the part where everything gets really incomprehensible and hard to verbalise. That is, why Nightwish is, for me, more than just another Finnish metal band with a bunch of long-haired musicians and a pretty vocalist. And man, this is hard because I haven't been able to resolve to myself why exactly this music and those people make me feel quite literally all the things at once, not to mention describing it in a blogpost.

Yeah yeah, I know that I've babbled something just a while ago because I saw them in a festival, and also last Autumn when their new single came out but screw that, I want to babble some more!

The first and most simple aspect that comes to mind is a whole lot of little things, moments involving the band members themselves that I can re-live time and again whenever I desire to. Last summer I, completely out of the blue, bumped into Tuomas Holopainen and Marco Hietala (the songwriter/keyboardist and the bassist/vocalist in case you didn't know) in my hometown. At the sight of my gods idols I immediately went on full-loaded fangirl mode erasing my brain completely of anything remotely sensible thus only getting out some slightly hysterical squeaking as I approached them. In spite of that, Tuomas gentlemanly talked back to me, hugged me heartily and didn't make me feel like the absolutely brainless idiot that I was am, always have and will be. For an almost unrelated sidenote I have to mention that as I tend to feel like a moron every time I open my cakehole to utter some words I have grown to immensely adore anyone who somehow magically obliterates that feeling. As it happens, my greatest and grandest idol has this ability.
In fact, I find it quite amazing how splendidly Tuomas handles his crazy fangirls. I've seen him face to face maybe four times, three of which were events with loads of other fans buzzing around like drunken bees around a colourful flower. So now we're at bees and flowers. Great. Good job me.
What I'm trying to say here is that even surrounded by a dozen others who want to get a hug/an autograph/a picture/a lock of hair from Tuomas, every time I've quickly changed a few words with him, posed for a camera or whatever, I've had this feeling that at that particular moment there is no one else in the world who he focuses on. Maybe it's just me and my excessive emotions but he really seems to dedicate each second to the person he is interacting with, and that if anything makes one feel kind of special.

 Uhh, I kind got lost in the fangirl bubbles there but let's move on.

Generally I dare say that Nightwish guys are lovely, down-to-earth people who genuinely care about and respect their fans - and that's why it is so nice to go and say hi to them when randomly spotted in rock festivals or city centres. They don't make you feel like the world's greatest nuisance even if you have a habit of counting yourself as one.
Another great thing about the band's interaction with fans is that - at least if you've drawn hearts on your palms and are jumping like a maniac in the front row for the third time in one summer with a ridiculously wide grin on your face - they will most likely reward you with some special attention during a concert.
I don't know if this is like an epitome of narcissism or rather shitty self-esteem or what, but stealing anyone of theirs attention for myself in the crowd of thousands feels pretty amazing. Especially when that has happened a several times now, ahem. Shh no, me and my bestie never try to seek attention. That's not why we have our hearts and tambourines. We also don't giggle and go weak in the knees like some teenage girls every time our presence is being acknowledged by the mighty Master Holopainen.
What does it say about me anyway that the only two people I ever flirt with are Nightwishes guitarist (male) and one of my gay friends from uni (male), with respect to the fact that I like girls to start with?

Exactly what I feared is happening: the fangirl hype is taking over!
Ugh, concentrate.

So, that was the little things. Let's ponder the big ones then.

I guess the major reason for all of this madness that takes over my life when my favourite band is active and on the move is surprisingly their music. Downright ground-breaking.
Needless to say, when I begun my fangirl career as an ignorant adolescent, I couldn't quite grasp the full meaning of the lyrics I full-heartedly liked to sing along to. First of all, they're not your secondary school English that unravel when being treated with the literal translations straight from a dictionary. Second of all, I hadn't really experienced or felt half the things the songs talked about thus even with my bottomless store of empathy I wasn't able to fully get them. However, there is something about that music that even then took my breath away. I am not a musician so, for your good fortune, you won't find a perceptive analysis on the musical components of Nightwishes music here. All I can say about the matter is that without the lyrics it still has the power to touch me more personally than most anything else.
In an interview with Tuomas Holopainen that I read yesterday, he declares that for him music is nothing but pure emotion. Maybe that explains it - that without proper understanding of the lyrics one can still somehow feel the music and that way empathise.
He also said numerous other things that made me insensibly happy while reading the thing. He talked about how he has this pressing need to put very personal things in his songs, and how having some 5000 people yelling them as one in a concert somehow makes them easier to bear. When composing he isn't trying affect or impress anyone, and so it makes him glad to hear that his music has made an impact on someone's life without him aiming for such a goal. And he's going to publish a collection of short stories and like a theme album for Don Rosa's The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck. Instant fangasm.
And here we are again, back at Tuomas who admittedly is the soul and spirit of Nightwish. Throughout this summer I've bee experiencing this age crisis because I realised that Tuomas was about my age when Nightwish was born. Four years passed and off they went on their first world tour. No pressure, but what have I achieved in my life so far?
Not gonna get stuck with that thought just now.

But, Tuomas, oh Tuomas. I had to go and double-check his birthday on the official Nightwish website - and noticed that the band members' profile pages had been updated along with releasing the new album last winter. And now I'm wearing my stupid fangirl grin because they're all so adorable and I.. I can't *gross sobbing*
I know it's a bit of an overreaction but I noticed that Tuomas has named The Farseer Trilogy as one of his favourite books and then my heart kind of skipped a beat and I almost started crying.
Wait what?
But it is such an awesome series and I didn't know that he's read it.
And you can't possibly understand why this is significant and yet it is. Ok, I'll try to get my shit together now.

Don't you just wanna hug him?
Would it be an utterly wasted effort for me to try and be even a teeny bit less sentimental with this for a moment or two? It would. Definitely. Let's go on.

In addition to appreciating more or less the same books, films and music as myself, Tuomas has this incredibly beautiful ideology of escapism. His statements and interviews - and music are full of desire and yearning to get back the child's innocence and sincere amazement about the surrounding world. He's the biggest Disney fan, and his songs are full of adventures, wanderlust, love, longing, sadness and references to fairytales. He talks about those things with such an honest look in his eyes that you really want to listen. Since Nightwish started gaining more and more success and recognition Tuomas has talked about innocence and how it's already been lost to him, how he can't ever get it back. In my eyes, though, he's probably the most innocent man on Earth. He has such a firm belief in the stuff that he brings up about music and Nightwish. No corrupted mind could create something like that.
Ahh, and now I'm getting lost in the incoherence of emotions.

That is just too adorable, please stop it before I melt.
What I want to say is that I can relate to nearly everything Tuomas says about anything.
And what he himself tells in their website about the aims of his music in terms of the audience:

"to give the listeners a place to escape to and to create their own universes".

Well, gotta say you got it right there. Boom. Bull's eye. Congratulations because that is to the point what their music does to me - along with some other things. But just. Ahh. Now I need to stop because as you can fathom from quite many things, I imagine, I am losing the grip. Seriously. Goodbye.

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