Tuomas Holopainen opens up on Nightwish's emotional first show after Floor Jansen's cancer battle: "she just broke down"

(Image credit: Nuclear Blast)

Nightwish keyboardist and songwriter Tuomas Holopainen has opened up to discuss the incredibly emotional first show the band played together following the news that Floor Jansen had been battling breast cancer. In October 2022, singer Jansen confirmed that she was undergoing surgery for the disease, before revealing a few weeks later that the surgery was a success and that she was now officially cancer free.

Just two days after Floor's second announcement, the band played the first show of the latest leg of their European tour in Antwerp, Belgium on November 20. As Tuomas explains, it was understandably a deeply emotional experience for all involved.

"The first show of this leg in Antwerp was just so emotional for all of us, but especially for Floor," he tells Overdrive. "It all came out during the song Sleeping Sun [taken from 1998 album, Oceanborn]. "She couldn't sing the song towards the end, and she just broke down. It was a positive breakdown, if you know what I mean. It was just a huge release of so much anxiety and pressure that had been building up inside her. It was a culmination of beating cancer, finally do[ing] this tour, and that her voice was good enough to do what she loves to do. All of that came out at the same time, and it's been wonderful ever since."

In her statement confirming her cancer surgery was successful, Jansen said: "The surgery took everything cancerous out and it hasn’t spread! I’ll get local radiation therapy in February to make sure everything stays out. 

"I'm getting my energy back after the surgery and feel a huge relief to know it was successful!" she added. "I’m not back to a 100% but I have no doubt the shows will give me the power push I need to rock with all of you on the upcoming European tour. Thank you for your amazing support and well wishes"

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.