Review and photos by Sean Larkin
Even a wet and windy Wednesday along with an early start, couldn’t keep a decent sized crowd away from what was Tarja Turunen’s first ever solo UK outside of London. A lot has been said about Tarja’s time with and subsequent split from Nightwish, so I was interested to see how Tarja has developed as a solo artist.
First up tonight were French “female fronted electro metal”, Elyose. The band put in a good performance (only their 2nd ever show in the UK), which predominantly features tracks from their current album Théogyne. A good start to the night and a band I hope to see back in the UK soon.
Tarja’s band take to the stage in what was a more unconventional layout, keyboards high and centre at the back and the drums (a monster drum kit played by the exceptional Mike Terrena) at the front stage left, before Tarja joins them for opening tracks ‘In For A Kill’ and ‘500 Letters’. The vocals are stunning as expected and the sound from the band really complements this, none more so than Max Lilja on the cello. The beautiful, rich sound really adds to the atmosphere and works so much better than having it pre-recorded.
Right from the start, Tarja certainly looks like someone who is enjoying what she is doing when on stage. From speaking to some fans at the gig who have seen her several times before, they mentioned that she hasn’t looked fully comfortable on stage before. This certainly wasn’t evident here tonight. She looks very relaxed and confident and has the crowd fully engaged with her performance.
Often, when we see lead singers leave a band for whatever reason, we see them heavily rely on the tracks they recorded with the band on their solo tours. Fans expecting to hear a lot of Nightwish material may have been disappointed that there was only one track featured, ‘Wish I Had An Angel’ which was the penultimate song. To me this isn’t a bad thing, as Tarja certainly has enough solo material to not have to do this.
Tonight’s performance really was outstanding, and I hope that the reaction Tarja got from the crowd will encourage her to play more dates in the Midlands in the future.
1. In for a Kill
2. 500 Letters
3. Dark Star
4. I Walk Alone
5. Anteroom of Death
6. Never Enough
7. Sing for Me
8. Die Alive
9. Mystique Voyage
12. Victim of Ritual
13. Ciarán’s Well
14. Wish I Had an Angel
15. Until My Last Breath
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