Fireworks

Concert Reviews

Tarja Turunen http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e8/55/31/Tarja-Turunen-Live-Thumbnail-96-1490730970.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 28, 2017    
 
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Tarja Turunen - O2 Academy 2, Manchester (UK) - 9 March 2017

This was not just a concert. This was a gathering, a club, an affirmation. The place was packed, and it's a big place. Lovers of Tarja Turunen and the Nightwish she came from often think they are a little overlooked and with good reason; there are lots of them, but the love of Operatic vocals with heavy, heavy sounds can be derided.

That would be petty. This music touches both crowd and performer, it's a shared love that strengthens their bond. The crowd scream every word, Tarja pats her heart, blows kisses and casts an amazed modest glance at every scream and clap – there is something deeply felt here.

This band – Kevin on guitar, low slung and cool, Alex throwing shapes on bass, hammering drummer Timm, Jeremy Corbyn lookalike Christian tinkling keys and a man mountain Max on a cello arrangement which is only occasionally heard – do more than a Metal band. These gents have the talent to twist us with Prog passages, drop out to woebegone moments, then pin us to the wall with power. And they look good doing it.

Opening after a long intro tape tease with 'Demons In You', the voice was all there, powerful and sweet in equal measure, hopping up, hanging low. 'Eagle Eye' pushy, 'The Living End' opening out, Tarja trying out some Rock chick shapes but her delight and encouragement coming over like a Metallic Jane McDonald; strangely, this is not an issue.

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Perhaps the best time of the evening was the semi-acoustic section, in which we really felt that we were sitting with them, enjoying the sounds of 'Tutankhamen' and 'Slaying The Dreamer'. So much so that there's a bit of punter animosity – "fuck off!"... "No, you fuck off!" – from an altercation about chatting during this succulent section.

It doesn't even pale when everyone is given a solo spot, one after the other, it just seemed like plaudits earned. And of course, Tarja had a dress change, into a PVC and feathers number no less.

Even for people like me, who are not always Tarja types, this gig frequently pleased. The playing was exemplary, Tarja was sweet indeed, the voice was ever present, yet it was the understanding from the audience that really made this gig.

A night which meant so much to so many. You don't get a badge for this club, but you do get absolute pleasure.

Steve Swift

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