Tag Archives: Tarja Turunen

Nightwish, Manchester 05/11/2012 gig review

Nightwish pictured recently or a roguish band of Steampunk bandidos?  Who can say?

I went to see Nightwish last night in Manchester – they were sublime, needless to say.

This is the first time that UK fans have had a chance to see the band since they parted ways with previous singer Anette Olzon, with former After Forever and ReVamp singer Floor Jansen stepping into the proverbial breach and helping the band finish the rest of the dates on their “Imaginaerum” world jaunt.  Some early reports on the US leg of the tour were mixed, but I strongly suspect we can put them down to allowing a new singer to learn a lot of material in a short time period, under pressure, in front of fans with very distinct ideas about how the songs should sound.

The show which Mrs Rolling Eyeballs and I saw last night was fantastic and confirms that we should be very happy if Floor decides to stay with Nightwish for a while – she can certainly handle the more operatic, multi-octave material with original Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen was synonymous with and the more recent albums which Anette sang on hold no problems for Jansen either – she’s neither copying the vocal style of her predecessors or trying too hard to stamp her own identity onto the songs – she’s just singing them quite brilliantly.

Swedish purveyors of industrial/metal/sleaze tunes, Pain, were the opening band and they were…fine, I guess?  The crowd got into them a lot more than I did, and certainly seemed to know more of the songs – I’ve heard their “Shut Your Mouth” on Spotify and it’s a decent tune, but much of their set last night blended into one unholy mush, thanks to one of the more unsympathetic sound mixes that I’ve encountered at a gig.  Singer Peter Tägtgren was, by his own admission, having an off-night too and admitted that he had lost his voice somewhere between Stockholm and Manchester.  A bad day at the office, as they say.

Nightwish, to be fair, didn’t get on any better with the Apollo’s mercurial sound system – a lot of the subtleties and musical texture of their songs were well and truly gobbled up somewhere ‘twixt stage and the circle seating where I was safely ensconced for the evening.  Audio woes didn’t spoil the gig, though, and I was able to enjoy the band in what amounts to an intimate and up-close gig for them (in mainland Europe, Nightwish tend to play festivals, arenas and that size of venue).

My personal highlight was the section with the multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley“I Want My Tears Back”/”The Islander“/“Nemo”/”Last of the Wilds” – which took the volume down a bit and amounted to an acoustic interlude and amply demonstrated just how versatile this band is and how diverse their sound can be.  They’re nominally a metal band which has a vein of orchestral/soundtrack/score composition underpinning and complementing the massive riffs which are their stock in trade – this is almost certainly why I like them as you never know quite where the next song on an album will go.

Although, “Everything AND the kitchen sink” is a pretty good rule of thumb.

I enjoyed everything about the band’s performance – bassist Marco Hietala‘s gurning faces and eccentric on-stage banter, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen‘s apparent inability to stay still for more than a second, drummer Jukka Nevalainen‘s curious habit of hovering low over his drum skins (almost as though he’s talking to them) before starting a song, band leader Tuomas Holopainen‘s ‘lost in music’ reveries and sneaky quaffing from a bottle of vino between tunes – there’s a lot to love about Nightwish and going to see this film only made me love them more.

They play London tonight (5/11/2012), Birmingham on Tuesday and Glasgow on Wednesday this week.  If you’re near any of those venues in the UK, I highly recommend a night out with Finland’s finest musical export.

 

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Dark Passion Play?

 

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Yep, fellow Nightwish fans, this one’s for us.

In a rather unexpected announcement on Monday – which you can read here – the band announced that they were parting company with singer Anette Olzon, who in turn replaced much-loved original singer Tarja Turunen  in 2007.

It’s all a bit out of left field, frankly.  Anette missed a show on the band’s current US tour due to hospitalization, recuperated and then played one last show a day or two later before Monday’s announcement arrived and made me do the proverbial spit take.

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A paranoid side of me was convinced that the Nightwish show that Mrs Rolling Eyeballs and I are going to see in November was going to be cancelled – that hasn’t transpired, as the band have recruited former After Forever and current ReVamp vocalist Floor Jansen to complete the rest of the ‘Imaginaerum‘ tour.

I’m glad that I get to see Nightwish, and I’m sure that Floor is going to be a fantastic guest singer, but I’m sad that I don’t get to see Anette play with the band.  She may not have had Tarja’s insane vocal range, but her voice was distinctly different to a lot of the singers on the symphonic metal scene.

Witness one of my favourite Nightwish songs, “The Islander” – not your soaring, octave-busting kind of song, but certainly one of the songs that I looked forward to perhaps hearing Anette sing live.  C’est la vie – perhaps we’ll get to see her in the UK with whatever project she fronts next?

A lot of fans are eagerly speculating who Nightwish will audition to be their next lead singer – speculation which might yet run and run as I’m fairly certain that the band are taking much of 2013 off to allow keyboard player/founding member/awesome dude Tuomas Holopainen to work on a solo record.

But if they want to get somebody with amazing vocal range, Diabulus In Musica’s Zuberoa Aznárez rocks…

 

 

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Tarja – “Act One” artwork online

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Former Nightwish vocalist and High Priestess of Rock drama, Tarja Turunen, has posted the artwork for her upcoming “Act 1” live album and DVD/Blu-Ray – the cover of the HD version is above, because that’s how I roll.  Pretty, isn’t it?

Currently scheduled for an August 24th release, the album comes in 2 CD, 2 DVD and Blu-Ray configurations and has a tracklisting which looks something like this:

Act I CD Track Listing:


CD 1
01. Anteroom Of Death
02. My Little Phoenix
03. Dark Star
04. Naiad
05. Falling Awake
06. I Walk Alone
07. Little Lies
08. Into The Sun (previously unreleased)
09. Nemo (Nightwish)
10. Never Enough (previously unreleased)
11. Still Of The Night (Whitesnake)
12. In For A Kill

CD 2

01. Boy And The Ghost
02. Lost Northern Star
03. Ciaran‘s Well
04. Tired Of Being Alone (written with Schiller)
05. Where Were You Last Night / Heaven Is A Place On Earth / Livin’ On A Prayer
(Medley)
06. Underneath
07. Oasis / The Archive Of Lost Dreams
08. Crimson Deep
09. The Phantom Of The Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
10. Die Alive
11. Until My Last Breath
12. Over The Hills And Far Away (Gary Moore)

Yes, copy and paste is very much my friend.

If you’re expecting there to be slight, collector-baiting differences in track listing between the CD and DVD versions, you’d be correct (the Blu-Ray is the same as the DVD, only shinier and prettier) – got to maximize that geeky fan desire to catch all of those formats.

I will, of course, be picking this up but I’m having a Dickens of a time pre-ordering the record on my online retailer of choice – it’s almost as though the niche pop culture pursuits of nerds don’t mean a serving of Pannukakku to Jeff Bezos’ happy shopping cyber-elves…

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New Tarja live record in August – no octave left behind

Whatever, mate, you’re the one with the sword. Quit looking at me!

Erstwhile former Nightwish vocalist and actual, proper diva Tarja Turunen has announced a new live record for release in August – Blabbermouth has more.

She also promises a new solo record next year – following the recent Harus album of traditional Finnish odds and sods – which will delight fans who love to hear her classically trained voice laying waste to the idea that rock bands don’t require technically proficient vocalists.

Are we now past the whole ‘Anette/Tarja’ debate, Nightwish fans, or is that still a thing?  Can’t we have both and enjoy them equally?

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