Tarja – Storm In Europe 2008
Kulturbolaget, Malmoe, Sweden
27/5 – 2008
Review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
MY WINTER STORM is the name of the first album Tarja Turunen has released since her departure from Nightwish a few years ago. The album contains both her trademark opera-metal as well as a cover of the Alice Cooper song “Poison” along with someslower songs. This tour has already visited the rest of Europe and this evening it was Swedens turn to take part of the Storm In Europe Tour, the tour ends at Tavastia Club in Helsinki Finland.
Kulturbolaget was the place for this evening, the club takes about 750 people and it’s a well known water hole for rock and metal acts as well as other familiar bands in other genres. She had two support acts in Doug Wimbish Sound System and the Finnish Passionworks. Wimbish also plays bass guitar in Turunen’s band; the rest of her band consists of
Alex Scholpp – guitar
Mike Terrana – drums
Marie Iimoniemi – keyboards
Max Silja- cello
Toni Turunen – lead vocals, b-vox, electronic drums, keyboards, guitar
I met up with drummer Mike Terrana a few hours before the show and he told me that he really enjoyed working with Turunen and that contrary what many people think is very humble and nice person. When the doors opened at 20.00 it wasn’t much people in line but as the time progressed more and more people showed up. Wimbish Sound System went on stage at 21.00 and off stage after 20 minutes and Passionworks did an OK show and went off after 30 minutes.
At 22.00 the lights were turned down and the band came on stage. Turunen came out shortly after accompanied by an intro and the 100-200 people in the crowd that consisted of both older gentlemen, younger Goth girls an everything in between cheered and clapped their hands when she entered. She immediately kicked off the show with the song “Lost Northern Star” taken from the new solo album and the show continued on with another song from the new album called “Little Phoenix”.
It sounded much better and much heavier live compared to on disc and as always I was stunned by what an amazing voice the woman has. There weren’t any fences in front of the stage so I stood in the audience and took pictures. Turunen moved on with “Passion And The Opera” and “Minor Heaven” before the first Nightwish song “Nemo” echoed in the venue. After a quite nervous start Turunen really blossomed when she saw the great response she had for “Nemo” and now we could see why she is one of the greater stage personalities in this genre.
The next song was “I Walk Alone” and she looked absolutely adoring when she walked around on stage in a beautiful dress while singing that song. Then she fired off the cover “Over The Hills And Far Away” which she sang together with her brother Toni. Toni has am absolutely stunning voice and their voices fitted perfect together. But even though there were two people handling keyboards and one on cello it sounded like they used backtracks which felt a bit awkward. Turunen told us that she really loved performing with her band and then she introduced the song “Over Great Divide” before she, for the second time, went off stage to change her clothes. While she changed clothes the band did a solo number called “Ciarans Well Band” and all the crowd could do was stand and be amazed by all the skilled musicians that were on stage. All of the band had their chance to show off and it was a fun way to do solos, otherwise I think solos are a bit overrated but when it’s done like this in a song it was quite fun.
When Turunen returned on stage she had a different dress on and they kicked off “Ciarans Well” and she once again thanked their band for being so brilliant. After “The Reign” she thanked all of us for being there and she said that she is truly glad and blessed for having such a great fanbase. Her brother Toni joined her in “Phantom Of The Opera” and what can I say but what an amazing song. Sitting on a barstool she did a new song titled “Sing For Me” and after that came “Oasis” with only Turunen on keyboard, the rest of the band had left the stage. After that the evening was almost over and Turunen said that everything has an end and also this show. The last ordinary song for the evening was “Poison” which isn’t such a great choice of a cover, at least not for Turunen. But live it sounded better than on the album and there was a lot of sing a long going on so I think she was happy. Ordinary playing time was 1.10 but the fans wanted more from their favorite singer and Turunen and crew returned and fired off the incredible song “Wishmaster”. After that everyone went off stage except for Toni who stayed with an acoustic guitar and the cello player and they delivered an acoustic version of “Die Alive”. Then finally the last song for the evening “Calling Grace” was played. Then was it all over and the band and Turunen went off stage.
It was an amazing performance by Finland’s finest solo act and to my surprise it was heavier live than on album. The sound and the lighting were perfect and that together with an amazing set-list and a pro singer made the evening a night to remember. Despite the somewhat mediocre material the songs really grew in a live situation and it seemed like the crowd was as enthusiastic as I was after the show.
Lost Northern Star
My Little Phoenix
Passion And The Opera
I Walk Alone
Over The Hills And Far Away
Our Great Divide
Ciarans Well – solo band
Phantom Of The Opera
Sing For Me