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Luna Park Ride
September 2015
Released: 2015, earMUSIC
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Since kicking her solo career into high gear with her second album, WHAT LIES BENEATH, in 2010, Tarja Turunen certainly has put a ton of product on the market. There was the huge double live DVD/CD ACT 1, a third studio album, the Beauty & the Beat project (ick!), and now yet another double live DVD/CD/Blu-Ray with LUNA PARK RIDE. Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Tarja certainly doesn’t do half-measures! For the purpose of this review, I’ll be looking at the live CD only.

This massive set is split into two discs; the first covers full concert given back in 2011, while the second CD highlights a number of shows documented all the way up into 2014. Check the details at right for complete information.

Starting with the Live at Luna Park disc, the concert highlights Tarja and her band on their touring cycle for WHAT LIES BENEATH, so the set is pretty even split between that and her first solo outing, MY WINTER STORM, with a few surprises thrown in. I was not a big fan of MY WINTER STORM but I have to admit that the songs sound much better in the live environment versus the sterile production job given them on the studio record. All told, Tarja gives a masterful performance, and the South American audience responds with their usual enthusiasm. A couple of the songs could have been replaced (the “Signos” cover is pretty dull), but all in all it’s a great set list performed exceptionally well by Tarja and her talented band. Even after all of the drama and years gone by, I still feel a thrill when “Wishmaster” starts.

On to the second CD, although the tracks are taken from five different concerts over four years, the tracks are sequenced perfectly to come off like a single show. The sound is uniformly excellent as well. Here again, Tarja and her band work through some of her classics, along with more recent cuts off of her then-new COLOURS IN THE DARK album. In truth, I actually enjoy this CD more as the performances come off more lively and there’s a wider breadth of Tarja’s career covered. Song-wise, there is minimal overlap with the first album with only four songs crossing over, leaving a full 10 “new” tracks. For those keeping score, that’s a full 25 live tracks over 2 discs!

Aside from a few niggling songs that don’t quite work out (i.e. the extended “Never Enough”), LUNA PARK RIDE is a near-perfect live album. I can into it with a healthy degree of skepticism, but I was ultimately won over by the passion displayed. This is an awesome album that will easily tide over Tarja’s fans as we await her next studio effort.
Track Listing

Disc 1: Live At Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 27th 2011

1. Dark Star
2. My Little Phoenix
3. The Crying Moon
4. I Walk Alone
5. Falling Awake
6. Signos (Soda Stereo cover)
7. Little Lies
8. Underneath
9. Stargazers
10. Ciaran’s Well
11. In for a Kill
12. Where Were You Last Night/Heaven Is a Place on Earth/Livin’ On a Prayer (medley)
13. Die Alive
14. Until My Last Breath
15. Wishmaster

Disc 2: Live 2010 – 2014
Tracks 1 – 4, Live at Masters of Rock, Czech Republic 2010
1. In for a Kill
2. I Walk Alone
3. Archive of Lost Dreams
4. Crimson Deep
Tracks 5 – 7, Live at Summer Breeze, Germany 2011
5. I Feel Immortal
6. The Siren
7. Until My Last Breath
Tracks 8 – 10, Live at Tele-Club, Russia, 2014
8. 500 Letters
9. Damned & Divine
10. Neverlight
Track 11, Live at Wacken, Germany 2014
11. Anteroom of Death (feat. Van Canto)
Tracks 12 – 14, Live at Summer Breeze, Germany, 2014
12. Never Enough
13. Die Alive
14. Victim of Ritual


Tarja Turunen: Vocals
Alex Scholpp: Guitar
Christian Kretschmar: Keyboards
Doug Wimbish: Bass
Mike Terrana: Drums



Next review: » Tarja - My Winter Storm
Previous review: » Tarja - From Spirits And Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas)

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