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Live-Music-Hall, Cologne, Germany
10th December 2007
Tarja Turunen & Delain

She is the brightest star of Finnish Rock scene. Sopranos TARJA TURUNEN managed in a very short time to become one of the best known personalities if Finnish music scene; as solo artist, as classic singer or within her past band NIGHTWISH her charm makes her the most famous singer for lots of Metal fans around the globe. So far, TARJA sang in front of more than 500,000 people. Several of her songs and videos are played in TV and radio worldwide. Now, the charismatic singer is back on stages with a new solo studio album. This December evening, she played in the Live-Music-Hall in Cologne, supported by Dutch female fronted Metal band DELAIN.


For Dutch people, this band is already a big name. In Germany, the band around ex-WITHIN TEMPTATION keyboardist Martijn Westerholt is still a nearly white piece of paper even though they were currently supporting WITHIN TEMPTATION on their latest tour. Anyway they got the chance to support TARJA. The debut album of DELAIN (btw named after a Stephen King novel) ‘Lucidity’ was recorded with contributions of several well-known musicians such as Marko Hielata (Nightwish), Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) or guitarist Ad Sluyter (Epica). In 2005, the band signed a record deal with Roadrunner Records. Despite the fact that DELAIN is, first and foremost, a project, Martijn and the talented Charlotte Wessels make up the core of the band. Martijn wrote most of the songs, whereas the characteristic voice of Charlotte gives Delain its own identity. DELAIN are Charlotte Wessels (vocals), Martijn Westerholt (songwriter & synths), Ronald Landa (guitar & backup vocals), Rob van der Loo (bass) and Sander Zoer (drums). /

Having “only” a support slot, tonight’s set was rather short with just seven songs starting with the already well-known ‘Frozen’. Based in Charlotte’s voice, the band delivered again serene and poppy sounds differing quite a bit from the usual Goth Metal stuff. Besides several other songs - all based on heavy guitars and tight drums combined with great melodies - DELAIN also presented their upcoming single ‘The Gathering’. A good sound in the venue supported the show which made especially the guitars sound very crunchy. Also Charlotte was in really good vocal condition. Her voice sounded strong and clear.

Even though the stage was already packed with the equipment of TARJA, DELAIN had enough space to move on stage, to rock and to shake their heads. Besides Charlotte, especially Ronald and Rob were very expressive, banging their heads and making faces. The mood on stage was just great. It seemed all band members were really happy that they had the chance to open for famous TARJA. Like last time I’ve seen them, Charlotte was smiling a lot, encouraging the audience to get with her. Different to usual concerts at that venue, also the light show during the support act was very colourful and quite bright. Even drummer Sander was bathed in light. The lights enhanced the mood of the songs a lot. Very nice! Due to bad luck with transportation, sadly cellist Timon Birkhofer (also known for appearances with LEAVES’ EYES as well as for LIV KRISTINE and IN STRICT CONFIDENCE) could not join the band on stage. I was really curious about it because I liked him playing cello with LEAVES’ EYES during MFVF V a lot.

As for the other band members, there was quite good interaction between them - especially between the guys on bass and guitar as well as Charlotte. Even though they seemed to be a bit nervous to open for such a big name, the whole band did quite well on stage. A good start of the evening!

01. Frozen
02. Shattered
03. Silhouette of a Dancer
04. See me in Shadow
05. Sleepwalkers Dream
06. The Gathering
07. Pristine

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.9

Tarja Turunen

TARJA TURUNEN - just mentioning that name makes a lot of people smile. So far, she celebrated her biggest success with NIGHTWISH, but she is also well-known much further than only in the Metal scene. Very early in the age of six she started with vocal training and later on she examined at the Sibelius academy where she also met Tuomas Holopainen with whom she started a project later on developing into NIGHTWISH. Besides her Metal career she always was present n stage with classical music performances. Over the year, NIGHTWISH turned into superstars and so did TARJA. Still working with NIGHTWISH, she released her first solo single ‘Yhden Enkelin Unhelma’ end of 2004.

After her split with NIGHTWISH in 2005 that came as a real shock for her, she has put her efforts into her solo career, giving several solo concerts and starting to record an album on her own. After her long awaited Christmas album in 2006, finally the single ‘I walk alone’ has been released on 26th October 2007 followed by her “real” solo debut ‘My Winter Storm’. For her live appearances, she gathered some famous musicians around her who partly worked with a lot of famous bands: guitarist Alex Scholpp (DACIA, TIEFLADER, ex-FARMER BOYS), bassist Doug Wimbish (who was already working for LIVING COLOUR, ANNIE LENNOX, MADONNA or JOE SATRIANI), drummer Mike Terrana (SAVAGE CIRCUS, AXEL RUDI PELL, ex-RAGE), keyboard player Maria Ilmoniemi, cellists Max Silja and Markus Hohti and last but no least her brother Toni. / /

Her first solo album ‘My Winter Storm’ presents TARJA as well as musically very close to her former band NIGHTWISH as well as with very new facets. As you might have guessed, the set consisted mainly of songs out off her solo album. But there was also a cover version of ALICE COOPER’s ‘Poison’ (which is also contained on her album) and her interpretation of ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’ which was performed together with her brother who wore a mask just like the phantom in the Musical. Besides that, the biggest surprise were probably the few NIGHTWISH songs - respectively ‘Passion & the Opera’, ‘Walking in the Air’ and as first encore ‘Nemo’ - she also integrated into her set. But let’s switch back to her solo work. Within the songs she presented from that album, there were some that also could have been by NIGHTWISH but there were as well songs that tend more towards the classic or rock genre. An additional pinch of salt in the live performance was added by the cello players and an acoustic guitar as well as second drum set, both played by TARJA’s brother.

‘Lost Northern Star’ for example is one of the rockier songs while the latest single ‘I walk alone’- which was the second song of the encore - sound more like NIGHTWISH based on classical instruments and drums. Later on, guitars join in, perfectly played by the musicians. ‘My little Phoenix’ fitted very well after the first NIGHTWISH song of the evening. ‘Oasis’, which followed after ‘Phantom of the Opera’ was accompanied by TARJA on the synth piano only supported by the cellos until more instruments joined in during the song. All in all, TARJA delivered a very good vocal performance. Also the boys and girls on the instruments did very well delivering some high class solos too while the good sound in the venue also supported the performance. The only downer for me was that I had the impression not all instruments have been played live. The set finished with the guitar based ballad ‘Calling Grace’.

As you could expect if from that woman, the whole show was very well styled through. There was a very beautiful light show, taking up the mood of any song and transforming it to lights in different shades. For some ballads, there was even a sky full of stars glittering in the back of stage. Besides that, TARJA changed her dresses several times during the set, starting with something black, going over red to white with a hood for ‘I walk alone’. Fitting to the dresses, she always had different coloured microphone and stand. Of course, changing dresses always meant some kind of break in the set which were filled by solos of the other musicians who did that very well. All in all I must say that this was a bit overdone for my taste. But people seemed to like it a lot.

01. Boy and the Ghost
02. Lost Northern Star
03. Passion & the Opera
04. My little Phoenix
05. Sing for me
06. Damned & Devine
07. Ciaran’s Band Set
08. Ciaran’s well
09. Our great Divide
10. Phantom of the Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
11. Oasis
12. Walking in the Air
13. You would have loved this
14. Poison (Alice Cooper)
15. Nemo
16. I walk alone
17. Calling Grace (MWS)

Music: 9
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.1

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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