Great concert, great DVD and absolutely great performance by all the people involved in the project.

Tarja Act I cover

Some time ago I wrote about Tarja Turunen’s first DVD, Act I. I had mixed feelings both about Nightwish and Tarja’s new material. I didn’t listen to it much, trying to satisfy myself withe the old NW songs. And so I was quite anxious about that new DVD from Turunen.

Finally today, I got the chance to watch the whole concert in Rosario, Argentina. After watching it, only one word came out my mouth: SPLENDID. The rest of the sounds I made are hard to describe ;]. I felt like screaming along with the crowd while smiling from ear to ear. I was seriously astonished.

The concert was really powerful from the very beginning. Tarja started strong with a few fast, mighty songs like Anteroom of Death and Dark Star and just didn’t stop for almost 2 hours. And maybe at first I didn’t feel it right, but when the drum cover of Orpheus Hallucination/Orpheus in the Underworld started I was sitting in front of the screen with a huge grin on my face and they had me. Just like that. Everything that came later was even better. And it was a two-night show, so it had to be great.

The whole concert consists of over 30 songs. Most of them come from her two first albums, but some covers are also included. There are two new songs from the upcoming album (Into the SunNever Enough) and boy, they couldn’t be different from each other! While Into the Sun is a slow, subtle, piano and cello-oriented composition, Never Enough has some powerful riffs and is an upbeat, rather fast song. Some instrumental pieces are also included and they sound REALLY good, especially this Orpheus drum cover I mentioned before. Well, it’s Mike Terrana, right?

I have to say, that when Tarja sang a couple of songs she used to perform with Nightwish (Nemo, The Phantom of the Opera, Over the Hills and Far Away), I had this strange but pleasant feeling in my stomach, that long ago made me realize I was in love with this music. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom was sung both by Tarja and guest vocalist Diego Valdez, rather unknown Argentinian singer recording with several music bands in Buenos Aires. If I were to find a weak spot in the whole concert, I would say it was him. He sang well, but in my opinion his voice was to soft for the song. The part of Phantom in this particular cover needs to be sung with power and rasp and it has to be scary. Tarja tried to act like it was something like that, but to be honest, I didn’t really believe her ;].

Also: Where Were You Last Night / Heaven Is A Place On Earth / Livin’ On A Prayer (Medley) from DVD 2? GENIUS! I haven’t had that much fun during one song for a really, really long time! And Tarja’s face expressions were just hilarious!

But apart from the whole musical and visual feast I was very fond of the fact, that the concert had place in a theatre. It just felt right for Tarja, her voice and her music. And you know, I think that if all the music gigs in the world (apart from the outdoor ones maybe) were to be organized in places like this, with rows of chairs and balconies, I would definitely go out to the concerts more often. It was incredible to see people enjoying themselves very nicely right in their places, with no one pushing around trying to work their way through the crowd. And no one bothered having to stay in one place. They were jumping, singing and screaming just as much as they would if it were in a club. They had air, they had space and no one got hurt. And they had GREAT time although the conditions were somewhat unusual. I want more concerts to be like that. I would gladly buy a ticket with row and chair number on it.

So, I highly recommend Act I to anyone who likes this metal, pop-rock, classical music mix. The sound is great, the lighting effects are wonderful and it has to be admitted: Tarja got herself a group of very talented and charismatic musicians who are just as noticeable on the stage as she is. It’s a great concert to watch and a great DVD to buy, as it also contains two CDs and many bonuses like interviews etc.