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Tarja Turunen has released her new album „What Lies Beneath“ in September. This of course had to be celebrated with a tour. Since I had only seen her once as a solo artist since her split with Nightwish, it was about time to check her out again in a smaller club – at the Rockhal in Luxemburg to be exact. Luckily the weather god showed some mercy on the day of the show and thus going to Luxembourg wasn´t a problem. Apart from Tarja, there were two more bands playing, both of them from France and both also with female vocalist: Benighted Soul and Kells.
Despite the wrong time, that had been published on the homepage of the Rockhal, which announced the concert start at 20:30 and not 20:15, there were already a lot of people, to welcome Benighted Soul with open arms. Having never heard a single song of the French outfit, I had to realize that it was some nice solid Metal they were presenting. The vocalist had a great voice and they did their best to get the audience going. Worked pretty well I´d say! Especially when taking into account, that the audience in Luxemburg is sometimes a bit reserved – like I had mentioned a few times before, it´s not due to not enjoying the music, they´re simply not that enthusiatic it seems. However, several shows, including this one have shown, that it can also be a bit different.
Benighted Soul started into their short set of about half an hour with „Broken Icons“, followed by „Start From The Scratch“ and then taking us to the „Edge of Insanity“. After five songs it was unfortunately already over and even me, being really picky with female vocalists had to say, that this was the discovery of a pretty good band. Judging from the applause and reactions of the audience, most of them seemed to think alike.
Setlist Benighted Soul:
Broken Icons, Start From Scratch, Edge of Insanity, Stranger Me, Warning Sign
After a quick changeover the next French female-fronted band jumped on stage – the jumping can really be understood literally, since their fronter was a really energetic woman! Even though all bands of this evening were bands with female vocalists, they all sounded totally different and showed completely different stageacting. It doesn´t always have to be Within Temptation style with big dresses and weird dancing – this definitely became clear once more. Virg, the vocalist of Kells, showed, that you can really show lots of power. She had a very expressive and captivating stage presence, jumping around, headbanging and every now and then screaming her lungs out in quite an evil way. I have to admit I´m still amazed, how she screamed some parts in a way, that would even impress Angela Gossow and immediately jump back to the nicest soft singing voice.
Thumbs up for the great band! Check them out, you won´t regret it!
More photos here The changeover for Miss Tarja Turunen went amazingly fast as well. A huge black see-through curtain was hung up in front of the stage, having a portrait of Tarja printed on it. On the right side of the stage, the impressivly huge drumkit of Mike Terrana had been build up and on the left hand you could see a chair for cellist Max Lilja (former Apocalyptica member, for those of you, who remember). Almost on time, the intro started and the bandmembers entered stage one after another. The photographers had to wait on the side of the stage, since the first song „Dark Star“ was traditionally perfomed behind the curtain. Before the folliwing „My Little Phoenix“ started, the curtain fell down and the audience was in high spirits.
The set featured a mix of really calm songs and some faster headbanging stuff. Tarja even took place behind the keyboard herself and also presented one song in Finnish. Too bad, that there weren´t more songs in Finnish, since this language simply has a wonderful special sound to it. Another highlight of the gig was surely the drumsolo of Mike Terrana, it seems as if a lot of people in the audience had been waiting for it. One song, that surely had been fun in a way, but would´ve better been left out was a cover version of „Living on A Prayer“. Simply doesn´t fit (just like her coverversion of Whitesnake´s „Still of the Night“ which she had performed at Wacken Open Air). A few costume changes later, the gig slowly came to an end. Coming back again for an encore in a white dress, she performed „Stargazer“, „Die Alive“ and „Until My Last Breath“.
All in all this has been a great gig and there was nothing left to complain, it was a gig of almost 1,5 hours of music, great musicians and a great overall atmosphere in the audience.
The three acts of this evening fitted together perfectly and they showed, how varied female-fronted Metal can be.