Former Nightwish Frontwoman Slays in NYC

When Tarja Turunen released her Act II live album, she must have known that she was stepping into another chapter in her career. Next, to Doro Pesch, Tarja Turunen is a journey woman with a body of work that would stagger most musicians. Tarja gave us five Nightwish albums before being ousted in 2006. Since then she has released 10 solo albums in total. In a recent interview , Tarja Turunen expressed  “I view the recording and working on a live record equally as I would with a studio record. I want people to see where I’m at artistically.”
 For the first time in a long time, Tarja Turunen came back to perform in NYC. This show was held at the famous Gramercy Theater. The energy of the show spilled onto the streets. Dubbed as “The Shadow Shows” tour, the live band consisted of Kevin Chown on bass, Tim Schreiner on drums, Christian Kretschmar on keyboards, Alex Scholpp on guitar and Max Lilja on upright bass. Much of the 14 song setlist centered on the last studio album “The Shadow Self.” They opened up with “No Bitter End,” which segued into the song “500 Letters.”
 The intimacy of the performance was felt throughout the venue as Tarja held court, looking as regal as ever. Vocally, no one can touch her and she is and has been paving the way for women in metal for decades. 
A mother, a performer, and a songwriter, she is very much a renaissance woman. Always thinking of her full music career,  she did a  four song medley of her Nightwish period which left the audience wanting more. She then followed up with a beautiful acoustic set with songs like “The Regin” and “I Walk Alone.”
    In what seemed to be a grand statement, she went back to the symphonic metal song “Undertaker.” With lyrics like “Bring out your dead, I’ll bury them all” really did come out like an affirmation of her musical supremacy to the world. This tour, which feels like a promotion for the Shadow Self album, is actually a promotional tour for the newest live concert album and DVD Act II. Tarja has been on a serious press run. Many of the live songs tonight are on the Act II compilation. No word on when will she will go back into the studio for new material. She has released something new almost every year for the past 10 years. Let us hope her workmanship will produce the best new material. 
She closed the night with the revealing song “Until My Last Breath” from the What Lies Beneath album, once again showing the world her place at the musical stage and reminding her audience that she will always be back as long as she is around. 
Words by Sebastian Benedict Bjorn
Photos by Anya Svirskaya

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