Graspop Metal Meeting 2011 Day I

I made a short video compilation of our first day at Graspop. Like I already told you we missed a couple of songs of the EPICA set, because the road signs were very confusing. So we could only stand in the far back of Marquee 1 and watch the rest. EPICA had prepared a special pyro show for Graspop, which was very cool. Sadly they only spoke Dutch, so I have no idea what the hell they were talking about.

After that we caught a glimpse of VOLBEAT, who were playing outside on the Mainstage. Then we went into the Metal Dome to watch Duff McKagan for a while, who as you may know was the bass player in Guns N’ Roses and now has his own band, “Duff McKagan’s Loaded”, in which he also sings. I like them.

Finally I got to see Iced Earth! I’ve been waiting for a chance to do so forever. Luckily they were still fronted by Matt Barlow! Not that I don’t want to see them with Stu Block, I am hoping to do so in December. It’s just that Barlow sings on my favorite albums and it would have sucked to never have seen him live. So, now I have and it’s all good. :) Apparently a lot of people felt the same way, since there were a lot of “Barlow” choirs. Hell, it was awesome! :) I just wish this freakshow couple had not been in front of me making out the entire time. I could not use some Iced Earth footage because it was more porn than music video, lol! Get a room!

Graspop Metal Meeting

These are my first pictures from Graspop Metal Meeting. I thought I’d introduce the festival first. It takes place every last weekend of July in Dessel, Belgium, near Antwerp. It had the highest amount visitors so far in 2008 – 135.000 people, which makes it one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe. Wacken, for example, has about 80.000 visitors.
This year the headliners were The Scorpions (Friday), Ozzy Osbourne (Saturday) and Slipknot (Sunday). 75 bands played.

Here’s a map of the festival ground, which I downloaded from the German Graspop forum http://www.graspopmetalmeeting.de. I only downloaded this to show you guys though, because at the festival we were actually able to use a free GMM Android app! It had the schedule and map, so I really needed nothing else!

My only criticism of the festival is that it is not so easy to find! When we left the highway, there was a sign “festival”, which is nice, but it really should say which festival it is, I mean, how am I supposed to know there’s not a Jazz festival happening in the next village or something? We followed the sign and it lead us to a construction site which blocked the road. There was an official sign, not from the festival but from the city, that redirected us, but that did not say “festival” or anything, just “deviation”. We followed this sign for a while and already got worried that we were going in the wrong direction, because there were no more “festival” signs to be seen… until we finally spied a sign that said “GMM receptie”, which means reception, so we figured this is where we had to go to exchange our e-tickets for wristbands or something. There was no other sign related to the festival, so we followed this one. We drove past the correct parking lot twice, because the next “receptie” sign was kind of ambiguous and also there was not a soul in the parking lot so we thought this can’t be it. When we got out of the car, there was once again no sign telling us where to go, so after some searching we found some stairs that lead us to a reception area. Only it turned out to be for deliveries, not for visitors. From the look on the faces of the people who worked there we could tell that we were not the first ones who came there by accident. They were very friendly though and gave us a small map and showed us on it how to get to the actual festival parking lot! This time we found it! Wohoo! There were several pastures and each of them was reserved for a certain type of ticket holder – combi or day. We got on quickly and there was no problem, except that once you were on the right pasture, there were no people there to direct you. You could chose the spot to park in all on your own and stupid as people are, that did not work in all cases: Some cars had been blocked and it was obvious that there was no chance for them to leave before some others did! Anyways, when we got out of the car and walked off the parking lot, we arrived at a crossing: 4 possible ways to go and once again no sign what so ever! While we were standing there contemplating our options a Belgian guy asked us if we knew which was the way to the festival. He then asked other people and was told where to go and we followed him. After about 20 minutes of walking we finally arrived at the festival site. Getting the wristbands and getting on the festival ground was super quick and easy, but sadly because of all the problems before EPICA had already started playing when we arrived.

Now let me tell you a little about the festival site itself, which is amazing! When you have your wristband and have been checked for bottles, weapons etc., the camping ground is on your right, the festival ground on your left – so when you want to go back and forth between the stages and your tent, you do not have to go through security again, which is very convenient. The festival ground has a huge restaurant tent, where people who camp can have all kinds of breakfast, but which also served us as a dry place to sit when we were on a break in between shows. In fact I spent several hours in that tent and there were people playing cards and stuff. There were also many many ATMs and even a wagon with actual bank employees in it. The restroom facilities were cleaned all the time and I’d say the number of them was well chosen. There were no super long lines of people waiting… at least not of people smart enough to walk to the back and not just stand in the first line they see! 😉

There was also a giant amount of different food stands. I’d like to introduce to all of you my favorite – De Lachende Poffer!!!

They sell Poffertjes, which are essentially mini pancakes (size of a 2 EUR coin) with powdered sugar. The festival site also has a saloon and all kinds of attractions like bumper cars and a soapy slide. There’s a “festival fair” where you can buy merchandize, jewellery and things like that. The ground is very sandy, which is awesome! I’ve seen pictures of Germany’s Southside festival were people were standing in mud up to the middle of their shins, but in Dessel that’s not a problem. I wore my rubber boots in vain!

As of the stages, there’s 4. There’s the main stage, which is the only open air one. This is it:

The other ones are tents, so called “marquees”. Two big ones and the smaller metal dome.

That’s it for now, next time I’ll post some pics and videos of the shows I’ve seen!

'…in Deviltry' interview

I conducted an eMail-interview with ‘…in Deviltry’.
Thanks again to the band for taking the time, I am very honored!

Ladies first. Larisse Katarine, of course I am very curious about your voice. I have tried to find samples online, but none of your former bands seem to have a Myspace page. Are there any samples online that I did not find, or could you describe your voice?

Larisse Katarine:
You are correct. There are no samples available of my voice, so I think that is why a lot of people is asking me if my voice is like Liv Kristine’s, but it’s not. Our voices and style are very different. My voice is very heavy and variable, I can sing very strong or soft, lyrical or mainstream, and I have been trying to explore it with …in Deviltry. So, unfortunately you need to wait a little bit more, to hear me singing, hehe.


Tommy, how do you like the Brazilian climate, it must be an extreme contrast to your home country of Norway!

Tommy:
The contrast is huge for sure, here we have like 31 degrees all year through where the sun is shining all day long. It’s funny how people get accustomed with time. For me personally it’s no secret that I adore contrasts, all my life has been and you can hear it in the music I write. There is a lot of contrasts in the atmosphere, sad, sweet, happy, angry and demonic. I often go to Norway and visit my family and friends there. I love it, but in the end I prefer to be warm than to freeze.

How did you go about composing the new songs?

Since the original members live so far away from each other, we work in a way that some people might think strangely about, but now we are very comfortable working this way.

I didn’t have a choice really. …in Deviltry started back in 2008 and have had two different lineup’s here in Brazil. The problem was for my part, especially here in the northeast of Brazil, dedication and responsibility. Coming late, forgetting rehearsals, lack of the will to promote the band, and the most important was remembering to play songs correctly. Seems I had a lot of bad luck, eh! Now there is a long distance between members, so we mainly use computers and our creativity to create the music. We work by sending each other ideas and parts, in the end I arrange them. Usually it’s like this: I make a riff or I get a keyboard-part from a member, add my guitars onto it, sending it back for adding drums and bass. Then we got a raw idea of the song and ready to add the vocals. The final process is to polish the raw audio, and there you go.

What are the songs about?

Tommy:
This is a question for our two vocalists, so they will respond:

Larisse Katarine:
Our lyrics are about common feelings as pain, loss and melancholy. All this mixed with thoughts of sickness and sarcasm described in unusual situations.

Odd A:
The main theme of the lyrics are quite personal and maybe not as “storytelling” as Theatre of Tragedy’s early works. They touch on subjects that can be familiar to us all, the passing of dear friends, the corrosion of our soul as we grow into the grip of age, the unfathomable pit we dig ourselves into self-pity and the loss of love and the stains our mistakes set on everything that surrounds us. We hurt those we love the most, so you can say that the lyrics is a kind of cleansing process of all that comes inside perfectly with …in Deviltry’s music…

Do you already have any concrete plans for tours?
Tommy:
Our objective right now is to record our first presentation for you, our fans and record labels. We don’t really think of touring just yet. We are in the middle of a “writing material” process that doesn’t leave much time for thinking about these things just yet. Of course there has been some ideas of the subject, but for now we think it’s more important to concentrate on our music. Hehe we also need some music to play in shows.

For some reason Orkut is not very popular in Europe, but I have heard that it is used by many South Americans and that you have an ‘…in Deviltry’ page there. Do we Europeans miss out on a lot of information if we only read your web page?

Not at all, Orkut is a very powerful tool in South America. We use it as a way to keep a closer contact with fans. Our Orkut-page is maintained by Larisse in Portuguese and all the content there is taken from the www.indeviltry.com. The Orkut is not updated very often, nor all details are written, and usually there are some headlines that refers to the web-site. There are some Brazilian discussions going on, but if there should be an important “happening” it would be posted in English on the official site in the hour. The site is the first priority for telling everybody of what is going on with …in Deviltry.

A while ago you felt obliged to post a definition of the word ‘deviltry’ on your website. Apparently a lot of people interpreted the name as a connection to the devil. Do you have any particularly interesting anecdotes that lead to your post?

Tommy:
Hehe, well, …in Deviltry can be used in many way’s. Sometimes I discover some interesting things on the Internet like your blog for instance, forums and opinion’s about our interviews, even comments about News written about the band in different media. There was a time when a lot of people had the impression that …in Deviltry had to be connected to Satan and demons, some even criticized the name and commented: ahhh, It had to be something evil and satanic. Therefore I made a bulletin for the site explaining the real meaning of the word, and our interpretation which is a state of mind or cruel behaviour. Today we would probably just call it insanity or sickness. The old history explains “Deviltry” as if a person was extreme cruel or did things that the others could not explain in words to describe his illness, they would just call him for being in deviltry.

I understand that you have found some really good studio musicians. Are you reluctant to publish their names because you fear it might cause a new streak of bad luck?

The reason for not publish their names yet, is simple. As …in Deviltry have had various lineups in the past two years, we have chosen to wait announcing their names this time . All I can say is that we got two members from Europe and another one is from South America beside myself and Larisse. Their names will be published with the release of the EP this summer.

Any thoughts on the recent dissolution of Theatre of Tragedy?

Tommy:
Well, personally I think this was a sad announcement for all their fans, probably you as well Marleen. For my part Theatre of Tragedy died a long time ago after the release of Aegis. They changed the music drastically, lost some old fans but gained a lot of new ones. So I feel sorry for the new fans and may the older fans check out …in Deviltry, hehe.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions!

It was a pleasure to answer your interview for therockblog.de. We really appreciate all the interest in our band. To all our fans we would like to thank for all your support and look out for the release of our EP which will be available this summer. Please enter our profile on REVERBNATION to be updated about the band.
Tommy and Larisse Katarine

EPICA & Sons of Seasons 10/15/2009

So last night I finally had a chance to see a concert again! :-)
It was supposed to be Amberian Dawn, Sons of Seasons and Epica, but Heidi was sick. Apparently she had almost no voice and so Amberian Dawn had to skip Karlsruhe. :-(
Therefore Sons of Seasons played two more songs than they normally would have.
In my opinion they sounded much better live than on their debut album “Gods of Vermin”. That’s because the voice of vocalist Henning Basse was more in the foreground last night. OMG he is so good!! Awesome!
Also I never realized how much hair Oliver Palotai has! 😀
Here is a tiny video we took! Sorry about the quality! We were unable to verify at the last minute whether it was allowed to take pictures so we only took the small old camera. Pics from MFVF will be 100000 times better! 😉


EPICA were fantastic as well! Simone’s singing was wonderful. I noticed that she uses much less of the classical techniques, especially in the new songs, which I dislike of course, but nonetheless her performance was flawless. All of the band did an amazing job and I think that Isaac fits in perfectly. They played 50 % old and 50% new songs. Surprisingly ‘Unleashed’ did not come up even though in a recent interview Simone said they will always play it from now on. 😀
Little surprises were ‘The Phantom Agony’ and the ‘Star Wars’ theme from ‘The Classical Conspiracy’. :) As you can see in the video and pics the ceiling at Substage is extremely low and almost no band member could resist touching it several times. Simone poked her finger in a hole of the ceiling and Coen pretended to do percussion on the ceiling. It was really funny. Oh by the way, Simone said that the Germans are the best haedbangers, so everybody try and catch up with us!! 😉


Sons of Seasons

Again Sons of Seasons – the pics are not great but you can see how low the ceiling is. :-)
<br>

Simone

Mark and Simone

Arien

Simone and Yves
Sorry Coen and Isaac, found no acceptable pic of you!
I’m off to Belgium! YAY!!! :-)

Tarja – Storm in Europe – 05/23/08 Filderstadt

This will be a comparatively short review, because I can only describe what was played and done on stage. I’ve given this quite some thought, but I don’t find any aspects that could be criticized – this concert by Tarja can only be called perfection. So let’s simply start at the beginning:
With a warning to everyone who is planning on seeing a concert at the FILharmonie Filderstadt: On my Eventim- ticket it says that the address is: Tübinger Straße 40, 70794 Stuttgart – Filderstadt. Thus we typed into the navigation system „Tübinger Straße 40, Stuttgart, which was found and we drove off. When we arrived, it became aparent that this was not a street where a concert hall would be – ever – and No. 40 was a gym. Thus we had to ask passengers and finally learnt that contrary to the completely missleading mention on our tickets Filderstadt is not a district of Stuttgart, but an entirely independent town a couple of kilometers outside of Stuttgart. So we entered ‚Tübinger Straße 40, Filderstadt’ into the system and what do you know – another hit! So – pretty much pissed off – we started another 20 minute drive and finally found the FILharmonie in Filderstadt OUTSIDE of Stuttgart!! Dear Eventim staff, I can’t believe you!! Why on earth did you mention the city of Stuttgart right behind the postal code?! Let Filderstadt live!! It is a nice city with a great concert hall – they don’t need Stuttgart!!
Thanks to all that CRAP we did not arrive until 5 minutes after the beginning of the concert. The SCHEDULED beginning that is. 😀 Because the support group “Passionworks” did appear until 40 minutes later – and it was not worth the wait. The singer was wearing a brown fur hat with bear’s ears (I’m serious!!) and all the songs were more or less indistinguishable. The only song that caught our attention with a catchy melody and more diverse composition was ‘Falling’. This song topped the Finnish charts at the time.
I don’t think I’m risking too much when concluding from the audience’s reaction that most people were not actually thrilled by Passionworks.

grooooooooooooowl…..

The more we were now looking forward to Tarja. Forward to a time far in the future… because again we waited for about thirty minutes. :-) At least we were able to sit during that time, because the FILharmonie is normally concert hall with seating. That made it a bit more comfortable. :-) I really have to say the place was great. Apparently they also show concerts from other genres and musicals there, you know, occasions where people sit. 😉 There were ranks, where rows of seats could be embedded and the floor was parquet. Of course that is not ideal for a metal concert, but in Baden-Württemberg it is forbidden to smoke in public buildings anyways and I guess the parquet will not be destroyed by a little fuel. 😉 However, it was a very fancy place and I’m sure Tarja liked it. 😉 The only negative thing was that the right speaker, which was near to us, started to hum in the middle of the show. Luckily this could only be heard in between songs, so it was not a big deal.
The concert started with the title ‘Lost Northern Star’, followed by ‘My little Phoenix’. Tarja, sporting a new stage outfit, welcomed the audience partly in German after that.

Then she invited us to dive into the world of ‘Passion and the Opera’ and thus the first Nightwish- song of the evening was played. I’d like to add a short remark here, because I read a couple of comments on Youtube that went like: „Tarja sings this song amazingly, but the new band is ruining it.” That’s what it sounds like in the video, but I found out it is not true. The band plays the song exactly like Nightwish do, but there are choirs and effects coming out of the speakers that are different. Tarja seems to have realized her own vision of the song here.


Tarja sang ‚Minor Heaven’ next and then disappeared for a short time to slip into the red coat for ‘Nemo’. This song sounded just like the ‘original’ as well and I was quite impressed, Tarja really found herself a couple of great musicians.

They distracted us a little while Tarja threw on the next coat fort he hymn ‘I Walk Alone’.

After that, Tarja’s accompanists played some amazing solos on drum, bass and guitar while she changed again. Each of them is so talented and had so much fun playing for us!

By the way, the same can be said for Tarja. I totally bought her enthusiasm and she carried me along when she came back on stage for ‘Ciaran`s Well’ wearing a corset and long leather gloves. I read that at the beginning she could not adjust to this particular song too well, at least that’s what was said in a review of the Warm Up Tour that I came across. It said after that song she excused herself for the song sort of shyly, saying that was the fastest song of the evening. By now there is nothing left of this uncertainty and she used ‘Ciaran’s Well’ for copious dancing and headbanging, just like many in the audience.

An interesting detail: We were a bit confused to see that there were two drumkits built up on stage. Turns out the normal one is for drummer Mike Terrana and the electronic one on the left for Tarja’s brother Toni Turunen (wow, he sure works out a lot 😉 ). Toni helped out here and there, be it with vocals, playing the guitar or on drums. The Turunen family sure has some offspring with diverse talents. :-)

Tarja told us that she wrote the next song, called ‘Our Great Divide’, by the sea.

After that a song came up that Tarja called ‚an old new one’, by name ‘Over the Hills’ by Nightwish. Then they played ‘The Reign’ and ‘Sing For Me’. For the song ‘Oasis’, Tarja was all alone on stage and played the piano as she sang. The audience rewarded this with some extra applause.

After that the concert turned a bit heavier again and Tarja sang together with her brother Toni the Alice Cooper cover ‘Poison’. After that the last Nightwish song of the evening came up – Wishmaster. Then there was one last costume change, because they were going to play the second single from Tarja’s album ‘My Winterstorm’, which is called ‘Die Alive’.

Around that time we were suddenly surrounded by the ‘Farmer Boys’, the former band of guitarist Alex Scholpp. 😀 As it happens he is from Stuttgart and thus his old collegues paid him a visit at the concert. Maybe I should have said something, because back in the day I used to listen to the Farmer Boys. :-) But I was not entirely sure it was them until I convinced myself back home using the internet.
The next song was Calling Grace. All of a sudden, Tarja turned all melancholy – those of you who know the lyrics understand why – and she said that this (the concert I guess) is her dream and the song is for each of us, because thanks to us it is coming true. She was accompanied only by Max on Cello and Alex on guitar.

I guess the concert was supposed to see its end afterwards, everybody was bowing and Alex had already removed his in-ear-monitors, but people demanded an encore so loudly that they eventually played ‘Phantom of the Opera’. :-)

After that I needed a while to get along with the fact that someone can have such a voice. All this time I had been admiring how she sang so amazingly without showing the slightest sign of effort, but when she sang the Phantom I was simply blown away. I can only recommend Tarja’s concerts to all of you and when she comes back to the area the first ticket will be mine!

 

Lacuna Coil and the best show ever or : World Champions of synchronous headbanging



The concert tickets to Poison Black, Lacrimas Profundere and Lacuna Coil had been sitting on my window sill for a long time waiting to fulfill their destiny … until November 6th, when they shinily (freshly dusted) went on their journey to Cologne.
Unfortunately the evening began with a disappointment.
At Cologne Music Hall we found out that Lacrimas Profundere would not enter the stage tonight. As I know now, their vocalist Christopher had fallen off the stage at their concert in Linz some days earlier and suffered a concussion. I’d like to use this opportunity to wish him all the best. Break a leg! :-)
But out of every tragedy comes some good and thus Poison Black got the concentrated attention as the only support band.
Which they definitely deserved, as I liked the quintet from the North so much that I’ve already reserverd the necessary space for their new album with the beautiful title “Lust Stained Despair”.
Striking riffs, catchy melodies, interesting voice… what more can you ask for?
Some emotion maybe…?! No problem … it was really sweet and touching when vocalist Ville Laihiala (Ex Sentenced … the band! :-) ) dedicated one song to his mum “… because I fucking miss her.” Ville did not only impress me with his esthesia and his sense of familiy though, but even more with his abilities! He took all the vocal parts, played guitar at the same time AND performed all the guitar solo parts!
Keyboardist Marco Sneck was a little less busy in comparison but his lion’s mane got me green with envy! What the hell do men need such beautiful hair for?!?! This should better be left to the women! 😉
A huge contrast to the Finns who spat on stage and drank beer was the Italian design performance by the headliner, whose stage appearance was put on amazingly.
First, the 4 musicians Marco Coti Zelati (Bass), Cristiano Migliore (Guitar), Marco Biazzi (Guitar) and Cristiano Mozzati (Drums) entered the black lit stage and formed up in a rectangle shaped position. They were wearing the white gauze masks which appear on the album cover of Karmacode. The masks were gleaming in the black light while the bodies were nearly invisible because they were covered by black shirts with ties and black pants. Then the vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro made their stage appearance and positioned themselves inside the rectangle of musicians wearing white shirts with black ties and no masks.
That lineup under the black light was a fairly impressive sight.
Suddenly the lighting changed from black to white, pink and blue and the show began. During the entire performance the Italians meticulously maintained a geometrical line up.
The guitarists Cristiano and Marco played resembling 7- string ESP guitars (two instruments each, as they were exchanged during the show), to assure a perfectly harmonized stage design. The whole show couldn’t have been organized in a more professional way. By the way, bassist Marco Coti Zelati uses picks in national colors!
But what impressed me the most was the downright inexhaustible energy of Cristina Scabbia. If I tried to be as agile as she was during the entire show for no more than ten minutes I would be carried off stage! She was moving around wildly all the time, which did not affect her impressive voice at all … and from time to time she performed a perfectly synchronized headbanging with the other band members.
They all made a very likeable impression, as they did not only go through with their show but included the audience in many activities… for example when drummer Cristiano Mozzati flipped us off!
No, no, their were all very friendly except of that. Andrea gave nice little speaches at the beginning and the end of the show. For example he mentioned that this was the last but one show of their two months tour. Despite of that, nobody in the band seemed the slightest bit tired. Andrea and Cristina made the entire audience jump up and down with them to the rythm of “Fragile”. Later they said that they had the impression that we were tired and that aparantly we’d prefer to go home. They demanded counter evidence, which meant that first the right and then the left half of the audience had to scream their heads off. Apparently they were satisfied with our effort, because the show went on.
Before she sang “Virtual Environment”, Cristina asked for some mood lighting. She didn’t want to see the conventional lighters, though. Cristina prefers the more modern and thumb- friendly alternative … everybody had to raise their mobile phones (“mobile lighters”) and light the display. This sure was a beautiful sight.
The Depeche Mode cover “Enjoy the Silence” was chanted by the audience, until everybody’s vocal cords just gave up.
But the vocal cords were not the only bodyparts negatively affected… my ears were buzzing, too … so next time I will get some ear- protection!
After Lacuna coil had left the stage the audience demanded an encore, but the stage was lit in Italian national colors and the show was over.

Tarja Turunen and Raimo Sirkiä, 07/21/06 Olavinlinna, Savonlinna Finland

Among hundreds of sweaty bodies I cross the bridge and enter the medieval fortress, which is flanked by two watchtowers. The guards at the gate check my permit and finally let me continue my way. After climbing rampant staircases I bump into a maiden dressed in national costume. She graciously gives me directions to the tenebrous depths of the castle’s inner courtyard, where I will be received in audience today…

… by the queen of chant, Finnish soprano Tarja Turunen. Because in the castle, which was built in 1475, has since 1967 regularly been the scene of the world-renowned Savonlinna Opera festivalOlavinlinna castle is deservedly famous for its unique acoustics.

I have come here to see a concert performed by Tarja Turunen and tenor Raimo Sirkiä in cooperation with the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riku Niemi. At first, one single show had been scheduled for July 16th, but although the auditorium in the inner courtyard can comprise 2257 spectators, it was sold out a few days later. Consequently, a second show to be performed on July 21st was organized. I was lucky to get hold of a ticket to this one and thus get a chance to assure myself of the ticket- buyers high expectations being justified.

The concert offered a crossover of opera, musical and rock and began with “Così Fan Tutte” by Amadeus Mozart.

The stage entry of the two stars Turunen and Sirkiä was put on marvellously.

Singing “The Phantom of the Opera” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Turunen descended a flight of stairs left- hand of the stage, while Sirkiä appeared on the right side of the stage. After this duet they sang alternately. Turunen performed “Rusalka’s Aria” by Antonín Dvorak, whereupon Sirkiä presented “Caruso” by Lucio Dalla. After that, Turunen intonated “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” from the musical Evita. She sang the chorus in Spanish at first, then she just hummed it and finally left it completely to the orchestra, before ending with its English version. Sirkiä’s “Lamento di Federico” from the opera L’ Arlesiana was followed up by Nightwish’s “Moondance” as an instrumental interlude, which had been adorably arranged for the orchestra.

Of course, Turunen and Sirkiä were not upstaged by this, as they themselves presented the Nightwish- classics “Two for Tragedy” and “Angels Fall First”. The reason for this choice is that Tarja Turunen has been the vocalist of Nightwish from 1997 to 2005 and she decided to continue singing her preferred Nightwish- songs in her solo concerts. However, Raimo Sirkiä does not seem to be an admirer of this band as he had to help himself with sheets during the performance of these songs.

The last song before the 20 minute brake was the amazing “Written in the Stars” from the musical Aida by Elton John and Tim Rice. While Turunen and Sirkiä were singing, small light bulbs were lit on the castle wall behind the stage.

Riku Niemi and the Kuopio Symphonic Orchestra opened the second half of the show with the “Intermezzo Sinfonico” from Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni.

Tarja Turunen had changed her clothes for the second half from a black pantsuit to a blue gown. Raimo Sirkiä had drastically changed his looks, too … by losing his jacket!

After Sirkiä’s performance of Leoncavallo and Turunen’s “Somewhere” from the musical “Westside Story”, they sang the duet “There for me” in embrace.

This was followed by another orchestral interlude. The Kuopio Symphony Orchestra played “Freestyler” – yes, exactly, Freestyler by Bomfunk MC’s.  Riku Niemi had rearranged this song for orchestra and it was performed so stirringly, that he almost outranked Turunen and Sirkiä as stars of the show! The conductor proved real show talent by at first tap- dancing, than beating time with two xylophone sticks, of which he had one in his mouth and finally jumping off the stage and continuing to beat time on an iron bar belonging to the audience balustrade!  He did all this with gestures that would have done honour to every clown! Consequently, laughter sounded from the audience.

The concert continued with the probably most bombastic version of “Proud Mary” any conductor has ever drawn from a symphonic orchestra. It was sung by Raimo Sirkiä, accompanied by the also singing Riku Niemi and the singing and dancing Tarja Turunen. The audience was thrilled and shook the castle walls by stomping their feet.  It has often been said by Tarja Turunen in interviews that the Nightwish- Fans only get to know a small part of her actual voice. Up to know I never really got what she ment by that. But since I heard her sing Lauretta’s Aria (O mio babbino caro) by Puccini I just have to admit she is right! Her vocal performance of this song was literally breathtaking!

According to the program the final song of the concert was supposed to be “Beauty of the Beast” by Nightwish. For this, 8 members of the Opera Festival Choir – 4 female, 4 male – stepped on the stairhead on the right hand side of the stage. Again, the audience was carried away by the bombastic performance of the Orchestra, Tarja Turunen’s dramatic voice and also some dancing of hers.  In my opinion this was the perfect ending to a perfect concert, but I was wrong…

Turunen and Sirkiä surprised their audience with an encore – “Brindisi” from “La Traviata”.

While singing it, Tarja Turunen remounted the flight of stairs she had descended at the beginning during “Phantom of the Opera”, creating a harmonic ending.

All musicians were highly acknowledged with applause.

After the concert, most visitors left castle’s courtyard immediately, except of some fans of Tarja’s, who wanted to take the opportunity of meeting their star. Finally, Tarja appeared with her husband Marcelo Cabuli. As he left the scene carrying Tarja’s luggage and a bouquet of roses, which had been presented to Tarja on stage, she took her time to patiently talk to the fans, write autographs and pose for photos. I had a chance to speak to her, too and asked her (not too creatively) when she would make her next stage appearance in Germany – after all I had travelled 1600 km to see her! She answered she was planning some concerts in Germany for next year! Well, I guess we have something to look forward to!

Tarja Turunen and Raimo Sirkiä in front of Olavinlinna

Olavinlinna is on a lake.

Tarja Turunen

with fans

After the show: Tarja meets up with her waiting fans, husband Marcelo carries her flowers and luggage.

Hartwall Areena Helsinki: On October 21, 2005 the

legendary last show of Nightwish with Tarja

Turunen took place here in front of 11.500 spectators.

My shadow.

Liv Kristine 16.07.2006 Bochum Total, Deutschland

Am 16.07.2006 trat Liv Kristine mit ihrem Soloprojekt auf dem Bochum Total Festival auf. Liv Kristine live und das auch noch umsonst – klar, dass ich mir diese Gelegenheit nicht entgehen lassen wollte! 

Also quälte ich mich tapfer durch die infernalische Hitze, trotze allen Gefahren, die bekanntermaßen bei Kontakt mit der Deutschen Bahn zu Tausenden lauern, und machte mich auf nach Bochum.

Erstaunlicher Weise funktionierte der Transport reibungslos (nur auf dem Hinweg!!!) und so kam ich eine Stunde vor Beginn des Konzerts an der Ringbühne an und ließ mich im Schatten nieder – innerlich auf eine Stunde langweiligen Wartens eingestellt.

Doch Fortuna war mir hold, denn schon wenige Minuten nach meiner Ankunft trat die sehnsüchtig erwartete Liv auf die Bühne und erfreute die wenigen Anwesenden mit dem Klang ihrer wundervollen Stimme. Ok, zuerst war es etwas enttäuschend, denn man vernahm nur „eins, zwei, check…. eins, zwei, check…“  … aber selbst der Mikrofoncheck gelingt einer Liv Kristine schöner und melodiöser als jedem anderen Mensch auf der Welt.  Daraufhin fragte sie über Mikro „Sollen wir mal was anspielen?“ (ich dachte natürlich „Jajajajajajajajaja!!!“) und so geschah es. Tatsächlich wurde nicht nur „was angespielt“, nein, es wurden zwei komplette Stücke durchgespielt! Das erste war „Over the Moon“, welches das zweite war, habe ich vor Aufregung vergessen … *räusper*! 

Beeindruckend war jedenfalls, dass Liv während dieser Proben eher gelangweilt auf der Bühne herumtrottete, mit hängendem Kopf im Kreis lief, und trotzdem einfach perfekt klang!

Dieser Umstand hatte für mich leider einen negativen Nebeneffekt, denn es sammelte sich sofort Publikum vor der Bühne und nahm mir sowohl die freie Sicht, als auch den anvisierten Stehplatz in der ersten Reihe mittig vor der Bühne. 

Naja, was soll’s, ich denke ich kann mich nicht beschweren, zumal ich noch etwas weiter seitlich in der ersten Reihe ein Plätzchen fand.

Ca. 20 Minuten vor dem geplanten Konzertbeginn verschwand Liv dann vorerst wieder von der Bühne mit dem Versprechen „Gleich gibt’s mehr!“ – und das hat sie auch zu voller Zufriedenheit eingehalten. 

Während ich wartete, gab es natürlich wieder einen Aufreger – die Ansagerin sprach Liv’ s Namen falsch aus und eine Frau hinter mir lästerte ungeniert über die männlichen Zuschauer in Lackröcken!  Zudem sagte sie, sie sei gespannt, ob Liv, die auf dem Album so eine wunderschöne Stimme habe, live ebenfalls gut klingen werde! Gerne hätte ich sie informiert, dass Liv’s Stimme live mindestens so perfekt klingt wie auf dem Album, aber ich hielt mich lieber raus. 

Pünktlich trat die besagte Liv wieder auf die Bühne, in Begleitung der Musiker Timon Birkhofer, Dimitrios Argyropoulos, Thorsten Bauer und Moritz Neuner, letztere beiden bekannt von Leaves’ Eyes und Atrocity. Timon Birkhofer und Dimitrios Argyropoulos sind aufmerksamen Lesern von Liv’s Website aufgrund ihrer Mitarbeit bei den Aufnahmen von „Enter my Religion“ bekannt. Dimitrios spielte ein traditionelles griechisches Instrument, von dem ich annehme, dass es sich um eine Bouzouki handelte, es könnte jedoch auch eine Tzoura gewesen sein… mit solchen Details bin ich leider überfordert… vielleicht möchte mich ja jemand belehren. Timon übernahm Bass und Gesangsparts.

Das Konzert begann albengetreu mit dem fantastischen Gute- Laune- Lied „Over the Moon“, was geschickt gewählt war, da es die hitzegeplagten Zuschauer in ausgelassene Stimmung versetzte und bereits so manchen zum Tanzen verleitete.

Liv bekannte daraufhin, falsch gekleidet zu sein… sie meinte, ein Badeanzug (natürlich standesgemäß in schwarz) wäre passender gewesen. Die männlichen Zuschauer waren von dieser Idee selbstverständlich begeistert (vielleicht wäre es eine gute Idee für’s nächste Konzert  ), ich muss allerdings sagen, dass ihr Outfit, bestehend aus einer türkisen Corsage und einem goldenen langen Rock, sie auch recht angemessen kleidete.  Weiter unten könnt ihr euch selbst davon überzeugen.

In dieser farbigen Kombination hob sich die Sängerin jedoch deutlich vom Publikum ab, stellte praktisch den einzigen Farbfleck in einem schwarzen Szenario dar, denn obwohl Liv in Bochum für ihr Popprojekt auf der Bühne stand, hatte sie hauptsächlich Gothic- Publikum. Das ist wohl das Los der Gothic-/ Metal- Sängerinnen. Davon kann auch Ex Nightwish Frontfrau Tarja Turunen ein Liedchen singen, die einmal in einem Interview berichtete, dass selbst wenn sie in einer Kirche auftritt und Weihnachtslieder vorträgt in der ersten Reihe Metaller in Lederhose und Nightwish- Shirt sitzen! Allerdings soll das nicht bedeuten, dass die Andersartigkeit der Musik irgendeinen der Anwesenden gestört hätte – im Gegenteil, es wurde ausgiebig geklatscht und mitgesungen – das Publikum war begeistert! Nach dem Konzert wurden Rufe nach einer Zugabe laut.

An zweiter Stelle auf der Setlist stand mit „My Revelation“ einer meiner persönlichen Lieblingssongs, wonach sich das Publikum zu „Fake a smile“ ein wenig ausruhen konnte. Liv war aufgrund der Hitze sehr besorgt um ihre Zuschauer, während diese wiederum um sie besorgt waren, denn schließlich stand sie auf der Bühne in der prallen Sonne… nun, alle haben das Konzert unbeschadet überstanden. 

Im Anschluss an die vorgenannten Stücke bereitete Liv Kristine den “älteren” Fans eine angenehme Überraschung, indem sie „Deus Ex Machina“ sang, den Titeltrack ihres ersten (mittlerweile 10 Jahre alten) Soloalbums. Das eigentlich sehr ruhige Lied war für das Konzert als Gothicversion aufgemacht worden, was ausgiebig zum Tanzen genutzt wurde und mich begeisterte.

Es folgten „Trapped in Your Labyrinth“, das der schwedische Musiker (Hypocrisy) und Produzent Peter Tägtgren für Liv geschrieben hat, „You Take Me Higher“ und „For a Moment“. Bei diesem Lied übernahm Timon Birkhofer die Backing Vocals, wie er es bereits bei den Studioaufnahmen getan hatte. Im Anschluss trug Liv noch ihre Version des Springsteen- Klassikers „Streets of Philadelphia“ vor. Das Ende des Auftritts bildete ein weiteres Stück aus der „Deus Ex Machina“- Zeit, nämlich „3 AM“, das Liv damals als Duett mit Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost) aufnahm. Dieser wurde in Bochum glänzend von Timon Birkhofer vertreten.

Mit dieser Zusammenstellung ist Liv Kristine wieder einmal ihrem Ruf gerecht geworden, ihren Fans immer etwas Besonderes zu bieten, wofür ich mich hiermit noch einmal bedanken möchte! Ich habe mich über die beiden Lieder von „Deus Ex Machina“ sehr gefreut! 

Hoffentlich hat der Auftritt beim Bochum Total trotz des hauptsächlich „schwarzen“ Publikums die Auswirkung, dass Liv mit ihrem Soloprojekt auch über die Szenegrenzen hinaus bekannt wird. Zu wünschen wäre es der sympathischen Norwegerin allemal und wer einmal in „Enter My Religion“ reingehört hat weiß, dass dieses Album eigentlich jedem gefallen muss…ja, JEDEM – ohne Ausnahme!! 

 

www.livkristine.de

 

Liv Kristine

Ehemann in Action – Alex Krull filmt den Auftritt

Dimitrios Argyropoulos

Thorsten Bauer

Timon Birkhofer