A Review of Tarja’s 2019 Festival Shows

Review by Jessica Clingempeel | October 17, 2019

This year I attended three festivals that Tarja participated in. The first was Chania Rock Festival in Crete; the second was Z7 in Switzerland; and the last was with Evanescence in Trnava, Slovakia. Every show she played songs from her previous album ‘The Shadow Self’ and some oldies, along with Dead Promises from her, then, soon to be released album, ‘In the Raw’.

I will start with the show in Crete. This was my first time travelling to Greece, beautiful country, just too damn hot! The flight from Athens to Crete was delayed, but that was okay as I got to hang out with Kevin Chown, former bass player for Tarja, and my awesome boyfriend. We were on the same flight to Crete with Kev. The festival consisted of two nights with about five bands each. I was only there for Tarja and Demons & Wizards. Tarja performed the first night and was the last act to close the day with and what a way to end the day. Despite the heat and having chosen to wear all leather, she kicked ass and the audience gave much love to her and the band. At the end I went backstage where I met with Tarja and even she admitted wearing her outfit wasn’t the brightest idea and that it was “SO HOT”.

The bands prior to her set were not all bad. Uli John Roth was up right before her and while I enjoyed his guitar playing, he could choose a better singer, or just stick with solo guitar playing (Uli even watched Tarja’s entire set and after went to meet with her.) Tarja was definitely the highlight of the first night though. The second night ended with Demons & Wizards. You’re seeing that the big acts were the ones to end the nights. 😉 We watched their show from a higher spot on an old ruin. What a great view that was, not only of the band, but of the sea as well. I recommend this area to all future participants of this festival. Tarja and Demons & Wizards both get five out of five at this festival.

Honourable mentions: Carthagods, Rotting Christ, and Uli John Roth.

Next round, where I travelled solo, was Pratteln, Switzerland. Again, beautiful country, but very expensive. This is also where the trip ended up with me in the hospital having emergency surgery for an ovarian torsion. Kudos to the nurses and doctors who took care of me. They were very nice and very professional.

Serious Black was on first, not my favourite, but not all bad either. Do not put this band off, give them a listen first. Next up was Rage feat. Lingua Mortis Orchestra. They were a better act and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Finally, the main act I was there for, again, Tarja. The setlist was pretty much the same as Chania, but still a damn good show. It was more energetic, to me anyways, than the previous, that may have been due to it being less hot. Lol Another five star performance.

Last, but not least, the show with Evanescence in Slovakia. Thankfully the weather held up most of the day as rain was in the forecast. Another country I have never been to and another one that was enjoyed. First band on was Veridia. I did not care for this band, at all. To me, it felt like watching Britney Spears trying to sing metal. It just did not work, but a lot of people in the crowd seem to enjoy them and they are definitely energetic, but I will pass.

Tarja was not the main act for tonight, as Evanescence was, however Tarja was definitely the highlight. I am not saying this because I am a huge Tarja fan, but because it is fact. I have also been a huge Evanescence fan (early era). This was the greatest show of the year by Tarja, for me. It marked the last show for The Shadow Self tour and sadly was also the end of a chapter for one member, Kevin Chown. He will be greatly missed, but you can still see him play with Bach as he begins his next chapter.

Every member in Tarja’s band puts their whole heart into their performance. There were some sound issues, but they kept giving the crowd their all despite the fact. I got the chance to see Julian Barrett perform for the first time as well alongside Tarja as he was filling in for Alex. Damn good guitarist.

Evanescence did not disappoint either as Amy Lee went back to her roots and what made the band, THE BAND. The setlist was full of oldies and played just as the albums were recorded. I have to give them five stars as well, but I did not stay for the full set. We left early as Kevin Chown invited me back to his hotel to hang for a bit, along with the rest of the band. Tarja had already turned devices off at this point and went to sleep. The band are very cool people, we had a chat about different foods which started with Christian (keyboard) asking me if I tried Haggis yet since I was visiting Scotland for six months (lol), hockey, and just life in general.

Tarja shows are always amazing to watch, very energetic, and you can tell the support and love the band have for one another. I definitely recommend everyone to attend one, or many, of her concerts. You will not be disappointed. Not only, but every show I got to meet some friends for the first time and other wonderful people. Stay tune for my review of Tarja’s Christmas concerts in Finland.

Dork mention: I love how Tarja notices my short ass in the crowd every time and she will smile, point, and wave to me. 🙂

All photos are my property. Please credit when sharing.
© Jessica Clingempeel

Interview with Joanne Mariani

Interview by Jessica Clingempeel | October 10, 2019

You have been pursuing music for awhile now and are ready to record and get your name out there. What kind of music are you planning to do, or will it be a mix of different genres?

Joanne: I’ve been recording since 2008, my current songs can be heard on YouTube, and for purchase on Apple iTunes and CDBaby. My genre has been rock but coming back after 6 years and a new producer, we are in the goth metal genre and will keep it that way.

You use the phoenix a lot in your music, with it being your first song, and also the name of your album. What does the phoenix symbolise to you?

Joanne: This is my first song after 6 years. The Phoenix is my favorite as it will be the album title as well. The Phoenix is a Greek mythological creature that arises from it’s own ashes. For me it symbolizes that I’m back, resurrected and better then ever and is a song basically on vengeance on whoever did me wrong, as can be heard on the clip.

Who are you working with to produce your album and are you signed to any label yet?

Joanne: I’m not signed yet, but I’m working with a very known producer who’s worked with big names in the industry. He’s brilliant and such a badass lol. His name is Mo from Firestarter Recording Studios.

Do you write your own lyrics and where do you draw your inspiration from?

Joanne: Yes I write my own lyrics. My inspiration comes through life, others and simply when my head is flooded with lyrics that’s when I write.

You are a huge fan of both rock singers, Tarja Turunen and Sharon den Adel. Have you thought about recording a cover song by one of them?

Joanne: OMG YES!!!!!! That would be awesome!!

Being of Greek heritage, can we expect any Greek lyrics in your music?

Joanne: I’m Greek and Italian, but I do have a Greek song written that was never recorded and I don’t know if I will as it’s a very personal song of someone passing away and how I learned things from them. So that one may stay “in the drawer” for now. I want to focus on my English songs. But stay tuned cause you never know!!

You are also into acting and have landed a role in the show Blacklist. Have you done anything else and/or are auditioning for any other roles?

Joanne: Besides the Blacklist I was on the Village which was cancelled after one season. Currently a script is being written for a possible movie based on a true story and I’m waiting for that script to be done to read it and see if we can pitch it to the right producers and directors and such. Fingers crossed!

Apart from the acting and singing you are also a mother of two boys. Do you find it difficult some days juggling everything or does it come easy for you?

Joanne: Basically both of my boys are in school all day so the days I’m off it’s easy. But when it comes to acting I have to be on set extremely early and don’t get home til late in the evening or night depends. That’s when it gets tough. But luckily I have my mother to come and take care of the boys if I have an acting job. So it works out.

Other than acting and music, what are some of your other hobbies?

Joanne: I love cars always have since a little girl so I’m really into that – I’m a gearhead lol, spending time with my family, reading, cooking, and watching certain shows I’m hooked on. That’s about as boring as I get lol

If you had to pick just one musician to do a duet with, who would you choose and why?

Joanne: Tarja because she’s always been one of my inspirations and when I met her she even told me not to give up so who knows what the future holds? Hopefully one day I can make my dream a reality.

What would you like to say to the readers?

Joanne: I’d like to say to my current fans thank you for supporting me and to the ones that don’t know me yet, I hope that they will take the chance to visit and “like” my page on Facebook (facebook.com/joannemarianiofficial) as well as Instagram joanne_mariani_official but more importantly to check out my music and please do buy my current songs, stay tuned for the finalized Phoenix song and I would appreciate their support. Thanks so much!!!!

Review of Tarja’s ‘In the Raw’ Singles

Review by Ryan Murray | Aug. 15, 2019

Dead Promises

Dead promises – we all hate them. But what can they teach us? In Tarja’s new song “Dead Promises”, Tarja’s departure from symphonic metal is obvious within the first 30 seconds of this amazing track. (The heaviness kinda brings me back to Ciaran’s Well from My Winter Storm) The intro is lead guitar based. It makes me wonder if Tarja had some influence from Stratovarius during the “Nordic Symphony”. Anyway, at about :17 seconds in, the first power chord hits, and gives you an idea of what this song is made of. Just wait for it. Then the main riff, with drums, kicks in at about :46 seconds, which is where I’d imagine the pit will break out? 🙂

Tarja’s melodies in this song are extremely catchy, no surprise there. What I find most intriguing though is, for a lack of better words, the “rawness” of Tarja’s emotions throughout the melodies. I’ve been a huge fan of Tarja since about 2001, but I’ve never heard such raw emotion coming from her as I have in this song, both lyrically and melodically. This album is said to dive into the raw state of Tarja’s emotion, bringing us into a very personal place lyrically. This song doesn’t disappoint in that regard.

This song truly demonstrates Tarja’s writing ability to hook the listener within just seconds of the song. Driving/heavy guitars, grooving and pulse pounding drums and yet, subtle verses. Tarja’s vocal versatility shines in “Dead Promises”; from her light yet driving “ahh ahh ahhhh”’s during the intro and in between verses, to her more laid back voice during the verses “I’ve seen the walls collapsing, breaking down countless times”, to her belting out “Dead Promises” in the choruses.

“Dead promises
Games you play will kill your dreams
Promises mean everything
Life won’t look back for you”


This line in particular means a lot to me. I’ve had someone in my life that I’ve known since I was 9 years old. This person always made promises that they’d be there to support me, and would always be there to help me grow. Then the backbiting and the dead promises started. This person did everything they could to break me down, and eventually, killed a dream for me. I however then look to the line in the second verse “Why can’t you see that your powers will weaken and fall? Oh why, you seem to forget what you make us recall.” This person only had power over me because I allowed them to. Thankfully, I got myself out of that toxic situation and have made new dreams that are becoming reality.

For me, this song reminds us of what empty promises have taught us throughout our lives. We can chose to be a victim, or a victor. We can’t let those who hurt us with empty promises define who we are, and they only define who we are if we give them the power to do so.

If this song is any indication as to what the rest of “In the Raw” holds, I absolutely can’t wait. I always find a true connection to music that is honest and raw; music that pours out emotion and doesn’t hold back. Tarja always pushes the boundaries with her music and tries new things, and because of that her music is always evolving. *

Railroads

As a fan of Tarja since I discovered Nightwish in 2001, I have always had a deep appreciation for all of her music, and have always been able to find a personal connection to her lyrics; and “Railroads” is no exception! This song, to me, has a beautiful opening. (It’s actually hard not to envision an older railroad crossing just before the vocals come in.)

The first few lines alone I connect to right away.

“Hard to believe in, strikes like a bad sin.
Live without meaning is no life at all.
Dreaming victorious, death to be glorious.
Conquering new worlds further than before.”


Everyone longs to find meaning in their lives and it’s hard to believe in life without one. For some, it’s a career. For many, it’s family and their loved ones. For others, it’s faith. For me, it was my new found faith as a Christian that gave my life meaning.

Throughout my middle school/high school years, I went through a really bad depression. We had a lot of financial worries throughout those years and things were really difficult emotionally, financially and socially. I dealt with a lot of emotional bullying, which turned physical at times as well. Back in 2008, a close friend introduced to me to the Church that I’m going to still to this day, and my life has completely changed for the better. I have a much better career path now, an amazing Wife who I met at Church, and have found true happiness and joy in my life.

When the chorus kicks in “Come show me the love that fills your heart. You’ll see this moment will redeem the past, and shine tomorrow railroads with your light.” the music builds with more intense strings and chugging guitars. After the second chorus, there’s an instrumental interlude for about :38 seconds where the strings intensify even more and pull to the front of the melody from the chorus. I’ve always been a sucker for strings with hard rock, and this section is just great!

For me, the chorus is really the hook of this song. The very moment that we discover the meaning of our lives, we find a love and a drive that fills our hearts. For me, when I turned to my faith as a Christian, that exact moment in time redeemed my past. In this moment, whatever your purpose is, once you identify it, you become a light for all of those around you who may still be in the dark. You’re able to help others who have been in your same situation because you’ve been through it and came out on the other side victorious.

Thank you Tarja, yet again, for your constant inspiration. Thank you for sharing something so beautiful, yet something so raw. I can’t wait to hear the rest of this album!

Tears in Rain

We all have faced challenges and difficulties in our lives, but what defines us is how we come out on the other end. We can all relate to Tarja’s newest single “Tears in Rain”, as we’ve all faced something that has completely changed us.

The intro to this song is in your face drums and guitar, with some synth in the background. Once the verse hits, it almost has an 80’s feel, and I love it! The verses are light but groovy, and the chorus is extremely catchy. “We are gone. Nothing of us remains, like tears in rain. Who we are, all of it washed away like tears in rain.”

The bridge, however, has got to be my favorite part of the song, especially the first few words. For me personally, it speaks to victory over difficulties. “I will write another storyline. The circle of love will shine…”

When I was about 22, someone I trusted and considered a part of my family (not blood family) did something awful to me. This one moment in my life changed me. I didn’t know who I could trust anymore. When I hear the opening lines “Dominos fall in a house that’s empty. Still of the silence is deafening. Not even a trace, our existence erased by this quiet game.”, I think of that moment. Everything around me came crashing down hard and fast. I was broken. I couldn’t feel anything anymore. Just “…like tears in rain”, the “familial bond” was washed away forever. The trust was broken and could never be gained again.

“How could the memories be so real? We move on, but the time won’t heal. So I give what I get, just before I forget how our fates were sealed”. For years after, the memories were so vivid in my mind. I would have nightmares, on repeat, of that one moment in time. As time moved on, I felt like I wasn’t healing. In fact, only getting worse. I would talk to family and friends about it, but it kept eating at me. I had a choice to make at that point. Either I could let this one moment define the rest of my life, or I could move on, learn from it and forgive. (Forgive doesn’t mean that I’d ever trust this person again, only that I’d release myself from the bondage of hating this person for the rest of my life). I decided to forgive. The moment I did, I was able to “write a new storyline.” The memories slowly began to subside and the nightmares went away. To this day, I am able to see this person, and at least be civil with them. While I have forgiven this person that changed me forever, I won’t ever be able to trust them again.

“Tears in Rain” is becoming my favorite track so far from “In The Raw”. Tarja’s deep dive into herself for this album is very evident. This is shaping up to be my favorite album of hers in quite some time, pretty equal with MWS and WLB. As always Tarja, thank you for sharing your heart with us, and for always staying true to who you are as a person and as a musician. Thank you for laying it all out, and exposing your inner heart on these three songs, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!

Review of Tarja’s ‘In the Raw’

Review © Jessica Clingempeel | CEO Of Ethereal Metal Webzine | Tarja's USA Admin

I have been a fan of Tarja’s since she has been with “the band”. I have followed her then and throughout her entire solo career. I have had the privilege to review most of her albums. As a huge music lover, I tend to stay with those who move me the most. Tarja, and many others already know that her music has been an earthly savior to me. Without her music I would have succumbed to the abused past, depression, to the suicidal thoughts. Even then, not every song of Tarja’s have moved me to the point of tears. Every album has its treasure, but for an entire album to move me can be hard. In the Raw has done that. This entire album has moved me to tears, and with every listen that passion I have for these tracks grow stronger. No artist has ever done this to me, NONE!

The album starts off with Dead Promises which many have already heard as it was released as the first single. The album version however features Björn “Speed” Strid who gives his own sound to the song. While Tarja’s solo version is great, Björn made it even better. I also have to mention the song is at its best live. The rawness and the power is greatly seen on stage.

The second track, Goodbye Stranger, also features another collaboration with Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. This is a collaboration many fans have been wanting for years now and finally it has come to light. I don’t think this song would have worked without Cristina honestly. The melodies blend very well and each vocalist gives their own touch to the song.

The main track that won me over was the song You and I. It is a simple ballad accompanied by a piano, but the lyrics will pull at the heartstrings of the hardest metalhead. This song alone is what won me over without having even finished the album yet. Not everyone has that special someone, I never thought I would, but am blessed to now. Then it goes into the next track, flowing smoothly as if one full song, The Golden Chamber.

The Golden Chamber contains very few lyrics, which are in Finnish. The music and the humming of Tarja’s voice takes you to another world and even without many words tells a story. Tarja, being a huge fan of film music, integrated that into this song, and I think it could be used in a film.

I have to also give credit to everyone else who has worked on this album. The instrumentations are well blended and complement her voice well in this album. The orchestration is also very well done and put together. It would be interesting to hear just an all orchestral version of this album.

Without spoiling too much of this golden treasure I will end the review here. This album contains something for everyone, no matter what genre you are into. Some songs are heavy, some are not, but there are no flaws. That could be the fangirl in me talking though. Make your own opinion. Expect the unexpected.

Other album mentions: Tommy Karevik from Seventh Wonder/Kamelot and Carlinhos Brown.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Pre-order the album now at: https://tarja.tmstor.es/ Out August 30th, 2019.

Review of Tarja’s ‘Dead Promises’ Single

Several people wanted to write a review on this single for the webzine so you will be reading several here. Mine is first, enjoy and be sure to listen to the song (video at bottom, along with a sample of the album version feat. Bjorn from Soilwork) and order this album. Out Aug. 30th, 2019!

All Photography © Tim Tronckoe
Review © Jessica Clingempeel | CEO of Ethereal Metal Webzine | Tarja's USA Admin 

Dead Promises, given the context of the lyrics, has no bearings on Tarja’s promise to deliver a heavier and darker album. This track promises to deliver and succeed! The beginning starts out heavy, gets heavier in the middle, and ends heavy. The instrumentation meshes well with the melodic and emotional context of Tarja’s voice, making this song an outstanding first taste of what I assume will be the album to beat this year.

Instead of focusing on the musical elements of this album, since we already have several reviews, I will focus on the lyrical context and what this song means to me. A little bit of a personal story if you will.

We have all been given a dead promise or two or a thousand. Countries have been given many from the “leaders”. We have all fallen victim to such promises. I was the victim for most of my life, since early childhood. I was given broken promises by my father almost every time I would see him. The promise of love, safety and protection, being there for me. All those promises were dead, were empty. I never saw much love, I never had protection, he was barely ever there, and with him I experienced all kinds of abuse, if not by the hands of him, then by the women and their grown children he would take me around.

I was given dead promises by my ex. The relationship was nothing but control, fights, etc. One-sided, always about him, I was last. These two are just small examples of what I endured in life. Those men were the reasonings for my disbelief in love, my struggles with any kind of relationships (friendship or intimate), and my trust and hatred for humanity that kept getting worse. I had put up a wall and thought nothing or no one would ever get close to and hurt me again as long as I was in charge and kept that wall up. It was just recently I have learned to love again. I met a man that I never thought existed. He has been kind, loving, and every promise so far has been kept and fulfilled. I tore my wall down and gave him the chance. If I hadn’t I would not have ever seen true love.

This song challenges everyone and is a lesson for those of us who have been lied to and hurt. We have all fallen victim to someone and/or something. We can either keep the walls we have built up or we can tear them down, forgive those who hurt us (for us), and trust again. Otherwise we will never know what love is, a good life, nor ever see our dreams become reality. As always, Tarja has hit a personal level for me. She has been my earthly saviour, apart from my mother, because if it were not for her and her music, I would be dead today. I was on the verge of suicide so many times, use to self-harm, pull hair out, scream, cry, hate the world, but it was her music that saved me. This is why I am so loyal to this woman. This new album, after only one song, proves to be another fit for me on a personal and emotional level. As always Tarja, thank you. *

Review © China Tosin | Contributor of Ethereal Metal Webzine  

In short: Very guitar-based, riff-based, with a very important bitter message that hit the hearts of those who habitually break promises or have their promises let down, Tarja’s out there to retribute!

This song’s message seems to be about empty promises in relationships or family conflicts that are not fulfilled and it keeps adding up the pain when the promises keep creating expectations of improvement but not much effort in achieving. However, it can likely to apply outside interpersonal context too, such as unfulfilled political hopes, corporate failure in compensating their services. The line “Dead promises, games you play will kill your dreams…” sends a strong message about those who give empty promises will actually be the ones hurting, too. The vocals are pretty minimal compared to Tarja’s other songs that are a bit more complex, but executed it well, kept it concise, catchy, and powerful.

The music is on the heavier and faster side of her discography, very guitar-based and riff-based. The lead riffs, the main heavy riffs, and choice of sound give the song a “bitter” and “dry” feeling which fits the message. No solo in heavier Tarja songs had not ever been a bad thing, as this song gives you a varied and harmonized version of the lead riff near the end.

The dynamics of the song are very well plotted, as there are parts that the lead riffs playing alone giving excitement and build up, things get heavy on the main riffs and chorus. In the verses are laid down with less distorted guitar picking and bass guitar on higher register makes the song fit the “dry” feeling. *

Review © Jade | Reviewer of Ethereal Metal Webzine

Dead Promises, the first track released to the public from Tarja Turunen’s new album “In The Raw”, is a thunderous song with plenty of guitar and a traditional hard-rock feel. In The Raw is definitely an album title this song belongs on – the music and lyrics combined make for a very naked song, aggressive and not even having to put up a fight to get to the front of the musical line and be noticed. Tarja stated that this new album was going to be darker and heavier than previous albums, and she definitely delivers here.

Turunen’s powerful vocals shine brightly on this track, but the missing element was a heavier, darker vocal – a growl, if you will. From my quick review of the Album Version preview of Dead Promises, this is solved with the addition of Björn “Speed” Strid of SOILWORK. While the single version is a fantastic preview, the album version seems like it’s going to have that one extra element needed to make a perfect heavy metal song. (Though it’s been proven over and over again that Tarja Turunen shines beautifully on her own.)

Overall, Dead Promises was a perfect peek into what’s to come. A crowd pleaser to say the least (as it won a Metal Hammer poll for best new music in metal for the week of its release by a LANDSLIDE), I can say this much: we’re all dying to see it live.

Review © Zach Brehany | Contributor of Ethereal Metal Webzine

If this new single shows us everything, it looks like her promise of a Winter Storm is about to be unleashed with fury, anger, and the darkest corner of herself as a person. We’ve seen this transformation of a classical singer with an exceptional voice to her now being a powerhouse or a vocalist. And yet, years later, we are drawn back into her spell.

The last hard rock album she put out, The Shadow Self, was all about the darker Tarja and the sides of her that are deranged, emotional, and hidden beneath scars of damage she as endured as a performer. If this song is any indication of what the album will entell, we are about to start seeing the wounds uncovered and bloody. 

“Dead Promises” lyrically are as deep as any other song she has put out (brings to mind the lyrics to “I Walk Alone”, “Dark Star”, “Never Enough”, and “Innocence”). They are all recollections of her past with people, theorizing that they deal with Nightwish. When looked at it from that angle, this is a natural progression of herself as an artist: she is moving on, but won’t forget what happened to her for her to be where she is at now. 
The song does create a strong sense of sorrow when you are left thinking about all the promises people have made but keep on breaking. The message, I believe, is that we need to move on from all of that. Those that have betrayed us will no longer be able to continue living their best life because they built there’s off of lying, betrayals, and promises that amount to nothing. We will always have to deal with people like that, but they are not our problem; we don’t have the right to give ourselves to those kinds of people because they will only hold us back. Tarja is moving on from the past and that is what she is telling us to do. 

The instrumentation for this track is what threw me off the most. It feels like she is also moving away from her usual pure orchestration that was what started her career with both her Christmas album “Breath From Heaven*” and “My Winter Storm” and going back to the hard rock elements from “What Lies Beneath” and “Colours in the Dark”. This song isn’t about sounding as sweeping and operatic, but more in your face and out in the open. It’s an interesting choice, but I am left wondering how the rest of the album will play out.

This is a good look into the album and a song I’m sure will be a fan favorite. We are seeing Tarja transform more into the queen of hard rock that we know her as and it seems there is no way to go back. She’s hear to sucker punch us into looking deeper in ourselves and we can only hope that emotionally we will handle what it is like to strip ourselves from what we see and embrace what we find in the raw.  *

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Tarja Graces New York City

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© Photo: Eric Pefley

Review by Jessica Clingempeel
Admin of Winter Storm USA | Ethereal Metal Webzine
9/22/2018

September 9th, 2018 will be a night that will never be forgotten in New York City. It was a long wait for the return of one of the most influential female singers in the metal world today, but the wait was well worth it.

First, the opening band, Symfinity. Seann, the vocalist, came out to greet me as we were waiting outside, and he is an awesome guy. I had the pleasure of getting an interview with this band a few weeks prior to the show and every musician seem to be very humble and down-to-earth. This is a band that you need to check out and see live. So many musicians and instruments, one must wonder, how can they even keep up with everything though. Haha! Seriously though, don’t miss them and don’t be afraid to walk up to them and start a conversation, very nice people!

Symfinity performed several songs, including their new single “Dynamite”. My favourite, however, would have to be “Everything I know Explodes”. I could be biased though as this was one of the first songs I heard from this band and instantly loved.

After Symfinity, fans patiently waited for Tarja to grace the stage. The intro started, and people began packing into the venue like sardines desperate to get as close to the stage as possible. I am a 5’0, tiny woman, GIVE ME SOME SPACE PEOPLE! (haha) Easy to get lost here…moving on..

No Bitter End begins, and screams filled the room as Tarja comes on and begins what is going to be one hell of a show. Though in the beginning there were some tech issues with the mic, Tarja handled it like a champ. Ok, it was cute. 😉 Considering this woman is a powerhouse, a microphone wasn’t even needed.

The setlist contained 15 songs, which includes songs from every solo album and a Nightwish medley.  Every set was a flawless performance, with the acoustic being breathtaking. A standout performance, of course, was ‘Diva’. Tarja comes out wearing, now dubbed the ‘Diva’ crown, that was given to her in Brazil. The entire performance was superb. Though I wish the setlist had included ‘Supremacy’ and ‘Too Many’ I wasn’t disappointed at all. The entire show was AMAZING. Every musician, including Symfinity, gave their all and were flawless. I don’t think anyone left the venue that night dissatisfied, and if they did, I did not notice it. All I saw was passion from the fans and from the musicians.

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© Photo: Jessica Clingempeel

Of course, the show was ended with the traditional bow and “HIT SONG”. Several people were waiting for that moment and Tarja headbanging through severe neck pain should prove she is passionate for music and for her fans. Please Tarja, look after yourself and as much as we love to see you head bang, no need to make yourself hurt and sick for us! We will love you no matter what. 😊

Hopefully there will be a return from Tarja soon (soon, soon, not Tarja’s usage of soon)  because my ass will definitely be on another eight-hour train ride from Virginia to New York, and standing another 4 to 5 hours in the chilly, rainy weather to be there. Yes, she is that worth it people! Being a fan for over 15 years should prove that.

For those who did not get the chance to meet Tarja yet, your time will come, and the wait will be worth it. Tarja is a very sweet woman and she tries to give time to everyone.

Mad props to Eleonora (she knows who she is.) The rudeness of some people and frustrations you have to put up with, you have balls! Thanks! Thanks to the rest of the crew and band for everything. ❤

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© Photo: Jessica Clingempeel
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© Video: Jessica Clingempeel