Tarja live review – London, Forum

Celebrated chanteuse Tarja tones down the theatre in London. Read our live review here...

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Originally scheduled for the day before, Rock On Green festival was touted as a celebration of symphonic, power and gothic-tinged metal.

While it doesn’t offer a bill of bands to rival Bloodstock’s lineup, surely the thrill of seeing Nightwish’s ex-chanteuse would pull in the hordes? But by 8pm, when AMARANTHE [7] come on, the Forum is a quarter full. Whether it’s the switch from Saturday to Sunday, bad promotion or a misjudged lineup featuring three other barely known bands, something is seriously wrong.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t bother the band, who are well versed in bringing energy and happy times to the stage. Playing a Eurovision concoction of Dragonforce and In Flames, they churn out tune after tune like they’re at Wembley. TARJA [6], meanwhile, is going to have a hard job resting on her laurels while Floor Jansen is storming it with Nightwish. Her unwavering professionalism is just enough to elevate some wishy-washy opera tunes to headline level. The hardcore fans (the majority of people here) croon all the words, but for the uninitiated her cover of Goldfinger is the highlight. Amid an unfussy stage with a cellist lurking in the background and taped backing vocals, this unfortunately doesn’t feel like a spectacular end to the night – save for Tarja’s inimitable voice, which has the starring role.