MENNO VON BRUCKEN FOCK

ELF FANTASY FAIR (ARCEN, 19-09-2009) (NL + E)

TARJA TURUNEN, ELF FANTSY FAIR 2009
ELF FANTASY FAIR
Arcen Castle, Arcen
zaterdag, september 19, 2009
Adivarius, Lacrimas Profundere; Lahannya; Tarja Turunen

Op een prachtige zaterdag ronddolen in en om het kasteel Arcen met zijn schitterende tuinen en natuur is geen straf. De organisatie had behalve het weer niets aan het toeval overgelaten. In het kasteel o.a. schrijvers met hun boeken, om het kasteel tal van stands met ondermeer een roofvogelshow, middeleeuwse wapens en ook kleding en elf-gerelateerde gadgets. Een Star Wars show, films, workshops, een demonstratie van de “Nazgul” en diverse kleinschalige muzikale evenementen met een link naar ‘fantasy’, oudheid of folklore: kortom ruim voldoende om een mens de hele dag bezig te houden.
Als je je probeert voor te stellen dat er ook nog honderden bezoekers op en top verkleed rondliepen dan is fantasiewereld niet te veel gezegd: tal van Star Wars figuren, creaties uit Lord of the Rings, een samurai, bosnimfen, elfjes, tovenaars enzovoort.

Dan was er ook nog muziek: zij het niet volgens tijdschema traden op het grote podium achtereenvolgens op: Die Piraten (vrolijk rock met een folkloristische inslag met o.a. een rock-versie van My Bonny Is Over The Ocean, Esha Ness (aansprekende poprock met een folkloristisch tintje) en Adivarius (folk-metal).
 
Een opvallende verschijning was de Britse Lahannya met allerlei blauwe dreadlocks en haar haren. De muziek was erg aardig: metal met veel elektronica zoals in de synthi-pop jaren tachtig, al was de zang een tikkeltje minder dan haar uiterlijk.

Als voorlaatste de groep Lacrimas Profundere, die het slachtoffer werd van het uit de hand gelopen tijdschema: de donkere muziek met een gothic inslag moest na een ½ uurtje al worden gestaakt.

Als grote trekker op het hoofdpodium tenslotte de voormalig zangeres van Nightwish: Tarja Turunen, vergezeld van o.a. Mike Terrana op drums. Tarja is een uitermate charmante en knappe verschijning en ze bespeelde het enthousiaste publiek zeer geraffineerd. Waar Holopainen destijds wilde dat ze meer pop-achtig zong, werd duidelijk dat Turunen solo nagenoeg uitsluitend haar klassiek geschoolde sopraanstem wilde laten horen. Dit kwam de Nightwish nummers niet altijd ten goede, maar haar eigen repertoire, met zelfs een solostuk waarbij ze zichzelf op keyboard begeleidde, kwam uitstekend uit de verf. Natuurlijk kwam ook de grote klapper I Walk Alone voorbij en na anderhalf uur was de zeer smakelijke koek op en kon het publiek weer huiswaarts.

mee werkende artiesten bij Tarja Tarunnen:
Mike Terrana - Drums (Masterplan, Savage Circus, ex Rage, ex Malmsteen)
Christian Kretschmar - Keyboards (Schiller)
Oliver Holzwarth - Bass (Blind Guardian, ex Sieges Even)
Alex Scholpp - Guitar (ex Farmer Boys)
Max Lilja - Cello (Hevein, ex Apocalyptica)

Voor concertfoto's zie onder CONCERTFOTO'S

Een gelukkig door het prachtige weer mede positief beïnvloede schitterende dag met een kostelijk slotstuk. Ik mag hopen dat Turunen en Nightwish ooit weer de strijdbijl begraven want ik denk dat beide partijen daar baat bij zouden hebben. Voorlopig kijk ik met meer interesse uit naar de nieuwe Turunen dan naar een eventueel nieuwe Nightwish! Ook op de zondag (niet door uw recensent bezocht) ging deze goed bezochte fair nog door en was mede door de Duitse inbreng in de organisatie de afsluitende act Qntal, een fusie tussen middeleeuws georiënteerde muziek en elektronische muziek die zeker bij vele lezers in de smaak zal vallen.

What can be more pleasant than walking through the beautiful gardens of Arcen Castle, enjoying good music and to see all those people dressed like elves, wizards or movie creatures? Right, nothing! So, I undertook the long journey to the south part of our Low Lands very near the border with Germany. The organizing committee (both Dutch and German) was lucky with such a nice sunny day but everything else was well organized and there were lots of stalls with medieval weapons, dresses, jewelry, music etcetera and of course lots of different foods. There were shows of “Nazgul”, the dark riders on horseback, a Star Trek spectacle, movies, workshops and demonstrations of birds of prey and medieval dances. In the castle displays of artworks, books and so on, often presented by the creators themselves. To cut a long story short: an amazing variety of things to see and lots of things to do. Imagine you are wandering through gardens and you see Gandalf or Dark Vader in an unexpected corner near a waterfall…..

My main interest, how else could it be, were the bands appearing on the big stage. Really the only dissonant to my knowledge was not sticking to the timetable of the appearing artists: victims of circumstance were the guys in Lacrimas Profundere who were sent off the stage after just half an hour.

Both band and crowd were disappointed. So, after seeing the soundcheck by the backing band of headliner Tarja Turunen, about 2 hours later than scheduled there were “Die Piraten” a joyful bunch dressed like pirates and presenting a bunch of folkloristic songs in a rock version, such as My Bonny is over the Ocean. Cheerful and uplifting but no real ‘body’ in their music. Next on stage were Esha Ness, a nice combination of folk, pop and rock with a singer/songwriter twist.

At the end of the afternoon time for some more heavy music: Adivarius, with a mix between folk and metal, greatly appreciated by the crowd. Next in line, mixing synthi-pop with metal, it was the turn of the British singer Lahannya.

What can be more pleasant than walking through the beautiful gardens of Arcen Castle, enjoying good music and to see all those people dressed like elves, wizards or movie creatures? Right, nothing! So, I undertook the long journey to the south part of our Low Lands very near the border with Germany. The organizing committee (both Dutch and German) was lucky with such a nice sunny day but everything else was well organized and there were lots of stalls with medieval weapons, dresses, jewelry, music etcetera and of course lots of different foods. There were shows of “Nazgul”, the dark riders on horseback, a Star Trek spectacle, movies, workshops and demonstrations of birds of prey and medieval dances. In the castle displays of artworks, books and so on, often presented by the creators themselves. To cut a long story short: an amazing variety of things to see and lots of things to do. Imagine you are wandering through gardens and you see Gandalf or Dark Vader in an unexpected corner near a waterfall…..

My main interest, how else could it be, were the bands appearing on the big stage. Really the only dissonant to my knowledge was not sticking to the timetable of the appearing artists: victims of circumstance were the guys in Lacrimas Profundere who were sent off the stage after just half an hour.

Bot band and crowd were disappointed. So, after seeing the soundcheck by the backing band of headliner Tarja Turunen, about 2 hours later than scheduled there were “Die Piraten” a joyful bunch dressed like pirates and presenting a bunch of folkloristic songs in a rock version, such as My Bonny is over the Ocean. Cheerful and uplifting but no real ‘body’ in their music. Next on stage were Esha Ness, a nice combination of folk, pop and rock with a singer/songwriter twist.

At the end of the afternoon time for some more heavy music: Adivarius, with a mix between folk and metal, greatly appreciated by the crowd. Next in line, mixing synthi-pop with metal, it was the turn of the British singer Lahannya.

Dressed in a rubber-like outfit, all kinds of artificial dreadlocks in her hair, mostly blue, she was an extraordinary stage personality. The riffs were nice and the electronics coming from a backing ‘tape’ sounded quite good but although Lahannya has a cute face, her vocal abilities were not impressive in my opinion. It was already shimmering light when Lacrimas Profundere hit the stage: low lights, dark music but a good combination of heavy metal with a gothic touch, heavy, gloomy but melodic. As said they were just on their way to building up a climax when they were asked to leave the stage. It was dark and the crowd were now hundreds of people when former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen appeared and the response of all spectators was overwhelming, no doubt whatsoever about her popularity! With a mixture of songs from her debut album and some Nightwish songs, she played the audience with such an ease she certainly wasn’t able to do in her first years with Nightwish! She even did a new song accompanying herself on the keyboard.

 

Tarja TurunenBacking her were:
Mike Terrana - Drums (Masterplan, Savage Circus, ex Rage, ex Malmsteen)
Christian Kretschmar - Keyboards (Schiller)
Oliver Holzwarth - Bass (Blind Guardian, ex Sieges Even)
Alex Scholpp - Guitar (ex Farmer Boys)
Max Lilja Cello - (Hevein, ex Apocalyptica)

With this experienced outfit it was a feast for both eye and ear, although every spotlight seemed to be pointed at Tarja during almost the whole show. Clearly one of the reasons why Tuomas Holopainen wanted another singer, was Tarja’s desire to use solely her soprano voice. Although I still think a soprano matches Nightwish’s music perfectly, I can imagine a bit of variation would be welcome. During this show it was a display of her trained soprano voice which didn’t do justice to the Nightwish songs, but having said that as my personal view, it was her interpretation of those songs that night and she has every right to sing them ‘her way’. The charming handsome lady on stage was in great form though and the show ended after 1 ½ hours of good music, which should have lasted at least ½ hour more, according to all enthusiastic reactions from the crowd. I really hope there will come a day that Nightwish and Turunen join forces again because this combination works much better for me. A perfect day had come to an end and the only show of Turunen in the Netherlands was over, and it felt a bit like “I Walk Alone”, when I made my way to my car and drove back to my hometown Almelo.

The fair however was held on the Sunday too. Main act on this day was Qntal, a German trio with vocalist Syrah, mingling medieval music, a classically trained vocalist and electronics, most certainly of interest to a lot of our readers.

Setlist Tarja Turunen:
Enough
My Little Phoenix
She Is My Sin
The Seer
Minor Heaven
I Walk Alone
Ciaran’s Well
Tired Of Being Alone
Lost Northern Star
Poison
Wisdom/Boy/Divide/Grace
If You Believe
Nemo
Sing For Me
Oasis
Deep Silent Complete
Die Alive

Op 24/25 April 2010 word de volgende Elf Fantasy Fair gehouden in Kasteel de Haar, Haarzuilens bij Utrecht.
Link: http://haarzuilens.elffantasyfair.com