Tarja Turunen Concert Review-Crescent Ballroom Phoenix AZ 06-26-23

Review and Photos by Roc Boyum

Tarja Turunen’s “Living The Dream”, tour made a rare stop in the USA, and her first stop ever in Phoenix, Arizona at the Crescent Ballroom on June 26, 2023. Fans of this amazing singer showed up early to get up close for their chance to catch what may be a once in a lifetime performance; as she doesn’t tour the USA very often!

Tarja Turnen

Tarja’s “Living The Dream”- The Hits Tour 2023 gave the Phoenix audience an awesome set of 15 Tarja original “hits” and one Nightwish cover, “Nemo“. Also on this tour, Tarja brought along the special guest artist from Sweden, Chaoseum.

Chaoseum opened the show with their unique brand of Nu-Metal that immediately captured the Phoenix audience. The band musically reminded me a bit of Ghost, but with a bit more humor to their show. Their material has very catchy melodies that stick in your head immediately and with their “A-list” musicianship, the band hits their audience hard with razor sharp precision throughout their show. Singer CK Smile continually engages the audience with his tongue-in-cheek approach and his diverse and powerful vocal range. Unlike Ghost, with singer Tobais Forge relying mostly on his charisma to capture an audience, singer CK Smile has a much greater vocal range that at times soars above the music with his combination of grit and power that commands the listener’s attention all the while engaging and entertaining the audience with his presence. Check out their power goth ballad “Until The End” from their Second Skin Alive in Studio LP to get into this highly underrated band.


Chaoseum Photo Gallery Crescent Ballroom Phoenix AZ

Tarja Turunen, the artist everyone had been waiting for had finally arrived!

The name Tarja Turunen is synonymous with the symphonic metal genre, and as well – her name should be! Considering that her voice is the voice that brought operatic style vocals into prominence with the super-group Nightwish, a band that has been cited for creating the symphonic metal genre with their first recorded music that was released in 1996. Tarja is not only the voice of a generation but the voice that is responsible for igniting a countless number of bands and female vocalists to become a part of the symphonic metal style of music that is still thriving today.

Tarja Turunen

The Crescent Ballroom audience was a diverse mix of fans, young and old, with many fans having followed Tarja throughout her entire career. Of course, it was expected that her fans from her time in the super-group Nightwish would show up in force, not letting this opportunity slip away to catch this beloved singer live. There were also fans who were only familiar with her as a solo artist, which speaks to her enduring ability as a solo artist and finally, those fans who were looking for something to do on a given evening, and who just dropped in out of curiosity. It didn’t really matter what brought you to this show, everyone was blown away by Tarja’s vocals and her magical presence and performance.

If you only remember Tarja from her incredible performance on the Nightwish DVD End of an Era and wondered how she would perform, some 18 years later – Let me tell you…. it was as if she walked off the stage from her final show with Nightwish circa 2005 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, and walked right onto the Crescent Ballroom stage, 2023. That is to say, Tarja is a timeless beauty who looks and performs just as amazing as she did 18 years ago, only now, with a full night of material that is all her own that is keeping the symphonic metal music torch burning brightly!

During Tarja’s performance, she commented; “it took a long time to get back to North America but I’m here now! “The audience of course responded with a tremendous roar of appreciation that simply said; her arrival was worth the wait! Tarja presented a diverse set of 15 original songs that ranged from power rockers like “Demons in You” and ” Victim of Ritual” to her intimate moment at the piano with only Tarja on stage, for an emotional and moving version of “Oasis/You and I”.

Of course, most everyone was waiting for that moment when she would grace the audience with a Nightwish cover, and Tarja did not disappoint. Her version of the Nightwish classic “Nemo” was the magical fix many fans had been waiting for; with a rendition of the song that was vocally brilliant as only Tarja can deliver.

This was definitely a concert to remember and hopefully we won’t have to wait near as long to catch the timeless and engaging artist live again.

Get into Tarja Turunen Here!

Tarja Turunen Photo Gallery, Crescent Ballroom Phoenix AZ