Review on Tarja’s “Act I” DVD

by Brian Kelman
© Ethereal Metal Webzine

the thoughts I set down for this review at the time changed at all? When I
originally wrote this review I had only ‘discovered’ Tarja eight months before.
The bloom was very much still on the rose. Plenty of time has now passed for me
to become staid, cynical or simply bored with seeing the same thing over and
over and over again. But none of that has happened. I pulled Act I off my shelf
two weekends ago and felt the same anticipation and excitement I did in the
months following the original release. I watched it from start to finish and I
believe my appreciation of what Act I represents has risen even higher. It is a
musical and artistic snapshot in time of an performer who has subsequently
found more creative avenues for her immense talent. An artist in continuous
evolution in terms of her musical ‘vision’, style, vocals, and songwriting. Act
I will forever be a place where Tarja has gotten to from the past and also been
a place she has come from in this future. With Act II looming on the horizon
Act I will always be a valued chapter in Tarja’s career. Besides a greater
appreciation of Act I in general I wouldn’t change a word below in particular.

Wednesday September 26th, 2012, I received my MediaBook; a full month before
the DVD and Blu-ray were set to be released in Canada.

photography is quite breathtaking. Tarja is her usual beautiful and elegant
self. The photos of Tarja and the band during the concert really capture the
intensity of the performance.

On that
Wednesday evening, I had just enough time to watch the bonus DVD3. Tarja and
the band totally rocked the Stadium Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The
video was shot by the fans giving it the feel and thrill of a bootleg but
without the awful sound. The sound was professionally recorded live as they
performed and they sound great. This creative approach works quite well in my
opinion because it really enhanced the viewing experience in the arena setting.
It felt like I was there. The content on this bonus disc is a part of the
“Luna Park Ride” release on CD/DVD/BR in June 2015.

For Act
I, as one would expect, Tarja had moments of being overwhelmed emotionally by
the passion she puts into her music and performance as well as by the
passionate adoration of her fans. Says Tarja: “Those two nights in Rosario were
a huge emotional drive to me personally.” The artist herself admits, she “was
many times ready to burst into tears.” That honesty presents a genuineness that
is so endearing. Tarja is one of us because she is so real. The reality behind
the persona comes out in the Bonus Section of the DVD and Blu-Ray called
“In Her Words”. Be sure to check this part out as Tarja answers
numerous questions on several topics. Also included as a bonus are numerous
photos taken by fans and band alike during the “What Lies Beneath”

1 & 2, there is a sense of oneness between Tarja and her fans ever present
and very strong in the intimate setting of the Teatro El Círculo in Rosario,
Argentina . Even though Tarja is up on stage and the fans are where they are,
there is little separating them physically and emotionally. Between Row 1 and
the stage is a walkway. A track is on the floor for the camera crew and is
respectfully kept open by the patrons. No barriers. An open stair connects the
stage to the floor seating. Security is unobtrusive. Respecting the sanctity of
the stage did not one bit dampen the enthusiasm of the audience, though.
Throughout the performance the energy flowed back and forth from stage to
audience; audience to stage….each fueling and inspiring the other. I could
feel it coming out of the screen of my laptop.

confirm this bond, Tarja takes the “The Reign” out to the audience.
With two security guys, she wades down the aisle among her adoring fans. The
adoration is mutual. It’s a very touching moment.

Act I
is a variety of favourite headbangers, rockers, and ballads. Also, too, is a
wonderful sense of theatre…very fitting given the venue. Tarja and the band
are a tight cohesive unit and they were having a blast. As for Tarja, what more
can I add to what has already been said about the intensity, strength and
beauty of her instrument and her complete command of a stage performance?

the band (Mike, Kevin, Doug, Alex, Julian, Max, Christian, plus Diego), the
camera, sound, and technical crews, stage crew and everyone else behind the
scenes should be immensely proud of what they accomplished with Act 1. And so
too that wonderful audience who played a valuable role with their enthusiasm
and passion. Bravo!

has set the bar high and it will be a challenge to meet or surpass it in the
future. If history is a guide,Tarja has always been inspired by every challenge
put before her….meeting them head on; and conquering them. I have confidence
that she will meet and surpass this one, too. That’s right. I’m confident that
Tarja’s best is yet to come.

that’s for the future… back to the present……and Act I…..

© 2012
and © 2016

Rating: 5/5

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