Tarja Turunen’s concert at Arenele Romane in Bucharest on December 4th was an unforgettable experience that seamlessly blended the magic of Christmas with a dark and mysterious twist. As part of her Dark Christmas Tour, Tarja showcased songs from her sequel album, featuring a collection of dark and spooky Christmas tunes.
The choice of hosting the event inside a tent at Arenele Romane was … unique. It was the first time I attended a concert like this, and while perfectly suited for the job, it was a bit more dark than Christmas. I think it lost a bit of that magic sparkle you look for in a Christmas concert.
The repertoire included a mix of traditional holiday favorites and her original compositions, all infused with her signature style. The seamless transition between festive and mysterious elements showcased the versatility of Tarja’s artistry. My personal favourite was O Tannenbaun, which has a very very cool orchestration. Some I didn’t like as much are actually Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell Rocks, which in Tarja’s version lacked that …cheer. Yes, I know we’re all about dark times here, but hit us with a bit more tempo. Most of the songs that felt a bit off in the beginning got gradually better and eventually we got to the big bombastic powerhouse of a song that Tarja and her band know how to deliver. The highlight of the evening was definitely Walking in the Air, which we know from when Tarja was in a band :))
This was actually my 15th Tarja concert. I have seen festivals and solo shows, studio personal sessions, Christmas shows, Ave Maria shows. Now with Dark Christmas I have seen them all. Throughout this concert though I couldn’t help but reflect on what a difference the years make and how as we grow up we get less excited. Sure, we cannot all fangirl like we did when we were teenagers and that’s a good thing. Part of it is also that I got to see all my favourite bands and singers time and time again, and found out that…they are human. Which is once again, correct. But it leaves a bittersweet feeling to watch a Tarja show from the outside and not feel it resonating through every part of my soul.
All in all, Tarja Turunen’s concert in Bucharest was a masterful exploration of the interesting and masterful intersection between Christmas traditions and darker, more mysterious themes. The Dark Christmas Tour truly delivered a unique and enchanting experience for all.