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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Tarja Experience
"The Ultimate Tarja Experience" says the sticky label on the cover (thankfully on the shrink-wrap). I certainly wouldn't disagree with that (except to add "to date") - 2h45m of live Tarja bliss!

The format is interesting and works surprisingly well. "Act I" was recorded on two successive nights in Rosario, Argentina. The two concerts had different set-lists,...
Published on 29 Aug 2012 by Allen (Ireland)

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Tarja is a superb artist, but the sound quality is pretty poor. I thought my DVD player was faulty at first but it seems not. I compared it with the live Nightwish sets and this just isn't the same technical quality. Great music, but poor sound.
Published 21 months ago by A. Matthews


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Tarja Experience, 29 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Act 1 [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
"The Ultimate Tarja Experience" says the sticky label on the cover (thankfully on the shrink-wrap). I certainly wouldn't disagree with that (except to add "to date") - 2h45m of live Tarja bliss!

The format is interesting and works surprisingly well. "Act I" was recorded on two successive nights in Rosario, Argentina. The two concerts had different set-lists, albeit with much commonality. The first DVD contains a representative "concert" lasting 1h50m put together almost seamlessly from the two nights. The only really odd thing about it is it contains the encores from both nights - you get two bows. The second DVD contains the songs that didn't make it onto the first DVD (there's no duplication). This is presented as a 55 minute "concert" without a proper beginning and ending with the pretend last song, i.e. before the encore. There is also bonus material which includes a very nice interview with Tarja interspersed with some amusing bits from the band. [If you get the Blu-Ray edition, it's all on the same disk.]

For those also considering the 2xCD edition (separate purchase), it presents a slightly different track list containing most songs from the first DVD and some from the second. The talking between songs has been omitted. It's well worth getting both CDs and DVDs (or Blu-Ray).

If you are reading this you probably already know how magnificent Tarja is. What you may not realise is that a live performance brings out the best in her, especially when she's having fun. She must have had a lot of fun in Rosario. But there is more to the concert than Tarja. The band as a whole is superb. There's some brilliant instrumentation in there. It easily surpasses that on most live music DVDs.

I can't fault the production standard. Camera work is excellent, as is post production. There's no excessively close cutting (there's very little close cutting at all) and no jerky slo-mo. These are editing gimmicks that irritate me on some other metal DVDs. Sound quality is also excellent on both DVDs and CDs.

It will be difficult for Tarja fans not to compare "Act I" with "End Of An Era". "End Of An Era" has excellent songs that are extremely well performed, but it almost fades into insignificance alongside "Act I". The three songs for which a direct comparison can be made ("Nemo", "Phantom Of The Opera" and "Over The Hills And Far Away") are, in my opinion, performed better on "Act I" both vocally and instrumentally. "Phantom Of The Opera" is worth a special mention. Marco does well as the phantom on "End Of An Era", but Diego Valdez is a near perfect foil for Tarja on "Act I".

Also worth special mention are the instrumental tracks. Mike Terrana's drum solos and the "band jam" that serves as an extended introduction to "Little Lies" show what a superb group of musicians Tarja has collected around her.

This is a must have for any Tarja fan. I'm already looking forward to Act II.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Lies Beneath 2012 Final Tour - a memorable Argentinean live performance, 12 Sep 2012
By 
J.P.Gomes (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Act 1 [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
When one is faced with talent, expectations are usually met if not exceeded! The latter applies to Tarja's latest Act 1 DVD.

For someone that already knows Tarja's solo career Act 1 on DVD format presented the possibility of revisiting, by audio and video means, her hits from previous My Winter Storm and What Lies Beneath albums as well as contemporary personal versions of earlier Nightwish tracks familiar to her such as Nemo or The Phantom Of The Opera. Moreover, the unveiling of a most likely "Act 2" was also on offer with the new songs Into The Sun and Never Enough.

As said, expectations were exceeded: The live versions of rock songs within her solo career are, in general, instrumentally heavier while vocally exhibit shifts in tone when compared to the studio versions. This is both an added value as well as the guarantee that there's no playback; just that incredible voice that she's been gifted with! On contemporary versions of earlier Nightwish tracks, different and unique! On the new songs, a very promising follow-up!

As I see it, an excellent career thus far, well portrayed in this live recording. For fans or newcomers, a live recording to have and keep. No doubt, five stars! Thank you Tarja!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Astounding Hard "Act" To Follow...., 7 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Act 1 [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
The "Act 1" advance promo gave promise of an unforgettable spectacular, and that's exactly what Tarja, her band and "back-line" crew deliver here. As you can see from the set list and Allen's Review, she had so many strong tracks to capture -from her first 2 studio albums plus a third now in the works- that the 2hrs 45 of concert footage is actually from 2 concerts over consecutive nights in the same theatre ,with partly varying set lists.

Live concert videos really just don't come any better than this. Tarja's choice of the venerable Teatro El Circulo( Rosario, Argentina)is a truely inspired one, with its stack of five packed out "dress circles" towering up to the surreal giant "eye" of the circular ceiling that gets it its name. Add a laser-light show that fits perfectly with every number,hire a camera team who really know their craft (and DONT try to "upstage" with editing-deck gimmickry)and it all feels about as close as it gets to "being there" - short of actually being there, of course !

You just may have seen a promo clip saying "Act 1" is "One Hundred Percent Live ". As Allen's comment below explains,this seems to have been intended to just mean the recording was not "doctored" afterwards, rather than that all music and all vocals were performed totally live. So you should not expect any extra live orchestra/choir joining Tarja's normal touring band on stage. Even so, the only obvious "non live" pre-recorded elements are just "heavenly choirs" in several of the set list - and I'm sure these work far better this way than having an actual choir standing around on stage with nothing to do 90% of the time!

It's the size and adaptability of Tarja's band that enables "Act 1" to be as near all-live as it is . To drums, base and keyboards she adds cello and no less than three lead guitars - one doubles as a second bass where needed, similarly her keys man doubles as "second cello". Now and then, Tarja herself pitches in on grand piano and keys.It all cranks up to be not just one of the heaviest metal "attacks" on tour anywhere, but also a band probably more able than any other to reproduce the classic/ symphonic elements of any studio album live on stage.

"Extras" on DVD2 mostly features a decent length session Tarja of answering a range of questions ,and in a way that sheds some new light on (her words) "the person behind the artist".

The sound and visual quality in DVD format is superb. Hopefully the same will also go for Blu Ray this time around(One review did report issues with that format of the previous "Tarja & Harus" video, like "Act 1"an Ear Music Release).

"Act 1 " will be one hard act to follow,but it also leaves the hope and expectation ,in time, there will be an "Act 2" that will do exactly that.

A clear must-have for all Tarja fans -,and highly recommended also for all with an ear for inventive, heavy music without boundaries!

Track listing for the DVD option is as below(most but not all of these are also on the CD):

DVD1:
01. If You Believe
02. Anteroom Of Death
03. My Little Phoenix
04. Dark Star
05. Naiad
06. Falling Awake
07. I Walk Alone
08. Orpheus Hallucination / Orpheus In The Underworld
09. Little Lies (band jam)
10. Little Lies
11. Into The Sun (previously unreleased)
12. Nemo
13. Rivers Of Lust
14. Minor Heaven
15. MontaƱas De Silencio
16. Sing For Me
17. I Feel Immortal
18. Never Enough (previously unreleased)
19. In For A Kill
20. Toccata And Fugue d-minor (BWV 565) (Johann Sebastian Bach)
21. The Phantom Of The Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
22. Die Alive
23. Until My Last Breath
24. Over The Hills And Far Away (Gary Moore) /

DVD 2:

01. Boy And The Ghost
02. Lost Northern Star
03. Ciaran s Well
04. Tired Of Being Alone (written with Schiller)
05. Where Were You Last Night / Heaven Is A Place On Earth / Livin On A Prayer (Medley)
06. Underneath
07. The Reign
08. Oasis / The Archive Of Lost Dreams
09. Still Of The Night (Whitesnake)
10. Crimson Deep /

_
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It could do with an orchestra., 10 Sep 2012
By 
D. Lucas "guidebook vulture" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Act 1 [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I was introduced to Tarja's music last year by a friend of a friend, and I pretty much fell in love with her blend of classical and rock music. I love both genres individually, so it works beautifully for me. And when I heard she was releasing a live DVD, I was very excited (She doesn't seem to have toured in my part of the world recently)
The heavy tracks, like Falling Awake, Nemo and Until My Last Breath all sound great, but the slower, more classical orientated tracks leave something to be desired. My personal faves from the albums include tracks, such as I Feel Immortal, Minor Heaven and Archive of Lost Dreams, only get partially performed as accoustic medleys, which sound nice, but I'm not getting the full experience of the song. Some of those lovely lyrics are left out, so its like not hearing the whole story, just snipets to go on. Also - the trailer i watched for this DVD describes it as being 100% live - no studio recordings. Well, All of Tarja's singing is live, and the musicians are live, but there are occasional backing vocals and orchestral scores that are definitly being played on a backing tape. Unless there's a choir backstage or off-camera that I'm not seeing. The theatre is beautiful, and Tarja looks stunning in all of her outfits - from the black opera gown, to the white robe that was worn on the Winter Storm cover art. As a rock gig, Act 1 is a pretty awesome show, but classically, it doesn't quite match up to the splendour of Within Temptation's Black Symphony.
DVD extras include photo galleries, and an interview with Tarja discussing her career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars tarja's talent is still present, 16 May 2014
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there's no arguing that NW lost a lot of their fan base when they kicked tarja out.
she has a voice perfectly suited for the music she sings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Act 1 [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Great Concert footage. Just like being there again for real. Do go and see Tarja if you get the chance - a real star performer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars master piece, 17 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Act 1 [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I can remember like many tarja fans the End of an Era Nightwish DVD, and even though it was a superb performance the background feeling of sadness about the bands split always loomed through.
Every fan at the time knew Nightwish had shot themselves in the foot by ousting Tarja as she was the backbone of the band ,and that view as been vindicated with nightwish now side lined into eurovision like vocals,lost direction and no sex appeal.
This DVD shows Tarja has the talent to survive and infact thrive with her solo career,from beginning to end ACT 1 is a true masterpiece with superbly selected musicians and Tarja's voice is perfection as always ,but on top of this there's a real sense of her being far happier doing her own thing now than in the old days , which shows in every songs performance.
Buy this DVD if your a old school Nightwish fan as tarja as risen from the ashes of that once great band dusted herself down and is back to kick ass !
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5.0 out of 5 stars POWERRR!, 17 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Act 1 [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
TarJja. Of course, I love this like crazy, so will be a bit biased! But being objective, perfect packaging, and a great song set! I wasn't sure if I am honest, the first 4 tracks are good, but I personally didn't know them well. But from the 5th track on, it went ballistic. I LOVE this!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Act 1 live in Rosario, Argentina, 29 April 2013
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Tarja. What more can you say. Fabulous DVD (on blue ray). Never tire of listening to Tarja's voice. Great set of musicians assembled by Tarja for this project. Unbelievable venue as well. Looks a stunning 'theatre' and really enhances Tarja's vocals superbly. Thoroughly recommend this DVD. Cannot wait for next one. Cannot believe some of negative comments in reviews. No comparison v Nightwish, Tarja has shown her talent by producing so many good songs and not really into Nightwish since Tarja left.
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5.0 out of 5 stars simply stunning, 5 Mar 2013
By 
D. Pugh (uk) - See all my reviews
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while the music may not be everyone's taste you can't fault the production of this blu ray , pq & sounds are first class.

musically there is more than enough here to satisfy Tarja fans across Her range, the band play with power & feel & Tarja is on form pretty much throughout, Her excitement comes through well with some truly awesome vocal work.

a few of the tracks that lack a little on studio versions come across much better here, the guitars sounds really spot on & 2 bassists add a massive depth & the drummer is ,,well animal on steroids, my only gripe is the cello player gets a little lost in the mix from time to time.

this is a blu ray to enjoy through some good speakers !

I was lucky enough to go see Nightwish on their current tour, as much as it was good they would not follow a performance like this.
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Act 1 [DVD] [2012]
Act 1 [DVD] [2012] by Tarja Turunen (DVD - 2012)
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