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Anette Olzon @ Kivenlahtirock 2014 | FESTIVALPHOTO

Anette Olzon @ Kivenlahtirock 2014


Anette Olzon got sacked from Nightwish mid-tour during the band's North American run in 2013 for reasons that the band has not wanted to be very vocal about. Most Nightwish fans seem to be siding with the boys in the band on this, as Anette has been criticized for being somewhat of a demanding diva, which seems to be the most common interpretation of the reasons behind the split.

Anette has now, just like her colleague, original Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen who also was booted from the band in 2005, decided to try her wings by pursuing a solo career after her Nightwish prime. Anette has been putting her own album together for a few years now and her appearance at Kivenlahtirock marked the first show under her own name backed by her Swedish 4-piece band.

Anette didn't come off as a diva during her Kivenlahtirock performance, but instead remains a very solid singer and a self-confident performer, which was what saved the show from being a complete train wreck. Anette's solo material is not really metal, but more like some kind of hard rock. Unfortunately the generic sounding power anthems and slow ballad-like tracks showcased for the small crowd were extremely unforgettable, generic and mediocre at best.

The audience politely applauded between each of the tracks, but not many hands or horns were seen up as people tried to calmly grasp the non-existing hooks in the songs. Perhaps a little nervous, at one point during the show Anette and the band tried to start a cover song twice to no avail until finally resorting to skipping the track from the setlist altogether. She did manage to laugh off the whole incident pretty well as if it never happened.

The show was pretty painful to watch because no one was really into the performance, and poorer and poorer tracks just kept on following each other. It was a relief when the set eventually closed with the album's "standout" track Shine which really is just as weak as the others. On a positive note, some feared that Anette would play a Nightwish cover or two during the set from Nightwish's bombastic Dark Passion Play or Imaginearium albums, but she kept the set fully Nightwish-free which felt like the right call here.

Based on the turnout and the crowd response, Anette's persona doesn't seem interesting enough for people to really care and give her discount for having poor song material. She was definitely in a tough spot here and showed some guts for pulling this off - she did manage to deliver a pretty upbeat show despite the intimidating setup. Still, unless Anette and her bandmates can write substantially stronger tracks than these, it seems very unlikely that her solo project wouldn't be forgotten about soon.

Writer: Lari
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