It is undeniable that symphonic metal was born with Nightwish, and subsequently, with Tarja‘s voice, a whole generation (or maybe more) of singers have taken the operatic path thanks to her. And so, for us here at FemMetal, we couldn’t miss this opportunity to witness the queen of Finland perform in front of our very eyes. So me and my fearless photographer Mauro Parozzi have taken it upon ourselves to cross the Alps to get to Pratteln, where an unforgettable night was expecting us. We would like to thank Z7 and Gad for hosting us, their assistance and their kindness towards us!


The first band of this symphonic metal festival was Illumishade, who were playing in their home country, so an extra dose of specialness was added to this event! And they know how to build a performance: lead singer Fabienne flawlessly rocks the stage, and the whole group has incredible chemistry. They started playing at 5:30 PM, so the weather was very warm, but their energy and enthusiasm made us forget the high temperatures. I think this was the perfect setting for them to show how capable and passionate they are and also to be part of an iconic concert that will remain in history.


  1. Overture: The Horizon Awaits
  2. Hymn
  3. Tales of Time
  4. Crystal Silence
  5. Rise
  6. Elegy
  7. World’s End


The clock strikes 6:45 PM, and it’s time for Delain to enchant the Swiss audience, which grows by the minute at the Z7. It was my first time seeing them; they have been very good overall performers. However, Lead singer Diana has not satisfied me in terms of engaging with the crowd and energy on stage, and I think she can improve this small particular. She was, instead, almost excellent regarding her vocal parts. The highlight of the set was obviously “Your Body Is A Battleground“, which they have played with Marko Hietala on vocals. I could not contain my excitement because how often can you hear a track played just like the original version? What a remarkable set.


  1. The Cold
  2. Burning Bridges
  3. The Quest And The Curse
  4. April Rain
  5. Suckerpunch
  6. Your Body Is A Battleground
  7. The Gathering
  8. Moth To A Flame
  9. Don’t Let Go
  10. Mother Machine
  11. We Are the Others

Marko Hietala

It doesn’t look like the temperatures are falling so fast, so in the heat of Pratteln, we patiently await more than 30mins of changeover for Marko Hietala. But trust me, if I had known how spectacular his set was going to be, I would have waited all the time in the world. What is unmistakable for Marko is his voice, which can go from a sweet and comforting tone (“Isäni Ääni“) to rocking out and screaming harder than everybody (“War Pigs“). And not just that: his support musicians are simply outstanding, their skills and technique blew me away. There aren’t enough words to describe how magnificent Marko’s storytelling ability was: he provided the audience with facts and details to focus on while listening to him play, which was just spectacular. He sang the songs in their original language, so we were treated to many songs in his mother tongue, Finnish. I did not want his set to be over so soon, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.


  1. Tähti, Hiekka Ja Varjo
  2. Dead God’s Son
  3. Isäni Ääni
  4. For You
  5. Vapauden Kuolinmarssi
  6. Jouksen Rautateitä
  7. Stones
  8. War Pigs
  9. Truth Shall Set You Free


In the metal music industry, there are basically two kinds of artists: those who know how to be on a stage and those who don’t know. And without a single ounce of thought, if someone is named the Queen of Finland, it must be because she knows how to behave properly in front of people. And that someone is definitely Tarja: from the moment she starts her set, she gives 101% of everything she has to offer. Her voice, her movements, her engaging with the crowd… you can tell she is enjoying what she is doing, and we love it even more. After a few of her iconic tracks, we could sense that this performance would be different. When we arrived at the venue in the early afternoon, there were rumours of her and Marko performing “The Phantom Of The Opera“, but I thought to myself that was just a dream that was never coming true. I would have settled for something less, like “Ever Dream” or “The Siren”. But when I heard the iconic organ chord being played, I screamed at the top of my lungs because I could not believe it. And then, when Marko joined her on stage, my eyes filled with tears, and my body was shaking uncontrollably. I was witnessing history being made in front of my own eyes. Swiss audiences are not known for being too loud or powerful, but the cheers and screams and applause I heard after the song ended, I have never heard anywhere. The set continued with her famous “I Walk Alone”, “Victim Of Ritual”, and then it was time for the encore. We all thought the surprises were finished, but the Queen had another treat for us all: “Over The Hills And Far Away”, which despite being my least favourite Nightwish cover, it was the perfect ending for a perfect night. I was tired from the long trip, dehydrated and hungry, but I didn’t care about any of that. I was super excited for the performances I saw and the memories that will last a lifetime. The beginning of a new era.


  1. Eye Of The Storm
  2. Demons In You
  3. Tears in Rain
  4. Diva
  5. Love To Hate
  6. Enough
  7. I Feel Immortal
  8. The Phantom Of The Opera
  9. I Walk Alone
  10. Victim Of ritual
  11. Innocence
  12. Die Alive
  13. Dead Promises
  14. Until My Last Breath
  15. Over The Hills And Far Away

One final thought: while it is undoubtedly obvious that Tarja has reigned over this Z7 Summer Night, I think Marko is the real king. He played an outstanding set with his band and participated in Delain‘s and Tarja‘s shows, rocking out his vocals every single time and making the audience go literally crazy. Not all heroes wear capes; some wear black clothes and a bass.

Benedetta Baldin

Hi! My name is Benedetta, I’m 29 and I live in Northern Italy. My passion has always been music: I started taking guitar lessons when I was 6. Now I work as a sales representative, but in my free time I interview talented people, I spread the word about my favorite band (MoonSun), and I go to concerts or travel around Europe. I am a huge collector of anything Tolkien-related, autographs, merchandise, and CDs. I am quite an original person and don’t mind being the voice outside of the choir (even though I play in the church’s choir!).