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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tarkan Woos Istanbul

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

The August 7 crowd at HarbiyeUnder the organisation of Tarkan's company HITT, and sponsored by Avea, Tarkan has dazzled thousands of crowds that have flocked to see him in a succession of Istanbul concerts recently (see the pics here).

The artist opened a series of outdoor concerts for various artists at the Harbiye Open Air Theatre on the 7 August, with two extra dates on the 8 and 9, following high demand for tickets.

Completely filling every section of the auditorium three days running, Tarkan gave a breathtaking display of sound and light to over five thousand people each evening.

Popular female singer Sibel Can was among those that attended the Harbiye concert on its second night, and was invited by Tarkan on to the stage where they sang and danced together.

Supermodels, stars and artists from the Turkish celebrity filled the VIP sections, where tickets cost over 100 dollars. It was even reported by some sources that ticket touting was rife due to the high demand for seats, and that some tickets went for almost double their original value on the black market.

With expensive set and costume designs specially created for the Harbiye concerts, Tarkan took Istanbulites on a musical and visual journey through his Turkish and English songs. Along with light and fire effects, a specially composed video for each song was played on a huge video wall at the back of the stage.

Tarkan on stage at HarbiyeHowever among his usual repertoire of Turkish pop and latest English hits, the 'surprise' of the evening was a collection of seven Turkish classical songs in the second part of his stage show - after a showing of his latest music video. Tarkan and his orchestra donned suits and ties to give a traditional music fest.

Tarkan was awarded with a standing ovation for his rendition of Turkish art music, a genre in which he began his own musical education first in Karamürsel, and then in Istanbul. The artist signalled that there may be a Turkish art album in the works.

The clever ploy was reminiscent of Tarkan singing Turkish classical music pieces to endear himself with the Turkish public after a "pee" gaffe on live TV. It seems a successful solution, as this time his performance managed to gain him much needed positive reviews in the press. Most columnists gave him top marks and described the concert as a faultless performance.

Tarkan blowing a kiss from top of jeepMusic wasn't the only thing Tarkan gave his fans, however. On the second night after the concert, Tarkan showed his signature moves by blowing kisses from his jeep and giving away his earring to a fan. The third evening he gave away his bracelet and shirt to fans, and was left topless.

Due to the success and rave reviews, an extra concert date has already been added for the 21 August, with a tentative date for the following evening, should demand once again exceed the supply of tickets.

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