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Monday, August 02, 2010

Notes on Tarkan's Opening Harbiye Show

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan Roars the Harbiye into Life

Screencap of reportCelebrity portal Ayaklı Gazete mentions Tarkan's 31 July Harbiye show, by posting exclusive images of the dress rehearsal, expressing that Tarkan took great care and attention over every detail of the show to make sure fans would have the experience of a lifetime.

And in its article about the concert in main, the celebrity portal covers Tarkan's comments made in defence of arabesque music and, amongst the thousands of people that came to see the singer, lists the celebrities that came to the show, including female TV presenter Ece Erken and singer Metin Arolat - whose recent album art has been compared with Tarkan's latest release in the press.

Notes on the Show from Music Site Editor

Meanwhile, the editor of Turkish music site Her Yerde Müzik has posted an account of the concert, detailing the order of play and the incidents that took place during the show.

Screencap of reportPraising the concert overall, the article is headlined as "Tarkan wrote his name across our hearts once more at the Open Air Arena".

"After the Harbiye was filled to the brim and Tarkan's spectacular entrance, he opened the show with the song he released before the album and which we haven't tired of listening to - the Aysel Gürel song "Sevdanın Son Vuruşu" ("Love's Last Strike").

"When immediately following that he sang "Acımayacak" from the new album, it raised questions as to whether he was going to sing all his latest songs back to back, but when he followed it with "Hepsi Senin mi?" (a.k.a Şıkıdım from A-acayipsin, 1994) those thoughts were erased.

"After "Hepsi Senin mi?", when he sang one of his timeless songs "Kır Zincirlerini" (Ölürüm Sana, 1997) the [open air arena] caught the vibe early and had a great time."

The Her Yerde Müzik editor's article reports a slight change in the repertoire posted up at Tarkan's official Facebook, with the megastar's popular 90s song "Kış Güneşi" (A-acayipsin, 1994) sang before one of his latest tracks "Sen Çoktan Gitmişsin". These were followed as per schedule by "Dudu" (Dudu, 2003) and the remixed version to hit track "Hüp" (Hüp, 2001).

The editor writes about Tarkan mistaking Turkish diva Ajda Pekkan's sister in the VIP section for Turkish classical female singer Emel Sayın in the first half of the concert, while humming a song from arabesque progenitor Orhan Gencebay called "Hatasız Kul Olmaz" ("Everyone Makes Mistakes") before singing "İkimizin Yerine" (Ölürüm Sana, 1997).

The article notes just before singing the 1997 track Tarkan defended arabesque music, and that Hürriyet variety reporter Onur Baştürk was in the audience, too.

"Tarkan joked with the journalist to say, "You look so serious, you look like you're looking for mistakes, relax, enjoy yourself," before singing for the first time on stage his "Gün Gibi" track from his Metamorfoz (2007) album. He gave a short break after "Arada Bir" (Metamorfoz, 2007) and [his latest track] "Adımı Kalbine Yaz".

"Opening the second half with "Öp" (Adımı Kalbine Yaz, 2010), he continued with the acoustic version of "Şımarık" (Ölürüm Sana, 1997) he had prepared for last year's Harbiye show.

"After "Gül Döktüm Yollarına" (A-acayipsin, 1994) he followed it with "Kuzu Kuzu" (Karma, 2001) where the concert reached its peak for the third time, and by public request he was forced to do an encore before the end of the show and sing "Kuzu Kuzu" again.

"The artist closed the show with one of the latest album's most ambitious songs "Kayıp" and "İşim Olmaz". But of course the audience didn't let Tarkan go that easily, and he was ready for it. After the applause and the chants, Tarkan came back on stage to sing "Sevdanın Son Vuruşu" and "Öp" again and the curtain went down once more. But the audience still had no plans to let Tarkan go and they called him back to the stage one more time, where the artist sang "Adımı Kalbine Yaz" again, but the remixed version this time around, before ending the show.

"The orchestra was placed at either side of the stage, making it appear larger and left solely for Tarkan [to perform in]. The clips and animations playing on the huge screen behind the stage added to the enjoyment of the performances. Tarkan's amazing live performance and the successful blending of a repertoire of old and newest hits made the concert a great success, and the viewer left the arena very happy. It was very intuitive to sing the original version of "Adımı Kalbine Yaz" and leave the remixed version for the encore.

"The only downside to the concert for me was listening to the acoustic version of "Şımarık" and the remixed version of "Hüp". In my opinion the selection of these two obstructed the flow of the show, and were the original versions played an ever better atmosphere could have been engaged. However the back to back performances of "Kuzu Kuzu" more than closed this gap. Moreover, I think "Çat Kapı" would be a better choice if space needs to be given to a song previously unsung from Metamorfoz, "Gün Gibi" was a choice that made no difference whatsoever.

"Tarkan was very happy that the public sang his latest songs by heart and showed almost as much interest in them as they did his classics. He got the most reaction from "Sevdanın Son Vuruşu", "İşim Olmaz", "Kayıp" and "Öp". The only song not sung from Adımı Kalbine Yaz was the "Usta-Çırak" track.

"In short, the mistakes and comments made, the amazing performances of Tarkan and his audience meant that both the journalists, the public and Tarkan left the evening very happy," the editor concludes.

Thousands Gather to Shake Hips with Tarkan

Screencap of reportAlthough seeing fit to squeeze his notes from Tarkan's concert into the bottom section of his 2 August dated column, Hürriyet reporter Baştürk had this to say about the evening:

"For the first time Tarkan has honestly and courageously spoken his mind on an issue with the comments he made about arabesque music just before singing his "İkimizin Yerine" song. Because of this it surprised the audience, and his crew...

"How unforgettable a hit "Kuzu Kuzu" is, was shown once again. The audience requested this song once more with amazing force. From his latest tracks, "Adımı Kalbine Yaz" and "Kayıp" were amongst the most applauded."

However, as Baştürk continues in his article, he writes that Tarkan hummed the Gencebay song "Hatasız Kul Olmaz" ("Everyone Makes Mistakes") to him, rather than at Pekkan's sister for mistaking her for singer Sayın, as all the other Turkish press articles report - and claims that some songs were not played live, again contrary to all other reports and video evidence from the evening.

Tarkan sings "Adımı Kalbine Yaz" live at the Harbiye by Uğurhan@Twivid, 31 July 2010

"At one point Tarkan smiled at me (and saying "come on don't frown, smile") sang to me from the stage "Everyone Makes Mistakes". Right, that's true. I accept that. So I won't criticise a mistake, I have to criticise a choice (I can't help myself!). The choice of singing most of the new songs playback... It looks like the new songs weren't rehearsed with the orchestra. But if they had been played live it would have been better.

"But this is a fact: Live or playback, the audience so desired to go crazy/dance with Tarkan, that if he just spoke they'd have shook their hips through the entire concert, I'm sure of that.

Screencap of report"And it was noticeable how the men were openly shaking their hips just as much as the women they were with. Ten years ago men weren't so comfortable. With the push/courage Tarkan has given all these years, an easy attitude to "shaking hips in public" has arrived," the variety reporter observes.

And finally, paper Cumhuriyet gives an account of Tarkan's 31 July appearance at the Harbiye, but writes that "the scene did not change for the second day at the Harbiye, with thousands gathering" at the arena to listen to Tarkan sing.

The report also notes how Tarkan was applauded for so long between songs, that it overpowered the tracks themselves.

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