Arja's 25-year concert
It was a truly wonderful concert! It was a small tour, going to Jyväskylä, Tampere, Helsinki, and possibly other places. Arja was accompanied by the Riku Niemi orchestra, a very popular orchestra which has performed by itself and also collaborated with other artists. The same orchestra accompanied Arja in her tango album Tango Illusion in 1996. The orchestra has many string instruments and wind instruments (a lot of different instruments) so that the songs sounded really great! The concert opened with a tango potpourri comprising Kultaiset korvarenkaat, Tango Illusion, Yksin, Sä oot mun tangoystäväin, and Muista minua. Among the tunes known to me Arja sang Enkelin silmin, Rakastunut nainen, Tuulen värit, Huomiseen, Kun tunteet kuljettaa, Tuhon tietä kuljen [I‘m a Fool to Want You], Rannalla, Näkemiin, Muisto (Memory)... Of course there were songs from musicals; Arja was here in the Turku Summer Theatre in My Fair Lady in 2000 and commemorated it by singing snippets of On the Street Where You Live, Wouldn't It Be Loverly, and I Could Have Danced All Night - all in Finnish. Arja had the same hat and sunshade as she had in the musical! During Wouldn't It Be Loverly she threw chocolate bars into the audience, but I didn’t get one, even though I was in the front row. Other old friends followed. Particularly wonderful were the title song from Myrskyluodon Maija and the operetta number Itke en lemmen tähden. All the other numbers were familiar to me, except Kun paljon antaa, which Arja mentioned in her new online diary on her official website. It has marvellous words, and I hope Arja will record it, as she said she might when we talked after the concert. Arja told me that she had listened to the song a lot when she was a child, an it had been important to her; and now at last the time had come to include it in her repertoire. It was amazing to think about the passage of time, when I mentioned that I had first met Arja 22 years ago! I was 11 years old. The concert atmosphere was really fantastic, and when Arja sang Kuningaskobra as an encore the whole audience came to their feet and clapped along. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any pictures, or I would have sent them.
One of Arja’s songs come particularly to my mine, namely Jokainen hetki, from her record Kun aika on. Arja is giving Christmas concerts this year, with Tango King Amadeus Lundberg, but I will not be able to go, as The Turku concert will be very near Christmas, when I will be in Mikkeli celebrating Christmas with my parents.