Lauri Tähkä’s special concerts may tell something about the future of the domestic gig business, writes Mikko Räsänen.

    The dome is a really spectacular venue. Mikko Räsänen

    Lauri Tähkä performed yesterday in the dome built on Helsinki’s Kansalaistor. The concert was the first of three special gigs to celebrate Tähkä’s new album Kaikella on sausto.

    In addition to the new album, the venue itself is at least as interesting. A dome has been built in the middle of the market, which attracts 1,500 listeners, and next to it is a small restaurant area with sales of fan products. Up until now, the city of Helsinki has only allowed the use of Kansalaistor for events to which admission is free. Now the line has clearly changed, and for the first time, concerts will be held at the square, for which admission tickets are sold.

    Free events have come a long way since then, as the cheapest tickets to the Tähkä dome concert cost 85 euros. The more expensive end is represented by the 135 euro vip tickets.

    You also get value for the high price, because the dome is simply wonderful as a concert venue. The round stage in the center of the dome tent ensures that all spectators get significantly closer to the stage than at concerts of a similar capacity.

    The public got close to Tähkä everywhere. Mikko Räsänen

    Anyway, everything was taken out of the special space. All around the tent there were podiums in the middle of the audience, on which sometimes the singers of the backing choir appeared, sometimes the guitarists of Tähkä climbed onto them.

    If you have to find something weak about Lenk from the concert, it was, somewhat surprisingly, perhaps Tähkä himself. I have seen several of Tähkä’s concerts and as an artist one of his best features is his phenomenal ability to build a magical connection between the artist and the audience. Many artists can do that in an intimate club milieu, but Tähkä can also do it on a festival stage in front of an audience of several thousand people.

    In yesterday’s concert, surprisingly, that connection was unexpectedly thinner than usual. The reason could have been the round stage set up in the middle of the audience. As the old saying goes, you can’t lean one way without bending the other. Tähkä admirably tried to move around the stage during the songs, so that the spectators on all sides could see him in the same way. Because of that, however, some of the viewers had to look at the star’s back all the time.

    Lauri Tähkä was certainly looking forward to being able to perform songs from his new album to the public. Even surprisingly many older hits were heard in the dome. Mikko Räsänen

    Cob also fumbled in a surprising way in a few songs. In the case of the songs on the new album, I would have somehow understood it, because there is no routine for performing them yet. But when the same thing happens, for example, in the song “Polte” from the first solo album, it’s surprising.

    – This song has been played a thousand times, and our guy doesn’t know the chords, Tähkä himself laughed at his fumbling.

    Because Tähkä went around the round stage all the time, the audience got used to the fact that sometimes the side of the star is seen and sometimes the back. Mikko Räsänen

    These special gigs might tell you something about what the future of the music business looks like. The collapse of record sales has caused gigging to become an even more important part of artists’ lives. If you want to get the euros you didn’t get from record sales as extra gig income, you have to get more money from the gigs. It can’t be done by adding just a couple of tens more to the ticket price of normal club gigs. The audience also has to get something in return for the extra price, and under the dome I felt that even though the tickets were expensive, the price was justified.

    Tähkä fumbled in a few songs in an uncharacteristic way, but he treated them with humor. Mikko Räsänen

    Those fans who had not bought a ticket also got their share. Such fans gathered at Kansalaistor to listen to the concert outside the fences. During one song, Tähkä left the stage and the entire tent, and went to the fence to sing to the audience on the other side of it, although at least this time he had not received a single euro from those audience.

    In the end, it’s not all about the money.

    Tähkä and his teams had built record release gigs into entities worth money. Mikko Räsänen

    According to IL’s information, a glass dome originally had to be imported from Central Europe for dome gigs. At some point, it changed to a transparent tent found in the homeland. Being domestic means that it is easier to see similar tent concerts from other artists as well. Mikko Räsänen

    In addition to Thursday and Friday, the cob also appears on Saturday. Mikko Räsänen