GALLERY: 6.10.2021 Katri O & Janita @ Tavastia, Helsinki


Once upon a time, Janita used to be a renowned pop artist in Finland. She disappeared from the radar for a few years, due to moving to New York, but now she’s back with new music. The album, Here Be Dragons,” released earlier this year, really surprised us. It was a no-brainer that when it was announced that Janita would be playing at Tavastia, we had to be present.

Restrictions may have been lifted gradually, yet Tavastia is one of the clubs that are strict with rules. During metal and rock shows, the audience is divided into different rows; however, during an intimate pop show, like Janita‘s, the venue had provided tables where the audience could sit down, relax, have a good view of the stage, and keep distance from one another. The seating arrangements definitely suited the event.

The opener of the evening was Katri O. During her speech, she was visibly nervous about performing at the legendary Tavastia and she also mentioned it a couple of times. However, once this woman started playing her songs and started singing, there was not much left of her nerves; what a voice! I’m always amazed by artists who work with loops, considering the amount of work and dedication that goes into ensuring a live performance played that way goes smoothly (kudos to not just using a backing track), and you just know this way that each show is a unique experience. Great way to give the evening a magical atmosphere!

Then, it was time for Janita. I admit that being a music journalist who mostly focuses on metal music, it was a strange experience to not have anyone screaming, “play Paranoid!” or that there was no need for earplugs to protect your ears. During the show, you could easily hear what other people were shouting to the artist. Regardless of the different atmosphere in the audience, Janita performed an incredible show and knew right from the start to press the right buttons in the audience. Since this was a very late album release show (thanks, Corona!), Janita and her band mostly focused on playing songs from her latest album, “Here Be Dragons,” which truly sounded great live. Altogether, a change of scenery can sometimes be invigorating and Janita provided the perfect setting for that!

Katri O