Poets of the Fall – John Dee, Oslo; March 17th, 2019
One day after the sold out Stockholm Show, Poets of the Fall played in Oslo, again to a full house. They had not been in the country since 2005 (I think) and never to this city. It was a hot, powerful and fun gig in front of a great crowd. I had a blast and I hope it convined the band to play Norway again sooner.
Getting there was a little bit more stressful than I had expected. I took a train from Stockholm in the morning and was scheduled to arrive in Oslo at shortly after 2 pm – enough time to go have lunch with my friend E. and then head of to the venue. Nice plan, but shortly after we crossed the Norwegian border the train just stood there with no information whatsoever. Eventually they told us there was construction going on but the did not know anything else. (Really? This wasn’t planned?) Maybe an hour later there were busses that took us to Oslo and we arrived with 90 minutes delay, but there was a time when I thought we might not get there at all. 🙁 Anyway, no sightseeing in Oslo, just hurrying to my hostel to check in, change and leave again to meet with A. and E. for an early dinner. Oh well, it was raining anyway….
We checked the venue around 5:15 and nobody was there, we just heard soundcheck. Thus, we went for a coffee, returned at 6 and were still the only ones there, shortly joined by a Norwegian guy we had a nice chat with. Eventually more people arrived and by the time the doors opened there was a long queue. It was a small venue, but we got front row center and that was all that mattered. The club filled quickly until it was packed. We had fun talking and listening to the music they played. When A-ha’s ‘Take on me’ came on many sang along loudly. The music stopped and E., A. and I just continued singing loudly. Until we got to the “…in a day or two” part, where we all stopped and then started laughing because none of us could sing that high. 😀
Support act Blackout Problems started on time and sounded a lot better than the previous day. They were as crazy and energetic as ever with the singer jumping into the crowd on the second song, micstand and all. I knew he was going to do it and stepped aside the moment he put the micstand on the barrier in front of me. Everyone else looked surprised though and love it. It is lots of fun for sure and people at the back unexpectedly get a close up look. Everyone on stage is just as crazy, jumping around or beating the drums like a madman. In between there is their roadie, merch seller, jack of all trades running around with a camera trying to capture the best moments. I enjoyed their set and even could sing along to most of ‘Rome’. Great warm up for Poets for sure!
How are you doing
Sheep in the Dark
A little bit more waiting, more chatter, the usual until the lights went down and the intro started. On cue and with the instruction “Don’t scream!” the three of us did the exact opposite. The band walked out, waved, took in the audience and smiled. This was going to be good. 🙂
We were a lot closer than the previous night, but this time there was no leaning out and shaking hands from Marko. He did get close plenty though, singing to people, who all responded with huge grins on their faces, myself included. All the guys gave signs of recognition to those they knew – a nod here, a smile there. It made me feel right at home.It looked like they were all in a good mood. 🙂
It was so long since Poets of the Fall had played in Norway that most of the people in the audience probably had not been at that gig (those gigs?). No matter if first timer or veteran concert-goer, everyone had a good time, sang along, danced, jumped and cheered loudly for the guys. I love it when the audience is so responsive and et still manages to listen during the more quiet songs. <3 I also loved to have friends by my side to share these moments with. It is always so much fun to goof around during the show or knowing there are others who know all the right gestures and responses to the songs. Sometimes it feels like knowing a secret code nobody else has a clue about. 😀
The setlist is really fun right now, just the right mixture of rockers and ballads. Sure, there are songs I miss and one or two I could do without, but this one works and it is well balanced – that’s all I need to enjoy the gig and I enjoyed it a lot. It felt completely different from the previous night, but just as good. While the Stockholm show had been at a big beautiful venue where they could make full use of the large stage, this one took place at a small rock club and felt much more intimate. The guys still had room to move, but stood a lot closer together. Each show has its own vibe and I like it that way.
From the start I was singing along, moving with the music and could not stop smiling. During ‘Dreaming Wide Awake’ E. turned to me and we sang “I dream you wide awake” to each other. We did similar things during a few songs, especially during ‘Cradled in Love’ where we had so much fun singing to each other about blue note sapphire eyes that at least I certainly do not have. 😉 We watched the guys rocking together and playing jokes on each other, like Marko showing rabbit ears behind Jaska’s head for the photographers in the pit or asking to play Olli’s guitar. Olli’s face was priceless! 🙂
The room was hot and still we were dancing and jumping, because it is impossible to stand still with their music. Especially during ‘Choice Millionaire’ the house rocked and even the guys were jumping up and down turning in circles while the did so. Only the ballads gave us a break. I was hoping for Marko to splash water on us, but he didn’t this time, only threatened Jaska to do it and later poured it over his own head. Once done with that he formed his hair into a mohawk, only to tease Jani who stuck his tongue out in response. I just love their playfulness.
They remembered having been to Norway before, if not to Oslo and recalled how beautiful it had been. When they asked if there was anyone from Stavanger E. screamed and I pointed to her. Yep, they had played in her city years and years ago. 🙂 From my spot I had a good view of everyone if only Jari had not been hidden by smoke for most of the gig. At least during the encores, when Glen joined him for ‘Locking up the Sun’ they were both visible for a moment. 🙂
E. and I did all the hand movements too and Marko laughed and nodded when we went “on and on and on” during ‘Lift’. Once taught, we don’t forget what to do. 😉 The whole show was a blast, they sounded so good and had just as much fun as we did. I don’t think I turned around once, not even during ‘My dark Disquiet’ to see all the phone lights. I was just too mesmerized b the action on stage.
Too soon we reached the end of the show with the beautiful ‘Carnival of Rust’. They bowed, they waved and Olli shook hands with pretty much the entire front row. For their picture with us the continued with their “let’s see how crazy we can get” thee that has been going on for a while now and Captain choose to do push-ups while lifting one leg in the air for Jari to hold. It looked mighty cool, but when he got up I thought I caught a glimpse of “what the hell was I thinking?” on his face. 😀 Totally worth it though – the picture is great!
I had an early bus to catch so there was not much time to hang out. I hugged my friends and said goodbye, returning to m hotel, where I needed about an hour to unwind anyway, replaying the gig in my head. After the gig, Tiia said on Twitter “Go see them because they are the best they have ever been!” – I agree, the shows this year have such great energy you can’t help but being drawn in. 🙂
Dreaming Wide Awake
Dancing on Broken Glass
Temple of Thought
The Sweet Escape
My Dark Disquiet
Cradled in Love
Locking Up the Sun
Carnival of Rust
Ultraviolet Tour 2019: 4 gigs down, 9 to go. Next stop: Paris