Poets of the Fall – Leikari, Kotka, April 6th, 2019
“What just happened?”, I. asked me after it was over. A great show, that’s what! and “great” does not even begin to describe it. This time, I was totally into it right from the start and loved each and every minute of the show. It was like waves of energy were flowing between the band and the crowd and each time the energy flowed through me. I felt alive and happy and grateful for being there. What a beautiful, hot and fun night that was. Playing shows like this is what I love about Poets of the Fall and shows like this make me travel the world to see them.
Hotelli Leikari in Kotka is not exactly in the middle of nowhere, but it’s not that fr away from it either. First of, it is not in Kotka really (i.e. not in the center, near the train station), but about 15 km away. For someone like me who has to rely on public transport this is an obstacle, but luckily there are busses and after some research I found one that would take me there directly. So far, so good. I arrived around 3 pm and did not have much to do until showtime which would be past midnight. Tried to get some sleep, eventually went down to reception much too early, where I found I. and her friend A. already waiting. Doors opened at 9 and I soon realized I was not relaxed enough to stay away from front row while others where already standing there. So we joined them soon and I got the center spot. I. noted how close it was, because there was no barrier. Automatically I reached out and remarked that it wasn’t the closest I’ve been since I was not able to touch the mic stand. 😀 the waiting time was spent chatting and for me finishing m blog on the previous night’s gig. We already knew it was going to be loud because the sound check had been and earplugs were in order. As with any gig that happens in more remote areas ad especially those that take place at restaurants, I expected lots of drunk people. These shows are hit and miss (or like a box of chocolates ;)) – you never know what you’re gonna get.
Finally, around 12:30 in the morning, the show was on the road. The first thing I noticed where really blinding lights during the intro. So much that I wished I had sunglasses. When the guys walked on stage I mostly saw silhouettes. It got better though and even if it hadn’t it would not have mattered. The spark was there from the very first note and the guys were on fire. We had noticed the really low ceiling and figured no one but Olli would have enough space to jump, but they proved us wrong eventually. Even Olli checked first though and then decided to fly high anyway. A Little later, arm outstretched, he smiled when he realized he could reach the ceiling. Miraculously neither he nor any of the others hit their heads during the night.
There were two pillars on stage that blocked our view of the band at times, but more importantly proved to be useful for all sorts if purposes. They served as something to lean on and just look cool for Jani, a footrest for Olli and a recipient of several hugs for Marko. 😀 Everyone was in a playful mood and that resulted in lots of teasing and goofing around. I probably didn’t see half of it, but laughed out loud several times. From the start Marko stood so close to me that I had to fight the urge to hug him. Not something I usually do without permission. Thankfully everyone else kept their hands to themselves as well so the guys had a relaxed gig. 🙂
For the second night in a row I did not use my camera. I had it with me, but holding it in their faces makes me feel uncomfortable (and it cannot not be great for them either) so I try to avoid it. Even more so, I was just enjoying the freedom of movement and not worrying about takig the perfect shot. I took plenty of those in my head anyway and attempted a few with my phone, failing miserably mostly. At one point, towards the end of the show, Jani joined Captain by the keyboards and while Captain scooted down, Jani got lower and lower until he laid down on the floor. It was so funny! Also I was so focussed trying to snap a picture of it that I did not even notice Olli standing in front of me until he stepped to the side so I got a better view. Aww, thank you that was so sweet. Also, I’m sorry I wasn’t paying sttention to you. *embarrassed smile* You guessed it, the picture was a complete fail. Shouldn’t have bothered. *laughs*
The setlist was shorter than usual and the band left out all of the ballads. It didn’t bother me though, because the room was charged with so much energy that it didn’t feel like anything was missing. Everyone was having fun and the great vibes coming from the audience were brought right back to us by the band. They were smiling so much it was contagious. Being so close to the stage was great, I could have touched guitars and bass plenty and once I had to move out of the way so Jaska would not hit me with the neck of his guitar as he move to the front to play a solo. Careful dude! 😉 Some time during the night, Jani was standing by the keybords and decided he had to taste them, licking the keys. 😀 Marko shook a few hands during the gig, even moving to he side of the stage a few times, singing to the people there. During ‘My Dark Disquiet’ he held I.’s hand for a while. She was smiling like we all do when that sort of thing happens. 😀
Since there was no drum raiser to sit on this time around, Jani just sat on the bassdrum at one point. Tuomas was completely unfazed by this. 🙂 When it was time to air play the whammy bar on Jaska’s guitar, Olli did not have his usual partner in crime, but Captain took over the Job and they did the moves in unison. 🙂 For the line about actors French kissing in ‘The Game’, Marko decided to give the microphone some tongue instead of singing 😀 and later on he missed a line during ‘Locking up the sun’, because he was pretending to hit Jani with the mic. We saw some funny dance moves that night too and for ‘Choice Millionaire’ the guys did jump, just not as high as I did in the audience.
The band played brilliantly and they obviously had a great time – so did we and with I. there was someone next to me to do all the moves with. 😀 Everyone in the audience looked happy and many moved with the music. They all knew how to scream too and took all the cues for clapping or holding up the lights on their phones. There was a nice flow to it all and it felt like we were one being, caught up in the music together, creating magic. <3 During ‘War’ Marko made room for Jaska with grand gestures to step to the front and play his solo. The he looked at the rope that served as barrier here, and stepped over it, into the crowd, right next to me. As he moved to the back of the room, people stood aside and when he returned a few took Selfies with him. I gave him a slight shoulder rub when he passed me.
Usually time flies during these happy gigs and I can’t believe when it is over but this night even that felt right and I enjoyed every moment. I smiled when I saw Jani taking a selfie with someone at he front or when Marko pretended to cut Jani’s mohawk with his fingers. For most of the gig I grooved with the music and it was perfect not having to slow down for the ballads this time. I do enjoy a good rock show without so many show songs. During the encores Olli propped his foot up against one of the pillars and Marko decided to asist him and hold up his leg. 😀 ‘Carnival of Rust’ was the grand finale then to great approval from the crowd. I loved every moment of the gig and laughed one last time when the guys got down to the floor for the final pictures with us. Thank you, it was amazing!
Afterwards I hugged I. and said goodbye, wanting to get some sleep before going home the next morning. I failed of course, needing the usual two hours to unwind. It was totally worth it though. every concert should be like this!
Dreaming Wide Awake
Dancing on Broken Glass
Temple of Thought
The Sweet Escape
My Dark Disquiet
Locking Up the Sun
Carnival of Rust
Ultraviolet Tour 2019: 7 gigs down, 6 to go. Next stop: Helsinki