Balcony view, surprise songs and a bouncing audience

Poets of the Fall – Circus, Helsinki; April 13th, 2019

For years I’ve been going to prety much every Saturday gig of Poets of  the Fall in Finland (unless I already had another gig planned that day), but when the Helsinki concert was announced I was not Feeling it and found 100 excuses why I’d skip tis one. Yeah, should have known I would not manage. Soon enough, fear of missing out struck me and I bought a ticket anyway, already dreading the Long wait before. Then, pre-show passes were announced and I relaxed. I did not want one of those so getting in line early became pointless. Thus it became a super relaxed affair with a great spot up on the balcony and a few setlist surprises that made me really happy. I could not have asked for more.

By the time I decided to go direct flights were bloody expensive so I took the Long way around via Munich and arrived already tired. It all went nicely though, I dropped my bag at my friend K.’s and then went off for lunch with B. and C. We enjoyed the Food, relaxed after and did not get in line until 20 minutes before teh doors opened. It was surprisingly short and once we got in we could have gotten to second or third row. We decided to stay in teh back though and eventually found the way up to the balcony where we had a great view of the stage. I did not bring my camera, but it would have been a perfect spot for pictures too. R. was next to me, thinking exactly that while test – aiming his camera. We had a nice chat before the concert started that made time pass quickly.

Usually it feels like there are only foreigners at the gigs, because they often come early. R. said the same, that most people at the front were not Finnish. This time however, we had stood outside with all the Finnish fans and I understood their excitement especially. Poets of the Fall have played very few gigs in their own country on his tour so far. From above we watched as the venue filled up until the floor was packed. It felt different upstairs, I was less nervous than I usually am before showstart and enjoyed having and overview. Whenever anyone from the band or crew walked across stage people cheered. Olli had some fun with it, as he did it several times. Jaska arrived late, he probably had another gig before this one. That explained why they changed the start time from 9 to 10 pm. Everyone was ready and when the lights finally went down, the audience erupted in cheers. This was what we all had been waiting for.

When I saw the guys walk out it finally hit me that I was about to see a concert. Sometimes it just takes a while. I screamed with everyone else and sang along to ‘Dreaming wide awake’ together with B. and C. by my side. There was enough room to move so we were all swaying with the music soon, caught up in the moment. Before the concert B. had remembered that the sound had not been great the last time around and once again it started of badly, but got better soon. Still I do not know all the lyrics to ‘Dancing on broken Glass’ – when was the last time I actually, consciously learned the lyrics to a song? This one works for me though, I can relate to the lyrics, even though I read them differently than they are intended judging by the video backstory. That doesn’t make the words any less meaningful though. With ‘False Kings’ I was back to siging every word. It is such a kickass song, one of the best on the album in my opinion. ‘Temple of Thought’ of course is always a crowd favorite. There was a sudden flashback to the previous weekend where Marko had sung a few of those lines to me. Chills! 🙂

It was nice having Jari back behind the drums. No matter how good the other drummers are, the band always feels incomplete when he is not around. His smile shone all the way up to the balcony. I myself could not stop smiling when I saw them all do their thing, each of them contributing a vital piece to the songs. ‘Rogue’ was brilliant fun as always with the guys pointing to each other and Jani playing Jaska’s whammy bar. It might have been during the same song that he bit the neck of Jaska’s guitar. I wondered if it tasted different from Olli’s and if guitars are better tasting than keyboards or the other way around. 😉

From upstairs the audience looked like a a moving sea of people. Watching them was fun, especially when waves of raised arms rippled through them front to back. Some were always on the move, dancing and jumping in delight, while others stood still until urged to participate by the band. all the phone lights during ‘The Sweet Escape’ looked beautifulfrom above too. It must have been hot down there, especially at the front, because when Marko sprayed water from his bottle over everyone at the front, some reached out to catch at least a few drops.

The band had a good time powering through the songs and checking out each other’s playing as they do. All the little gestures, their teasing and the mutual appreciation make the concert experience even better. I love seeing them visit each other, sometimes just checking out what their bandmembers do, sometimes leaning on to them or patting them on the shoulder. This time, I saw a peck on the cheek from Jani to Marko. It was cute. These little things are especially nice when I can share them with others, who watch out for them too. 🙂 It is just as much part of the show as all the interactions with the audience, the cues to scream or hold up the lights on our phones. C. still had the sparkler App we all installed years ago – I loved that. Funnily enough I understood all the instructions and most of the questions despite everything being in Finnish. The words are more or less the same as in English and I know them by now. 🙂

Having ‘The Game’ back on the setlist still makes me happy. Clearview is such a great album, it should not be ignored. This time, when Marko decided to French kiss his mic again, I just shook my head laughing, looking at C. and B. who did the same. 😀 Next up I expected ‘Cradled in Love’ to be back, but to my surprise they played something faster. Only when I heard “Here I go again, rushing headlong…” I recognized ‘Kamikaze Love’ and let out a happy scream. Yay! I love that song and it means so much ore to me than the alternative. I looked over at the other two and they seemed just as happy as I was. 😀 Together we moved out arms up on “You raise me high” and put our thumbs down on “to tear  me down”, smiling all the time.

‘War’ was brilliant as ever and during ‘Choice Millionaire’we coudl see everyone bouncing, on stage as well as in front and all the way to the back. It was dark where we stood so I’d been wondering if the guys could see us up there. During ‘Lift’ I am sure Marko spotted me when I did the “on and on and on” hands move, because he raised his hand in greeting. The more important part was that we could see the Poets really well. Only Captain was hidden from view occasionally by a huge speaker on our side. Everyone at the venue was having with the music and screamed loudly for more.

I expected ‘Sleep’ next, but that wasn’t it. Instead they gave us ‘Shadow Play’ starting with Marko in bright backlight. Yes! I love that song. Admittedly it took me a moment to remember the words, but it was absolutely gorgeous. <3 This setlist made me insanely happy. I really hope they’ll keep it for the shows after Easter. The night wound down with ‘Daze’ and ‘Locking up the Sun’ where I danced and jumped and sang along some more. As always, the beautiful ‘Carnival of Rust’ was last. I doubt I’ll ever get tired of that song. For the final picture we all leaned out, but we got lost in the dark. The important part was being there though. 🙂

Afterwards we gathered everyone and went out for drinks. We all agreed that it had been a great show.

Setlist

Dreaming Wide Awake
Dancing on Broken Glass
False Kings
Temple of Thought
Rogue
Standstill
The Sweet Escape
My Dark Disquiet
The Game
Kamikaze Love
War
Choice Millionaire
Lift

Encore:

Shadow Play
Daze
Locking Up the Sun
Carnival of Rust

Ultraviolet Tour 2019: 8 gigs down, 5 to go. Next stop: Prague

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