Poets of the Fall – Proxima, Warsaw; April 27th, 2019
The last concert of this leg of Poets of the Fall’s Ultraviolet tour almost rendered me speechless – literally. I screamed so much and sang so loudly that my voice sounded rather rough the next morning, but luckily I did not lose it. The show was a powerful joyride in front of an awesome audience. Everyone in the house was captivated, creating waves of energy flowing to the stage and back again. It was pure passion and I loved every second of it. What a great way to send the band home after a week long tour. Already I cannot wait for the next show!
Still running on too little sleep, but feeling surprisingly well rested I left KraKow around 11. Upon arrival in Warsaw my friend K. was waiting for me at the station. First order of business was getting lunch which consisted of yummy Tibetan dumplings. The we just hung out and relaxed for a bit, caught up and had great conversations all while I got a henna tat done on my arm. Arrived at the venue a bit after 6, said hello to C., B. and B. there and got to end of the line. It was considerably colder than the previous days and I was happy we would not have a long wait. A. joined us a bit later and once we got in we immediately went for the platform behind the mixing desk. It was in the back of the room, but the view was better from there than trying to stand 10 or more rows from stage. E. spotted us from front row and waved at us, so did. B. and A. next to her. A. joined us in the back and we watched the room fill up while we waited for the show to start.
Time went quickly and before I was even ready, i.e. had my earplugs in, Blackout Problems were on stage. For the first time this week I really loved their sound and I could actually understand the lyrics for once. It was a new experience and a good one at that. I also liked the perspective, because I could see the whole stage and the audience’ reaction. Kicking their set off in high gear they never stopped moving across stage and soon they had drawn everyone in. Seeing them go crazy sure made me wanna dance. When it was time to clap along everyone did. Soon the singer hopped off stage to venture into the audience. To our surprise he came out at the mixing desk, went behind it, stepped on the barrier in front of us where K. had to hold him up and then he hopped down on the other side. I thought his microphone cable could not be that long, but he proved me wrong, made it to the far end of the platform and then moved towards the bar so we had to pass the cable over our heads in order not to get entangled. It was fun. Back on stage they powered through their set and I realized I’d miss them at the next gig. This surely was entertaining. Eventually ‘Rome’ came along and before they played the last song on this tour and the last song as Poets of the Fall’s support, they thanked us and them and their great crew as well. One last time the singer left the stage, gave his guitar to A. at the front on the way down, got everyone around him to jump in tune with the music and was helped back up on the stage by Glen. There were some hugs too and they looked happy as they left stage. This was one hell of a finale for them.
Sheep in the Dark
Quickly the crew changed the stage setup while we waited. I was liking the new perspective, but realized it might be a problem when Panu (lights) and Marko H. (sound) arrived and stood in front of us behind their respective mixing desks. For a moment I wasn’t sure how much of the show I was going to see. Turns out I could easily look around them though, no reason to worry. We wondered if the guys were going to be able to see us all the way back there. “Game on!” I thought since Olli is always looking for me in the crowd. As I mentally counted down to the start of the show, I got just slightly nervous, because of the newbies among us whom I wanted to like it. The thought passed quickly and I signaled A. there were three more songs until the intro. On Panu’s computer screen I could see the clock moving towards 21:00 and the excitement grew. This was going to be the last show in a while and I had every intention to enjoy the hell out of it.
‘Easy Lover’, ‘White wedding’, ‘Relax’ played over the speakers, all songs I remember well from my youth and very enjoyable for that reason alone. Quite fitting too, considering the current album has a bit of 80ies vibe going on. The lights went down, the intro started and the audience already screamed loudly. I had a good feeling about this. With the words “don’t scream” the response was deafening and all hands went in the air to clap and greet the band. Wow! The sea of arms and hands looked great from our point of view. I can only imagine how it must be from theirs.
It is hard to find words and phrases I have not already used to describe the songs or the show and sometimes it feels very much like hyperbole to me, but the guys really are that good. Even with five shows back to back the band did not show any signs of exhaustion powered through the songs like a well oiled machine. The audience was incredible singing along from the first note, ready to pick up any cues. During ‘Dreaming wide awake’ I saw Olli squinting and wondered if he was looking for me. I might have been imagining it, but somewhere during the song I saw him nodding at me – eagle eye always finds me. I was pretty Marko saw me as well, even though I can’t remember when. What I do know is that somewhere earl on he walked up behind Olli playing a solo and formed rabbit ears while I was taking a picture. He looked straight at the camera. 🙂 After ‘False Kings’ K. turned to me and said “I really liked that one”. Yeah, me too.
I was into it from the start and sang along at the top of my lungs, moving with the music. I might have even made up words for the lyrics I still don’t know. 😉 It was fun to stand with A. who knows all the right moves just like I do and we started waving our arms for ‘Temple of Thought’ before anyone else did. Towards the end of the song Marko decided to make everyone wave and it looked great. When the whammy bar move came around during ‘Rogue’ they did not only do it on stage with Olli, Glen and Marko, but the part of the crew standing in front of us did it right along with them. 😀 K. loved ‘Rogue’ as well and she looked like she was enjoying the show in general. Good!
Marko was back on stage for ‘Standstill’ and this time the theme of telling us what he could have been doing backstage in the meantime did not continue. 😀 The song was gorgeous as always and I really felt it this time. “It’s alright if you fall…” There was even a nice clap-along going on. 🙂 “Who is here with a friend?” Marko asked and many raised their hands in response. “And who is here alone?” he raised his own then continued that we were all in this together. I held up my phone with the light on even before he said anything. Soon every arm was raised and even though I could not see the lights from behind it looked great. We did not quite move our arms in unison until Marko directed us, but then it worked perfectly. <3
Lots of people were jumping for ‘My Dark Disquiet’ and I think it was during ‘The Game’ that Marko and Jaska were laughing really hard, but I have no idea why they were so amused. Whenever it happened, they were clearly having fun. At one point also A. and I looked at each other rolling our eyes at something, but I cannot remember that either. My brain is too tired for this. Anyway, I loved how much the crowd participated. Usually I don’t know what is going on, because I cannot see the people behind me unless I turn around and that rarely happens, but this night, while I looked at all those arms in the air and so many people jumping during some of the songs I got a feeling for what it must feel like seeing all this from stage. It was wonderful and while Jaska was playing his solo, Marko stood behind him showing us a heart he formed with his hands. <3
‘Kamikaze Love’ was brilliant and one of many songs during which A. and I sang to each other. With K. standing between us we had to lean over the railing to do so, but A. always picked up on my cues and we were also doing our “You raise me high to tear me down” moves together. Somewhere in the front, someone else was doing that to. B., E. and A. most likely. 😀 By the time ‘War’ came around I was drenched in sweat and still kept moving. I also felt the strain on my vocal chords, but that was not gonna keep me from singing along. For the first time in a long time I was not wearing ear plugs, because we were further back and it was not as loud as at the front, so I felt the full blast of the music. I loved moving with the music and got really into each and every song. None of them have lost any of the meaning they held for me and I doubt they ever will.
“Party!” Marko screamed at the start of ‘Choice Millionaire’ and it was just fun – the band jumped, the audience jumped and everyone waved in unison. When it was time for the new bow down and raise back up movement they had been practicing since Budapest, Olli motioned for Glen to join them and he stood in line with him and Jaska moving together. 🙂 I could not get over how cool that view was. Granted I did not see all the details of happeningand the stage was rather low, so whenever Marko squatted down, he pretty much disappeared from view, but none of that mattered. Halfway through the gig I had completely tuned out out Panu and Marko H. in my line of vision, i.e. I did not even notice them any more and just saw the stage. I enjoyed having an overview for a change and being able to see all of the guys at the same time. Finally I thought it was worth it that I had dragged my big concert lens along all week. 😀
All the way through the show I loved their often unintentional choreography of moving around each other on stage. There are certain things they always do and certain points of the songs where the same two or three people always stand together, but in-between they move back and forth so much that it always surprises me how rarely they bump into each other. Especially Jani and Olli seem to be constantly aware of where they are in relation to everyone else. It is just pretty cool to watch how they move elegantly out of the way when someone else needs the space. I did not think it possible that the audience could get any louder than they already were, but as soon as Marko asked if we needed a lift, they did. The energy was just incredible and even from where we stood I could see the guys smile. In the crowd I saw a few morphos being formed and we all screamed our heads off when the mic was being held in our direction. When the song was over the band thanked us and stood there looking at us for a moment, visibly moved, before leaving the stage. Somewhere near the front I saw a sign saying “Kiitos!” being held up and some people actually left. I wanted to call out to them “You’re gonna miss the best part!”
While we waited for the band to return, I tried to catch my breath and to cool off a little bit as I’d been jumping and sweating the entire time. Then I yelled for more with everyone else. “Shadow play, directed by you….” god I love that song! I sang it with all of my heart, so happy to be there with friends by my side seeing these masters at work. Life does not get any better than this! ‘Daze’ and ‘Locking up the Sun’ rocked the house. We sang and screamed “we’ll be loving to the first light of the day!” and those of us in the know turned back time together with Marko. We saw Olli’s and Jaska’s mad guitar skills and watched Jani lean on to Marko when they were not mock kung fu fighting. Glen played drums with Jari and afterwards demanded some cheers – it reminded me so much of Springsteen’s light crew only going up to their places of work when the crowd cheered enough. 😀 The encores summed up everything that is great about tis band. Their playing, their affection for each other, their way of interacting with the fans and of course the amazing music. Only when ‘Carnival of Rust’ started I realized that this marked the end of a great week and I would not be seeing them again until August. It made me feel a little bit sad, but it made me enjoy the last song all the more. What a night, what a fantastic show!
The enjoyed the well deserved cheers, waved and bowed to us many times before asking if we wanted to take a picture. Marko thanked everyone and called Blackout Problems on stage with them. There was a lot of hugging going on and while the pictures was taken, Panu and Marko H. in front of us were going crazy. Some more bows and waving by the band, flying drum sticks and many hands shaken before they finally left. I am sure they will be back.
We gathered everyone as they walked to the back of the venue. I went and said goodbye to Blackout Problems, at least to Marcus the bassist and Michael the drummer who were at the merch table. I thanked them for al the fun we had. Maybe I’ll go see them again. I felt the need to say goodbye to the crew as well so I did and hugged Glen and Panu before I left. See you next time! Finally we all met outside, said goodbye to those who wanted to leave and gathered the rest to go out for drinks. We were happy as much as hungry, ordered food and drinks and reminisced about the show. I was happy with the performance and also glad that K. had enjoyed the show and said she admired their craftsmanship. They do know how to entertain. It was a nice ending to the night and the tour. When it was time to leave there were lots of hugs again and once bak at her place K. and I talked until late into the night.
I feel grateful for this week of touring. Thank you to my tour family and my friends for joining me and making these nights even more memorable. Thank you to Blackout Problem for the crazy-powerful-fun support. Thank you to Poets of the Fall’s awesome crew for all their hard work and last but not least thank you Poets of the Fall for the wonderful concerts, the music and the memories. I love you!
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: 13 gigs down, none to go. Last stop: home