Reunion, joking with the crew and acrobatics by the keyboards

Poets of the Fall – Kwadrat, Kraków; April 26th, 2019

The concert in Kraków had a hard time convincing me so to speak. Not because it was a bad gig, not at all, but because I was still so high from Budapest that everything else paled in comparison. I surely had fun and there were a few really lovely moments, but overall it did not feel as good as the one the night before. I enjoyed it very much though and of course it was worth the trip to Poland. 🙂

Day four of my personal Poets oft he Fall tour down memory lane started with me dragging my sorry ass out of bed and to the airport way too early form my linking. The flight was only 45 minutes long – clearly not enough to get my sleep deprived body up to working order. I noticed that when I finally arrived at Kraków main station and walked around in circles until I reached my hotel. All I wanted to do was sleep, but there was not going to be time fort hat. However, I was not ready to meet up with my friends and told them I’d join for lunch later. I had not planned to be at the venue an earlier than 5 pm, so why the hell was I leaving at 2? Already I felt somewhat stressed – not good. By the time I met my friends at a pizzeria near the venue my mood was slightly better already and improved immensely after hugs from everyone and getting a huge pizza in front of me. 😀 We had food, we chatted and I remembered why it is so much fun touring with these people. Once done eating some of us wanted to go to the venue already while B. and I felt it was too earl and went in search for a coffee. Found one and made it to Kwadrat by 5. B. and B. from Wisconsin, S., O. and A. were already there plus a few other familiar looking people. Waiting, talking, goofing around (“we’re not old, we are vintage!”) and trying to finish the previous night’s blog helped pass the time.

This was my last VIP ticket on this tour and I had thought of a few things to say to the guys. Especially I was planning to thank them for the tour. Well, things didn’t go according to plan, meaning I forgot most of what I wanted to say. They were sitting in a different order as the other two times, so we wondered why and I got distracted. 😉 It was god seeing the guys though and at least getting to say a few words. I’d been wanting to ask Jani about his new camera I had spotted (he upgraded from the model I own to the one I want), but once again I forgot all about it. Maybe I’ll remember in Dublin. I did remember to comment on Jaska’s Instagram story though – from the boat in Budapest he had posted something about searching for Keyser Söze. Turns out ‘The Usual Suspects’ is one of his favorite movies. I hear you! With Captain I joked about taking a good look at me now so he would remember next time we saw each other. 😉 For Marko finally I had a condensed version of a much longer story, explaining why my favorite lines in ‘Dancing on Broken Glass’ mean so much to me. I just felt the need to share that and he totally got it. There was less goofing around with the picture and I cannot remember much of the song introduction, but to my surprise they played ‘Stay’ and ‘Illusion & Dream’. After Prague and Budapest I had suspected they might stick with those two songs. It was lovely and I was especially happy to hear ‘Illusion & Dream’.

I did a little more blogging before the show, then some joking with the crew, namely Panu and Glen, who had a moment of rest and waved to me so I took the chance to snap a picture. Our group got separated during the meet and greet and I was with B. and A. on the right while everyone else was on the left. There was just not enough room on one side to fit all of us. At least we could wave at each other from afar and regroup afterwards.

Since we were close to the speakers on the right, I feared I’d only hear drums during Blackout Problems’ set, but with my earplugs in it was all good. “Your mother always used to say that it would be easy…” the intro to ‘Off/On’ started and I was ready to rock with them. Their brand of music may be a little too hard for some Poets fans, but it is difficult not to be drawn in by their energy. I sure enjoyed watching them jump around the stage like crazy. Early on, the singer went into the crowd. He came out at the bar and stood on it, but as opposed to Budapest he was in the dark, because nobody directed the lights towards him. It is always fun though. I like the songs, even though I don’t understand much of the lyrics. A cool sentence here and there, but that’s it. The music makes me want to move though and that is all that matters. 🙂 For ‘Rome’, the final song, he went into the crowd again, this time carrying his mic stand. I laughed when I saw the wtf?- look on the security guys’ face as he did it. Once in the crowd, he asked everyone to jump and people obliged. I love it when the audience already goes wild for the support act. This was promising for the rest of the night. 🙂 The band thanked us and quickly packed their stuff with the help of Poets of the Fall’s crew and their own.

Setlist (as far as I remember)

Off/On
911
Difference
Limit
Sheep in the Dark
Rome

After Blackout Problems were done I did not feel as tired any more. Rocking with them gave me a lot of energy. At this point I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that this was Poets of the Fall’s first ever concert in Poland. After the first three shows in a row I was not anxious any more, but knew they’d conquer each audience. Because there were so many of the usual suspects here, it almost felt like a show in Germany. I just wanted them to come out and play already. 😉 Like clockwork, just after 9 p.m. the intro started and the show was on the road. We greeted the guys with loud cheers as they walked out one by one, waving at us or smiling at the people they knew. Immediately I noticed that Marko had copied Jani’s hairsyle that night. I enjoyed being front row again and especially having my friends by my side to interact with during the show.

The guys were having fun from the start. Jari even stood up early on and prompted us to clap along during ‘Dancing on broken Glass’. Not that this audience needed much prompting… 😉 Marko took a step out on the barrier, but not before warning whoever had their hands there to take them away so he would not step on them. Back on stage he came over to our side and sang to me. <3 Soon we got to see some fabulous solos by Jaska and Olli for ‘False Kings’ and ‘Temple of Thought’.

I had a blast with ‘Rogue’ and not only because I loved seeing Olli and Jaska playing to each other across stage, Jari giving us a great beat and Captain standing in the bright light, creating beautiful melodies. The most fun I had with Glen. He ran out to the front of the stage to take pictures, so I tried to get a picture of him taking pictures of them. He noticed and on the way back to the mixing desk he pointed the camera at me in return, sticking out his tongue as he walked by. I cracked up laughing. The whammy bar move had become a collective exercise by now: Olli and Captain did it on stage, Glen and Marko behind the mixing desk. 😀 At the end of the song Jani and Olli got into a guitar and bass duel during which actually crossed their blades, i.e. the necks of bass and guitar. 🙂

As everyone was back on stage andready for ‘Standstill’ Marko thought to mention the dirty deeds he could have done backstage while the others were playing but would not tell us about, because “really, I was just having water”. As he was about to sit down Jani walked over, and put his hand on Marko’s belly from behind and led him to exclaim “uuh, someone’s touching me in a very nice place right now”. He rambled on some more, but much of it got lost in laughter. In the end he made a cutting movement with his hand and decided to shut up and play some more music. 😀

I love the entire setlist, but even before it was changed to this rocking show that leaves me breathless, the sequence of ‘Standstill’ into ‘The Sweet Escape’ was one of my favorite parts. Every night, at one point I turn around and look at all the lights being held up in the audience and every night I feel connected. It is a thing of beauty. <3 Somewhere at the beginning of end of ‘The Sweet Escape’ I watched Jaska trowing and empty drink can towards Jari and Jari trying to bat it away with a drum stick Baseball style. He failed and both cracked up laughing. 😀 It was just one of many little observations making me smile that night. During ‘The Game’ they were having fun with the mic stand. It must have been about mid song when Marko decide to move it to the back of the stage, away from Jaska. The look on Jaska’s face was priceless like saying “Hey, I was gonna use that!”. So when it was time for Jaska’s solo, he just walked over and put the mic stand back to center stage so he could play slide guitar against it. As soon as he was done Marko snatched it away again looking at him like “this is *my* mic stand.”, then turned the mic towards the audience and motioned for us to scream. 😀

The show rolled along quickly, hardly ever slowing down. I screamed, I sang, I danced, I bounced together with the band and before I realized it, we had arrived at ‘Lift’. While Olli was showing off his guitar skills at the front, Jani visited Captain at the Keyboards and they got into a competition of who could go lower and still play. It ended with Jani on his back on the floor still playing bass and Captain sitting down on the floor with only his right hand above the keys. They had fun with it and it looked quite acrobatic. At first I could not see all of it, because Olli was in the way, but eventually he stepped aside and gave me a clear view of what was happening. Knowing how perceptive he usually is, he probably did it to give me a chance to capture it with my camera. <3 Moments later Glen was in front of the stage again to take pictures and Jani threw him a few kisses. For Olli’s final solo Jani got down on his knees looking up admiringly while Marko stood over him threatening to ruffle his perfect hairdo. 😀

The encores were the usual frenzy of craziness and movement and funny moment all stirred together in one happy blur from the beautiful ‘Shadow Play’ via the fast rocking ‘Daze’ and ‘Locking up the Sun’ to the final highlight of ‘Carnival of Rust’. I alternated between admiring the guys for their skills and grinning at the fun they had when Marko stood in front of Jani trying to look serious singing “So this is what you think you need to play the game…” or when Glen beat the cymbals with all his might and everyone else pointed to him. We got to hear some more great solos too and watch them all do what the do best: entertain. We cheered loudly when it was over and smiled at their poses during the final picture. Marko came over to shake my hand in the end and I waved goodbye to everyone else. That was fun! One more to go!

My friends and I reunited after the show, said goodbye to a few of ours and went downtown for drinks. We had a nice and relaxed post gig get together with stories shared and a taste of “liquid Nutella” as I call it (Polish hazelnut vodka). Thank you and goodnight!

pictures of this concert

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: 12 gigs down, 1 to go. Next stop: Warsaw

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