The boat that rocked

Poets of the Fall – MS Gabriella; December 31st, 2013

Could there be anything better than spending New Year’s Eve at a concert of your favorite band? Yep, my thoughts exactly. 🙂 As soon as I heard Poets of the Fall would be playing the New Year’s Eve cruise on the MS Gabriella I booked a cabin and a flight. My friends B. and C. were planning to come along as well so all was set for a fun party. The following months were so busy for me that I didn’t think much about this until December came. Suddenly Christmas was over, it was all so close and I was constantly smiling in anticipation. 🙂

Met up with C. the night before the cruise and with B. the next day. We had lunch before boarding the ship. Once there we found out the concert would take place at midnight Swedish time or 1 am Finnish time. We decided to take it easy and relax before the concert, just hung out and chatted, occasionally checking the venue for the New Year’s countdown (they had three: Russian, Finnish and Swedish). For the last one we had already gathered in front of the stage. The sea was pretty rough that night and poor B. didn’t feel well – she was not the only one. Luckily, my stomach was fine, but with all the movement of the ship I was happy to have a railing to hold on to.

Right after the countdown was done and we had greeted the new year, the intro started and the curtains opened. I was surprised at how few people had come to see the gig. All the guys smiled at me when they saw me, all except for Captain. As I learned later, he was fighting off seasickness – it must have been hard to concentrate on playing. The others were fine, but the rocking boat lead to some funny moments. Olli was keeping his balance by leaning coolly against the plexiglass that surrounded Jari. Jaska stood unfazed until an especially strong movement of the ship sent him lurching forward for a step or two. Jani magically managed to be untouched by the movement for most of the time and was even standing up on the railing at one point – a daring move! Marko just didn’t stand still and when he stumbled backwards and landed on the box behind him, he just pretended he had wanted to sit down all along. 😉

This may not have been the most brilliant concert I have seen in terms of performance, even though the guys gave their best, but it certainly was one of the funniest. Not only did the guys laugh a lot, but the audience did too – at least some of us. Watching the Poets teasing each other and joking around is always such a nice treat. Strangely I can’t really remember what happened during which song, but I vividly recall a few awesome moments. Since the stage wasn’t huge and I had enough trouble clapping without falling over, taking pictures was not an option so you’re gonna have to take my word for it. 😉

The music was great of course. I still love the current setlist and had lots of fun singing along. Everyone around me had fun as well. Early on, I believe it was during ‘Cradled in Love’, Marko received a present with a card from some fans and tried reading it while continuing to sing. It didn’t quite work and made everyone laugh. 😀 Some time later two girls to my left offered Jaska their drinks and as he leaned down to take a zip, they took the opportunity to tousle his hair. This caused even more laughter especially when Marko joked about putting roofies in the drink.

A lot happened on stage that night and I enjoyed watching all of it. For the first time in a long time I had a great view of all the guys too, especially Jari. He was laughing a lot, one time so much that he cried. Everyone was teasing everyone. Marko played Jaska’s guitar and later pretended to bite Jani’s bass. Jani, in turn, leaned his head on to him and Olli was sneaking up on Marko. During the course of the concert Jaska threw off his scarf and Marko took the opportunity to pick it up and drape it over his head. Only the rain dance did not happen this time around – Marko explained he didn’t have feathers that day so he could not do it. So many more little things happened, many made me laugh or smile like Olli massaging Jaka’s arm or Marko taking the capo off of Olli’s and putting it on his nose. 😀

It was the shorter setlist without any acoustic set, but luckily they left ‘Rougue’ in. The guys did not have much room to walk around, but showed us some great solos anyway. I love how the song is a little different every time. The whole concert was a great start into 2014. Towards the end, Marko said something to us, but I have no idea what it was. Sometimes, I wish I could lip read. Since I can’t, it will forever remain a secret. He gestured towards the audience and C. guessed that it might have been something about people leaving. He was smiling so it might just have been a joke. Either way, we had a good time and I hope the guys did too.

A while later, still walking around on the ship, sleepless, we bumped into Olli and Jani who wished us a happy new year. We wished the same and chatted about the gig a little, before we left them alone. After starting this way, 2014 can only be great. 🙂

Setlist:

Dreaming Wide Awake
Show Me This Life
Cradled In Love
Kamikaze Love
Temple Of Thought
Rogue
Locking Up The Sun
Illusion & Dream
Diamonds For Tears
The Distance
Late Goodbye
Running Out Of Time
Carnival Of Rust
Lift

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