Santa hats, many presents and a Springsteen cover

Poets of the Fall – Tavastia, Helsinki; December 20th, 2013

After all these years and all these concerts, Poets of the Fall still never cease to amaze me and they do so to a degree that I am running out of words to describe it. Their concert at the Tavastia was a homecoming as it should be: full of emotions, great songs, funny moments and shared love. For me personally it was all of the above plus amazing friends to share the moments with. All these moments are just catching up with me now that I am sitting at the airport overtired and ready to go home. The joy of it all has just brought tears to my eyes. I really could not imagine any better way to spend these last days before Christmas.

The day started with walking up in Glasgow in the middle of the night to catch my 6 am flight to Helsinki via Amsterdam. Sure, I could have tried to make a choice between Martin and James in Glasgow and Poets of the Fall in Helsinki and have had a much less stressful time than I did with all the traveling, but the thought never even occurred to me, because it was possible to see both concerts so why only go to one? It was the right decision for me too – I would not have wanted to miss either of those for the world.

Caught up on a little sleep and arrived in Helsinki ahead of schedule. Met B. at our hotel, relaxed a bit, went for an early dinner. Met with H. and got in line outside the Tavastia around 5:30 pm. We had been standing there for a few minutes when my friend M. walked by. We had not seen each other since last year and both did a double-take at first “Wait, what? What are *you* doing here?“ It was such a wonderful surprise and led to an immediate hugfest. Unfortunately she could not stay for the concert, but at least we could quickly catch up on a few things. 🙂

Time crawled by slowly while we waited. It got cold and I think the only people not freezing where two girls from Lapland at the front of the line, even though they were not dressed very warmly. Petri came out for a smoke so we said hello and chatted a little. When he walked back in he had to carry all sorts of presents people had brought. I had bags full of home made cookies and chocolates for band and crew – unfortunately they did not take the transport well, but I hope they still tasted good. The girls at the front had made cute dolls of the band. We got to see them when the Poets tweeted a picture. The girl who had made them was so happy she cried. S. arrived and we greeted her with hugs. Since there was already a long line she got in the back, opting for a place on the stairs later.

Eventually we got in and made our way to the front – slightly right of center this time. The stage was blocked with a white see-through curtain. That was new. We wondered what would happen to it later since it did not look like it could be pulled open. When the concert started around 10 p.m. we got the answer: First all band members appeared only as silhouettes, but as soon as Marko walked out the curtain dropped, revealing that everyone but Jari and Jaska was wearing Santa hats. A dramatic start!

Looking around I tried to take it all in: Jari, almost hidden behind the drums, Captain, with his brand new keytar resting next to him, Jani, having fun with the Santa hat, Olli, smiling brightly, Jaska, looking cool as ever and Marko, standing right there in front of me singing. I will dream you wide awake.

It had only been a month since the last concert, but it felt much longer and just seeing them again made my heart sing. They all looked so happy as if their biggest Christmas wish had been to perform for us that night and they sounded good too. The guys gave off so much energy it brightened the entire room and made it impossible to stand still. In the audience I saw raised hands, happy faces and eyes wide open in awe. I don’t need a miracle… I just need you to show me a concert. Of course each one of them is a miracle in itself. 😀

‘Cradled in Love’ might well have been the theme song of the night. It is sure what I felt like: All warm and fuzzy inside. I took H.’s hand during the song and remembered all the other hands I had held during it on this tour, the places I had traveled and the friends – new and old – I had shared this moment with. The feeling is quite overwhelming – all I can do is let the emotions overflow while in the back of my mind I wonder if anyone who sees my tear-streaked face right now can even remotely imagine how happy I am.

When ‘Kamikaze Love’ started I thought of C. and our choreography of raised hands and downward thumbs. Yet, there was so much action on stage that I missed my cue of You raise me high… twice, because I was busy taking pictures. The Poets were so on fire and moving around so much that night that focusing on one of them even for a moment resulted in missing something one of the others did. I remember one moment I wasn’t paying attention to Marko and he showered me with water. Often I looked at one of the guys and missed some of the others jumping or playing together in the process. All the action was fun to watch!

‘Temple of Thought’ is the song that kills me a little bit every time. It means so much to me on so many levels that I can’t do anything but feel it with all of my being, let the words touch me and carry me away.

For ‘Rogue’ the keytar was used for the first time and brought Captain to the front. He even came and played directly to us for a bit – I loved it and he looked quite cool and confident in this new role as the keytar hero too. Now they only need to find a way to bring Jari to the front as well – portable drums anyone? The song of course was perfection – ever changing and always just right.

Before Marko left the stage during the song he brought out giant pink balloons and threw them at the audience. Fans and band had lots of fun throwing them back and forth for the rest of the concert. Especially Jani kept hitting them with his bass and kicking them about. Eventually he managed to burst one of them.

For ‘Locking up the Sun’ Marko tied his scarf around his head like a Ninja and shook many people’s hands. The energy of the song kicked the show up a notch. I sang along with all my might, because – rain dance or not- it is one of my favorites. It must have been hot onstage by then, because everyone had gotten rid of the Santa hats. In front row, it was hot for sure, but that didn’t keep anyone from moving in tune with the music.

Do we believe in dreams? Why of course we do! Having no glass to toast this time I just watched and there was much to see. During the I raise my glass… part, Marko wished everyone a merry Christmas, later he danced around stage and even did a cartwheel during Olli’s solo. He made first Jaska and then the audience shout into the mic and at the very end of the song caught a balloon and made it burst, looking quite satisfied in the process. 😀

At the start of ‘Diamonds for Tears’ Marko hald the micstand upside down so we could all hear how he stomped his foot in rhythm. Jaska lead us in waving our arms in unison when he was not moving back and forth across stage. During the song I got a close up view of Olli, Jaska and Jani playing right in front of me too. Jani also got his head massage when he moved too close to Marko. It was quite funny.

‘The Distance’ started with Jani leading us in clapping along and brought more close-up views for me. By then the guys had smiled at me so many times I felt they were playing much of the show for me. 🙂 When I looked over at B. and H. they seemed lost in the music as much as I was. This was one of the gigs you don’t want to miss. Somehow every song had that little extra portion of heart and soul. The audience felt that and responded with much clapping and singing along. Let life carry…

When ‘Late Goodbye’ rolled around it felt as if the concert had just started. How could we have gotten here this quickly? Marko apparently had hair in his mouth because he changed the lyrics accordingly: “beer cans and hair in my mouth” as well as “Crushed plans and hair in my mouth” while trying to get rid of it. After Olli’s amazing solo they walked out and everyone yelled for more.

Olli and Marko returned for the acoustic set and the incredible happened: Marko randomly started singing Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire”. It was only the first verse, but I never thought I’d live to hear him cover Springsteen. <3 ‘Desire’ was next, followed by the beautiful ‘All the way (4U) that turned into a full band version in the end with Jani on the double bass.

We were indeed ‘Running out of time’ by now with only three songs left to end the night. I wanted to watch everyone during these last songs, which was of course impossible. The Poets were so relaxed and playful that night putting all they had into the show.

For ‘Carnival of Rust’ Marko put the Santa hat back on, but threw it behind him halfway during the song. The performance was mesmerizing and seamlessly turned into ‘Lift’. Almost everyone was dancing and running across stage, Olli and Jaska were jumping up and down in unison and of course Marko made us sing before he left. Towards the end Captain grabbed his keytar once again. Jaska jokingly showed him back to his place behind the keyboards, but he came to the front instead, joining guitars and bass for the final solo. 😀 When it was over, Jari came out and threw a few drumsticks into the crowd. Everyone cheered so loudly that for a moment I believed they would come out one more time but they did not. Even the best shows must end some time.

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

unplugged
Desire
All The Way / 4U

Running Out Of Time
Carnival Of Rust
Lift

As usual we hung out and chatted. The guys did not make an appearance, but that didn’t matter. We all agreed it had been a great night. Finally, when it was time to leave, we hugged each other time and again. “See you next year!” B. and I said goodbye to Petri as well, before going to a bar for one last drink.

pictures of this concert

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