“Whenever we play, rain comes down, thunder strikes as well as lightning…”

Poets of the Fall – Stare Misto Festival, Lviv; May 28th 2011

Indeed, I hadn’t seen such a downpour in quite some time. Until shortly before Poets of the Fall started playing, the weather was pretty nice and then? A Thunderstorm, hail even. Everything and everyone got wet in no time. Did it matter? Does it ever? 😀

Actually, this story starts on Friday, May 27th with me making my way to Düsseldorf airport. Nothing unusual for me, I travel to concerts all the time. Still, all morning I had the weird feeling that I might have forgotten something important. When I arrived I suddenly realized I didn’t have my passport with me. All over Europe I can travel with my ID card, but I soon found out that Ukraine is not one of those countries where that is accepted as a travel document. I also found out that there was no way for me to get to Lviv that day. I returned home, booked a new flight for the following day, spent an almost sleepless night at home and started out again at 4 the next morning. This time I made sure I had my passport!

At 7 a.m. my plane left for Munich. I even slept a little while flying there. A bit over an hour to spend there and then on to Lviv – scheduled arrival time: 12:15 p.m. The airport is not far from the city, but it still was a close call since the stadium doors were supposed to open at 13:00. We arrived on time and all went well. My friend A. had arranged a driver for me, he drove me by my hotel to leave my bags and on to the stadium, where I met A. and friends as well as L. The gates were still closed, we waited in the shadow and lined up when they opened, ended up in second row.

It was a long wait for the Poets: 3 other bands played before them. The Italian Talco were really cool – great music, Patchanka-Punk-Combat-Ska by their definition, lots of energy and fun. The German Rotfront were OK, but not really my taste and the French La Phaze I liked too. Then, the stage was set up for Poets of the Fall and A. managed to sweet talk us into front row by promising we would leave right after they were done. I had just put up my Prowlers banner before it started raining. It started with a few drops, but the moment I had put on my poncho it turned into a downpour. Anyone without umbrella or poncho got completely soaked.

If that was not enough, it started hailing too and ice hit us hard. Then the gig started with the intro to ‘Can you hear me’ and nothing else mattered. A smile spread out on my face and I knew it would be a great show. Marko came out filming us with his mobile so we tried to make as much noise as possible. Many of the IAMX fans looked bored, at least in the beginning – a tough audience for sure.

‘The Ultimate Fling’ was amazing, certainly time to dance and jump. The guys were in a great mood for sure and the audience soon got into it as well. Even the rain stopped after a while. 🙂
Jani smiled when he saw me, so did Olli and Marko. ‘No End, No Beginning’ made my day. I love the song so much I always die a little bit when I hear it. <3 As beautiful and touching as it is, I even had reason to laugh, because Marko clung on to Jani’s leg at one point, claiming he was secretly grateful for that moment being shared with him. Then, during the awesome guitar solo he bowed to Olli. Sometimes I think he goes so crazy during this song because he is a bit scared to be overwhelmed by all the emotion it carries. Whatever the reason, it certainly has kept me from bursting into tears.

“Do you ever find yourself dreaming wide awake?” Marko asked us before launching into the song. We sang along pretty well too and continued that for ‘Stay’. During ‘Sleep’ everyone listened more calmly, the beautiful piano giving reason to drift and dream a little bit until ‘Locking up the sun’ had the audience go wild again. Well, at least I did and several other people were jumping and clapping along too. Once again I noticed that Poets fans are really bad singers generally, but that didn’t spoil anyone’s fun. XD

‘War’ was up next – always a crowd favorite. After the first verse and chorus was over, Marko walked over to our side and I was hoping he’d sing the beginning of the second verse with me as he has done before. Instead, he did something totally unexpected, looked at me, smiled and said “Hey Stef, how are you doin’?” I was completely floored. In all the concerts I have seen I never heard him addressing anyone from stage. I felt very honored and the smile on my face grew even bigger. The concert could have been over right then and I would not have cared.

For ‘Roses’ Marko grabbed hold of a flower wreath that fans had thrown him earlier and put it around his neck. A bit later, Captain came to the front to check if it was still raining and ended up with the wreath on his head. I must say he wore it gracefully. 😉 ‘Given and Denied’ was very beautiful, despite Marko acting completely silly. He was in a weird mood that day, but good weird, going completely nuts on stage. The others enjoyed the gig too, I guess the audience looked good from their point of view. It was work to get the people going, but by the end of the gig most of them were clapping, dancing and even headbanging.

‘Diamonds for Tears’ and ‘Illusion and Dream’ took us to the end of the main set. The energy on stage and in the audience was amazing and even the “dishonesty” sing along part worked right on cue. 🙂  I really can’t remember which song it was when Marko grabbed a bottle of Stare Misto beer and claimed it was almost like his last name. Oh really ? OK then, I’ll call you Marko Stare Misto from now on. 😉 At the end of ‘Illusion and Dream’ he tried out on which side of the stage the audience yelled louder. It was pretty much even and he called the other  guys back out for the encores.

“Whenever you are feeling down, remember this feeling!” I know for sure I will. ‘Late Goodbye’ was wonderful and by that time even the formerly bored IAMX fans next to us were going along with the music. Long time coming, but finally they seemed to enjoy it too.

“We’re Poets of the Fall. Whenever we play, rain comes down, thunder strikes as well as lighting and you have all seen that tonight, right? So, feed the rain. Carnival of Rust.” I can never get enough of this song. It is such an eternally beautiful masterpiece. *sigh* After that, they left us with ‘Lift’ giving us one more chance to jump, yell and scream. What an absolutely amazing gig! I had so much fun and so did my friends.

When it was over we left font row as promised and I thanked the girls who had let us in there. We hung out at the sidelines, waiting and were rewarded with all of the Poets coming to sign autographs. I chatted with them briefly, told them how I almost didn’t make it, thanked them for the gig and hugged Marko, because it felt like the right thing to do.

Most of my friends left after this, because we were all wet and getting cold. We stayed a bit and listened to IAMX. They were OK, but it was weird to hear another band after the Poets and I could not really appreciate them. We left and went downtown in search of food, finally found a place, sat down, chatted, laughed until it was time to go to bed.

The next day I had some time to walk around Lviv and was lucky enough to meet A. and L. again. We didn’t have much time, but at least I got to say goodbye. At the airport, I unexpectedly met the Poets again, but left them alone. Jani came over and said hello, but I didn’t talk to any of the others. Upon arrival in Vienna, Captain saw me on the bus and said hello as well. I decided not to bother them and left for my connection flight. Bumped into the crew on the way and chatted to them briefly after they called me over. Such nice guys all of them. 🙂 It was a bittersweet ending to a wonderful weekend. Back to normal life for all of us, at least for a while. The memories will remain…

Setlist

Can You Hear Me
The Ultimate Fling
No End, No Beginning
Dreaming Wide Awake
Stay
Sleep
Locking Up the Sun
War
Roses
Given and Denied
Diamonds for Tears
Illusion & Dream

Encore:
Late Goodbye
Carnival of Rust
Lift

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