Poets of the Fall – Faine Misto Festival, Ternopil; July 21st, 2017
Holy Shit! Seeing Poets of the Fall at Faine Misto Festival was absolutely perfect. In fact the whole festival and experience was as close to perfect as it gets with everything working out in our favor and all the other bands being fun as well. Granted their one hour set was over in a heartbeat, but what a strong, energetic, happy and utterly beautiful heartbeat it was. Walking out of the festival area A. and I agreed that it was totally worth the trip to the middle of nowhere.
Some time earlier this year when their gig at Faine Misto Festival was announced, I ruled it out quickly, because it is somewhat difficult to get to and I really did not feel like doing it. Still, it was always at the back of my mind and I kept checking for possibilities when suddenly the topic came up with A. and she told me she was thinking about it too. We went for “it is impossible to get to” to “let’s do this” in no time. We booked and counted down the days…
Thursday, my travel day, I was extremely nervous. Two weeks before I was going to Finland to see Poets of the Fall in Kajaani – or so I though. I had a 2.5 hour layover in Amsterdam, then a night bus from Helsinki airport 1.5 hours after arrival. Long story short thanks to bad weather and KLM I never made my connecting flight and therefore did not have any chance to get to Kajaani on time (the available flight options from Amsterdam on Friday arrived in Helsinki too late). Thus I missed the gig and returned home rather bummed. Now this Thursday, with a storm warning for Düsseldorf I was worried of the same thing happening all over again and for a long time it looked like it would. My first flight was very delayed and I spent most of the flight crying, sure I would miss my connection. I made it though and arrived in Lviv at 1 in the morning, extremely exhausted. From there I had a car booked to take me to my hotel in Ternopil. According to Google maps it was a one hour drive and I though that’s be better than finding a way to the train station and taking a train. I was so wrong. It was one of the most horrific drives of my life. The road conditions were terrible and it took almost three hours to get to my hotel. All I wanted to do was sleep, wondering if it was really worth it.
A. had spent the day and night in Lviv, joining me on Friday. We took it easy, decided what would happen would happen, had lunch and eventually went to the festival site. In a taxi again, because it is far out of town. Only when we entered the festival area we go nervous and waked faster. As we got closer to the main stage we heard ‘Carnival of Rust’ – the guys were still sound checking. We spontaneously sang along, smiling already and smiled even more when we realized the area were the stage was was still closed and there were only few people waiting. We could wait in the shade too which was welcome on this hot day. About one hour later they let us in, we ran and secured the most perfect spots in front row. There was no real center since they had put a corridor between the barrier on the left and right. We got the far right places on the left side. Perfect! From then on, everything as right, even though we would have to wait for six hours and hear five more bands before we’d get to see our guys.
First up were Le cœur, a band that plays Funk Fusion Rock according to their own description. The singer, a black guy had and interesting black and white theme going with black pants, one black and one white shoe and wearing half of a white shirt. They were fun to watch and very listenable. The audience was still small at that point, but they enjoyed it, especially when the singer jumped of stage and walked along front row.
Changing of stage went quickly and meanwhile two hosts, one female, one male entertained the audience. I don’t know what they were saying, but it must have been nice and fun, because people liked it. Le Basour from Italy were next, playing Alternative Rock with some Electronic / Synthy Pop elements. A. pointed out to me that the guitar player was wearing underpants with his sirt and I was like “Be grateful he’s not naked.” 😉 The black and white theme continued with the singer wearing one black and one white shoe as well. During their gig someone from the crew passed out glow stick wrist bands to everyone. It was a really nice touch, but unfortunately it was not dark enough for that. They rocked and got the crowd going and in the end they even gave out CDs. The music was good, but I found some of the imagery they used to accompany their music a bit sexist. Minor flaw though, still had fun.
Suddenly it got crowded so we figured that Epolets must be popular. Once they started playing, we understood why. They were amazing! They played beautiful, very melodic rock, singing in Ukranian and English and so much about them reminded us of Poets of the Fall that we got an extra kick out of all the déjà-vus we felt. First of all they were wearing jumpsuits, the drummer had an orange one (!), the font they used for their name reminded us of the Revolution Roulette era font and the singer was not only very charismatic, he climbed the pole on the side of the stage and sang from there. 😀 We did not only like they because they reminded us of Poets though. They were just very good. The music had great melodies and A. said the lyrics were really good too. In the background on the screen, images accompanied the music and they fit so well. The band really made an effort to make the gig great. They played well, they had great energy, they made connections with the audience and it was a joy watching them. At one point they even showered us with confetti. I had it stuck everywhere. 😀 Apart from Poets Epolets were by far the best band we saw that night and we got a really good selection to begin with. I will surely check out more of their music.
The Russian band Элизиум (Elysium) playing what I would describe as a variation of Punk Ska were a bit of a disappointment after that. They were fun for about thirty minutes but then they just got boring, because everything sounded pretty much the same. They were extremely popular though and even got an encore. It was listenable, but I was glad when they were done.
Ukranian Rock band Друга Ріка (Druha Rika), who followed were really great though. They have been around for over twenty years and it shows. They put on a great show and it was clearly visible they still love what they are doing and are comfortable on stage. Great energy, good vibes and really good music too. They showed videos in the background which was a bit distracting, because they were so interesting. It loved their gig though, screaming along and waving my arms with the music.
So far, so good. Meanwhile it was 10:35 pm and less than half an hour to go before our boys would hit the stage. I felt the excitement rise and watched happily as the crew set up the stage. From off stage we heard the mic test “Sleep, Baby” and then something in Finnish I can’t remember. We looked at each other and smiled. For the other bands there had been a lot of people in the photo pit and not only photographers, but now they were all sent away and the photographers were told they could stay only for three songs. It was very clear they were headlining. 😀 People were pushing to the front and the space got a bit tight there, but that’s just how it goes.
We both felt a little bit exhausted and weren’t sure how it was going to go well, but the moment the first notes were played I felt a jolt of energy going through my body. Marko walked out, singing the first lines of ‘Shadow Play’ and I felt the smile spread on my face. From that moment on I knew it was going to be a good one. They surprised me with not playing ‘Shadow Play’ in full, but went right into ‘Dreaming wide awake’ after the intro. As soon as it started I was jumping, we both were. I completely fell into the music, forgetting everything else, singing, screaming, jumping and having the time of my life.
In the beginning I pointed at Olli and he nodded back at me. Soon after, Marko saw me and pointed at me, so I pointed back at him too. Jani and Jaska both smiled at us and eventually even Captain and Jari saw us from the back. The stage was huge and there was a big gap between us and them, but I did not feel it at all. It felt as if they were really close. I much enjoyed having an overview and seeing all of them in their spots or moving around visiting each other. From time to time my eyes were glued on Marko, but I did spend some time watching each of the others too. They all looked happy and the energy level was extremely high from the start. They clearly enjoyed being their and I enjoyed watching them do their magic.
Within minutes they had won over the entire audience with everyone waving their hands, screaming or singing along. Crowd participation was perfect, but still A. and I managed to be the craziest. It was so much fun and I had needed this concert so much after the disaster two weeks ago that I felt extra happy to be there, very much aware of how lucky I was to have this opportunity. Earlier that day I had still felt exhausted and even a bit sad, but it was all blown away with the music. I was in a zone, living every second, getting so lost in the whole experience that even while I was there I could not remember what had happened a moment before. Basically I just went with the flow, being carried by the music just letting my body move along with it, while my heart filled with joy. It is difficult to describe the feeling other than saying the whole experience was special. I was not an individual any more, I was part of something bigger than myself. My often restless mind stood still and breathed for a moment, taking it all in, not caring about the past or the future, just being in the now. One perfect moment where time didn’t exist and music was the only thing that mattered. And that night, this moment lasted. <3
Every single song blew me away. It felt like Stefan Boman described the ‘Clearview’ album a kiss and a punch in the face. That, believe it or not, was the perfect mix for me. The band was so very energetic I was able to feed off their energy all night and hopefully managed to give something back in return. They clearly enjoyed seeing A. and me rocking out at the front and I am not saying the rest of the audience was quiet or did not move. Quite the contrary, everyone there was very much into it. From stage we all must have looked like one big moving mass.
I looked at all of the guys in turn while singing “I dream you wide awake” as loudly as I could. I turned to A. with a grin when Marko sang the same line twice in ‘Daze’, raised my bottle to the guys during ‘Illusion & Dream’ and of course sang along the whole time. Being there was magical, it made me feel so alive and happy that I was overflowing with positive energy and could not stand still. The guys were on fire, giving it all they had, every note was spot on. With the big stage, they had a lot of room to move and they used it, visiting each other a lot. 🙂
Much of the concert is a blur to me in retrospect. It often happens when I am so much into it. All my energy goes into being there and and enjoying the moment so there’s no capacity left to remember anything later. Didn’t have my camera with me either so I was living all the beautiful moments instead of trying to capture them. I remember watching Jari’s drumming for a while when nobody was blocking my view. I remember Captain coming to the front of the stage a few times to look at the audience. I remember Marko being silly and making faces for us so we could take a picture. I laughed, only to roll my eyes a moment later when he teased to pull down his pants and show his butt. 😀
The setlist had changed a lot from the last time I’d seen them, but they might have adapted it especially for this gig. Either way, it worked nicely and they made a lot of people happy with playing ‘Sleep’. We all held up our phone with the lights on when Marko asked us to and it looked really beautiful. Eventually I put my phone away and just watched with my head resting on my hands. Marko looked at me and smiled when he saw that.
When ‘Drama for Life’ started A. and I were the first ones with our hands in the air, but everyone quickly caught on and clapped along with the band. I did not look around, but I can just imagine how amazing that view must have been. A drone was flying over our heads from time to time, filming the concert and Marko sang to it when it came close. ‘Locking up the sun’ started and I turned to A. saying “Already?”. I could not believe so much time had passed when it felt like barely a few minutes. I did not want it to be over! Luckily I managed to fall right back into the music and enjoy the remainder of the show just as much.
I loved seeing Jaska’s smile and watching Olli fly high in the air when he jumped. I loved seeing Jani playing with Jari and Olli visiting Captain, loved all the interactions between the guys and the happy looks on their faces. All he songs sounded so good that night, I could not get enough. When Olli played his solo during ‘Lift’, Jani got down on his knees in front of him and played to him. Marko was watching, indicating to us “These guys are crazy”. I bowed to Olli and then Marko did it too. 🙂
They walked off and we screamed for more, calling them back. Around that time it started raining – I welcomed the cool down after the hot day. Soon the band was back and gave us ‘Children of the Sun’ as a parting gift. A. and I held on to each other, swaying with the music and later switched to holding hands. It was the perfect ending to a perfect show. The guys waved to us and Marko blew each of us a kiss. We both sent one right back at him. It was such a sweet gesture. <3 I really wanted to hug the guys, but it was not possible, so I had to make do with waving. Thank you, it was amazing! See you in a month!
Shadow Play (intro)
Dreaming wide awake
Illusion & Dream
Diamonds for Tears
Temple of Thought
Drama for Life
Locking up the Sun
Carnival of Rust
Children of the Sun