“Needs more cowbell”

Poets of the Fall – MS Viking Grace; December 1st, 2017

I’ve already been touring so much this fall I could have used a weekend at home and when I met with my friend to go and see Poets of the Fall perform on yet another cruise I told them I wasn’t feeling it yet. I also knew I was going to get excited about it eventually. Yet what actually happened exceeded my expectations by far. As soon as the show started I realized just how much I had missed the guys. I fell right into the music from the start and I did not come up for air until it was over. In between I was singing at the top of my lungs, moving along, jumping and smiling like a loon. Happy does not even begin to describe it. The concert was exactly what I had needed at this point in time and the band made it as good as it could possibly get. *happy sigh*

Had an early flight to Helsinki and was already tired when I arrived. Bad weather, lots of time to kill so I stayed inside and drank loads of tea. Met with K. around 3, took a train to Turku, got to the harbor at 6:15 and everything was still empty. Briefly wondered if we were in the right place. We were, just very early. Eventually S. and S. arrived as well. Hanging out, chatting, the usual. We boarded, met at the club at 10. It was al very relaxed. Sat around for a while, scored a great spot at front row center. I silently counted down the minutes, finally getting excited about the upcoming concert.

I had just turned to K. and said “they are late” when the band was announced and the curtains in front of us opened. We heard the ‘Shadow Play’ intro with Marko singing while still off stage. The sound was a bit distorted and I thought “Oh noo, the sound is going to be shitty. It was good here last time”. Then, the guys walked out, I cheered and screamed when Marko held out the mic to us. The launched into ‘Dreaming wide awake, he started singing and suddenly the sound was perfect and I stopped thinking.

The third song (I think) was ‘Center Stage’. I was surprised as much by the song appearing on the setlist as by my knowledge of the lyrics. I looked over at S. and smiled because it is one of her favorites. It was a great rendition too. Somewhere early on I noticed that Jari had a new addition to the drum kit: cowbells. Can’t tell you when he used them, but he sure did and I giggled, because I could not help thinking “Needs more cowbell”. The guys were in a great mood and made good use of the big stage they were on. From the very first note I knew I was in a perfect spot, just slightly left of the microphone. I had a good view of everyone most of the time and right at the start Marko leaned down and sang to each one of us. I dream you wide awake! 🙂

It was so good to see the guys again, I wanted to drink in every second of the concert and felt a little torn between just watching and commemorating the moments by taking pictures. As usual I did a little bit of both and realized once again that it is impossible to watch all of them at the same time and see everything they do. There was so much interaction between he band members that at times I did not know where to look. Especially Captain was going crazy that night, rocking out behind the keyboards. Pretty much everyone was visiting him and played with him at times and when Jani was there Captain moved down to look closely at (or lick?) the bass and then Jani did the same to the keyboards. 😀

The audience was good, going along with the music and apparently having fun, but I had the feeling that only the first few rows were fans. For the first time in a long time we did not get to sin any of the lines. Marko only held the mic out to us for screaming during ‘Lift’, but sang “dishonesty” on his own during ‘Illusion & Dream’. Captain came to the front and toasted to us though, yet none of us had a glass to respond, so we just raised our hands instead and sang along even louder. 🙂

I soon forgot that we were on a ship. The stage was so much larger than on the other cruises I’ve been on lately that if felt more like a regular concert hall. With the good sound and the guys being able to use their own lights it could have been just about any other club. Of course seeing them again made me so happy, that everything else took second place anyway. They seemed quite happy too. Especially Jaska looked so relaxed and was smiling all night long. Everyone was in a playful mood too, teasing each other, sticking out tongues and always playing together. At one point Marko got down on his knees in front of Jani. It totally fit with the song too, but now I cannot remember for the life of me which one it was. 😉

The setlist was almost perfect. The only song I’d been hoping for that did not get played was ‘Moonlight kissed’. We did get to hear ‘Crystalline’ though which made me very happy. <3 From the start I have felt the second half of ‘Clearview’ was stronger than the first and only by being exposed to the first half so much during the tour it has grown on me. By now I pretty much love every song so I was glad to still have ‘The Game’, ‘The Child in me’ and ‘Shadow Play’ in the mix. The latter actually surprised me because after having used it as an intro I did not expect them to play it in full later in the set. I even sang along before I realized which song it was. 🙂

As usual I tried to watch each one of the guys, but must admit that my eyes were ever so often glued on Marko. It would have been difficult to look elsewhere when he leaned out right in front of me, doing sort of a half push up on one arm while singing to the people behind me. I was way too close to take pictures, but enjoyed the view nonetheless. I smiled when he leaned out to shake hands, then cracked up laughing and shook my head moments later when he felt the need to inform us that his underpants had slipped down and he needed to pull them up. I really  did not need to know that. 😀 He also had fun dancing and butting his butt against the mic stand at one time – again perfectly in tune with whatever song they were playing at that point. 😛

Between awesome guitar solos, dueling with Jaska and Jani and jumping high several times, Olli leaned out to shake hands too, even came over especially to us and insisted to shake our hands twice towards the end. When he was done, Jaska stood there waiting and demanded a handshake too. 😉 Jani was his usual self, beating his hand angaist the bass, resting his foot on the barrier, throwing kisses and in the end kissing Captain on the cheek. Awwww <3 Jari was drumming like crazy as always and often seemed amused by the other guys for whatever reason. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in their heads during a gig. 😀

When ‘Carnival of Rust’ started I knew most of the concert was over. The only reason I would wish for them to shake up the setlist more often is that with it being pretty fixed I can always count down to the end and feel that it is going to be over soon. This night though, I was enjoying myself way too much for it. I watched Marko pouring water over his head and fully expected him to throw some at us, but he didn’t. There are not many more details I remember but overall it felt amazing and I had so much fun being there. It was the perfect gig to kick off the final part of the tour and I am already counting down to the next one. See you next week guys!

After the show S., K. and I went for a drink, talking it over, agreeing we had loved it. Jaska passed by our table and stopped for hugs so we told him how great it had been. Eventually we called it a night, still smiling happily.

Setlist (out of order)

Shadow Play intro
Dreaming Wide awake
Center Stage
The Game
The Child in me
Illusion & Dream
Temple of Thought
Rogue
Stay
Crystalline
Daze
Carnival of Rust

Shadow Play
Lift
Children of the Sun

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