Poets of the Fall – Baltic Princess; December 14th, 2017
Less than two weeks after the last cruise I was back on a ship between Turku and Stockholm to see Poets of the Fall. Considering how little I care for those trips I sure do them often. 😉 While we were very few last time, there were a whole lot of us this time around – more than enough to fill the front row. With snow falling heavily over most of Europe, a lots of us were afraid not to make it and some flight were canceled, but in the end, most of us got there on time. I had expected a crazy run for the stage, but it was actually quite easy and we all ended up were we wanted to be. The gig was funny, amazing and way too short. In fact it felt shorter than the others, but wasn’t – time was just going extra fast.
I flew to Helsinki the evening before the cruise and luckily got a good night’s sleep at my friend K.’s place. After she returned from work we made our way to Turku and met everyone at the harbor. Our group alone had people from six countries. 🙂 Sadly, E.’s flight had been cancelled and she would not join us until he Excited chatter passed the time until boarding, we got ready and met outside the club. A few of us had presents for the guys (I brought cookies like every year) and we handed them all to Tiia and Satu when they walked in. Little did we know hat the guys would still be there when the doors opened. The crew had many familiar faces this night with Einari and Hannu around apart from Glen and Marko H. – it was nice seeing them again. 🙂
Strangely there was no house band playing before the Poets did so we could go to the front row right away and stay there. This lead to some people asking us what we were already doing there. One guy from the boat’s staff talked to S. for a while, asking questions about our group. The waiting time passed surprisingly quick. When the house music stopped we were all screaming, but before the Poets an announcer walked out (I think it was the same guy who talked to S. earlier) and bowed because we cheered so loudly. It was quite funny. He said a few words and I caught that he listed all the different countries we had come from. then he announced the guys and we went back to cheering.
I always love the moment when the guys first walk out on stage, seeing the all so familiar gestures they great us with – a raised hand, a smile. the audience response at this moment is a good indicator of the show to come. this time, it was loud. Everyone took their place and Marko urged us to scream some more – of course we obliged. Having Anton on drum for the night was no surprise for me – he had already posted a picture of the stage on Instagram. He was all smiles, obviously happy to be there.
Soon the show was in full swing and it was so much more fun than I had dared to expect. I have a love/hate relationship with cruise gigs, because even in the best of cases the audience is never completely made up of fans, but always includes people who just happened to be there. That can work brilliantly or go horribly wrong. This time around, with so many fans from all over at the front and my friends by my side it was brilliant. the audience in general was welcoming, the sound was good and I love the current setlist so I could not have asked for more. 🙂
Details? Oh my, I remember a few things here and there, but generally it’s a blur and it’s safe to say they were being their usual selves – rocking hard and playing jokes on each other. Jani was posing for cameras, presenting his best “yeah, metal!”- face, Olli was jumping high with flying hair and sent his fingers speeding across his guitar, and Captain could often be seen pointing at the others to show who we should be looking at or just raising his hand in tune with the music. Anton kept a steady beat and a steady smile, Jaska, who looked especially happy that night, showed soft guitar picking and some rocking solos, instrument raised in the air and Marko was entertaining us with some crazy dance moves when he wasn’t busy making connection with people in the crowd.
We watched, we sang along and we smiled – at the band and at each other, happy to be there. I tried finding a balance between capturing the show with my camera and just enjoying it, sometimes not knowing whom to watch. I loved it when Olli, Jaska or Jani played right in front of me and followed their fingers across the strings with my eyes. I loved it when they visited Captain and Anton in the back, standing and playing with them. They stood in a half circle with Captain, urging each other on, all of them leaning back and forward at different points in time, just going nuts while they played. I can’t really describe the moves, but just picture them being lost in the music and rocking out. I loved having such a good view of Anton too – he was in a zone, showing us some great drumming and shared high fives with Jani as well as Marko after especially difficult and great bits.
Marko was speaking English most of the night which is unusual for shows in Finland and was much appreciated by all of us. He made sure to look at each one of us and sang a line or a few to most. I remember a glimpse of S.’s happy gig face when he sang parts of ‘Illusion & Dream’ to her and I’m sure we all had that look on our faces at one time or another. 😀 at one point Marko even went into a crowd and could not be seen for a while, at least not by Olli who was clearly searching for him. He noticed and waved at him from the back- I’m over here! It was such a cute moment.
There was a lot of love going around with the guys hugging each other or patting each other’s backs. Of course they were kidding around too like the time they came back for encores when Marko was pretending to grab Olli’s guitar on the way to the stage. he did not take it, but of course he had to walk up to Olli and turn the tuners on the neck of his guitar. Apparently that wasn’t enough though and he did it to Jaska too – the look on his face one of pure mischief. Somewhere along the line, I believe it was when Marko came back from his venture off stage, he found a rope on the floor. He checked it out, held it over his head and posed or a while and then dropped it somewhere on the drum raiser only to have Jaska pick it up. Jaska in turn took a good look at it, tied it into a loose know and draped it over Captain’s keyboard stand. It remained there until Captain removed it and swung it over his head like a lasso for a while before it ended up on the floor. you can always count on the guys to be playful. 😀
Of course they played amazing music for us too, but you know that already. 😉 It was beautiful, it was moving, it put huge grins on our faces and we did all the right moves at the right time. Somehow, most of us didn’t have a glass to raise for ‘Illusion & Dream’, but we raised our hands anyway and all the sing alongs worked out well too. as usual it was over in a heartbeat and left me wanting more. As I watched them walking out, Jani throwing kisses and Olli shaking hands I dreamed of a concert that would last so long I’d feel it was long enough, but I honestly don’t know how many hours of songs I’d need to feel like that. 😛
We stuck around a little bit after, got drinks at the bar and met Anton here. We thanked him and chatted for a little while. He told us how much he enjoyed playing with the guys and when I noted that I’d seen him sing along he said remembering the lyrics helped with his drumming and singing along made it easier. Since he does not play with the guys all the time, this is his tricks to remember the songs better. Sweet! the night ended with quiet drinks and reminiscing about the gig we had just seen, sharing pictures and thoughts. It was lovely.
Shadow Play Intro
Dreaming wide awake
Temple of Thought
Illusion & Dream
The Child in me
Carnival of Rust
Children of the Sun