I wanna run away tonight, just leave everything behind

Poets of the Fall – Finlandia Klubi, Lahti; April 5th, 2019

Lahti is a city that has been on my concert map since 2009 and all but one of the now seven Poets of the Fall concerts I have seen there happened at Finlandia Klubi. It is a venue I really like and the guys always play good shows there. This particular one was a lot of fun and at times even made me giggle. It also made me sing along, jump and sway with the music – what more could I ask for?

It was a relaxed travel day with me arriving in Helsinki in the afternoon, realizing the train I had planned to take was fully booked and waiting around for the next one. Got to Lahti at 6 pm, checked in and fully expected to be standing in the back, because there have been concerts in Lahti where people lined up hours before the doors opened. Imagine my surprise when I walked in at 18:30 and there were only two people in line. Yay! It stayed like that for almost an hour, while the place was buzzing with people who had come for the concert taking place in the main hall. Eventually T. and S. arrive, greeting me with a loud “Yo!” We hugged and chatted until they disappeared inside. S. and K. arrived, we said hello, talked and watched the line grow slowly. As we walked in Olli was there and greeted me with a hug. <3 Front row it was and only very few people behind us. Until I turned not long before show start and realized the place was packed. 😀

Time went by quickly and soon the intro started. Since people didn’t start screaming instantly, I finally heard that it ends on “scream, scream, scream!” – funny how that had always gotten lost in the noise until now (assuming they did not just add it 😉 ). People did make noise as the band walked out, but compared to other recent gigs the reaction felt a bit slow. Funnily enough I noticed how I adapted to whatever everyone else did. Anyway, I was watching out for the drummer, because I knew Jari was touring with Ben Granfelt Band at the moment. He was hidden in bright lights first, but then I saw it was Tuomas Rauhala and he did a great job too! 🙂

That night I wanted to see everything live and not through the lens of my camera, but most of all I wanted to feel, experience the rush I get from great live music in general and especially from seeing one of my favorite bands perform. Paris had left me high on emotion and I wanted to repeat that experience. This is never what happens though. 😉 Instead, I found myself having a hard time getting into it. On the first song the sound was pretty bad. It was fixed almost immediately and they sounded great from then on, but still I wasn’t fully there and I had no idea why. I watched, I sang along, I smiled and eventually I stopped thinking. Only then, when I allowed myself to be in the moment something clicked and I went from just liking the concert to enjoying it. 🙂

The first few songs went by so quickly, I cannot remember any details other than admiring S. next to me for knowing all of the lyrics. By now I do OK with the Ultraviolet songs, but don’t know every word yet. There was a teenage girl at the center and the look on her face when Marko sang to her was priceless. I loved ‘Rogue’ – it is always great watching the guys do their thing and I looked out for how they point at each other to show appreciation. They all played wonderfully too

As Marko walked back out for ‘Standstill’ there were no chairs set up yet and while the stage tech got them, he sat down at the front on the big speaker, claiming this was a good place. As the others took their seats, he turned around and commented on Jaska’s guitar being beautiful, asking what its name was. Jaska, perplexed by the question answered “Marko”. 😀 Since they were speaking Finnish that was pretty much the only thing I understood all night. While they were playing and I was lost in music for most if the song, I noticed Captain standing side stage and watching them. S. and T. saw him too and he waved when he noticed.

The sea of lights for ‘The sweet Escape’ was beautiful, even if the arm waving didn’t go quite in one direction. 😉 For a moment there I had a flashbackb to the previous weekend. Except for T. there was only one photographer and he did a great job in being unobtrusive, even though he was between the stage and the barrier most of the time. From time to time the guys were posing for him and Marko even made some faces in his direction. He did a lot of that, at one time making a sad face while touching a woman’s cast on her arm.

‘My Dark Disquiet’ and ‘The Game’ had me moving and some others did too, but there was no wild dancing going on as far as I could see. People were enjoying the show more quietly. During ‘Choice Millionaire’ I didn’t even really dare to jump, even though the band certainly did, but clapping along worked. When ‘Luft’ came along there was nothing holding me back though and I was jumping as usual. I had the feeling Jaska and Olli noticed. I just cannot not jump when that song is playing.

The band looked like they were having a good time throughout the show and they were up to their usual shenanigans. Olli and Captain catching notes from each other or whatever is is they do behind the keyboards, Jani standing between the drum and keyboard raiser with one foot on each of them or sitting down on the bis speaker to the left, Jaska being totally caught up in his playing and each of them smiling a lot. Soon the were back for ‘Sleep’ and for the first time in a long time I heard Marko mess up lyrics. He actually sang ” let your rods come flushing in” and I had the feeling he realized he was wrong and decided to roll with it, but that might have been my imagination. Either way, it made me giggle and I wondered if anyone else even noticed.

They rocked some more and some of us turned back time along with ‘Locking up the Sun’. This is the song where Glen usually drums with Jari, but he wasn’t there that night so it didn’t happen. I took a deep breath when ‘ Carnival of Rust’ started. I love that song, always. S., T. And their friend next to me were doing hand movements along with the music and eventually I figured out they were playing invisible rhythm egg egg shakers. : D The show ended on a high note and Poets fid some crazy poses for the picture with us. Before they left, they bowed and Olli even shook some hands. It was nicely coming around to the beginning, as he was the first to greet me too. This was good, see you tomorrow!

Setlist

Dreaming Wide Awake
Dancing on Broken Glass
False Kings
Temple of Thought
Rogue
Standstill
The Sweet Escape
My Dark Disquiet
The Game
Cradled in Love
War
Choice Millionaire
Lift

Encore:

Sleep
Daze
Locking Up the Sun
Carnival of Rust

Ultraviolet Tour 2019: 6 gigs down, 7 to go. Next stop: Kotka

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The memories they all had passed. but in my head they’ll always last

Amy Macdonald – Colosseum, Essen; April 1st, 2019

On a rather lovely April evening I found myself at Colosseum theater in Essen to see Amy Macdonald for the second time on her current stripped down acoustic tour and this time nothing was going to make me leave early. It was a beautiful evening throughout where she saved the best songs for last. Everything about this concert was enjoyable and I got the full scale of emotions too.

Having a concert in Essen made me quite happy, because it’s so close to home and easy to get to. I arrived about 30 minutes bfore showstart. The Colosseum theater was a new venue for me and I instantly liked it. There wasn’t much legroom, but otherwise I had a great seat in the second row close to the center. The stage was higher than in Osnabrück, but my view was good so now all I had to do was wait for the show.

By the time Rosborough started almost everyone had found their seats. The two man band played an energetic set that got people cheering loudly. They are good, I can recognize that, but once again their music did not speak to me. It sounds just fine, in fact it should be right up my alley, but somehow it leaves me completely cold. Yet I can’t say the performance is without emotion. Glenn Rosborough and his drummer give everything they have while they play. The songs are sung well and he even talked a little bit about them, joking that Derry, his hometown is only known for people wanting to leave and sharing what inspired ‘Another Lesson’. Yet, I did not get into it at all and felt sorry for not being able to appreciate it. Oh well, they still were a good start to the evening.

Setlist

Fall to Earth
Made of Gold
“I can still feel the heartbreak”
True love will find you in the end (Daniel Johnson cover)
In the Moment
Burn Blue
Another Lesson

During the break I took a quick trip to the merch stand and not only was I almost alone, I got the last remaining T-shirt of the design I loved most. Win! It was a shirt from the previous tour, but who cares? Back in my seat I noticed that the venue was packed now. People were excited for the show to start and some already clapped while the stage was still being set up. I had the feeling this was going to be a good one.

It started a bit slow though. As the band walked out, nobody was cheering. Only when Amy appeared the audience started clapping. During the course of he night, they got much more lively though. 🙂 She kicked off the show with ‘Woman of the World’, beautifully delivered. The sound was perfect and again the lights were gorgeous. I love a well lit gig, where the lighting supports the mood of each song. With ‘Spark’ people where clapping along, while I was moved to tears. The lyrics really hit me that night. Someone near me was singing along off-key, but that didn’t even bother me. 😉

Amy greeted us and joked that the only thing she remembered from her German lessons at school was that “Essen” means “food”. She concluded that was a good name for a place and told us how she was in a great mood, because the day had been beautiful and the venue provided good catering. We heard how ‘Pride’ was inspired by her singing the Scottish national anthem before a football match, but how that did not help their team win. The song was awesome and I think this was the first time that night people jumped out of their seats. Afterwards Amy spoke about Brexit and how much of a mess it is, hoping it will pass and eventually we will all be able to laugh about it. This was followed b ‘The Rise & the Fall’ and I cried again. I could not help it with Amy’s voice and the beautiful arrangements of the songs. It all felt very cathartic. :’)

‘Never too late’ felt very hopeful and I especially loved the piano. After this softer tune, the band rocked the hall with ‘Mr. Rock n Roll’ and everyone was out of their seats again, clapping along and swaying wit the music. I looked around and even the people way i the back and up on the balcony were standing up. 😀 Next we heard how it all began with Amy, how she was going to go to university but took the leap of faith and decided to sign the recording contract she was offered instead, not getting a degree, but trying to be a rock star. It all went well and lead to releasing albums and touring the world. We were all happy she chose to tale that risk, because otherwise we would have missed out on some great music. ‘Dream on’ followed right after ‘Leap of Faith’ and the party in the audience continued.

Afterwards she noted how many people were just seeing there show through their phone. “If you want to film, be my guest, it does not bother me” she told us, but we might be missing out on something and all the songs were already on youTube anyway. The new arrangement of ‘Don’t tell me that it’s over’ that followed sent shivers down my spine. It was absolutely perfect and beyond beautiful. It’s a great song to begin with, but this arrangement is truly special. <3 She spoke about her latest album, a collection celebrating 12 years of making music. It was a really nice sales speech too. I might have to go out and buy it after all. She explained how the new version of  ‘Give it all up’ was exactly how she’d always intended the song to be and she has every reason to be proud of it too.

‘Down by the water’ was amazing as well and gave me a chance to relax and breathe and just enjoy being at this concert, this time without having to watch the time or worrying about not catching the last train home. Before playing the next song she asked us to compare the acoustic setup to the regular shows with the band and it sounded like we all approved of having stripped down shows. She introduced the band and then they proved they could rock even in this setup with ‘Automatic’. It had most people standing up once more and this time I was one of the first people who jumped up. I’ve loved the song from the first time I’ve heard it. ‘Run’ continued the same way and it looked like we were done sitting down for the rest of the night.

We heard about going out with her friends as a teenager and sitting together playing guitar and how shy teenage Amy impressed them with her voice. One morning she did not get home before 6 in the morning and spent the day in her room, not daring to face her mom. She wrote and recording a song then and four or five years later it was on the radio everywhere. “As a result of me behaving badly I was able to buy myself a Ferrari”. 😀 It was ‘This is the Life’ of course and it was a great crowd pleaser. ‘What happiness means to me’ brought the set to a beautiful end. I hadn’t remembered that song existed, but it really spoke to me. I should listen to Amy’s albums more often. It ended in an amazing piano and string outtro, before everyone walked off stage.

Soon they were back and she took a short film of us with her phone to post on her social media. She asked us to pretend that we’d had fun. “It’s for Instagram where it’s all fake anyway”. We made some noise and it looked good too when I saw it the next day. 😀 The next song ‘Left that Body long ago’ was about her grandma, who suffers from Alzheimers and she asked us to sit down for the next one, because it was quiet and sad and we might cry. She was right. It was sad indeed and so loving. The show ended with ‘Life in a beautiful light’ and the always great ‘Poison Prince’ that chased all sadness away and rocked the house one last time. It was a great night overall. 🙂

Setlist

Woman of the World
Spark
Pride
The Rise & the Fall
Never too late
Mr. Rock n Roll
Leap of Faith
Dream on
Don’t tell me that it’s over
Give it all up
Down by the water
Automatic
Run
This is the life
What happiness means to me

Left this body long ago
Life in a beautiful light
Poison Prince

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