The love you used to feel is still there inside

Poets of the Fall – O2 Club Academy, Manchester; October 14th, 2018

The Poets of the Fall gig in Manchester can be summed up with many superlatives. It was the last show of the UK tour, it started the latest, the walk from our hotel to the venue was the longest, getting tickets and getting my photo pass was the most stressful, the security was the sweetest, the meet & greet the funniest and the VIP acoustic songs the best so far. All in all it was the perfect experience to end the UK tour with and left me wishing for more. Soon…

I had been hoping to see a little bit of Nottingham in the morning, but after a good night’s sleep the city greeted us with heavy rain so we opted for breakfast at a nice cafe instead. They served good tea and the best porridge I have ever eaten plus great conversations with A. and L. that lasted so long we almost missed our train to Manchester. It was time for goodbyes, because A. was flying home and only L. and I were left behind for the last gig. As travel on this trip seems to be difficult we stopped just outside of Nottingham with engine troubles and were delayed quite a bit. We made it though and after a walk in the rain we found our hotel too. Luckily it stopped raining before we had to leave again.

We got to the venue early, inquired at the box office about our tickets and learned that we would not get them before 6. But weren’t the doors supposed to open at 6. They didn’t even understand what the problem was about not being able to queue for the doors and tickets at the same time. Luckily hat was solved when we learned VIP entry was at 6:30. Phew! We went for dinner and saw a few familiar faces on the way back. Eventually a super nice security guard gathered all of us and told us where to line up. Then I had trouble with my photo pass, because “we do not get them until the doors open for the regular ticket holders and you can’t take your camera down (to the venue) before you have it” – WTF??? It was annoying, but super nice security guard took care of it. <3

Once downstairs I was the first in line with L. right behind me and we walked towards the guys seated behind a long table. I’d been wondering about the new intro and asked Captain how “Whatever you do, don’t scream!” came about. To my surprise, he pointed to Marko and said “ask him.” So I did and got a wonderfully theatrical show and tell explanation where Marko mimed everything to underline his words. <3 I have no clue how to describe it to you in a way you can imagine it so let’s just say it involved scared people and zombies and was hilarious. Feel free to ask me about it, I’ll do my best to show you what it looked like. 😉 Chatted a bit with everyone else too, then moved on and started joking with Tiia and the crew which ended in having them sign my autograph card and taking group pictures with them.

We secured our spots at the front and waited. There were over 40 people with VIP tickets so it was going to be a while. Finally Ben gathered us for the group picture, where I got to lean on to Captain’s shoulder’s. It took a while until everyone was standing in a spot they could be seen so it was enough time to crack a few more jokes. 😉 When that was done, we gathered in front of the stage. G., whom I’d met in Bristol stayed with L. and me. I took a deep breath, smiled and waited, wondering what they would play this time.

In my head is a long list of songs that I would love to hear – some because they have never been played, some because I have never heard them live and some just because they are dear to me and I would love to hear them again. This night, I was able to check off one song on that list: the first one they played for the VIPs was ‘Fragile’. It was funny too, because Marko told us Jari claimed to never have heard it and Jari commented “There are no drums on it!”, consequently he played a shaker (or at least I think that’s what this Instrument is called). The song itself was beautiful. I’d been hoping to hear it live since 2008, but missed the only concert where it was played back on the Revolution Roulette tour. I was happy already and then they gave us ‘Children of the Sun’ as well in an acoustic version. Perfect! For ‘Fragile’ alone it was worth paying the extra money for the VIP ticket. This was exactly what I had been hoping for. <3 So far the songs have been getting more interesting for me since the first gig. Generally speaking they seem to aim for one rare and one more popular song each night. That is a good combination in my opinion.

We passed the waiting time talking and at 8 pm Blackout Problems took the stage. I’d been looking forwards to seeing them again and was a little sad to know it was their last show. Despite being from Germany they will not support Poets of the Fall on that tour, because they have their own tour going on then. I’d talked to them after one of the other gigs and learned they were gonna play in Dortmund in November. When I mentioned how many other gigs I see they answered “Hey, music is love!” – exactly. I will see what I can do about that November gig.

First though it was time to enjoy their set and I did. When the singer hopped off the stage to go into the audience, he did so by my side and used my shoulder for support when he climbed over the barrier. Fine with me. 🙂 I jumped when they asked us to, sang along as best as I could and really had a blast. L. and I had a funny moment with the key line in Rome that we completely misunderstood. I swear we both heard “I’d rather fucking bang with you”, which seemed weird, but OK, artistic freedom and all. It actually is “I’d rob a fucking bank with you!” 😀 We did not realized that until a day after the concert though. Maybe it’s time to get our minds out of the gutter? 😉 Either way, we had fun and time passed quickly.

Setlist

Kaos
Difference
Limit
Queen
Rome

According to schedule the Poets were going to start at 9:30, but the stage was set and I could not believe they’d make us wait that long. They didn’t! At 9 the room went quiet and the intro started and of course we all screamed when they walked out. The story Marko had told me about the intro was still making me smile. He also mentioned he really wanted to use that line in a song and Captain said he had a song idea that fit, so maybe we will get to hear that one day. 🙂

The concert rocked from the start. Already during ‘Dreaming wide awake’, Olli was visiting Captain behind the keyboards and then flying deadly high indeed. It never ceases to amaze me how high he can jump! By now I had gotten used to this order of songs and loved having a song to move to from the start. 😀 ‘Dancing on broken Glass’ still feels a bit too pop for me , but I’m really loving the lyrics. It’s nice seeing the guys perform the new songs. They looks so much into it. Generally it seems like they love the new set, the new tour. They always look happy. While they were playing, Jani walked over to Marko, resting his head on his shoulder for a while. I love those sweet moments. <3 There were many, like Olli and Captain raising their hands together in tune with ‘False Kings’ or Marko visiting Jaska and putting his arm around his shoulders and singing to him, then walking over to the other side of the stage, listening to Olli and then leaning over to blow into his ear. 😀 He seemed to have a thing for Olli that night, because during ‘Temple of Thought’ he was back with his hands raised by the side of Olli’s head. No idea what it meant, but it certainly made me laugh.

For ‘Rogue’ we saw a lot of pointing of guitars and bass, Captain leaning back behind the keyboards, Jari going wild behind the drums and Olli air playing the whammy bar on Jaska’s guitar. 🙂 As the band got ready for ‘Standstill’ I snapped a picture of Jaska posing or Tiia, then was too busy listening to that beautiful tune to take more pictures. The words to ‘Brighter than the Sun’ had finally come back to me the previous night so I could sing along and I even had enough space to dance a little. Before the concert L. and I had talked about having a bass solo, but neither of us could remember which song it was. Now it happened, and she motioned to me “there! this!”. Yeah, it rocks and like most nights Marko sat down next to Jani to watch him play. <3 By the end of the song, he asked us to sing and Jaska as well as Captain helped showing us when it was our turn, arms raised.

Already it was time for ‘Cradled in Love’ and Jari handed Jaska a drumstick so he could play the cymbals. I just wished the lights were a bit better so I could take pictures. There was a lot of backlighting that night just like in Glasgow, so I captured a lot of “shadow play” and silhouettes. With ‘My Dark Disquiet’ we could practice our dance moves again. L. did it really well, so Olli and Jaska were watching her, totally loving it. 🙂 ‘War’ meant singing along at the top of our lungs and being fully into the song for both L. and me. For different reasons that song is truly special to us. More dancing happened for Daze’ with the guys asking everyone to clap along and ‘sleep’ gave us a break before the encores rocked the house.

I was going crazy for ‘Locking up the Sun’ as I do, at the same time trying to watch the guys and taking pictures. 😀 ‘The Sweet Escape’ was beautiful as every night. This song has so many lines that I love. <3 Then it was party time again for ‘Lift’. It was the last chance after all (for that night) before the concert wound down with ‘Carnival of Rust’ and ‘Choir of Cicadas’. It was the end of the tour and I did not want this concert to be over. Looking around, everyone seemed to love it just as much as I did and I’m sure they would have agreed to hear more. The tour had been wonderful so far and this was a perfect last gig. The guys seemed happy too. There was a lot of hugging going on at the end. The crew, namely Glen and Ben got hugged too. After the stage selfie the guys waved goodbye and since I bowed to them in thanks, Olli bowed back to me. <3

We hung out for a while and chatted, I said goodbye to Tiia, Satu and many of the people I had met on the road. This tour was fun, but now it was time to leave. L. and I had a long walk back to our hotel and stayed up a few more hours reminiscing, agreeing it had been a great night. I was already looking forward to the shows yet to come. 🙂

Setlist

Dreaming Wide Awake
Dancing on Broken Glass
False Kings
Temple of Thought
Rogue
Standstill
Brighter Than the Sun
Cradled in Love
My Dark Disquiet
War
Daze
Sleep

Encore:
Locking Up the Sun
The Sweet Escape
Lift
Carnival of Rust
Choir of Cicadas

Ultraviolet Tour 2018: Five shows down, seven to go

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We’re false kings and bastards

Poets of the Fall – Rock City, Nottingham; October 13th, 20

Poets of the Fall’s concert in Nottingham had the best venue of the tour this far. The stage had enough room for the guys to move, the lights were perfect and the sound was great too. It was probably the biggest venue on the tour and not sold out, but that didn’t matter one bit, because the audience was a good one and the guys had a blast. Despite being dead tired I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and there were many good and funny moments

We had an early start in Glasgow so after being out for d’rinks the previous night it meant about 5 hours of sleep for A. and me. We got ready, picked up B. and B. from their hotel and walked to the station in the rain. It was a long journey to Nottingham and thanks to storm warnings in Scotland we were delayed for an hour. Eventually we made it though and the city greeted us with sunshine. All I wanted to do was sleep, but instead we checked in, met up with L. and got ready. A quick dinner and off to the venue we were. The sheer number of people surprised us until we realized there was another concert going on at the same time. I waited with the others until they got in for VIP and then was 7th in line for the regular tix. Not a bad position. 🙂 The time passed quickly and to my surprise L. and I got to stand second row center just behind the others. I immediately noticed how good the lights were. It would have been ideal for taking pictures, but being second row I decided to give the camera a rest for one night and just enjoy the gig.

Blackout Problems are getting better every night. They sounded amazing and made good use of the stage as well, jumping around like crazy. Watching them is just so much fun and I am starting to recognize the songs now too. The setlist changed a little from the previous night with ‘Queen’ replacing ‘Kontrol’. It was a good song. The singer instructed us all to count “One, two, three, four” after he started counting “One, two”. It worked beautifully! I love how enthusiastic they are and also how they thank Poets every night for bringing them and the audience for even listening. They get a lot of points in my book for being nice people. Most of the audience seemed to agree and some clapped along which earned us the comment of “having the right dea”. ;)After a few times I’ve realized their music is very danceable so I spent a lots of time just swaying with it and even head-banging a little. Moste people in the audience seemed to like their set, the general mood was good and when the singer went into the audience during ‘Rome’, asking everyone around him to jump, most people did and he finally won over the crowd completely. I was already smiling before they had finished their set. I really need to ask them for their names next time. 😀

Setlist

Kaos
Difference
Limit
Queen
Rome

The stage was larger than the others we had seen on this tour so far and therefore Jari and Captain had their raisers to stand or sit on in the back. It meant we could see them better and the rest of the band had the opportunity to stand up there too from time to time, visiting them and stepping from one raiser to the other. 😀 I tried hard to keep track of what everyone was doing and especially paying attention to the guys in the back. Still, I must have missed lots of interactions, because I was focussed on one person or the other. The only difference when I use my camera is, that I try to capture the interesting/funny/cool moments, but I think my focus shifts about the same between people with or without and there is never the chance to see everything that is going on. At the front it is is easier to see the small gestures, while from the back I get a better overall picture, but sometimes I wish I could stop the action for a moment and look at it again with a different focus.

The setlist has not changed since London, so apparently the guys are happy with it now. It works really well too. They have always had a knack for finding the right mixture between ballads and rockers. 😀 Every night, I get to know it a little better and every night I remember a little more of the lyrics as well. Olli even stopped checking on me. 😉 By now I had reached the point where I could start figuring out the things the guys do during a certain song like Jaska taking a drumstick and playing the cymbals for ‘Cradled in Love’ or Jani playing an awesome bass solo during ‘Brighter than the sun’ (yep, I had noticed a solo before, but could not remember which song it belonged to 😉 ). Overall though, the concert passed in a happy blur, because I had reached the point of tiredness where I just could not keep up any more. That didn’t make it any less fun though. I was jumping and dancing and singing and generally having a good time. 😀

There were only few photographers at the front and Olli was posing for one of them. I saw pictures everywhere, but especially remember one point just before War when Captain was all lit up in blue and his shadow was clearly visible on the wall behind him. I even framed it with my hands, because it was such a good picture. That was one moment during the show I was tempted to pick up my camera after all, but I knew I would not put it down again if I did. For once it was nice having my hands free and when Marko leaned out during ‘The Dark Disquiet’ and shook hands, I was right there too. 🙂 Being behind A. and B. at the front was a perfect spot. 🙂

As they often do, the guys interacted with the audience a lot, like Jani throwing a kiss to B. and when she looked surprised mimicking like it was exploding. 😀 There were a lot of smiles exchanged as well and of course the audience picked up on all the cues we got for clapping and later holding up our phone lights. The band, as they often do, were visiting each other with Jaska, Jani and Olli spending a lot of time on the drum and keyboard raisers or pointing at each other with their instruments. At one point, Jari was drumming standing up and Captain did a lot of leaning back at the keyboards, not to mention all the hand gestures, sometime sin unison with Olli and always fitting with the song they wer just playing. <3 At the end of ‘Brighter than the Sun’ Jani walked over to Marko and ran his hand down his back. It was just one of many gestures of appreciation I saw that night.

Marko sang a few lines to me, which I often forget right after. This time, it was during ‘Temple of Thought’, “And if words should fail here, I’ll just read the way you sound”. I love these moments of connection, even though I can often not remember the line exactly or just forget how to sing any of the as soon as he looks at me. 😉 After the show in Glasgow I was talking to B. and she said the same thing: “He looked at me and I forgot how to sing!” Yes, Marko tends to have that effect on people. *smiles sheepishly*. We had another memorable lyrics moment at this show when I was “turning back time” with my hand during ‘Locking up the Sun’ and Marko gave me a thumbs up for it. 😀

The audience was enthusiastic overall, if maybe a bit more quiet than the one in Glasgow. From the front, the room felt packed. Only if one walked towards the back it was noticeable that the venue was not sold out. Either way, we made some noise, some a little too much for my liking. There was one Finnish woman who kept shouting the guys’ names and telling Jani to take his shirt off. While I don’t mind the occasional funny interlude, I do not appreciate it when this happens in the middle of a beautiful soft song like ‘Standstill’. Neither did L., turned and looked at her. She seemed to get the message then. Despite the interruption, the song made me choke up and later, when they played ‘War’, I even started crying. They still move me after all these years, even though their concerts usually make me too happy to shed tears.

During ‘Rogues’, Marko did not walk off stage this time as he had done the previous night, but stayed on the left side of the stage, sat down, and watched the others do their job, looking as enthralled as I feel when I get to watch them. As he walked back he told us that watching them play was amazing “and I get to do it every night!”.  He also played air violin along with them, but most people seemed to be actually focussed on the rest of the guys and not watching him. 😉 Later, it might have been during the bass solo, Marko sat down and watched Jani play. I love it when they admire each other’s skill’s and also when they point them out for the audience to see like saying “You should be watching this guy right now!” <3 And in case you ever get bared with looking at the band (yeah, right, who could ever? 😉 ) you can always check on Glen, the stage tech. You can see him interact with them all the time and sometime she even gives cues to the audience. It can be quite entertaining to see. The best part is always exchanging guitars with Olli. They have a routine that almost looks like a little dance at times. 😀

Time flew and before I realized it, the main set was already over. Where did all the songs go and how could most of it be over already? Did they leave out a few? Of course they did not, time just always speeds up as soon as the first notes of the intro come over the speakers. ‘Sleep’ was lovely, but didn’t make anyone sleepy. Quite the contrary. We were yelling and screaming for more. Come on guys, you can’t leave us like that!

‘The Sweet Escape’ has become a highlight of the show for me, together with ‘Standstill’. The former got to me the first time I heard it, while the latter took a little longer to grow on me. I relate to both though and ‘The Sweet Escape’ has some amazing lines aside from containing the album title. There are not all that many people in my life who have seen me come undone and then stuck around to see beyond and those are the ones dearest to me. The beauty of those lines is that they have several layers, like most of Poets’ songs do. <3 Right now, this is a perfect song for me. Next year, it may be completely different.

At the start of ‘Lift’ (or I think it was there) Olli and Marko did a little dance, i.e. one stepping towards the other, while the other stepped back and then some mock fight routines where Marko seemed to be hitting Olli with an invisible whip. Don’t ask, I have no idea. 😀 The song itself was a jumpfest for me and many others, happily bouncing up and down in tune with the music, screaming when asked to do so and of course moving “on and on and on” as well. It never gets old. Hearing ‘Carnival of Rust’ live for the 205th time was still as amazing as when I heard it first. That song will always have a special place in my heart. At the very end of the show, Jani stepped up to Jaska from behind, gathered him in his arms and lifted him up, while both were laughing. Olli hugged Captain, Captain hugged Jani in turn and then Jani hugged Olli. Of course they all took a selfie with us before they left.

We gathered our wits and our belongings, said goodbye to a few people and walked out. After a quick drink, we returned to our hostel where B. and B. had left their things with us and sat in the kitchen for a while, chatting. They were going out, but A., L. and I felt too beat to do so. We hugged them goodbye, wished them a safe trip home and retreated to bed for some much needed sleep. Onwards to Manchester the next day!

Setlist

Dreaming Wide Awake
Dancing on Broken Glass
False Kings
Temple of Thought
Rogue
Standstill
Brighter Than the Sun
Cradled in Love
My Dark Disquiet
War
Daze
Sleep

Encore:
Locking Up the Sun
The Sweet Escape
Lift
Carnival of Rust
Choir of Cicadas

Ultraviolet Tour 2018: Four shows down, eight to go

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