French lessons, pantomime and venturing into the crowd

Poets of the Fall – Les Etoiles, Paris; March 20th, 2019

Seeing Poets of the Fall rock Paris was the most fun I’ve had on this year’s tour so far and I have loved every single show. Whenever they play a new country for the first time I do my best to be there, because I like to witness the reaction of that first audience, love to see the chemistry between  them and the band and watch the magic unfold. At this gig, they held us in the palms of their hands from the start. The small venue was packed, the mood was great and sound as well as lights were surprisingly good for such a small place. There was even good air condition so nothing could spoil the enjoyment of the show. It was fun in every way. The guys were clearly loving it and so was the crowd. I’m sure this won’t have been their last time in Paris.

Getting four hours of work in before my train left in the morning, I was already a bit tired by the time I finally arrived. My hotel was close to the train station, so I had a little tine to relax before I went and checked out the venue. Said hello to a few people in line and chose to leave again since I did not have a VIP ticket anyway. Got back there at 6:20 and still got a spot in third row despite the venue being narrow. Nice. I briefly checked out the balcony upstairs, but it was only good for people who wanted to stay seated, because anyone who stood up was looking at three gigantic disco balls that hung from the ceiling. Nope, that was not gonna work. Thus, I settled down in my original spot and waited.

It didn’t take long for Blackout Problems to hit the stage. I had just told people around me how fun and crazy they are, when the started the show. The power of their songs had me move along and even bang my head and as soon as their singer stepped off the stage and into the crowd I started smiling. It is a great way to connect with the audience and people gladly made room for him. Watching the guys left on stage was just as much fun. 🙂 the sound wasn’t perfect, but at least I recognize most of the songs by now. Soon the singer ventured into the crowd once again, this time going all the way to the back and up the stairs. Awesome. They all played like their was no tomorrow and I loved every minute of it. Somehow, ‘Sheep in the Dark’ did not sound familiar, maybe because it was the first time I paid some attention to the lyrics. 😉 After that one, I was surprised to hear the singer announce everything in French. He had to think about it, but he really did well and the crowd loved it. At one point he momentarily gave up and switched to English, but then tried French again. Kudos, well done! The great ‘Rome’ ended the set and they left to great cheers. This audience sure was ready for more.

Setlist

How are you doing
911
Difference
Limit
Sheep in the Dark
Rome

The stage was rather small and while the whole band fit on it easily, Glen and his equipment were set up on the right hand side if front of the backstage door, i.e. next to me. Watching him work is just as much fun and watching the band so I was happy with my spot. 🙂 Captain and Jari were in the back without their usual raisers and the other four were setup next to each other at the front. They were not going to have much room to move. There was no barrier between the stage and the audience either. It had been a while since I’d seen them in a place like this. The room was full, but it did not feel overcrowded and we still had some space.

I curiously waited for the intro to start. Granted, the entire front row (at least as far as I could see) consisted of people who had traveled to Paris to see the band and already knew the drill, but they were still setting foot into a new country that night and I waited for the first reaction. As soon as the lights went down, people already cheered. A bunch of us screamed on cue with “Don’t scream” and the others joined in as soon as the goys walked out. Marko turned the microphone towards us and we responded. It was loud! 😀 From the first line, people were singing along too and it sounded to me like everyone in the audience knew every word to every song. It was wonderful. <3

Olli spotted me during the first song and gave me a big smile. Eventually the others saw me too and did the same. <3 Jari was too far away, but he’d already said hello outside while I was waiting for the doors to open. There was a lot of interaction with the audience in general. The guys were smiling all the time, sometimes pointing or waving at people they recognized and of course Marko sang to some of us. The smiles were contagious, I saw them reflected on everyone’s faces and felt it on mine too. 🙂 I had a pretty nice view and despite people waving their arms at the front I managed to snap a few nice pictures too. By the side of the stage, Glen did the best to capture some of the action as well, when he was not needed to switch guitars or adjust the mix. He was having fun too!

Despite the small stage the guys switched places from time to time, always watching out not to fall over each other. It led to some cute dance maneuvers. 🙂 Quite often they watched each other play and there were a few pats on the back too. I always loved it how they express their genuine affection for each other. They do tease each other a lot, but it’s always obvious that it comes from a place of love. That’s probably why this band functions so well – the guys just genuinely like each other and enjoy playing together. Of course Marko walked over to Olli and fiddled with his guitar and of course Olli let him, just like of course there was a point when Jani stuck his tongue out at one of the others. It is all part of the show and I love all of it. 😀

‘Dancing on Broken Glass’ had a great sing-along going and I realized that I finally know all of the words. 🙂 During ‘False Kings’ Marko stood at the front of the stage, holding his hands together as if he was ready to dive into a pool and then moving them apart. People immediately understood and made room for him so he stepped down into the crowd and walked maybe halfway to the back singing to everyone he passed on the way. Everyone in the audience looked surprised, but the were all quick with their phones, taking pictures. It was fun to see how nobody had expected this. 😀

When ‘Temple of Thought’ was announced there were great cheers. It is always a fan favorite. Small wonder, considering how amazing the song is. Marko walked up to Jani and put his arm across his shoulders, standing with him for a while, then moved on to Jaska and did the same. Sweet! For ‘Rogue’ he left the stage and we all watched the rest of the band play. It was awesome, but unfortunately Jari was lost in the artificial fog most of the time and so was Captain (when they were not being blocked by the others). I got a nice view of our guitar and bass heroes though, showing off their skills as well as giving each other room and pointing our attention to whoever was playing a solo – guitar and bass necks make just as good pointers as fingers do. 😀

As it was time for ‘Standstill’ there was some confusion between Glen and the tour manager regarding from where they should get the chairs for the guys onto the stage. Eventually they managed though and everyone sat down. Marko spent some time adjusting his tie, asking us if he looked OK. Of course he did and while we are at it, everyone looked great that night – nice stage outfits guys! 🙂 When he announced ‘Standstill’ people cheered and he replied “Yeah, it’s one of my favorites too.” This is my favorite part of the set every night, from ‘Rogue’ to ‘The Game’. I turned around at the beginning of ‘The Sweet Escape’ to see all the phone lights held up high and moved back and forth – it looked beautiful. Marko surprised us all by singing the last verse in French. Wow! At the end, during the instrumental part, he went down into the crowd again, turning and looking at the stage, watching the others. People took the chance to take selfies with him and as he climbed back onto the stage he joked about this being scary.

‘My Dark Disquiet’ made me wanna dance and since I had enough room to do so I did. 😀 After that, ‘The Game’ was just a chance to sing along at the top of my lungs. It always makes me happy that one of my favorites from the ‘Clearview’ album is on the setlist. <3 During ‘Cradled in Love’ I happened to look over to Glen and started giggling, because he was pantomiming the chorus to Olli, wiping tears and showing hearts to him. It was hilarious. He can pantomime more songs for me any day! 😀

‘War’ was absolutely perfect and ‘Choice Millionaire’ had me jumping with the band. There was so much great energy in the room and I loved how responsive the audience was. The good vibes continued through ‘Lift’ and of course nobody believed they were done already and we cheered loudly for them to come back. When they did, Marko signaled for us to be quiet for ‘Sleep’. It was lovely. ‘Locking up the Sun’ and finally ‘Carnival of Rust’ brought the show to a close. The band took their time saying goodbye with Marko, Olli and Captain shaking people’s hands and it felt like they did not want to leave just yet. For the final picture they were all lying on their backs on stage. 🙂 It was an amazing first show and I#m sure they’ll come back after this.

I said goodbye to a few people and briefly chatted with Jani who came out to talk. Finally, A. and I decided to go out for a drink and ended the evening with cocktails at a nearby bar. Thank you, see you soon!

pictures of this concert

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: 5 gigs down, 8 to go. Next stop: Lahti

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