Berlin and back

Poets of the Fall – Columbia Club, Berlin; April 24th 2008

For me the journey started on a sad note. I am a Springsteen fan and I have been for the past 21 years. That is a long time to get to know the music, the man and his band. Exactly one week before the Poets gig in Berlin, the E Street Band has lost one of their founding members, Danny Federici, to melanoma. I cannot honestly claim that I knew him, I have met him only twice, but it hit me as if I had lost an old friend. Other fans have found better words to describe it and I won’t bore you with this, but I spent the morning of the concert reading reports of the first Bruce and ESB show without Danny and cried with every report I read. Thus, I did not really feel like going to a concert, any concert that night. I wanted to be alone with my grief and I felt that a concert would not be the right place for it.

So when I got on that train that would take me to Berlin it was with mixed emotions. It was a show I had been looking forward to for weeks, but yet I was not in the mood. I had a 3.5 hour train ride to think about these things and decided to just take things as they come and see what would happen.

Fast forward to Berlin, outside Columbia Club, ca. 6:00 pm. The first thing that surprised me was the number of people already there – about 50 people had gathered on the steps – Lovex fans as I soon realized. I looked around for POTF shirts and immediately spotted P. who was proudly wearing his ‘Prowlers of the Fall’ (German Street Team) shirt. Great idea, otherwise I would not have known who to talk to first. So I joined the group, others followed, we hung out, shooting the breeze. Pretty soon I forgot all about being sad and just enjoyed being there.

Ollie came out for a bit and talked with us. He told us that both Marko and Captain were sick with the flu and they would not come out after the gig. But he promised that when the album comes out in Germany there will be a tour – either this fall or latest next spring. Yay!

More people arrived and for some odd reason we all gathered around some plastic boxes that were just standing there. Apparently they belonged to a guy who was collecting empty bottles, but I never found out why he had the boxes. Anyway, we had some fun joking about it, because he kept moving them away from us – I guess we must have looked rather scary. ;)

At 8 pm the doors finally opened and it took ages to get in. They checked everything and even took away my permanent marked so I would not write on the toilet walls. Seriously, I must look dangerous indeed.

We got a good spot on the far left of the stage about 3, 4 rows back. Now it was time for waiting, some drinks and more chatting. We counted about 20 people with Poets T-Shirts including our group.

At 9 pm, Manboy started. They were OK, but not more. Nice enough to listen to, yet nothing that would make me buy their records. The audience went along OK, but were still a bit subdued.

We got closer to the front before the Poets started. Some Lovex fans were nice enough to let us stand in their spots. :D (of course we had to promise we would leave after the Poets ;))
As soon as the lights went out and the Poets walked on stage we made as much noise as possible, clapping and screaming. The band came out to the sound of sirens. “Welcome to the Revolution Roulette” Marko told us and launched into the song. It was totally amazing and you could not hear that he was sick. Pretty soon I was jumping and singing along at the top of my lungs. Next up was ‘Psychosis’ and a huge grin spread on my face. I knew the new songs would work well live. I had no idea they would work so well. During the “I want to shed my skin” line Marko kept pulling up his T-Shirt, showing us his belly. As good reason to scream as any. :P

I’m not good with setlists, so the order of songs may have been different. ‘The ultimate fling’ rocked the house. Time for more jumping and headbanging. I expected the long solo in the end, but it was the short version. Still, Ollie got to show his talent lots of times and he kept looking at us too, especially at S.
The time for some older songs came. A beautiful version of ‘Carnival of Rust’, followed by a rocking ‘Locking up the sun’. I believe by then the entire audience was into it. Screaming and jumping and clapping along – just wonderful. Only the first row of Lovex fans seemed unfazed, but everyone behind them was rocking.
‘Diamonds for tears’ was next, time to breathe again during the slower parts. And what a great version it was. ‘Lift’ was sung along by so many that I felt as if all people were there just for the Poets.
“Do you want More?” Marko asked us and of course we did. “But you gotta help me. Sing ‘It’s all about the money’” The entire audience did that well and the song was spectacular.

After that we only got one last song: ‘Late Goodbye’. Again, the entire audience seemed to sing along. Wonderful. During this last song I had my personal perfect moment: I was filming and Marko came over to our side to say goodbye. He saw my camera and pointed straight at me. I looked at him a bit confused, not sure if he meant me. Son he pointed again, grinned and nodded “yes, I do mean YOU.” Very cool moment , I’m smiling like a loon just thinking about it.

It was over way too soon and I could have listened for some more hours. It all came and went in the blink of and eye, but what a wonderful gig. I loved the new songs live like I love the older ones. I had fun and I forgot all the sadness in my heart. Great job Poets!

We went to the back, chatting excitedly and finally I got something to drink. My voice momentarily left me from screaming so much. We were all high from the gig and silly and in a great mood. It was very enjoyable to hang out with you people

We stayed for Lovex, but they were nothing to write home about.
Some last pictures outside the club, then it was home for all of us. It was a great gig and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other Prowlers. Hope to see you again soon!

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