Poets of the Fall – Rockhal, Esch-sur-Alzette; October 24th, 2019
The first time ever Poets of the Fall played in Luxembourg, more specifically Esch-sur-Alzette, was a concert I experienced with mixed feelings. The band was having a blast, the audience and the venue were good and even the sound was right, so in Poets’ history this will and should go down as a good show. Everything worked out fine for me too and yet it took me a long time to get into it, to feel the rush that usually accompanies their concerts, that makes me travel great distances to see them and get “that kick”. It is what it is though, there are ups and downs always and that too, is part of being a fan.
“For the first half hour I wasn’t feeling it” I said after the show and I wasn’t lying. Lately I seem to see Poets of the Fall concerts that are objectively good by all standards, but do not grab me as they used to. I have yet to figure out why that is, if my mind is just elsewhere or why else their music isn’t doing it for me at the moment. Whatever the reason, I still like being there and I certainly have fun, the feeling just isn’t as strong right now. That being said, I fully trust them to bring it back eventually and I still love them just as much as I always have. Maybe it is just time for a break. We will see.
I had planned to work until just before noon on show day, arrive in Esch-sur-Alzette around 6 pm and go straight to the show, but thanks to Deutsche Bahn canceling one of my trains, I had to take the day off and leave earlier.Suited me just fine, since it meant more sleep and a more relaxed trip. Got there just after 4 and met up with my friend A. who agreed to store my luggage in her room. She wanted to get in line then and I briefly said hello to the people already waiting, then took off for a walk. Back before 6 the line still had not gotten any longer and we chatted until it was time for the VIP people to go in. A little bit after, B. arrived and we did not have to wait long any more.Got in, hugged Tiia on the way, scored a spot on the right side at the front and only then remembered there was supposed to be a support act.
District 7 took the stage at 8:30, all dressed up in glittery jackets, giving off strong Rockabilly vibes. I’m not really sure how to classify their music, but I want to say “old style rock ‘n’roll with pop elements”. Either way, it was good music and they were fun to watch as well. They had some small boxes to stand on which they used frequently and they moved around a lot otherwise too. All of them were singing at times which was pretty cool and they worked on connecting with the audience. Soon, they had us clapping along.
To get us going they chose to cover The Killers’ ‘Mr.Brightside’ which kind of fell flat because most people did not seem to know the lyrics well enough to sing along. I was no exception. For me, ‘Somebody told me’ or ‘Are we Human’ would have worked a lot better. They did a good job on the song though and I liked their own stuff too. It worked well do move to and get warmed up. Nicely done, District 7.
Cross my Heart
Mr. Brightside (The Killers cover)
Rewrite your History
The Place we used to call Home
Poets of the Fall were supposed to hit the stage at 8:30, so I was not the only one being surprised when the lights went down and the intro started ten minutes early. What? Already? Good! As soon as they had all walked in I realized that for once I had a good view of everyone, even Captain and Jari. Didn’t have my camera though and was just planning to enjoy the show without worrying about that.
They kicked off the show the same way they have for most of this tour. Yes, I know, there was a slight change in the setlist, but it somehow feels the same way. I sang along and was going trough the motions, because usually that gets me in the mood after a while. It was fun, just not as much as I had hoped it would be. There were nice moments though, like Tiia touching my arm in passing, Olli smiling and Jani sticking out his tongue at me when he saw me. It’s still the little things that make the world. Yet I felt, do I dare say it?, slightly bored. They have so many songs in total, loads of which they have not played in ages and yet, they keep choosing the same ones to open and close the set with. Yes, I know it is about structure and about playing the hits too as well as the new album, but what I would not give to hear a few songs of ‘Revolution Roulette’ or ‘Twilight Theater’ that aren’t the ones they always play. These are brilliant albums and it sometimes feels likes they’ve all but forgotten about them. And if there’s no enough room in the setlist, there is always the option to play longer shows. 😉
Anyway, I watched the people around me and they were clearly enjoying it, I looked at the band and they had a blast, so I knew it was me and stopped worrying about it. I still got a kick out of watching the guys jking around with each other, laughed when a drop of sweat from Olli hit me in the beginning and grinned when I saw Glen sneaking behind the drums with a camera and Jari took of a cymbal to hold it up for the picture. These moments always make the concerts more memorable.
The guys had just played a great version of ‘Rogue’ and Marko was back on stage, asking if we had our phones. Of course, we would need them for ‘The Sweet Escape’ and Jani was already sitting on the edge of the stage, ready for the song. Then, totally unexpected, Mako announced he was going to do it “en français” – “let’s see how it goes,” he added. AAHHHH! I never expected them to play ‘Partir avec moi’ outside of Paris. Suddenly I was the biggest fangirl again. 😀 It was beautiful and I immediately regretted not filming it. Oh well, I was there, I saw, I heard! <3
Right after this gem I was dancing along to ‘My Dark Disquiet’ and once again I wondered how Marko can sense which lyrics I know, because he looked at me while I was singing along and looked away just before my memory failed me. Perfect timing. 🙂 By now I had lots of fun watching the guys, for instance Olli and Jaska stood back to back playing guitar or both visited Captain, pretending to play keyboards with him. Meanwhile Jani posed for pictures and Jari was well lit for once, so I could actually see what he was doing. he was all smiles too.
The next surprise came with Marko announcing they’d do a song they had never played live before. It was ‘In a perfect World’. At this point, I had not been expecting any new songs off of Ultraviolet, so this was a nice addition. Not my favorite on the album, but a song that worked very well live. I especially enjoyed Olli’s guitar work and the fact that the song segued right into ‘War’. Wow. ‘War’ still stirs up memories for me, but not as strongly as during the Clearview tour where it brought me to tears on a regular basis. I still sang along with all of my heart and had Olli nodding at me.
Marko told us it was time to party and we sure did during ‘Daze’. Then ‘Choice Millionaire’ came along and he threatened to take off his pants, opening the belt. Nobody reacted though. 😉 Meanwhile Glen and Olli were motioning to Jaska to join them on their side of the stage and he completely missed the cue and stayed were he was so they where along for the arms up and down motion at the beginning of the song. However, MArko jumped in and did the movements with them and so did I. 🙂 It was a wild jump around party as always. Who would have thought that I’d grow to love this song for adding so much fun to a concert? I think it might have been at this point that Marko was balancing the mic stand on one hand. 😀
Things got calmer again then with Jani and Marko sitting down at the edge of the stage to listen to Olli play the intro to ‘Late Goodbye’. Somewhere earlier during the night, Marko hat sat down on the stage by Olli, just watching him in awe and Tiia, who sat in front of me at the time, snapping a picture, had the biggest smile on her face while doing though. That’s love! <3 The sing-along part sounded pretty bad to me, but I#m not blaming anyone. My voice sure does not make it better. 😛
Too soon the encores rolled around. ‘Lift’ was lots of fun with Olli and Jaska dueling during guitar solos. At least I believe that happened during ‘Lift’. Both had huge smiles on their faces and everyone else looked truly happy too. As always there were little gestures of affection between the guys, admiring looks and encouraging smiles. I just love seeing how much they appreciate each other. 🙂 Of course I did the “on and on and on” motion, but nobody else did and Marko was singing it to Jani instead. “We have time for one last song” he announce then and of course we wanted it. As much as I hate the fact that I know the show is over after this song, I still think ‘carnival of Rust’ is a great closing song. It has brought so many people to this band and I love that they always honor it. THey played a lovely version. At the end, just before we gathered for a picture, S. held up a sign, asking Olli for a guitar pick. He threw it to her, but she failed to catch it, so I think he handed her another one? One went to B. as well. They took a picture with us, during which Jani grabbed the mic stand and insisted to hold it between his legs – whatever floats your boat dude. 😉 I waved as they left. That was a fun show after all.
On the way out we spoke to Tiia for a bit and got to say hello to Jani who wanted to know what we thought of the show and confirmed that they’d had a blast. I ended up getting one of his bass picks too. Thank you <3 Finally it was time to head home, so we said goodbye. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.
Dreaming wide awake
Locking up the Sun
Temple of Thought
Partir avec moi
My Dark Disquiet
In a perfect World
Diamonds for Tears
Carnival of Rust