Poets of the Fall – Salamandra, Barcelona; November 28th, 2019
Sometimes people ask me why I follow certain bands and I cannot make them understand, sometimes, when I am travel weary, I might even ask myself why. Then a night like Poets of the Fall’s concert in Barcelona happens and it is so beautiful it breaks my heart. Everything fits and I know that this is what I live for, what makes me happy, what keeps me sane and there is nothing else that can compare. This is as close to a religious experience as I am ever going to get and all I need in that department. A concert like the one I witnessed last night is where I want to drag all the critics, who don’t get why anyone would want to see the same band so many times, point to the stage and say “This! There!” It probably would not help them understand, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that after 230 concerts Poets of the Fall can still blow me off of my feet, make me sing and dance and jump and cry happy tears. That makes it all worthwhile.
When the band announced their first ever concert in Barcelona there was no question that I would go. For years I have taken every chance to see them in a new country and I wasn’t going to miss this one. I also have good memories of Barcelona and had not been there in 11 years. For some reason there were no cheap flights from Dortmund or Düsseldorf so my day started with a train ride to Frankfurt which was – of course – delayed. Still arrived in good time and then had to wait in an extremely slow security queue. There were maybe ten people ahead of me and it took me more than 30 minutes to get through. I really wondered what they do on busy days. The flight was on time though and I landed in Barcelona just a bit to late to go to Poets of the Fall’s signing session at 1 pm. The airport had grown considerably since I’d last been there and it took me a while to get out. Made it to the city, checked in, had food, rested. Was too tired to go anywhere and eventually set out to the venue.
Arriving to a queue of around 15 people, I stood with the ones I knew, who all had VIP tix. We talked until they got in, then hat to sort out the queue. Another hour to go, but at least it wasn’t cold or rainy. I felt my feet, wondering how I was going to deal with standing all night. To my surprise, nobody cared about my camera so I didn’t even ask for my photo pass. Got in, saw some stairs on the left, wondered if I should sit, but then settled for the right where there was one last spot in front row on the side. Since there were no barriers, this was going to give me a good view. The stage was a bit high, but at least my head was above it. 😉 Started chatting with the people by my side who were majorly excited to finally have their favorite band in their country and danced already to the music that was playing before the show. 🙂
The local band Slowflames was supporting, announcing that they usually are four people, but tonight they were only three and would play a special acoustic show. Not that I understood what the singer said, but the women by my side translated for me. 🙂 Anyway, they sang in English and they were great. The drummer had a box drum to sit on, so it was really not a rock set. It was beautiful though. I loved the music and the singer’s voice. Didn’t pay all that much attention to the lyrics, but swayed with the songs and liked their style. It was a great start to the night and immediately made me feel less tired.
Day to Day
Tears & Flames
Fear in my Veins
My Red Hell
I watched Glen, Panu and Marko H. set up the stage and I watched the people around me, all excited about the concert. This was going to be a good one, I could feel it in my bones. Every time the music from the speakers stopped for a moment, cheers and clapping ensued. The good vibes in the room made me smile already and for the first time in a long time I was really psyched to see the guys.
From the moment the intro started I completely lost my sense of time. I screamed loudly and a little bit before everyone else when the words instructed me not to and cheered for each one of them as they walked out. Jari was absent and once again Tuomas was taking his place. With the start of ‘Dreaming wide awake’ the audience started moving, many of them were jumping and it felt like everyone was singing along. They all looked happy and so did the band. We were feeding off of each other’s energy already and it only got better during the evening.
The spot I was in was perfect – so close and with a good view of everyone. The best part of it were the people around me though. Seeing the pure joy on their faces made the concert even better. Singing along at the top of my lungs from the start I felt every line. Yes, I’d still sell my soul to dream you wide awake! Olli spotted me early on, giving me a big smile and during ‘Locking up the Sun’ Jani was looking straight at my camera, sticking his tongue out. I could not help but laugh. They powered through the songs and the audience was with them every step of the way. They may not have known all the movements, often I was the only one who did them, but they sure knew how to scream and clap along.
Every song made me happy that night and with great sound I understood every word too. Since there are still lyrics I don’t know it helped. 😉 ‘False Kings’ was amazing and also the song when Marko noticed me. He pointed at me smiling and I pointed right back. Whole conversations go on in my head in such moments “Hey, good to see you again!” ” It’s good to be back!”. It always makes me feel more connected. That night though, I could sense a connection to each one of the guys, no matter if they saw me or not. I felt the music with every fiber of my being, getting lost, singing their songs.
The guys had so much energy that night, playing their hearts out and moving all over the stage doing it, drinking in the appreciation they received. Jani was urging people on to clap along, posing for pictures and even throwing a kiss or two. Captain was lost in the music moving along with it when he wasn’t playing. Tuomas was drumming like a madman and looked like he was having a blast doing it. Jaska was all smiles and I even saw him headbanging. Olli was also smiling at everyone, pointing here and there and yet never missed a note. Marko made use of the fact that there was no barrier at all, sat on the edge of the stage a lot and shook many hands.
‘Temple of Thought’ is still one of the most beautiful love songs I know and the only one that isn’t the least bit kitsch. It made me think of the people I love, the ones that stuck with me during hard times. Love comes in so many forms and can be expressed in so many ways – for me this song touches on all of them. Marko even looked in my direction during the “I want you to know you’re the heart of my temple of thought.” Not at me, mind you, just over people’s heads. It makes perfect sense to me – these words are too special to be used lightly. 🙂 When ‘Rogue’ started, he motioned for us to clap along as he left the stage and we followed suit. The others enjoyed their moments in the spotlight to the fullest, playing perfectly. At one point Jani got down on his knees in front of me and I would have missed it if someone had not tapped me on the shoulder and pointed, because I was trying to get a picture of Tuomas. To capture this I even needed to lean back, but then I got it and bowed in thanks. 🙂
Marko asked us to turn the venue into a starry night with our phone lights and we did. It got tricky when I tried to keep waving the light with my left while at the same time taking pictures of Jani sitting on the edge of the stage with my right. I got a few, but stopped waving. Multitasking, yep, I know how. 😛 Suddenly, I don’t remember exactly when, I found Tiia by my side, hugging me, snapping some pics and then disappearing again. Later I could tell where she was a few times because Olli was posing for her. It’s always fun to see when one of the guys finds her in the crowd and strikes a pose. With ‘My Dark Disquiet’ they had us all dancing. It really didn’t take much to ignite this audience, but soon after they all proved they could listen quietly as well for ‘In a perfect World’. During the song Marko looked at me and again he caught me not knowing a line – how? It made me giggle, quietly of course. The song is growing on me, I might even know all the words by the end of this tour.
‘War’ got to me like it hasn’t in a long time and I shed a few tears. The song always means a lot to me, but it takes a special mood to make me choke up. This night, I was so completely in the music, feeling everything that it happened a few times and made the concert even more special. <3 “Are you ready to party?” Marko asked us after and of course we were, jumping and dancing during ‘Daze’ and even more so for ‘Choice Millionaire’. I got a little out of breath even, but at least for this one I didn’t have to sing the verse. The few people who can actually remember all those words have my endless admiration. Instead of trying to sing along I watched the guys going nuts, jumping, turning, having a blast. I remember them moving together, playing together and always looking like it was the best night of their lives. 😀 When we reached ‘Late Goodbye’ I finally realized how much time must have passed, since the song marks the end of the main set. It felt like they had just started and now it was already our turn to sing and soon to cheer them back to the stage.
The intro to the encore started and for the life of me I could not remember which song would follow. I laughed when I realized it was ‘Diamonds for Tears’ – I must have just repressed it. That night, I really enjoyed it though, like I did way back on the Revolution Roulette tour when it was still new. Again I took a look at the people around me, those unfamiliar to me and through their eyes I could relive seeing Poets of the Fall for the first time – seeing the wonder on their faces made me so happy. Maybe it was here that Marko had a water bottle and sprayed the contents all over us – it was a refreshing shower. They powered through ‘Lift’, while I screamed, jumped and tried to capture a few funny moments at the same time like Jani biting the neck of Olli’s guitar or joining Captain at the keyboards and Jaska forming a heart with his hands, showing it to Glen. Of course Olli was flying high in the air and I managed to get a great picture of that moment.
One last song, ‘Carnival of Rust’ and one last time I sang along with all my might and looked at the smiling faces around me. I choked up again and could not stop smiling at the same time. “Oh my heart!” There was no other place in the world I wanted to be and I wanted to make the moment last as long as possible. To great cheers the show ended, they shook hands with many of us and I got to thank Captain while he shook mine. The final picture with them was a funny one and many people raised their hands forming hearts with them as Marko had done during the show. After they had left I still felt in a trance for a bit, then everything came back to me, i.e. I felt my feet hurting. 😉 It didn’t bother me though, I just wanted to hug the world. Stopped by the merch to have a few words with Tiia. She was busy of course so I bought Snowflames’ CD first, then waited until most people were gone. Jani came out to say hello and I got a hug, telling him what a brilliant show it had been. He had loved it too and Tiia agreed. It was one of those special, magical nights. <3 After a final hug and goodbyes to Tiia I walked home, then sat in my room crying happy tears and feeling deeply grateful for having been part of this show. I love my life, how much better can it get?
Dreaming wide awake
Locking up the Sun
Temple of Thought
The Sweet Escape
My Dark Disquiet
In a perfect World
Diamonds for Tears
Carnival of Rust