Can I get a ride with you?

Poets of the Fall – RCA Club, Lisbon; November 30th, 2019

The show in Lisbon closed the Spain/Portugal leg of Poets of the Fall’s Ultraviolet tour and left behind a lot of happy fans who finally got to see them for the first time. For me, as it often happens with a few shows in a row and too little sleep in-between, it is very much a blur in my head. What I do remember is the smile on my friend A.’s face, who had to wait for this so very long and now got a special show to look back on. I also remember the audience needing a bit of a push, but in the end being unable to resist the power of this band and getting drawn into the show. It was a wonderful ending to a great tour.

Under the impression it was impossible to make it from Madrid to Lisbon by bus or train, I flew in around noon and only later learned that a bus would have been an option too. Anyway, was happy I could walk to my hotel from the airport, checked in, took a deep breath, got ready and met A. and her mom near the venue at 3. First we went for a tea, but decided to go to the venue around 4 (or was it 3:30 even?) and were the first ones in line. The doors were still wide open, the tour bus parked in front and equipment set up. We said hello to the crew and settled in for the wait. More equipment was brought into the venue and since the venue staff did it, Poets’ crew watched them working, Marko H. even filming the whole thing. Isn’t it nice when others have to do all the heavy lifting?

Tiia came out and we all got hugs, then we talked to Tuomas for a while and I told him I’d loved his drumming the past two nights. It felt weird to be so early again, especially because I had not been able to buy a pre-show pass any more. I later learned you cannot do it on the day of the show. So here we were, chatting, joking and getting excited about the concert. A few people had just joined us when a car pulled up, spilling out Marko, Captain and Jaska. We said hello to them, I joked that we were security and they had to get past us. Marko hugged us, then a few people got pictures with them. “Do you want one too?” “Nah, just hugs.” So I got one from Captain as well. Only Jaska wasn’t in the mood for hugs so we said hi and let him go inside. This was a good start. A while later Olli and Jani arrived, walking to the venue. We chatted with them a little too and got hugs from Olli. A. joked with him that he had to speak Portuguese, because she had gifted him a dictionary once. He managed a “Bom Dia”. People got pics with them too before they disappeared inside. It has been a while since I’ve met all of them before the show or got so many hugs. I was happy already. <3

Slowly, more people arrived and except for one other woman, they all had pre-show passed. There was a couple that had come all the way from Brazil to see them – wow! Everyone was excited to see the band and we passed the time talking. A. had made a kerchiefs / small scarves with “Poets of the Fall”, the city and the date printed on the Portuguese flag for the guys and the crew. Before the show I got one too. <3 By the time the pre show guests got in a few more people had arrived and the line was slowly growing. We had some nice conversations and could listen to the acoustic songs through the door. It got considerably colder and our entry was delayed due to the support band having sound trouble. They sounded pretty metal from where we stood. Not bad though. Eventually we got inside and despite one free spot at the front on the far right, I chose to stand behind A. and her mom at the center. It was a narrow venue anyway, the stage smaller than the previous two had been. There was a nice balcony too – maybe next time. 😉

This was the smallest venue on this leg. I didn’t count, but front row can’t have been more than 15 people if that. The stage wasn’t that high either and there were no barriers so it was going to be up close and personal. 🙂 At 9 support Kandia started playing and they weren’t as heavy as they sounded from the outside. They also didn’t sound as good, sadly. It wasn’t their fault, but the drums were too loud, I could hardly hear the singer and the sound was a bit muddy overall. It was fun to watch them though, they powered through their set and seemed to enjoy being there. The music was good, but nothing I would remember later. They got us into the mood though and we were clapping along when they asked us to. It was a nice start.

Setlist

Clarity
All is gone
Hold on to me
Alone
Into your Hands
Deviant + Scars

It felt like forever since I’d been at the front and center of the stage, so close to the action. I was already smiling. A. excitement was contagious too and neither of us could wait for the show to start. 🙂 Just before I Finallysaw Marko peaking through the curtains from the back. the intro was playing and we were clapping along. When it was time to scream, A. and I did and everyone cheered as the guys walked on stage. However, I caught myself thinking “You’re gonna have to do better than that!” Compared to the previous night’s audience the response here was a bit slow. People were clearly having fun though and warmed up to it after a while, getting more into it and growing louder. 😀

From the start I was watching A. often – this was “her” show after all, the one she never expected to happen and had been waiting for for a long time. It made me so happy to see her there, completely lost in the music and even though I could not see her face most of the time, I sure knew what the expression on it looked like – the mixture of awe and happiness that appears on all of our faces when we go to their concerts. 😉

Luckily the sound had improved since the support act, but the light was a bit harsch on the eyes at times and the guys at the back were often lost in the fog. (What is it with those smoke machines anyway – is there an unwritten rule that they absolutely have to be used if they are part of the equipment? 😛 I yet have to meet someone who doesn’t find it annoying when they can’t see the musicians on stage due to all the smoke.) So it was not a good show for taking pictures and I considered giving my camera a rest, but then could not bring myself to putting it down completely. None of this spoiledmy enjoyment though. It was indeed up close and personal and I got a lot of nice views from where I stood. 😀

With the smaller stage, it was difficult to see everyone, because the others got in the way and the band had less room to move, but they didn’t stand still anyway. Somewhere early on, Jaska moved across the stage at the same time Marko moved backwards and bumped into him. Both laughed about it and and hugged. There were a lot of hugs on stage that night, but I cannot remember them all. What I do remember is that both Olli and Jaska got their guitar hero moments when the rest of the band watched in awe and we all cheered for them.

Marko spent a lot of time singing to people at the front and even to the ones on the balcony. Every time he sang to A. I did my best to take pictures of it. Only when he turned to me I put the camera down and sang right back to him. It happened many times that night, but the only line I clearly remember is “Can I get a ride with you?” Sure, but I assume we’d be a lot faster in your car than on my bicycle. 😉 Each one of them was making connections with the audience, smiling, pointing or just showing us when to clap or jump.

The guys had to work a little bit harder than the previous nights, but their energy was enough to draw everyone in after a while. They are such great performers that one can’t help admiring their skills. I still marvel at how good they are. 🙂 People around me looked so happy, as if they could not quite believe their luck. It all came back to me then, what it was like seeing them for the first time. I, too, felt lucky to be there. 🙂 It was so much fun to sing along, jump or just watch them do their thing and listen.

I thought I might get sad at this gig, because I’d have to return to real life the next day, but that proved impossible. There was no room for sad feelings, only happiness and the band gave all they had to make it so. Often I saw them singing along to the songs just like we did and it made me smile so much. During ‘The Sweet Escape’ I turned around to see all the phone lights and it looked gorgeous. ‘Temple of Thought’ was announced as a song that someone named as their favorite so the band was going to make them happy now. 😀 Apart from that I believe ‘War’ and ‘Late Goodbye’ got the strongest audience reaction, but I won’t try selling that for a fact. The sing-along was wonderful though.

How we had gotten to the encores again this quickly I could not say. Why does time always go so fast when it is most enjoyable? Taking a deep breath I got ready for more jumping and singing, screaming loudly when the guys came back to the stage. I tried to get a good look at everyone before it all ended, noting the smiles on their faces and how much they were lost in the music. I held out my hands during ‘Diamonds for Tears’ as I always do. This time Marko held out his hand and motioned for us to grab it. I waited for someone else to go first, but then joined them. Marko’s hand was really sweaty, but he held on tight. 😀 For a moment that caused a flashback to a concert somewhere in Germany (Munich?), back in 2012 I think. I still have a picture of that moment. <3

‘Lift’ was crazy with lots and lots of jumping and ‘Carnival of Rust’ was just beautiful. It took people a little bit to figure out which song it was, but once they did the noise was unbelievable. Singing along with all my might I was willing time to stop, but it didn’t. Soon the guys waved goodbye, smiled, took a picture with us and shook a few hands on the way out. Each one of them looked happy with the show and they thanked us a million times before finally walking off. Maybe hey wanted this to end as little as I did?

When it was over the smile on A.’s face said it all. I remembered the first show in my city well, I knew the feeling. We stuck around for a bit, because she needed to pass her presents to the crew. Then we had a few words with Tiia before she needed to start packing. Afterwards, we decided to wait for the guys outside by the tour bus to say goodbye. It is something I usually do not do, because I do not want to bother them, but that night it seemed the way to go. We stood by the side of the bus and left it to the guys if they were in the mood to talk to us or not. Jani came and wanted to know how we liked the show, said they had enjoyed it very much. Olli asked if we were all good – of course we were! – and everyone else just waved in passing. We waved back, called out our goodbyes and watched as the bus drove away. When it turned the corner, away from us, it suddenly started raining. The seemed a perfectly fitting end to a great night. Even heaven was crying because it was over. Before the gig we’d thought we go out for a drink, but we felt tired now and decided to do that some other time. I said goodbye to everyone and slowly walked back to my guesthouse, thinking about what a great trip this had been, totally happy that I had the chance to be there.

pictures of this concert

Setlist

Dreaming wide awake
Locking up the Sun
False Kings
Temple of Thought
Rogue
The Sweet Escape
My Dark Disquiet
In a perfect World
War
Daze
Choice Millionaire
Late Goodbye

Diamonds for Tears
Lift
Carnival of Rust

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