A good trip on a moving ship

Poets of the Fall – MS Silja Europa / Voicen Åbo-risteily; April 26th, 2012

As I packed my bags for the last trip to Finland this spring, I realized that the next time I’d see my apartment the Poets of the Fall spring tour would be over. It felt really strange and despite having plans for many of the following weekend I wondered what it will be like not seeing the guys every week. I knew I’d find out eventually and for now it was time to look forward to a few more concerts.

Fast forward to Thursday afternoon, sitting at dinner with C., chatting, slowly getting excited about the cruise we are going to go on. The long wait for the actual gig is always sort of boring, no matter how you look at it, but the anticipation is the fun part. Even after so many gigs and knowing every song on the setlist I’m still never 100% sure what to expect. Some factors you just can’t plan for…

We went to the harbor after dinner, met A. (whom I had not seen since December) and her mom, saw a few familiar faces, got on the boat, met at the club and – yes you guessed right – waited. We got to hear a bit of the soundcheck, then the guys left and we had the chance to chat. Unfortunately there was another band playing before them. They weren’t bad, but just destroyed any chance of having a conversation.

The front row was small, but there was enough room for all of us. A kid tried to squeeze in front of me. I would not let him but did make room by my side where he happily stood for the rest of the night, getting quite some attention. There were surprisingly many kids around considering this was mainly a booze cruise.

The programme said they only had one hour so I knew it was going to be the setlist without the acoustic songs. They started about 15 minutes late, but when they did I knew it was going to be a good gig. The audience responded well and the guys looked happy. Due to other bands playing on the same stage and some of their equipment being there as well, Jari’s drums were off to the right side. Thus we had a choice between seeing him or the rest of the guys, but it was hardly possible to do both.

There was not as much movement on stage as the previous gigs, because the stage was much too small for that. It was a half circle too which actually made it a bit harder to see everyone. Once again I just watched whoever was in front of me. Not taking any pictures meant not having to worry about the lighting or the right timing so I could juts relax and enjoy, exchange looks with my friends from time to time, listen, get lost in the music.

The sound was pretty bad, meaning we could not hear much of Marko at times. That’s just the risk you are always taking in front row. Would I sacrifice the better view for a better sound closer to the mixing desk? Hell no! For me it’s all about seeing and being part of the interaction between the guys and the audience and among the guys on stage and I would not give up the chance of seeing all the details for hearing a little better.

The most memorable song of the night was ‘Roses’, because Marko chose to go into the audience for that one. I have seen him jump off stage a few times, but only when there was a barrier separating him from people in the front row, so I was really surprised when he kept walking to the right side of the sage (right from my point of view), stepped on the boxes there, leaned forward, took another step and then just kept walking. I found myself thinking “Where is he going” and by the looks on the faces of the other guys I could tell they were thinking the same. It was impossible for me to follow him with my eyes so I turned back to the stage and judged what was going on by Jaska’s reaction. I could see he was looking out for Marko, could not see him at first and then visibly relaxed when he spotted him. We could always hear him singing tough and eventually he appeared again on the left, stood between the people of second and third row, singing, waving and looking at the stage with everyone else. 🙂

Other than that it was a concert with all the regular gestures, guitar solos, making fun of each other and generally having a good time. I loved it, but currently I am a bit lost for words and don’t know what else to say other than that it was an amazing gig. At times I forgot that we were on a ship and at times I was reminded when I felt the waves below me. When it ended and Marko walked off stage, they already closed the curtain in front of the stage, before the other guys were even done playing. I thought that was rather rude and held it open for a little bit, but then had to let go. A strange ending to a great gig.

We hung out in the bar for a while, but then A. left to get some sleep and C. and I decided to catch some fresh air. There wasn’t much to see outside but a dark ocean and a starless sky though. It was not as cold as I had imagined though and to cool air felt good. Then it was time for us to say goodnight as well.

The following day we spent mostly outside, enjoying the sunshine until we arrived once again in Turku.

13 gigs down, 3 to go. Next stop: Helsinki

Setlist

Kamikaze Love
Diamonds for Tears
Temple of Thought
Roses
Cradled in Love
Locking up the Sun
War
The Lie Eternal
Stay
Illusion & Dream
Gravity
Late Goodbye

Encore:
Dreaming wide awake
Carnival of Rust
Lift

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