Foreign delegations, cymbal biting and no strip show

Poets of the Fall – Ilves Bar ‘n’ Night, Tampere; July 13th, 2012

It seems once every year a Poets of the Fall tour takes me to the Ilves Bar ‘n’ Night in Tampere. I don’t know how many times the Poets have played here, but this one was my third after Tammerfest 2010 and last year’s Independence day concert. At least I didn’t have to wear a fancy dress this time. 😉

I can never really decide if I like this venue. Concerts there are always great and fun, so that’s a plus, but the stage is very strange – no very high or deep, but wide. If you are in the front it is impossible to take pictures, because it is just way too close (unless you wanna take a close up of Marko’s nose and possibly break it with your lens in the process). It is also hard to see everyone on stage (unless you wanna look back and forth as if watching a tennis match). Yet, the wooden drink holders at the center of the stage work great to stand or sit on and Marko does just that every time they play there. So if you end up front row center at that venue be prepared for a) putting your drinks on the floor and b) getting a lot closer than you already thought you were. 😉

Tampere concerts usually sell out and with the city being easily accessible, more and more people from outside Finland come to visit. This time around there were fans from Austria, Germany, Latvia, Russia and Switzerland and these are only the ones I know about. Standing in line we joked about being the delegations from out countries.  So many of my friends where there that mentioning names will only lead to forgetting someone so I’d rather not. I’ll just say that I hugged a lot of people that night. 🙂

We had been there early enough to have dinner before getting in line, but admission was a bit of a mess with confusion regarding to which doors would open. Thus it was a small miracle that I ended up front row center anyway. Not all of us did though and some decided to stay in the back. We passed the time chatting and teasing each other (looks at A. and winks). I wondered what the night would bring and if the acoustic set was back after the festival gigs.

A little later than announced they started and my attention immediately focused on the stage, forgetting that way too many people were squeezed into front row and that I had been just a little bit tired a moment ago. There’s nothing that wakes me up and recharges my batteries like a Poets of the Fall concert. Just to see how much fun the guys are having on stage is giving me more energy than a few hours of sleep or huge amounts of caffeine could. 😉 And they had lots of fun, smiling and laughing quite a lot. What I remember most is that Jaska kept teasing Jari, pretending to stop the cymbals with his hands and one time even threatening to bite into them. It was just hilarious! 😀

Being in the spot I was in I had a great view of Marko climbing up on the aforementioned drink holders, sitting or standing there, leaning out to the audience and generally spending a lot of time where I was. I quite enjoyed being so close and he sang to me a few times as well. It might be my imagination, but I always have the feeling that Marko very consciously chooses which line he sings to whom in the audience. This time there was one moment that made both of us smile, because the line he sang to me just didn’t fit. I cannot even remember which song it was though.

Unfortunately I didn’t see much of Olli that night. He was just too much in the back and Jani was blocking my view most of the time. Luckily it got better when Olli walked over to the center for a solo and I got a close-up view. “The fastest fingers in the universe” indeed – unbelievable! All I could do was watch in awe.

Apparently it was really warm on stage. Olli rolled up his sleeves, Captain used a towel to wipe the sweat off his head and Marko proceeded to slowly unbutton an take of his vest. He made a real show of it. S. and I looked at each other grinning, saying “OK, just stop there please.” He did, so there was no strip show to be seen, just a regular concert. 😛

I don’t think I can say much more about the setlist other than that the acoustic set did not make a return. The sound was generally great and all the songs were delivered well. Even after hearing them so many times in the same order they still make me happy and I still forget everything else while I’m there.

The guys gestured and smiled at different people in the audience a lot. It always amazes me how many faces they remember and recognize. It’s really sweet to be smiled at – it makes a concert feel like an evening among friends. Judging by what A. translated for me after, Marko said quite a few funny things like telling people every guy should own at least a feather boa and wear a bit of make up. I sometime wonder how much better a gig would get if I actually understood everything he said on stage.

There were some other (bitter)sweet and funny moments like Marko taking S.’ hand during ‘Diamonds 4 Tears’; Olli doing his version of the moonwalk; me missing C. (who had stayed in the back) during ‘Kamikaze Love’, because we always look at each other at a certain point,; Jaska posing for pictures; Jani playing right in front of me and last but not least Marko taking a drink mid-sentence during ‘Illusion & Dream’ claiming “I’m thirsty!”.

After ‘Lift’ was over and the guys left the stage it was time to say goodbye to some of my friends. The rest of us remained for a while, sat down and talked. I had a nice chat with Jari, met a few more people I had not seen in a while and got hugs from Jaska and Petri before I left. Around 3 a.m. we finally made it home back to our hotel.

POTF summer tour – 3 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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