Poets of the Fall – C-Club, Berlin; November 18th
I still remember that day in late June when I first heard about the tour in Germany in November. There had been rumors, but I didn’t know any dates or details until Marko told me after the concert in Sieravuori (remember the “secret” in that post? This was it). I was way too excited to ask about cities then, all I wanted to know if the dates would fit with my other plans for the fall and they did. So it was time for a little happy dance a few days before the official announcement in early July.
The next wave of excitement rolled over me when the tickets went on sale. Now I know what ticket anxiety feels like but in context of Poets of the Fall concerts this was news to me. Yet there had been such a hype created that I was actually scared I would not get tickets. It turned out to be surprisingly easy: I called as soon as the phone lines opened and the whole thing was done in about ten minutes. It was time to relax and plan and count down the days.
The summer tour happened, the start of the fall tour, plans for the winter gigs in Finland, other band’s concerts and in the midst of all that I almost forgot what a huge deal this was. The gigs in Germany just became part of my concert list (and it was a long list this year), planned and organized like all the others. It wasn’t until all the preceding concerts were over that I finally realized it was only a week to go. Then the last wave of excitement hit me full force: Poets of the Fall touring Germany, touring MY COUNTRY in just a week, ONE WEEK! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!
Happily I counted down the last few days to the first concert and suddenly I found myself in Berlin where this whole adventure was going to start. Having arrived the day before the show, B. and I spent the first evening out with friends, all from other fandoms, but all except one having tickets for the gig. We had a nice time talking about all sorts of things – a welcome distraction from the butterflies in my stomach.
On show day it was time for B. and me to meet up with C., have lunch and go to the venue. We met A. and N. briefly, hung out, waited, the usual. More and more people arrived, more familiar faces: M. and A. from Poland, K., J. and T., many others. Someone came out and handed out VIP wristbands (pink :O), we lined up and they let us in around 5 p.m. There was some confusion about my big camera, but it was soon cleared up and I received my photopass (special thanks to Captain and Tiia for organizing this for me).
We walked straight into front row while the guys were on stage playing ‘Signs of Life’. I certainly had not expected that, but it was nice. The guys discussed a bit about the sound (I think), then played ‘Sorry go round’. Olli was playing on and Marko joked about him always playing guitar. After soundcheck they all sat on the edge of the stage, signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans. We had to walk behind the barrier to meet them, which worked well. With the wristbands each one of us had gotten a huge postcard with the promo picture on so we’d have something to get signed.
When it was my turn, I handed both Jari and Captain a belated birthday present and we chatted briefly. I had a booklet to sign as a present for a friend and Captain joked with me that I always get things signed for others. Olli hugged me, then we talked a bit before I moved on. Jani was all smiles and spoke surprisingly little German this time around. He usually takes the opportunity to speak a bit of German with me, but he might have had to do a lot of that already. Marko was visibly still recovering from a fever/cold he had had the days prior to the show, but was in a good mood nonetheless. We didn’t have so much time to talk, because the doors were about to open for people with regular tickets. Overall the guys took the time to chat with everyone, sign stuff and take a few pictures before they disappeared backstage. They also received a few presents.
When they were gone, I went and said hello to the crew briefly, got drinks and settled down in front row. All the shiny new merchandise would have to wait until after the show. Everyone was in a good mood, people who had regular tickets filed in, there were a few hellos and the usual wait for the show. I was happy the meet and greet had worked so well. Everything was well organized and ran smoothly. Now I was ready for whatever was to come next.
As it got closer to showtime, the crowd grew visibly excited. There was clapping as the lights went down, but not much when the intro started. Except for C. and me, hardly anyone seemed to understand that this was the start of the show. The music swelled, I heard “time, time, time, time” echoing from the speakers and when the band walked on stage one by one the crowd cheered. The drumbeat set in, then the keyboard like a ticking clock. People were clapping along. The bass added to the foundation of the song and the guitars drove it forward. “Welcome to the Temple of Thought” Marko greeted us, the stage lights went on and I saw the guys smile. Still, I felt a knot of anxiety in the pit of my stomach – what about the sound? Seconds later, Marko started singing “Here’s my confession, cause I can’t keep it in me…” – I heard every word loud and clear. The knot instantly dissolved, I raised my arms and screamed, letting go of all the pent – up anxiety I had felt for days. Right then and there, everything was perfect.
‘Diamonds 4 Tears’ started, people willingly clapped along and they sang. These were fans, happy to see their favorite band live, hanging on to every word spoken on stage, watching every move and doing their best to make it a great concert. The listened during the ballads and rocked out during the faster songs.
For ‘Cradled in Love’ I made a call to S. and let her listen in. We had joked on After ‘Signs of Life’ Marko opened a bottle of water and threw the cap in my direction, aiming for my camera. He missed and we both laughed about it. Olli was jokingly stabbing at Jani with his guitar at one point. Many time Jaska and Jani stood on the speakers by the side of the stage to play. 🙂
Lots of energy was flowing back and forth between the audience and the stage. The guys clearly enjoyed being there and having room to move. There was a lot of moving around, dancing, jumping and dueling each other going on.
The main set ended with ‘Late Goodbye’, the Poets left the stage and the audience was yelling for more. We didn’t have to wait long. Marko came back out and asked us if we wanted to hear more. We confirmed. They played ‘Sorry go round’ acoustically, including a band introduction where everyone got to play solos. It was all quite funny: Olli showed us how to stretch, Jaska played guitar with a whiskey bottle and Marko stood up on Olli’s barstool, gestured for Jani to hand him the microphone and spent some time on his own little stage.
The ended with the powerful triple of ‘Dreaming wide awake’, ‘Carnival of Rust’ and ‘Lift’, repeating the emotional once more rollercoaster of the entire concert in the last three songs. As the last songs rang out we smiled at each other happily. It had been such a great start. The guys even came out again after the concert to says hello to the fans, which didn’t have VIP tickets.
Now it was time to check out the new merchandise, buy a T-Shirt, chat with Petri for a bit, meet all the friends I hadn’t seen before the gig, say goodbye to those who had to leave and finally end up in a bar for some Caipirinha. As a little bonus I ended up with a tour poster from the venue’s door that one of the security guards took down and just handed to me. Thus, the first German gig ended and I tried to get some sleep before the next one.
Poets of the Fall autumn tour – 6 gigs down, 8 to go. Next stop: Munich
Running Out of Time
Diamonds for Tears
Temple of Thought
Cradled in Love
Locking Up the Sun
Signs of Life
Illusion and Dream
Sorry go round (bossa nova) + band intro and solos
Dreaming Wide Awake
Carnival of Rust