Poets of the Fall – Alte Seilerei, Mannheim – November 25th, 2012
Sitting at work today, trying to stay awake and ban the flood of memories temporarily from my mind, I finally managed to remove the last VIP bracelet off my arm and realized that now the Poets of the Fall Germany tour is really over. I never thought a week could go by this quickly. Seeing the guys on a headline tour in my country was a dream come true. For a long time I had been hoping they would do this and I had always known that if they ever did I would be there, no matter what. So naturally, I attended all six concerts.
Mannheim was the last stop on the tour and our trip stared with saying goodbye to A. in the wee hours of the morning, because she was flying home from Hamburg, while L., C. and I were moving on. Our train left shortly after 7 and we all took the chance to catch up on some sleep. Arrived in Mannheim in the early afternoon, had lunch, waited for our rooms to be ready. After the conversation with Marko the previous day, we had decided to help him with the ‘Signs of Life’ lyrics. L. wrote them all on sheets of paper for us – two for the verse and one for the chorus. For the spoken part, we each has a sheet of paper saying “blah, blah, blah…” Also we bought a pineapple for Captain – no more chocolate!
A handful of people were there already when we arrived at the venue, among them a French couple, who had traveled to see their first concert and a woman from the US army, stationed in Heidelberg, who took the chance to see the Poets before returning home from Germany. We also met G., C. and B. there. On admission, the French couple had trouble with a bottle of champagne they had brought as a gift – security took it away from them. Once inside, I asked Oliver from Remote Music for help, he spoke to the tour manager and they got the bottle back eventually.
Soundcheck was great, because after ‘Signs of Life’ Marko asked us what other song we wanted to hear. I was not quick enough and someone asked for ‘Carnival of Rust’ – it was beautiful, but I would have asked for something more unusual and not a song they were going to play anyway. 😉 They also played ‘Roses’ and mixed it with the James Bond theme (or several) – totally amazing. Jaska had some trouble with his soundboard (or whatever the stage equipment s called) and didn’t join the meet and greet. Everyone else did though and it was much fun. G. had brought small bottles of beer liquor for the guys. Marko tried it right away and judging by his face, did not like it. Olli got a huge package of Lebkuchen and joked that it was almost as tall as he was and Captain had some fun with the pineapple, using it like a dumbbell. 😀 Since I had nothing to sign anymore, I asked the guys to sign my POTF tattoo, i.e. my leg. Olli was much impressed with it (the tattoo, not the leg 😉 ), Captain wondered if it was real…
We were standing stage right this time, not in the usual spot on the left. Behind us was a pillar that went up to the ceiling. When people with regular tickets got in, I called my friend H. over. He is rather tall, but I figured in front on that pillar he would not be in anyone’s way. Now it was just waiting for the gig to start – for the last time this week. I was happy to be there and looking forward to the concert, but I didn’t want it to be over and dreaded going home the following day.
As soon as the intro started, the joy of being there took over and I knew I’d enjoy every second of this gig. I knew it was going to be a great one the moment ‘Running out of Time’ ended. With the last line, Marko held the microphone out to us, and everyone yelled “TIME!” at just the right moment. 😀 It only got better from there and we saw the guys do some magic. Marko leaned on Olli for a while during ‘Temple of Thought’. During ‘Signs of Life’ we held up our lyrics sheet. He smiled and walked up to read C.’s during second verse. When we got to the spoken part and held up the sheets saying “blah, blah, blah”, Jani cracked up laughing as soon as he saw them. 😀
For ‘Stay’ Marko first sat down at the front of the stage for a while, but got up during the chorus. During the second verse he walked over to we stood, motioned for my friend H. to get out of the way, stepped on the barrier and started climbing up the pillar from there, all the while still singing. It was all fun, I know he has good balance and knows how to climb, but when he was all the way at the top and started testing the frames that hold the lights for stability, I got a bit worried he might try climbing on those and fall. He thought the better of it though and came back down. While he was up there I took a look at the security guards. They had “panic!” written all over their faces and probably wondered if insurance would cover a singer falling down from the ceiling. They looked very relieved when he was safely back on stage. 😉
‘Illusion & Dream’ was brilliant was brilliant. Many in the audience raised their glassed to the guys and in the end, Olli played guitar with his teeth. After that, Marko bit into his whammy bar and played with his teeth to. 😀 Jani sat down on the stage to play ‘The Ballad of Jeremiah Peacekeeper’. Jari’s drumming was especially amazing for this song. During ‘Kamikaze Love’Marko “attacked” Jani with the microphone stand. ‘Late Goodbye’ brought another near perfect sing-along from the audience and everyone waving their arms in unison. Marko gave us a thumbs up so it must have looked good. 🙂
They came back for the encore and sat down on barstools as they’d done every night. Then Marko announced they wanted to do something they had never done before – a song in Finnish. Not in a million years would I have expected hat! Marko explained that they had written ‘Secrets’ for another Finnish artist, and then taught us how to say ‘Salaisuuksia’. It was so beautiful, it left me completely in awe. When it was over, Marko explained what the song was about. 🙂 We rocked out, danced and jumped one more time for ‘Dreaming wide awake’ and ‘Lift’ and breathed deeply in-between for ‘Carnival of Rust’. Band and audience gave all they had one last time, even including yelling “Told you I’m a psycho!” At the very end, the guys all stood on stage with their back to us and had a picture taken with the audience in the background before they left us. What a great night!
They all came out again, shook hands, talked, hugged people. I finally asked Jari for a picture, he was the only one I had never asked before. Marko came out wearing a traffic cone on his head, telling us it had been too heavy to wear during the gig. Everyone took the time to chat and I said goodbye to each of them. When they were gone, I said goodbye to the crew as well. Hannu told me he would have the rest of the year off so I hugged him before I left. Hugged Petri too and said goodbye to some of my friends. We all had a hard time leaving, but ha to go eventually. G. drove us back to our hotel, we hugged. C., L. and I got some food, spent some time sitting at the hotel chatting then said goodnight and goodbye.
The night was short, because I had a train to catch early in the morning. L. left early too. A last hug – see you next year. I removed most of the collected wristbands and got on the train. Four hours later I found myself at the office in Dortmund, wondering if it had all been a dream. Survived the first working day after the tour and fell into bed as soon as I got home. Today is another regular working day, back to real life!
The signatures on my leg are already fading and it’s time to wake up from this dream and return to real life. I set out to Berlin on November 17th and finally came back home in the morning of November 26th. In between lay a week of amazing music, wonderful people, friendship, hugs and lots of laughter and yes, a few tears as well. It was a great journey, much better than I ever imagined and I absolutely loved every second of it. I feel deeply grateful that I had the chance to be part of this and will cherish these memories forever. I sincerely thank all the people who shared this concerts and memories with me. I thank the organizers and the crew who made it all such a smooth and stress free experience. Last but not least I thank Poets of the Fall – words are not enough to express how I feel! <3
Poets of the Fall autumn tour – 11 gigs down, 3 to go. Next stop: Pälkäne
Running Out of Time
Diamonds for Tears
Temple of Thought
Cradled in Love
Locking Up the Sun
Signs of Life
Illusion and Dream
Salaisuuksia (the Poets wrote this song for Johanna Kurkela) + band intro
Dreaming Wide Awake
Carnival of Rust
Lift / The Happy Song (partly)