She can really be a handful like the brownies that she bakes you

Poets of the Fall – Sappeen hiihtokeskus, Pälkäne; December 1st, 2012

Another gig at a skiing center in the middle of nowhere. The one fall gig I hadn’t really planned on going to and then bought a ticket to anyway, just because I had to see the last ones in Finland. Luckily U. was going as well and offered to give me a ride from Tampere. Now I only needed to get there – that wasn’t a given, because winter had set in early in Southern Finland with heavy snowstorms. Surprisingly both my plane and train were on time and U.’s pickup service worked perfectly well too. 🙂 We picked up her brother and his girlfriend on the way, then the road led us away from civilization through a dark and snowy forest that seemed to go on forever. It was a beautiful winter wonderland outside the car’s windows, but the lonely road was a bit eerie. Finally we made it trough and came out in the right spot.

H. arrived at the same time we did. We walked straight into the venue and saw the Poets on stage, soundchecking. It felt like the German tour all over again only that we stayed in the back this time and didn’t go to the front on the stage. 🙂 They noticed us nonetheless. I realized that Jari wasn’t there and had been replaced by Teijo once again, who was practicing the new songs. Petri came over to say hello and we hugged. I joked that this was back to the usual “plane, train, middle of nowhere”. The guys finished playing and left. We got drinks and set down at a table near the stage. Olli and Captain dropped by our table to talk to me. Olli hugged me, happy to see me there. He had thought I was not going to come. A little later, Marko came over too and we talked for a bit as well.

30 minutes or so before the gig was supposed to start we took our places in front row. I smiled when I noticed the garden gnome from Mannheim was standing on Olli’s soundboard and had a brief chat with Einari who was just setting up the stage and checking equipment. T. and S. arrived – they too needed another Poets fix after the Germany tour. The gig was unusually early for Finland and started at 10:30 p.m. Until shortly before the intro started there was hardly anyone on the floor in front of the stage.

The guys came out and took their places. We clapped but everyone else was pretty much unresponsive. Oh my what a letdown after the enthusiastic audience in Germany.
They were mostly wearing their usual stage attire, only Marko was pretty much himself in regular jeans and without any make-up. When he turned around for the first time I grinned: On the bottom of his jeans he had stickers that read “Hyvä perse” (nice ass) – I didn’t need translation to understand what that meant.

The setlist was the same it had been for the past gigs, minus the acoustic song. The Poets played well, but this audience was really hard work. Not much singing along or clapping, not even the “dishonesty” part in ‘Illusion & Dream’ really worked. I still enjoyed seeing and hearing them. It especially made me happy to hear that Teijo had improved since last time and mastered the material perfectly well. He didn’t need to be cued this time and played his heart out – awesome! Jari chose his replacement well.

Each of the guys did what they had to to make this gig work. Olli was dancing back and forth on stage and joking around with Jaska, Jani and Captain seemed lost in their own world. Marko went into the audience and sang from there. He turned back towards the stage when he did so I got a great view of him standing in the midst of the crowd. That was the only moment that night I regretted not bringing my camera. I shared a brief smile with T. who was standing behind Marko. On the way back to the stage, while he was climbing over the barrier, to women took the chance to grab his butt. He laughed about it once he was a safe distance from them and shook his ass in our direction. You were asking for that one!

During ‘Late Goodbye’ we learned that Olli secretly wants to be a singer. Marko held the microphone into the audience for the first chorus but didn’t get all that much singing along. For the second chorus Olli stood on tiptoes to reach up to the mic and Marko lowered it down to him, so he sang “it’s a late goodbye” into it. Well done! 🙂 Jani was standing right in front of me quite often so I could watch him playing from up close. 🙂

I did my best to sing along and make up for the rest of the audience together with U. and H. by my side. We certainly had fun and I hoped it wasn’t too hard on the guys. When it was over we chatted for a bit, but it was too loud to talk so we decided to leave. I said goodbye and we went back to Tampere. Happily I dropped into bed, dreaming of more concerts.

Poets of the Fall autumn tour – 12 gigs down, 2 to go. Next stop: MS Baltic Princess

Setlist

Running Out of Time
Diamonds for Tears
Temple of Thought
Cradled in Love
Locking Up the Sun
Signs of Life
Stay
Illusion and Dream
Jeremiah Peacekeeper
Kamikaze Love
Miss Impossible
Late Goodbye

Encore:
Dreaming Wide Awake
Carnival of Rust
Lift

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