Old friends, new fans and great conversations

Poets of the Fall – Logomo, Turku; October 5th 2016

Still feeling slightly overwhelmed by three Poets of the Fall concerts in less than a week, I look back on the gig in Turku and smile. I’m a little bit tired (more than I should be), a little emotional, but mostly happy. It’s all about balance in the end and the Turku experience as a whole had a good portion of everything I love about touring: a fun concert, very little stress regarding getting there and getting a good spot and the important ingredient of friends to share it with. After all these years I still feel the rush as soon as the band walks on stage, the emotional high that brings on my “gig face” immortalized in way too many pictures and the way my sense of time completely goes out the window and I just live from moment to moment. This is what I got hooked on originally and it is what keeps me coming back. Nothing else compares to this feeling.

Almost as much as the concert itself I enjoy being with my “tour family”, the people I’ve met on the road and bonded with though countless shared memories. The members of this family come and go, some having been around long before my arrival, some having come long after, some only there for a short but intense stay, some for good. It’s an ever growing, ever changing living organism brought together by the band we all love. Like any family we are not perfect, but we are in this together so we do our best to get along and help each other. There is love amongst us, but there are also misunderstandings at times. There are family members who are dear friends and others who are more like distant relatives. We are all different in age, background, character, country of origin and many other ways, yet we all found something in the music that attracts us, that keeps us coming back for more.
Each one of us reacts to the emotional roller coaster in a different way. Some of us get withdrawn and quiet before or after the concert, others turn into overly excited chatterboxes, some jump and dance and yell and scream during the show, while other just stand there watching almost as if they were in a trance. The important part is that we all enjoy what we are doing. 🙂

So here I was, after smooth travel all the way, arriving at the venue just before the meet & greet people got in. As expected, I., O., A. and S. were at the front of the line. We hugged hello, chatted a little and in they went. The regular ticket line was short, I joined them and waited. Soon after K. and N. arrived. I had met N. briefly in Helsinki and had not seem K. in ages. We chatted, passing the time until the doors opened for us. There was much confusion when we got in because the venue is huge and there weren’t any signs to guide us. After asking we found the right door, waited some more. Once the meet & greet was over, I joined my friends at the center, opting for second row this time instead of being front row on the side. Let the fun begin!

First up were Softengine though and even the third time around they still do not work for me. They clearly know what they are doing and have good energy, but somehow thy do not manage to move me at all. This time around they didn’t manage to get the audience going either. At the first two gigs they had at least some fans there and others politely went along, but this time their efforts fell flat. Then, it clearly showed they were annoyed with the fact which made it worse. Too much attitude for my liking. Towards the end of their gig there was a little accident with a piece of equipment (some monitor maybe?) that the singer stepped on so often it finally went sailing off stage and crashed down in front. They left the stage without even finishing the last song and the crew was busy setting everything up again. I have no idea if the equipment even functioned properly after that, but apparently it was still OK.

Even shortly before Poets of the Fall were about to start the venue hadn’t quite filled up. It was an OK sized crowd, but there could have been more. K. waved to me from the seats in the back where she was with a friend. Deep breath, earplugs in and ready to go. Like the last time I was without my camera, ready to jump and dance with the music. This time the ‘Shadow Play’ intro was just played without anyone on stage and everything still in darkness so I guess Marko bathed in blue light was just a special thing for the first shows. As the lights went on the guys launched into ‘Drama for Life’. Take off into singing along, dancing and looking back and forth between the guys trying not to miss anything.

This time around I didn’t cry, but must have had a huge smile on my face all the way through. Emotions came surging through me in waves: happiness, amazement, wonder, gratefulness, love. It was beautiful. Still not remembering the lyrics to the new songs fully I did the best I could and smiled even more every time I got it right. The words to these songs and the images that come with them are amazing. They guys looked happy too, spent a lot of time playing together, visiting each other on stage. I took a lot of pictures with my mind and a few with my phone too. 🙂

Somehow I was too busy this time to ever look behind me. I have no feel for the audience at all. They were there, I felt them, but not as powerfully as I had in Tampere or Helsinki. It was more of an inward concert for me, lots of things going on in my head and in my heart. I loved it though, loved seeing the guys smile, loved the music, loved the moment when Marko leaned out to shake hands and I stretched because I just had to be part of that. We sang together and I sang for myself, the guys created magic with their instruments, the music swept anyone away who allowed it to happen. You had to be there to understand.

Strangely, specific memories escape me, being somewhat dazed all the way through, but the concert left me with a happy feeling and I was grateful to have been there. We gathered outside after the show, some of us happy-chatty, some to emotional to speak. A., O. and N. said goodbye, wanting to be alone, needing sleep, having to work the next day. The rest of us decided to go out, dragging along M. who had come from the US and took the chance to see his first gig as part of his travels in Finland. We found a quiet bar, had drinks, talked, joked, laughed and finally said goodbye with hugs. S. and I had the same hotel, K. had time to kill before her bus went so I gave her shelter in my room. It’s great to have her back after a long break in Poets fandom. 😀 At the end of the night I dropped into bed and slept like a stone. The next morning brought a late and extended breakfast with S. Great conversations happened and both of us wanted the next concert right away. A one day break seemed survivable though, if barely. 😉 It was fun seeing you all, we’ll meet again some other place and time. 🙂

Setlist:

Intro: Shadow Play
Drama for Life
Daze
The Child in Me
Dreaming Wide Awake
Diamonds for Tears
The Game
Stay
Someone Special
Sleep
Running Out of Time
Once Upon a Playground Rainy
Locking Up the Sun
Carnival of Rust

Encore:
War
Lift
Children of the Sun

Clearview tour 2016/17: 3 gigs down, 20 to go, next stop: Oulu

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