Poets of the Fall – Areena, Oulu; October 7th 2016
At 9 am this morning, after barely four hours of sleep, I was standing on Nallikari beach in Oulu with tears streaming down my face, because I could not contain all the emotions within. Yesterday was so amazing on so many levels it led to complete emotional overflow. I felt content, incredibly happy and deeply grateful for the life I lead and the people in it. As far as concert days go, this one was a close to perfect as it can be. Seeing my tour family, an emotional, lovely, funny meet & greet, an amazing concert with great energy and crowd and afterwards great conversations with S. deep into the night, drinks long forgotten at our side. Everything about the concert and the whole night reminded my of why I fell in loved with Poets of the Fall in the first place and reaffirmed everything I feel about their music, my heart so full of love and joy I don’t know how to contain it. It does not get any better than this.
It was a long but uneventful trip from Turku to Oulu on concert day. Check in, change, meet S. for tea and then off to the venue where I., H., S. and K. were already waiting. I was rather excited about my second meet & greet on this tour because I would finally have the chance to tell the guys how much I loved ‘Clearview’ and what the album meant to me. Strangely I felt more nervous about meeting them than I had in a long time. The start of the tour had been really emotional for me and reminded me of everything I love about Poets of the Fall. I’d also had a few conversations reaffirming those feelings from trying to explain to my colleague that No, I do not love one of my favorite bands more than the other to sharing with fellow fans how the new album makes me feel. Even though I love ‘Temple of Thought’ with all of my heart I don’t think I’ve felt such a rush of emotions since ‘Twilight Theater’. <3 So much has happened in the six years since and so many memories have been made. Suddenly things seemed like they had come full circle and I felt deeply connected with this band who has kept me company through good days and bad for the past eleven years. 🙂
This time the meet & greet was a little different. The guys lined up in front of a backdrop so each one of us could take a picture with the whole band. Marko always jokes with me, because I usually do not take pictures with the guys, but having all of them in one pic was a nice idea. they welcomed me with open arms and I stood right in the middle between Olli and Captain. 🙂 Only after everyone had their picture we got to talk to them, but it didn’t feel like that took up much time at all and it’s a nice memory. I. was emotionally shaken by everything and stayed with S. or me most of the time. We hugged a lot, we all need that occasionally. <3 Talked to Nina briefly and thanked her for her work, then moved onto Olli who asked me what it felt like to hear he songs live first. “Great! I want that all the time!”. He wanted to know my favorite songs on the album and so did Jani. since ‘The Labyrinth’ is top of the list right now, I learned that it had many different versions and they needed time before they had one that worked. I told Jaska (and Olli) too how much I love the guitars on ‘Cealview’, Captain I asked about the cello and violin some of us heard and learned that the former is played by Jani, the latter by Marko. while I was waiting for Jari, I talked to Jani about it and he told me that it was actually an upright bass. Jari cut in joking that Apocalyptica called wanting to hire that cello player for their tour. 😀 They both feel that this is their most positive album to date. Not sure yet, but I love it. Last I got to talk to Marko and of course let him know what I thought about the album. Didn’t get a chance to go through all the details, but there will be other times on this tour. It was great to let all of them know my impression and thank them.
Once we were back in front row and more people came in I met M. whom I’ve know since my very first Poets gig, but hadn’t seen in a long time. We chatted a bit, but she was just recovering from pneumonia and hardly had a voice. Waiting, taking deep breaths, feeling emotional and most of all happy. How wonderful life is if I can have days lie this one. 🙂 Softengine played and were in a much better mood than in Turku. Still not my thing, but I politely clapped along and after they got the audience going a bit, they seemed happy enough. I like their energy and stage presence, I’m sure they can make something of it, but their music does not speak to me. There will be other bands as the tour goes on.
Finally, the intro started, again without any lights like in Turku. It’s somewhat mysterious still to hear Marko’s voice from the off, but the real shadow play like they did it in Helsinki had a much stronger effect. Once the band entered the stage they were greeted with loud screams. The audience already sounded enthusiastic. 😀 I somewhat know the setlist now and my sing-along on the new songs is getting better, even though it’s still sketchy. At least I have the choruses down. 🙂 After two concerts without, I had my camera again, trying to capture everything. It didn’t take anything away from the music though and I loved alternating between taking pictures and resting the camera to just have fun. There was a lot of space to jump for me too and it came in handy when some drunk people tried to squeeze in – they left because I might have accidentally jumped on their feet. When I can’t move with the music it does not feel right and I even had the impression the guys were checking on me at times to see if I was doing it. 😀
With all the reminiscing I had done since Helsinki and feeling so strongly about the album I had expected tears again and I did choke up several times, but once again the music made me so happy, all I could do was smile. The whole concert was a blur of happiness and wonder and so much love for the band, the music and my friends by my side. From time to time we looked at each other and smiled. Everyone in the room seemed to feel the good vibes, band and audience looked happy.
The drum and keyboard riser in the back proved t be popular places. It seemed liked the whole band had decided to visit Jari and Captain frequently. I even remember Jaska grabbing a drumstick at one point and playing with Jari. Later, towards the end of the show, Olli and Jaska were standing with Captain while Jani was by Jari’s side until Jaska waved him over and with one long step/jump he joined them. Captain almost disappeared behind them. It put a big smile on my face to watch them standing together, raising their guitars and bass. It also kept me so occupied that I don’t have the slightest idea what Marko was doing at that time. 😀
Overall it was a powerful show with the guys hardly ever standing still. It was contagious, I was moving most of the time as well. It felt like they had now fully settled into the setlist and the new tour with the new songs having their established places and the audience greeting them as loudly as the old ones. 🙂 The stage was a little smaller, lower and closer to the audience than at the other gigs, especially compared to the first one. It felt a lot more intimate and club gig like. 🙂 Of course the whole show was over before it began. It is still a mystery to me how 90 minutes can feel so short. ‘Drama for Life’ had hardly rung out when ‘Children of the Sun’ begun. The guys bowed to us before the last song as we cheered for each of them. In the end they took a picture with us and thy were gone. None of us wanted to leave, especially knowing that this was it for a few weeks now.
We hung out, hugged, talked and decided that 48 days to the cruise aren’t that long after all. M. said goodbye, I., H., K. and S. had a ride to their respective hotels/homes and S. and I walked back. We thought it would seem longer than getting there, but it felt good to move. We decided to have a drink and really only had one, but still talked until three in the morning. 🙂 The night could not have ended any better.
Intro: Shadow Play
Drama for Life
The Child in Me
Dreaming Wide Awake
Diamonds for Tears
Running Out of Time
Once Upon a Playground Rainy
Locking Up the Sun
Carnival of Rust
Children of the Sun
Clearview tour 2016/17: 4 gigs down, 19 to go, next stop: MS Baltic Princess