Cookies, colleagues and selfies with the band

Poets of the Fall – fzw, Dortmund; December 1st, 2016

Taking place in my city I had imagined the Dortmund gig to be the most relaxing regarding time spent before going to the venue and getting there. The opposite was the case: When I got there I was hungry, stressed out and started freezing soon after I had arrived. Not a good start. However, it all got better as soon as we were inside and the gig itself turned out to be a lot of fun with many happy moments to cherish.

Soon after waking up in Hannover I received a message from E. reminding me of the T-shirt idea. Thus, I called my local copy shop and after a few discussions and quickly assembling a file with the texts we wanted on the shirts just before I had to leave, they promised they’d get the shirts done by noon the next day if I dropped by some time this afternoon. OK then, now I only needed to incorporate that into my schedule, which, until our crazy idea, had only included meeting my friend P. at the train station, buying some groceries, cooking for us and going to the venue. Well… while on the train I texted P. I had an errand to run and asked if she remembered the way to my place. She did so we agreed to meet there and I made my way to the copy shop as soon as I arrived. I size guessed shirts for everyone, double checked the texts, left my own shirt as a blueprint, paid and hoped everything was going to be OK. The people at the shop seemed rather competent so I felt it would be and informed the rest of the sisterhood of children of the fall about my progress.

Made it home just in time to meet P., went shopping quickly, but didn’t have time to cook. Had a little time to talk to P. who had had a shitty week and was in no state to leave right away so I left her the key and instructions how to get to the venue, changed and was off again, with no food since breakfast. Arrived shortly after the agreed time, hugged everyone including J., who had skipped Hannover, and left briefly to get some food. Felt better after a sandwich, but could have really used some rest and a tea. There was neither to be had though, I just had to tough it out. While waiting we talked about the old days when people had real lighters and sparklers instead of just the lamps on their phones and J. found a sparkler App for all of us to download. Not the same as real ones, but it would have to do. Luckily they did not make us wait too long and once inside everything felt better.

Inside I just managed to thaw by the time the band arrived. I had brought two large boxes of home-made cookies and chocolates too for band and crew. The band cookies ended up with Jari who joked about keeping them for himself. The guys were in a good mood and it felt like we had a long chat with everyone. Marko told us about shopping in Bielefeld (wait, the city that does not exist?), we joked about not knowing how to take selfies and D. showed him a few poses her daughter strikes when doing them. That day though, our whole group took selfies with every member of the band and had lots of fun doing so. 😀 I talked to Captain and Olli for a while telling them about my plan to make it to 200 concerts next year because it will be my tenth anniversary then. That will be 36 gigs to go. Doable, but difficult. First they need to play as many concerts. 🙂

Two of my colleagues had come to the concert too and I met them briefly before it started. Didn’t see them after, but heard later that they liked it. 🙂 The waiting time went by surprisingly quick and we were cheering for Flight Brigade already. By now they know all of us, greeting us with happy smiles. 🙂 I enjoyed their set so much I would not have minded if it were longer. It made me smile to see most of the audience responding to them and apparently liking it. They are a really good match for Poets of the Fall and watching them is lots of fun. Especially violinist Dorrie and bass player Tom are always on the move. Miriam rocks out behind the keyboards, guitarist Thomas comes to visit singer Ollie and only keyboarder Jonny and drummer Neil remain in the background a bit. Especially Jonny is often a bit hidden, but if you pay attention to him you can see he is really into it too. They sure look like they are enjoying their time on stage and like any good band they give each other room to play. Once again it was an entertaining warm up for what was about to come.

Setlist:

House Fire
Where Eagles dare
U kill me
Tearaway
Our Friends Our Enemies
Hurricane Season
Thick as Thieves

The first thing I noticed when the guys walked out was Jani’s cool outfit. He was matching Jari now with a white shirt and black tie. Within the first five minutes of the show I had both Olli and Jaska playing right in front of me. Always a nice view. 🙂 Meanwhile, Marko was center stage, trying out some of the selfie poses D. had shown him earlier. 😀 I had a good view of Jari as well, but could hardly see Captain for most of the gig. Once I thought I could finally take a good picture of him when Jani stepped up on the drum raiser blocking my view. 😉 The drum and keyboard raiser seemed the place to be that night. Jaska and Olli were up there frequently as well, using it as a jump off point too and even Marko was visiting Captain a few times, dancing in front of the keyboards.

A few songs into the gig I had forgotten everything about being tired before it started and was just enjoying myself. I had fun, sang along, shared many looks and smiles with my POTF sisters by my side. Now, at the third gig of our tour together we already had running gags and a shared history, some of it going back to previous tours, some established during this one. For example, we had the habit of saying “Soooo!?” whenever there was a gap in any conversation. When during the concert Marko said “Sooo…” for some reason we all reflexively echoed him and then just cracked up laughing. 😀 We love the guys, but the gigs would only be half as much fun if we didn’t laugh at them from time to time. 😉

The band looked like they were having a good time as well, playing together, joking with each other, smiling. At one point I saw Jari laughing so hard I wondered what the joke was. 🙂 They were watching each other closely and teasing each other as well. Jani went head to head with Jaska, but they never stopped playing and he later checked out Olli’s guitar by licking the strings. 🙂 I tried to capture all these little moments with my camera which resulted in Captain and Jani posing for me. <3 I just love how they play to the camera sometimes and how much they notice of what is going on in the audience. 🙂 So often the guys react to the things we do, often laughing with us, reaching out, making connections in one way or another. It always makes me happy to see the reactions of the people in the audience who get special attention. Sometimes, my friends or I get it too, like this time around. I don’t remember which song it was, but Marko put his forehead against E.’s, gently placing his hand behind her head. He smile was just great! Later on, Jani took G.’s hand and kissed it. Sweet!

Of course the music was amazing too and there were songs I was so busy jumping and dancing I had no idea what was going on around me. There were times my eyes were solely focussed on one member of the band, watching him work. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of that! The sound wasn’t as good as it could have been, but it got better through the gig. The lights were a bit dark at times, but none of that ever matters when the mood is right and it was. The whole gig felt wonderful with lots of energy flowing between the stage and the audience and everyone feeling happily exhausted when it was over. 🙂

I could not tell you anything that happened during a specific song, can barely remember the setlist five minutes after the concert is over, even after hearing it multiple times. What I can give you though, are random memories that go stuck on my mind like Jani throwing Olli a kiss, Jaska playing guitar with a beer bottle or Marko fixing Jani’s hair. 🙂 Each concert is a collections of such moments in time and yet so much more than the sum of its parts. At the best of times it becomes something larger than life, makes me feel connected, part of something good, something that will continue to exist in people’s memories. The details may be lost, but the overall feeling remains: We had a great time! 🙂

After the gig I met A. who had come to only this one and we chatted for a while. My POTF sisters and I chatted with Flight Brigade, hung out and tried to decide what to do. Jani asked us where the after party would be happening and I suggested Alter Markt, but all the bars there close at midnight and that was too early for his liking – it is hard to find a place to go to in Dortmund after 11 on a weeknight. It didn’t bother us so we went there for one drink, then P., A., E., D. and J. joined me at my place for a few more. It was certainly a fun night! 😀

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: 9 gigs down, 15 to go, next stop: Osnabrück

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