Hugs, handshakes and a surprise song

Poets of the Fall & Flight Brigade – Luxor, Cologne; December 3rd, 2016

The Poets of the Fall concert in Cologne took place in front of a sold out house with a crowd that went nuts and energy levels through the roof. The stage at the Luxor always seems too small for the guys and the club is so narrow that I wonder how the audience is going to fit in there, but somehow, as soon as the show starts all of that is forgotten, we all become one happy mass of energy, shifting the room and the people in in to a different dimension, where only the music and the moment counts. 😀

I had to leave Dortmund early in the morning, due to a noon appointment in Bonn and was already overly tired long before I arrived. Once I got there and stepped out of the train I knew I should have worn my heavy winter jacket. It was freezing! The weather was beautiful, but the sun did not deliver all that much warmth and I knew it would get worse once it was down. Put on my gloves and hat and made my way to C.’s hotel where I left my backpack and got to rest for a little while before we went to the venue. We were not even the first to arrive even though it was still more than two hours to go until the doors opened. The remainder of our group joined us shortly after, some of us grabbed a coffee from a nearby kiosk and we proceeded to brave the cold. Flight Brigade carried their gear in, we said hello, chatted, waited. At one point Olli came out and when he asked how we were I told him I was cold and asked if maybe he could offer some tea, hot cocoa or mulled wine. He laughed, but didn’t have anything to offer. More freezing happened, but eventually the doors opened. I even felt too cold to make my usual “not as cold as Russia” joke. All I wanted was to get warm.

There were loads of people at the meet & greet, many more than I had expected and they were so slow when it came to taking pictures with the band, some apparently unable to make up their minds if they wanted one or not. All of our group went first and when it was my turn the guys joked with me as usual. Marko was like “First meet & greet?” and I replied “I’m shaking!” I was, actually, because I was still freezing. With so many people we didn’t have that much time to talk to the guys, but it was enough for me to tell them I needed a hug against the cold to which they obliged. 🙂 Jari was the last one we talked to and as usual lost in conversation. Nina, who needed to open the doors soon stood next to him making all sorts of gestures urging him to stop which he ignored for a long while. We were rather amused. 😀

The venue had felt full already, but got really packed as soon as the doors were opened. Finally I de-thawed and warmed up. 🙂 The stage is usually smaller (or was at most gigs I have seen there), but this time it seemed a bit deeper and even had a railing, so there was actually some distance between us and the bands.

Flight Brigade started playing and people rocked with them. It feels like they are getting better every night and they visibly had fun. We clapped along and danced to their music, loving it. They are a really good fit for Poets of the Fall. I enjoy listening to them every night. D. said the third song (‘U kill me’) was her favorite. Mine, so far, is ‘Hurricane Season’. I like their entire set though. It never gets boring and with so many people on stage, there is always something or someone interesting to watch. During introductions Ollie, their lead singer described “‘Flight’ as in what a plane does and ‘Brigade’ because we are so many.” 🙂

Together they form a band that works together well and plays well too. Keyboarder and singer Mirijam can often be seen with flying hair, especially when she plays the small drum (or however that thing is called) she has next to the keyboards with full force, headbanging with the tune. Drummer Neil alternates between quietly laying down the rhythm and forcefully driving the beat forward. Guitarist Thomas and bassist Tom move around a lot, playing together or with Ollie, who shares vocals with Miriam and violinist Dorrie. Jonny, the other keyboarder is always in the background, but if you pay attention you can see him rocking out there in the back too. 🙂 The band visibly had fun that night and the audience rewarded them with many cheers.

Setlist:

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

Cologne never disappoints when it comes to enthusiastic audiences. It was true this time around as well. loud cheers erupted with the first notes of the intro and we kept up a good level of noise until the end, during the rocking parts of the show that is. For the softer ones, people were quiet. 🙂 With this being the fifth concert in a row, I felt a bit exhausted, but the guys still seemed to be bursting with energy. It was contagious and pretty soon I was jumping and dancing like I usually do. They always have the power to make me forget anything that troubles me. 🙂

We were standing on Olli’s side this time and it still felt strange to have him on the right instead of the left. However, I was completely fascinated by seeing him play the guitar with both hands at the front, i.e. finger tapping on the strings over the body and the fret simultaneously. How cool is that? He bowed down to play quite a lot too and every time he came back up his hair was flying. Made me want to join in an bang my head. 😀 Pretty soon, Jaska was over on the right side as well, playing with Olli first, then joining Captain. Once he stood up on the keyboard raiser, he tested out if he could reach the ceiling and punched it.

About halfway through my personal tour, the setlist was still as strong as on the first day. In the beginning I was a tiny bit disappointed that the acoustic set didn’t change this time around, but now I didn’t mind any more. Sure, I would have loved to hear different songs, just like I would love for them to play longer shows, but I have to admit that the setlist they picked is a strong one, so why should they change something that works? From the wonderful intro of ‘Shadow Play’ setting the mood (I still want to hear the full song so badly!) to the beautiful message of unity and acceptance with ‘Children of the Sun’ in the end, it is masterfully constructed. From ‘Drama for Life’ to ‘The Game’ the band delivers punch after punch of rock songs. ‘The Child in me’ and ‘Diamonds for Tears’ might be a tad slower than the others, yet they all have me moving and singing at the top of my lungs. Things slow down for the acoustic set, but soon pick up again and the softer second half of the show has ‘Running out of Time’ and ‘Locking up the Sun’ thrown in to keep the pace. I also love how they start the encores slowly with Olli’s solo as a prelude to the power of ‘War’ which in turn explodes into ‘Lift’. Then, with most energy spent, it’s time to hug and enjoy the last song.

As always I loved listening just as much as singing along and I sure loved watching. Watching how Marko stood head to head with Jani and held him by his tie, how Jaska played the guitar on his knees or how Olli adjusted a tie pin before going into a solo. 😀 So many small gestures, so many happy moments.

The acoustic set unexpectedly started with Marko alone on stage. He talked about a song that had been mentioned to him a few times and sang ‘The Wind that shakes the Barley’. It was beautiful. I looked over at D. and smiled, because she had talked about the song to him at one of the previous meet & greets. 🙂 Then he brought the band out and told us not to forget throwing money on stage if we liked it. 😀 when the times came to hold up the lamps in our mobiles for ‘Stay’ he said that he saw some of us with our phones out and when G., who was filming, turned around to get in all the lights, he commented that we were being filmed now. He also showed us a heart he formed with his hands and looked through it.

There was a lot of jumping going on on stage and possibly in the audience too. I certainly was doing it. Some time during the show, Marko jumped off the stage, took a few steps towards us and pulled us into a group hug. <3 Later on, he was playing air guitar while holding the mic stand by one of the tassels that he had grabbed with his teeth. 😀 During ‘Carnival of Rust’, while Olli was sitting down, Jani stood by his side, leaning on to him head to head. When ‘Children of the Sun’ started, our group of friends stood arm in arm, moving with the music. It was beautiful.

I didn’t see all that much of Jari that night until he came out from behind his drums to say goodbye and throw his drumsticks to the crowd. Olli and Captain shook everyone’s hands as they walked out and Marko blew us some kisses. Yes, we love you too!

Our group gathered and went out for drinks and late night food. We found a quiet Mexican place that wasn’t too crowded, enjoyed chatting and eating well into the night. when everyone was ready to leave I felt dead tired and dreaded the train ride home. Luckily, my friend C. offered me a place to stay at her hotel, so I did not have to go until the next morning. Thank you for saving me!

Setlist:

Intro: Shadow Play
Drama for Life
Daze
The Child in Me
Dreaming Wide Awake
Diamonds for Tears
The Game
The Wind that shakes the Barley
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

pictures from this concert

Clearview tour 2016/17: 11 gigs down, 13 to go, next stop: Haarlem

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