Moth, mirrored gesture and duckfaces

Poets of the Fall – Live Club, Milano; December 11th, 2016

Milano, Milano, Milano, once again you proved that Italian audiences are amazing. Poets of the Fall came to you with great expectations and left with happy smiles. 🙂 It was a slow start, but then the audience took off like a rocket and never came down again. The guys just went along for one hell of a ride, showing their affection for us and each other all through the concert. It was one of those shows were they played as if it was their last chance to do so, effortlessly bridging the gap the front of stage barrier left between us and them. It was such a rush that I was high on the music for hours after the show ended. 😀

The day started with rising early in Frankfurt and going to Nuremberg (don’t even ask how I ended up flying from there). When I arrived I decided I would not need my suitcase in Milano, packed a few essentials in my backpack and left the suitcase in a locker at the train station. Flight was uneventful and a taxi ride later I was at my hotel. The comfortable bed was calling to me, but instead I got ready and walked to the venue where I arrived way too early. Had managed to leave most of my food at the hotel, but didn’t dare to leave to find a supermarket. Slowly it got more crowded and considerably colder with thick fog covering everything. My friend L. could not make it so I had to meet the others she bought tickets for. We found each other and despite making the ticket pick up a bit complicated I ended up front row center thanks to G. who kept me a spot. <3

The meet & greet was sold out, but I had surprisingly much time to talk to the guys. 🙂 For the picture I asked them to do a morpho and Jaska didnt know how. Captain was faking it too and both Jari and Jani didn’t even try. 😀 We talked about our respective trips to Milan, the guys were excited to play there and Jani told me how beautiful Trezzo sull’Adda (where the venue is located) was, but I didn’t have time to see it of course. Jari was telling some other fans how much he loves Italy and the talked about food so much that I got hungry just listening in. I told Nina about it and she brought me a few snacks. <3

It was only Poets of the Fall playing that night without any support act, but they didn’t start until 21:00. I felt somewhat tired, but had a nice chat with the people around me until just before show start. The white curtain has not been used for ‘Shadow Play’ in a long time and it wasn’t now, but Marko was standing in the backlight while singing the intro, slowly moving his arms. I have no idea where it came from, but a moth was flying next to one of his hands in the light. That was a good sign. 🙂 The others joined him and kicked off the show in high gear, never slowing down until the end. They were having such a great time I could not stop smiling through the entire gig.

This is a band I love so much I’m often lacking the words to express the depth of my feelings and while listening to their music always has a positive effect on me and can instantly lift me up when I feel down, being at one of their shows is the best part of it all. Seeing them “in action” cannot be topped by anything else and can never be fully described – it has to be experienced. Their interactions with the audience and each other forge and renew meaningful connections. Sometimes I can see and feel so much love they make my heart melt into a puddle. This was one of those shows were their affection for each other shone through everything. <3

During the entire show, the guys spent a lot of time at the front of the stage, not by necessity, but to be closer to the fans who were separated from the stage by a barrier and a pretty large gap. They urged us on to clap and cheer and gave us many reasons to do so. At the very beginning, Marko held out one arm, gesturing for us to cheer, while the other hand was placed behind his ear. We weren’t loud enough so he tried again until he was satisfied. He did it a few more times during the show, dividing the audience in a cheering contest once, having each side scream independently, only to bring us all together in the end. Meanwhile Jani, Jaska, Olli and sometimes even Captain and Jari, showed us how to clap. 😀 It worked! People got the hang of it pretty soon. 😉

With the big stage and the gap between us and the band, I got a bit of a overview for a change, viewing the full picture or trying to. I still got lots of close up encounters too, with most of the guys being directly in front of me at one point or another. Not only am I fascinated by their skill, they like watching each other work as well. Bruce Springsteen often jokes that Nils Lofgren checks out his guitar playing to see if he’s getting any better. I don’t know if that’s the case here, but they do move in for a closer look. This night it seems, just looking was not enough though: At one point Marko was crouching on the floor in front of Olli, getting closer and closer until he finally licked the guitar. This turned out to be the thing to  Maybe he is able to taste sound. 😉 Apparently Jani decided that licking was the thing do. Some time during the first half of the show he walked over to Marko and kissed him on the cheek and then he proceeded to lick it. The look on Marko’s face was absolutely priceless. 😀 This in turn must have given  Marko ideas, because later on he kissed Olli on the cheek wile Olli looked quite surprised.

We got to see a lot more adorable, funny and sometimes strange faces that night. Apart from the usual sticking out tongue moments I caught Jani pouting and Jaska as well as Olli making duckfaces. Every musician I’ve ever seen makes funny faces when they are concentrating on playing their instruments from looking highly concentrated to completely lost in the music. Just as often, I saw all of them smiling brightly too. During ‘The Child in me’ Marko gave us such a wild and crazy look it would have fit perfectly for ‘The Happy Song’. 🙂 Of course we got to see and hear great playing too. The guys showed us how to rock, with every note spot on from driving drums to delicate piano melodies, from a powerful bass to singing guitars. I never knew whom to watch, because there was so much going on every minute of the show.

When I think back on the concert I can still see so many strong images from that night on my mind like Olli with his guitar raised up high, his foot on one of the boxes in front of him, head back and mouth open as if to scream, playing a beautiful solo. Jani, beating his bass with one hand, the other one raised to urge us to make some noise. Captain, bathed in light, looking mysterious behind the keyboards. Jari, standing, his head moving up as he’d beating the drums. Marko on his knees, reaching towards us, or Jaska softly strumming his guitar with his eyes closed during the acoustic set. Everyone was playing with everyone else or watching while they played. 🙂 Jaska stood next to Captain, one hand in his pocket, leaning on to Marko’s mic stand, while Captain was playing a solo. Jani and Olli were playing together and Jaska joined them so all three stood in line with their instruments raised. Olli visited Captain and both leaned back while playing together. Marko used his mic stand to play air guitar with the others. Jani stood on the drum raiser to play with Jari.

The guys played together and supported each other, they hugged each other and made connection with the audience. Marko danced across stage, jumped around and showed us a heart formed with his hands, all the while singing beautifully. During ‘Once upon a Playground rainy’ he smiled at me and imitated my “heart on my sleeve” gesture from Frankfurt. <3 Jaska showed some beautiful guitar work, played one hell of a solo for ‘War’ and beat the drums together with Jari during ‘Lockig up the sun’. Captain could be seen coming out behind his keyboards to show us a thumbs up and to fan Olli with a towel when he needed cooling down.

It was a great night of beautiful music and many moments worth taking pictures of. There was love in the air, genuine affection between the the band members and the audience. It felt like being part of one big happy family. I cannot imagine anyone in the room not having a big smile on their face. 🙂 In the end, Marko insisted on taking a selfie with us. That was new. He also joined the others for a final bow before walking off stage. I could not have been happier to be there. The show was nothing short of perfect.

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: 16 gigs down, 8 to go, next stop: Nuremberg

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