Great sing-along, Captain’s air guitar and Finnish stand-up comedy

Poets of the Fall & Flight Brigade – Sound Control, Manchester; January 13th, 2017

In Manchester, Poets of the Fall played a small, packed, sold out venue and won over everyone in the crowd. There were quite a few first timers around and they looked happy with what they received. So did the repeat offenders. 😉 The energy in the room was high enough to float on and the crowd seemed to know every word to every song. It was beautiful! My friend A. and I were right in the middle of it all, dead center, about six rows back with a good view and surrounded by people loving the show. It was brilliant.

We left sunny Birmingham around noon, only to get stuck in traffic with our bus not moving for one hour. Eventually we got to Manchester though, found our hotel, rested a little and made our way to the venue, finding food on the way. We were among the first people there, but most of the VIP crowd had not arrived yet. Spent the waiting time chatting with the Indian woman behind us who had previously seen them in Bangalore but was now studying in York. At one point Captain had gone out to the bus only to be questioned by a guy who forgot something at the venue and had no clue who he was. We had wondered about Captain not going back in before the meet & greet, but then Nina came to pick him out and we learned that the entire band had been on the bus and now had to walk past us so we said hello and I voiced “This is our meet & greet”. We saw them and greeted them. 😀 Soon after they had disappeared inside, Flight Brigade walked out so I jokingly asked if there was no room inside for both bands. 😀

By the time they opened the doors we were freezing our butts off, but scored a nice spot from where we could see quite well. The stage was low and at first I had feared my view would get blocked if people raised their hands, but it was quite alright. 🙂 Unexpectedly Flight Brigade started at 8 pm already so we did not have to wait long. I immediately noticed that Miriam was missing. It showed too. They rocked, but the sound was different. The setlist was the same as the previous night and I did my best to get some participation going. A. and me started clapping four ‘U kill me’, but not many people followed. However, they cheered loudly between songs, so they must have liked what they heard. 🙂

Ollie kept looking in my direction and smiled, but I have no idea if he actually spotted me or if it was just accidental. It was an energetic gig, if a bit less catching than the one in Birmingham. I loved it though, moving along with the songs and singing the lines I knew. The crowd response was really good overall, cheers growing louder after every song. When ‘Thick as Thieves’ arrived I saw two people on the left, waving their phones with the lights on. Such a lovely gesture. When their set was over I realized I’d see them only one more time. It’s going to feel weird to not have them support Poets during their Finland tour.

Setlist:

39 Steps
House Fire
Where Eagles dare
You kill me
Tearaway
Hurricane Season
Thick as Thieves

Not being in the front row felt a bit weird, but I forgot all about that as soon as Poets of the Fall walked on stage. I realized it was almost the perfect distance for me, because I could see the whole band at the same time and still see the expressions on their faces. Still, when I get a chance to go to front row, I always take it. 🙂 The crowd response was great from the start, loud and happy, but even better was the fact that everyone in the audience seemed to know every word to every song. It sounded beautiful, like a background choir with no voice sticking out, but everyone having their place. <3

I know I am repeating myself, but the guys were brilliant that night. They always deliver and especially on this tour each and every concert has been amazing. Maybe it is the setlist that I love, maybe it is the fact that the guys look so happy to be on stage or maybe it is just the stars being aligned the right way 😉 , but I find it difficult to find words to describe every night without sounding like a broken record. They are great every night, I am sure it is not just my bias speaking, but it is also true that I have been in the perfect mood to receive the gift of their music (so maybe not stars, but my personal circumstances aligned just right :p). So far I have loved every minute of every show on the Clearview tour and it does not look or feel like that is going to change any time soon. 😀 It’s a kind of magic!

Already during ‘Dreaming wide awake’ I was jumping up and down along with Jaska and I did it a lot during the concert. Not having my camera made it much easier. 😉 Watching Jaska was great – he was smiling happily all through the show. Once or twice I thought he was smiling at me, but I can’t be sure he actually saw me there. Marko did though, he was looking straight at me a few times. 🙂 Being seen, even just for a brief moment, always makes a concert even more special than it already is. The moment anyone of the guys looks at me, I feel connected and making connections is what it is all about. Sharing a look with the band members that says “nice to see you” or sharing looks with my friends around me that say “isn’t it amazing to be here?” always gives me an extra kick. Grateful for sharing these moments with you. <3

For ‘The Child in me’ we saw Marko doing dance moves again and I went right along with him. Everyone laughed, but when he motioned for us to dance with him, hardly anyone followed. This audience was good with the lyrics, but otherwise didn’t go along all that much. whenever it came to clapping they were slow to react, during ‘Locking up the sun’ A. and me were the only ones who understood Jaska’s clapping motion (not immediately recognizable due to the drumstick in one hand) and with some other songs people stopped clapping as soon as the guys did. They visibly had fun though and cheered for the guys all the time – that’s the most important thing. 🙂

Marko sang an intro to ‘Dreaming wide awake’ which was pretty cool, but I cannot recall the words. The band powered right through the song and the following two, ending ‘the Game’ with awesome solos where Olli visited Captain behind the keyboards and leaned on to him while he played. Later on he played head to head with Jani. Seeing them lean on to each other always puts a smile on my face. It is so much rolled into one: Cool rocker pose, support and gesture of affection. Often they watch each other play as well. At one point Jani stood and watched Captain for a while, then walked over to Jari and stroked his hair. 🙂

The acoustic set turned quite chatty that night. At the beginning Marko mentioned we were not getting any younger only to joke about having 7 albums out while only being 24 introducing the first song as “one from when we were little”. A little later a woman yeled something in Finnish and he talked back to her in English, but she would not repeat it, then he spoke Finnish for a bit and said it’s be cool to just come out and do Finnish stand-up comedy. Yep, that would work well in the UK. 😛 It was quite funny though. 😀 Also one of the tassels on his microphone stand fell apart and he held it up to his ear, trying it out for an earring.

Marko and Jani had their moments that night. The were leaning on to each other often, but also chasing each other across stage. Once, while Olli and Jaska played a solo, Marko leaned on Jani while capping until Jani chased him away. In the end though, when Marko said we should hold on to each other, Jani hugged him. <3 Captain walked to the front to check out Olli’s guitar playing and played air guitar next to him and when the gig was over he pretended to throw his keyboard into the crowd. He has not done that in a long time. 😀

It was a truly beautiful show that I’m sure everyone left with good memories. In the end Captain was hugging first Olli, then Jani, lifting him up in the air. Jari and Jani hugged too and Marko and Jani were throwing kisses to the audience. Everyone on stage and in front looked very happy. 🙂

A. and me said goodbye to Flight Brigade and C., found a quiet pub and had a few drinks, ending up chatting with a guy who had also been at the gig and loved it.

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: 23 gigs down, 1 to go, last stop: Glasgow

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