Amazing crowd, powerful songs and Flight Brigade’s last show

Poets of the Fall & Flight Brigade – O2 ABC, Glasgow; January 14th, 2017

Here I go again. Sitting at Glasgow airport, crying because I am so happy I cannot contain all the emotions inside me, crying because it is over and real life will start again tomorrow, crying because I don’t know if they even realize how much it all means to me and crying because I do know that whatever happens I will always have these beautiful memories to come back to. It is all good, these are happy tears and emotional overflow tends to happen after intense tours. :’)
The Poets of the Fall concert in Glasgow was one hell of a show, ending the Clearview tour with a high point and mind you, the entire tour was nothing short of brilliant. I am happy with every show I got to see and feel deeply grateful for each one of them. Night after night the band delivered, sharing their beautiful music with us. And night after night I stood there, enjoying every moment, even more so because I got to share them with friends, my tour family. Nothing compares to this!
The tour started on a bright September day in Helsinki roughly 15 weeks ago with an album I had not even heard yet and the new setlist therefore containing four songs completely new to me. I fell in love with one of them right away, liked the others, but was traveling into new territory with a fresh setlist that contained some nice surprises. Over the course of 24 shows, it became familiar, I fell in love with each one of the new songs and renewed my ongoing love affair with some of the older ones too. By the time yesterday’s show rolled around I knew what a precious gift this setlist had been and I did not want to let it go, promising I’d enjoy the hell out of it one last time. And you’re so beautiful…

We got to Glasgow by train, enjoying spectacular views of snowy mountain landscapes on the way. A. and I checked in, met up with L. for lunch, then spent some time relaxing. L. and I had VIP tix so we met again at the venue at 4. It was way too early, we were alone for an hour, but I was too nervous to leave. spent the time chatting and got to say hello to some of the members of Flight Brigade. There was a band competition going on at the venue as well and the friendly staff organized us into different queues. When A. and C. arrived there were still only very few of us, but eventually more VIP ticket holders arrived. They opened on time and I let L. go first, having to wait for my camera to be confirmed. She did a brilliant job of saving a spot for me dead center. <3 As soon as I saw the small stage I decided to not take any pictures and enjoy the show. Tiia said the same, having a nice seat a little way back from the stage.

The meet & greet was beautiful! Most of the people there had never seen Poets of the Fall live and it was a happy mixture of hugs, handshakes and emotional outburst during the picture session already. When one fan was running to hug Jaska, Marko decided to leave his place and do the same. 🙂 All the guys could not help but smile at the fan reception they got. Watching all that alone was worth the price of the VIP ticket.
Despite the picture session taking a long time I got to talk to each of the guys surprisingly much. I finally handed Jaska his new “Child of the Fall – Apprentice” T-Shirt and he shyly went to the bathroom to put it on. It was a perfect fit and I got to take a few pictures. Chatted with him and Captain about the upcoming setlist, trying to place a few wishes. I’m sure I’ll be happy with whatever they pick, but just had to mention a few songs. 😉 With Marko I chatted about ‘War’ and probably not seeing Flight Brigade ever again after the tour. Sad but true. Olli told me he had seen me at the two previous shows and knew exactly where I had stood. He said he was looking for me because he considers me family and when I’m there he can relax and knows everything will be fine. <3 I answered that I’m glad to be able to give something back for all I receive from them. Jani mentioned being out and about in Glasgow taking pictures. He liked the city and I agreed on Glasgow being lovely. With Jari I had to pick up on our discussion of stops on the Picadilli Tube line, because in London we could not remember one specific station. Now it’s all clear. 😀 In the end I talked to Captain, Jani and Jaska again with Captain being the last one who stayed, joking he could just watch the show with us. 🙂 I just love these guys!

Everyone gathered in front of the small stage and the excitement built as people with regular tickets piled in. C. and A. ended up in good spots second row. Time went by quickly and at 8 Flight Brigade hit the stage, once again without Miriam. From the start I got into it, made it a point to watch each one of them for a while, enjoying their playing. They rocked, moving along with the music, jumping, having fun. They all smiled at me at one point or another, Neal giving me a thumbs up as I did my best to sing along. I’m gonna miss them!

Glen, the stage tech was rocking along with them too, air drumming all the time. For ‘Thick as Thieves’ he conducted the audience until everyone was waving their arms. 🙂 It was so much fun. This band rally knows their stuff, they play well, they have great songs and bring good energy to the stage. ‘U kill me’ got the best crowd reaction, as it did night after night. There is a clear build up though from first song to last and while in the beginning the crowd has no idea what they are in for and is just checking out the band in front of them, most are drawn in by the third song and the cheers get continuously louder until the end. I saw and heard it happen again and again and this gig was no exception. Flight Brigade gave everything they had and were rewarded with much applause. Winning over an audience that has not come to see you is no small feat and while those who had already heard them, did the best to make them feel at home, they still had to convince everyone else and they did. All this time I never asked how they ended up supporting Poets of the Fall, but whoever made that choice did well.  😀

Their set was over way too soon and I looked at each one of them in turn for the last time, committing the images and the music to memory. I sure hope I will get a chance to see them again somewhere. Tom was filming us with his mobile in the end and everyone cheered for them. It was an amazing last gig. Thank you so much Flight Brigade!

Setlist:

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

Once the stage was cleared the excitement in the room built even more. It felt like electrical currents were running through the air, everyone being charged and ready to explode. There were happy faces everywhere and I knew then and there it was going to be brilliant. Shortly before show start ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was playing on the sound system and starting with the family to our right, people started singing along. It was beautiful! Soon after the music stopped, the lights went down and everyone cheers, looking at the stage. It was so loud, the first words of ‘Shadow play’ almost got lost and got even louder when the guys started walking on stage. The guys were close enough to touch, with only a low barrier separating us.

From the beginning of the show I started up and down and would do so many more times during the night. The sound was OK, but Marko’s voice was a bit far back in the mix so I took out my ear plugs to hear him better. Geez, that was loud. I am not used to not having them in. Got used to it soon enough though. Nothing could have stopped me from enjoying the show anyway. 🙂 The band pulled out all stops, playing like it was their last show ever and they had to make us remember them (as if we didn’t anyway). Jari was beating the drums with so much force I though his armrs must ache, Captain, barely visible to me, created his magic subtly, yet noticeable, Jaska, Jani and Olli sure showed us how to rock, swinging guitars and bass high in the air, playing great solos and creating a beautiful layer of sounds to carry each song, while Marko was singing his heart out, making sure to make connections.

The guys were so close I could see beads of sweat on Jaska’s face, notice the different shades of blond in Marko’s beard, study Jani’s eyebrows or watch the subtle changes in Olli’s smile. It was all sorts of wonderful and little surprising that people were tempted to touch instruments and arms from time to time. Most were very respectful about it, taking care not to startle the guys, reaching out only when they did. Marko, his foot up on the railing, leaned out over my head a few times and once I could not help myself and just had to hug him, wrapping my arms around him briefly.

Between singing along at the top of my lungs, clapping, screaming when being asked to scream, dancing and happily jumping up and down in tune with the music, I made sure to watch each one of the guys for a while, but I have to admit that being right in front of Marko made it a bit difficult to look away from him at times. Still, whenever Olli, Jaska or Jani played in front of me, I made studied their faces and their fingers working. It never ceases to amaze me how much beauty they create, how effortless their playing looks and how it magically comes together to form such intricate melodies. Several times Jaska leaned out with his foot on the railing next to me, the guitar neck on my side and I tried looking around it and smiled up at him. Olli had the guitar at my eye level and when I looked up I saw he had his eyes closed, lost in the melody he was playing. 🙂

The railing provided a nice footrest for the guys and the boxes by the side of he stage had enough room to stand on. Jani was up there all the time, playing to the crowd and Jaska and Olli got up there too. With the drum raiser smaller than usual,they did need another place to stand. 😉 Jari of course was stuck behind the drums, but I had a good view of him and loved watching him play. He has so much energy. Captain visited Olli towards the end of the show, checking out his guitar playing once again. Other than that I took every chance I got to watch him behind the keyboards.

Marko was chatty during the acoustic set and eventually asked if we wanted him to talk on or play more music. The vote went for the latter. 😀 He also got up on the railing, reaching up to a STREBE in the ceiling, holding on to that while swinging back and forth and leaning out into the audience. During one time someone place a flag over his outstretched arm and he put it across the railing. I think it might have been a Mexican one. Later, as he was up there again, walking along I took it down so he wouldn’t step on it. I always admire his sense of balance. 🙂

The audience was great, singing along, screaming and clapping on cue, waving their arms. Even though they often did not know what they were supposed to do they followed right along. Just great! Having an enthusiastic audience made the guys rock even more, giving all they had, making the crowd happy. Whenever I looked I saw people smile. After this, I am sure the band will return to Glasgow.

Some time during the gig Jani was kissing Marko on the neck in passing and there were many other gestures of affection between the guys. There was just as much teasing too, always the right  mixture between serious and fun. When Olli was playing a solo at the front, Marko came to watch and then blew into his hair, just to tease him. 😀 These little things really make the concerts as much fun as they are and looking out for them has become a sort of game to me. How many interactions between the band members can you spot?

At the start of ‘Carnival of Rust’ Marko pointed to my arm and first I did not understand what he wanted, but after a few more tries I got the instructions. He wanted me to put my arm against his and lift it up so his arm would be lifted. I did and when he lifted his arm a little higher and stood still, I remained in my mannequin pose as well until he started singing and was moving once again. 🙂 Olli came over and shook hands when the song was over, didn’t shake mine and looked at me apologetically. It is OK, dear, other people might not get the chance again as soon as I do.

Every song was great and when ‘Children of the Sun’ came around I could hardly believe it was over already. Unknown to us, the band streamed the song on their Facebook page. It was a nice surprise to be able to re-watch it after the concert. 🙂 I love the message of the song and think it is the most perfect closer. It almost made me cry this time around and I wanted to hug the guys when it was over. They waved goodbye, but did not take a final bow this time. Captain, Jani and Jaska were shaking hands though and they all came to me. I smiled at each one, mouthing “Thank you”. Jari got his final 5 minutes of fame,leaning out with his hand behind his ear, making us scream one last time before he threw his drumsticks to the crowd. A final wave and they were gone. What a brilliant night! Thank you, Poets of the Fall, I really cannot put into words how much I love you!

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

After the gig we stuck around talking to Flight Brigade, saying goodbye, getting some hugs and a picture with Dorrie, Thomas and Ollie. They told me it was nice to have a friendly face in the crowd every night and I thanked each one of them for the music. They are such lovely people. Tom appeared too, saying they were having goodbye drinks backstage with Poets. 🙂
L., C. A. and myself ended the night with drinks and a shared pizza before saying goodbye. It was lovely to see you all. Until next time! For me it is time to return home, take a deep breath and get ready for work, surrounded by people who have mostly come to accept my crazy way of living but do not really understand why I do what I do. If only they could see…

Clearview tour 2016/17: 24 gigs down, none to go, next: home

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