Poets of the Fall – FestiVilla Vaasa; June 17th, 2017
The Poets of the Fall concert in Vaasa marked the start of the summer festival season, which generally means shorter show and seeing a number of other bands. I am not a festival fan, but when there is a choice between seeing POTF for an hour or not to see them at all, I often chose the former. In this case, it was a good decision. They played a highly energetic show that left me smiling and looing forward to the next one.
For me this concert was the end of a three week tour with 15 concerts before this one. So while my friends were excited about their first concert in a long time, I was a little sad that this was my last one for some time to come. Either way, after a day of resting in Helsinki I was happy to meet up with A. on the train and with S. when we arrived in Vaasa, looking forward to the evening ahead. We spent a nice afternoon, before walking to the venue and arriving just after the doors opened.
A. joined us soon and we sat on a swing near the stage during the first band, Unia. We did not see them, but from the songs alone I’d say they were nothing to write home about. Next up were K.A.J. and they were a pleasant surprise. When they started I thought is was Finnish Rap, but soon realized they were more of a fun and that played numerous styles and did not take themselves seriously at all. After two songs or so we moved to front row and enjoyed the show. The three guys performed songs in Swedish and Finnish and what thy did was truly a performance with different costumes, different styles of music and much drama. It was awesome and despite not understanding much of what they said I laughed quite a lot. Apart from Finnish RAP they did a Tango, a Swedish song about being allergic to pollen and some dramatic Spanish style love song. It was hilarious and these are only example. For the encore they even turned into a boy band, complete with choreography and matching costumes. 😀 Their 45 minute set was over in a heartbeat.
Tribute to Queen (Kimmo Blom) followed and they were awful. The singer was constantly off key and destroyed all the wonderful songs. I was wearing earplugs, but it was still terrible. Only the guitarists were OK and I was glad when it was over. Setting up the stage for Sanni took forever and it suddenly got crowded. Apparently she has a lot of fans. I was annoyed before she even started, because thanks to the complicated stage setup, I knew Poets were going to be late, unless she played shorter than she was supposed to. Once she started it was OK, but it did not speak to me at all. She had a good band, she did her own thing, the lights were good and her fans passionate, but I could not relate to her music. it left me completely cold. Oh well, I don’t think I am the target group here and her fans obviously had fun. It made me smile how well thy all knew the words, but especially the fact that they are were bad singers, just like POTF fans are. What they lacked in signing skills, they made up for with enthusiasm though and that’s what counts.
Finally she was done and some stage hands started changing the stage for Poets of the Fall. they were taking their bloody time though, so much in fact that Poets set up their own gear in the end. Meanwhile he audience in front of the stage had almost completely changed. they were supposed to start at 15 minutes past midnight, but it was almost 12:30 when they did. We had been wondering if the setlist was going to change in any way other than being shortened. Since there had been no rehearsals we knew of, the only other option was changing the order of songs.
As soon as the intro started playing, I forgot everything else and arrived in the now, feeling happiness and excitement surge through me. No matter how tired and cold I might have been before, all this fell off me and I only lived in the moment. They kicked off the show with ‘Shadow Play’ and while some people in the audience where still realizing that the show had stated, A., S. , A. and me were already clapping in unison. 😀
Just before the Poets walked on stage we had talked about the huge boxes right in front of it and how one or several of the guys would surely step on them. It happened during the first song already and Marko was right in front of us, smiling. During the course of the evening, everyone but Jari and Captain stood there. I am still waiting for Captain to do it too as he walks out from behind the keyboards at times, but so far it hasn’t happened. 😉 Since there is usually a big gap between audience and stage at festivals, it always makes me happy to get a close up view. 🙂
‘Daze’ happened and for the first time since the beginning of the ‘Clearview’ tour, Marko got the second line of the song right (all the other times he sang half of the second line of verse one and half of the second line of verse two). I was so surprised that I turned to A. and made a comment about it. For ‘Dreaming wide awake’ he was back in front of us and sang that he is dreaming me wide awake. <3 I loved how quickly all the lyrics came back to me and how easily I fell into the music. I was moving right along with it from the start.
As if the smile on my face wasn’t big enough already, looking at my friends beside me made me smile even more, because they looked so joyful. 🙂 The guys looked happy too, especially Jaska was smiling or laughing all night. For him, as well as Jani and Jari he festival season was in full swing already, as they play with other bands too, but maybe being back on stage with this band in particular has its own magic. Whatever the reason, it just made me happy to see the guys happy. They gave all that night and their energy kept me going. The crowd was good, had fun and luckily most of the drunk people were nowhere near us as soon as it started. As far as festivals go this was the best one could hope for.
When ‘The Game’ started I was surprised we were at this point in the set already. It felt as if the guys had walked on stage just seconds ago. Time always goes to fast when you’re enjoying yourself. 😀 I was singing along to every song, even before I knew which one it was. Strangely enough I didn’t remember any of the songs on the setlist until I heard them again. Must have been seeing all these other concerts in-between. 😉 It was beautiful being there and I felt so alive, feeling each and every song, finding lines in there that spoke to me, told the story of my life. It never ceases to amaze me how easily this band can transport me to a different world and simply make me happy.
So many little things happened, like the guys posing for me or Olli patting Jani on the shoulder when he came over to check out Olli’s playing. Watching them was so much fun – their amazing playing, their interactions. I forget things too easy and never can remember much after the concert, but what always remains is a general feeling about it and this one was fun! It made me forget everything else, time as well as place. For an hour I was in a zone where only the magic of music could reach me. It is an amazing place to be in. 😀
They kept ‘Rogue’ and ‘Drama for Life’, which were both brilliant. What made me especially happy though was that ‘Everything fades’ remained on the setlist. 🙂 I had hoped for ‘War’ to stay too, but no such luck and ‘The Labyrinth’ was gone too, but that is not exactly a festival song. I loved the setlist nonetheless, even though it was – of course – a bit shorter than the previous one for the club gigs. When the main set ended with ‘Locking up the sun’ including much dancing and jumping on stage, I could not believe it had gone so fast. The band was back almost immediately reacting to our enthusiastic cheers. I screamed so loudly that A. looked at me in surprise. Yes, I can scream with the best of them, but only when I’m not trying. 😉
Two more songs, the proven double of ‘Carnival of Rust’ and ‘Lift ended the show. Both were awesome and I loved every second, but it felt very weird not to have ‘Children of the Sun’ in the end. It had been such a fixed thing on this tour I could not believe it was gone. That will take a little getting used to I suppose. Of course it did not make the concert any less enjoyable and I had loved all of it.
Chatting happily we returned to our hotel where we had a little after party until the small hours of the morning when it finally got dark outside. The next morning at breakfast and especially on the trip home I felt melancholia hit me as I realized that three weeks of touring were now over and I’d have to return to work the following day. This was fun, let’s do it again soon!
Dreaming Wide Awake
Diamonds 4 Tears
Temple of Thought
Drama for Life
Locking up the sun
Carnival of Rust