Poets of the Fall – Viihdekeskus Merisärkkä, Kalajoki; May 12th, 2018
You have heard me say this before, but I have to repeat it: every time I think (or say) “It cannot possibly get any better than this” Poets of the Fall prove me wrong and take it up a notch. I have no idea where this is gonna end, but I’m loving it. After an acoustic gig that left me pretty much speechless and the night of fun fun fun in Oulu I thought that was it for this weekend. I mean, how could they possible pull of another show on this level and who plays in Kalajoki anyway? Yeah, right! After over ten years of following them and with – at that point – 198 shows under my belt how have I not yet learned that they will always manage to surprise me and raise the bar just a little bit higher in one way or another. The show in Kalajoki is best described as One Wild Night (sorry not sorry for stealing your title Bon Jovi – it’s fits perfectly here!). Not only did it make me laugh very hard, it was also super- emotional for me and when it was over I cried more than a few happy tears. It was the perfect ending to the spring tour and a wonderful weekend.
My bus to Kalajoki left at 9:25 so again I did not get enough sleep – see a pattern here? Arrived around 11, checked in and immediately went for a walk on the beach, shoes off, jeans rolled up and feet in the water. The sun was warm, there were very few people around and it was the perfect way to say hello to this final stop on my trip. Eventually I got hungry and tried to find a restaurant, but apparently the season had not started yet so a few places were closed. Found one after awhile, had a nice meal and went back to my apartment for a nap. More walking, sitting in the sun, waiting at the venue. Just before the doors oepend H. joined me and we were alone for a while. Small wonder. It was a midnight gig and the doors opened at 9 pm. The venue looked nice, with a good sized stage, the music was nottoo loud and we chatted until clos eto the gig when S. and K. joined us. Apart from these three, I did not see any familiar faces in the crowd. I had taken the spot just right of the mic stand with a perfect view of everyone. The stage was a little bit too high for being at the front, but thathas never bohered me. With no barrier available, I taped my sign to the stage upside down, ready to flip it up when the show started. It read “One more time”.
The waiting time did not feel so long after all, the venue filled up slowly and as an imaginary clock struck midnight Glen took his place on stage and the show was on the road. Right from the start I had a good feeling about it, everyone looked so happy when they walked out, I just knew they where going to do everything in their power to make it a great night. Marko grabed the micstand right away and carried it around for a while before abandoning it altogether and just holding the mic out to us. The response was a bit weak at first, but this audience too warmed up to rocking along with the band. 🙂 Olli had some teck case in his spot, only to have a place to put his foot on and he immediately made use of it. I momentarily forgot the lyrics to ‘Overboard’, but most of them came back to me soon and I did my best to sing along. Much later, for ‘Children of the Sun’ I believe, Olli totally caught me when I forgot the lyrics and smiled when he noticed.
During ‘Daze’, Marko got down on his knees rightin front of me, leaned forward, looked me straight in the eye and sang. I did not black out on the lyrics this time and sang right along with him, but forgot which line it was as soon as he looked away. Still, after all these years he has the same effect on me and still, I cannot bring myself to raise my camera and point it a this face from up close. Maybe he just does it to see if that is changing? ;P As soon as he was back on his feet, Jani was leaning onto his shoulder from behind. There was so much movement I didn’t know where to look. Jaska with his foot up on the tech case, playing a solo, Olli, headbanging wildely, Jani, sticking his tongue out to everyone. At one point I was watching Olli and noticed something from the corner of my eye on this other side of the stage, but by the time I turned I realized I’d missed whatever Marko and Jaska were doing over there. They were all going extra crazy and took us along with them. 🙂
I had a lot of fun with ‘Diamonds for Tears’ that night, it was an exceptionally great version and H. and I spent some time singing to each other. 🙂 At the start of ‘Rogue’ Marko was bouncing up and down like a rubber ball and clapping before leaving the stage to the others. The all stood together for a while, leaning back, instruments raised, before Jaska, Jani and Olli came closer and gave me another chance to watch their fingers dance across strings. <3 ‘Given and Denied’ was lovely as ever and I think it was during ‘Kamikaze Love’ when MArko decided to sit down atthe edge of the stage right between Heta and me. Just for a moment I wanted to lean on to him, but dind’t. There was a woman behind us whom her friends slowly pushed towards him. She ended p leaning against his knees while he hugger her from behind and kept singing. She and her friends were having a lot of fun with this. Eventually he let go, rolled backwards and was laying on his back for a while. It amazed me how he managed to sing flawlessly through all this. 🙂 Moments laterhe was on his knees at Olli’s feet, bowing down to him. 🙂
When ‘Choice Millionaire’ started all the guys (OK, except Jari and Captain) were jumping up and down, turning in circles or going side to side and I jumped right along with them. Marko chose to shower everyone with water from his bottle which must have been refreshing. He even tried to let us sing one of the lines – “a clear innuendo”?, but it didn’t work out. Still, everyone was enjoying it, some of us jumping, others waving their arms. Olli and Jaska did the thing where they move their guitars in unison and in time with the music. This song is such a blast live, it makes me forget that I don’t really care for it on the album. At one point during the song Marko randomly picked up a towel and used it to wave with it while Captain in the background threw his towel high in the air and caught it again, before going back to playing. 😀 Somewhere in all the ongoing craziness of the show, Spiderman returned, i.e. Glen’s cape from the previous night made another appearance much to the band’s and my enjoyment. 😀
I saw the guys pointing their instruments at each other like guns or using them to show us who to look at. I saw Jani turning the knows on Jaska’s guitar and Marko using the whammy bar on Olli’s. Every time I watch them do something like this I thing I’d drive me nuts and I’d be scared that the guitar would suddenly sound differently, but they just keep on playing. 😀 For ‘Late Goodbye’ Marko was kneeling by Olli’s side for a while until he stood across from Jani who was blowing him kisses that he expertly caught out of the air. Jaska stood and played with Olli for a while, then went and visited Jari, while Marko was conducting the audience sing-along. In the end of the song he stood with Jani, leaning on to him. I was taking a picture of them so Jani started posing for me and Marko looked at him like “what the hell…??” until he realized what I was doing. He looked at me, grinned and mouthed “get this”, then turned his back to me and pretended to pull down his pants. Tease! 😛
They left and soon returned for ‘Children of the Sun’. Already? Where had time gone? Jani was blwoing kisses to the audience and Olli was shaking hands, even waiting for me to put my camera down first. <3 ‘War’ was super emotional for me and I sang along with everything I had. When it was time for Jaska’s solo, Jani sat down on the drum raiser and Marko knelt by the side, then crawled across the stage back towards the center, where Jani got on his knees as well, bowing down and looking up at him. It seemed like they were having an entire conversation before getting up again.
‘Dreaming wide awake’ had Jaska and Olli standing on the drum raiser and both jumping off together. Marko was going crazy with two towels mwving them like those sticks on a chain you sometimes see in martial arts movies. It looked quite skilful. He did that walking around while Olli was playing a solo and Jani got down on his knees in front of him, leaning back with his bass. So many awesome pictures waiting to be taken! There was so much happening at the front that I paid too little attention to Captain and Jari in the background. I could see them well, but was so often busy watching the others.
‘Lift’ was beyond amazing, just as highly energetic and up closecas the entire show had been. There was just an extra spark somehow, a bit of magic in the air, in their playing and their smiles. I have no idea if they ever played in Kalajoki before or how many of the people present were fans and not just part goers, but no matter what the band made an extra effort to show everyone a hoid time. I won’t claim I didn’t enjoy all the attention. It was all sorts of wonderful. ‘Carnival of Rust’ invariably marked the end of the show. I love this song and I have heard it at every Poets of the Fall concert I have ever attended. The show would not be the same without it, I just eish the would not play at the very end do often.
They all came to the front to say goodbye and shake hands. I held up my sign one last time and Olli asked “one more time until what?” so I explained that my next concert would be the 200th. Jani bent down and asked me to take a picture of them before he gathered the band. I gave it my best shot, but royally screwed up because as I moved back to get them all in in, other people moved to the front and I had to raise the camera above my head. Unfortunately it focussed on the hands of the people on front instead of the guys and I did not notice until it wad too late. 🙁 In the end I had only one good picture to send to the guys. They liked it though and used it in their thank you post. <3
When it was over I was drenched in sweat from all the jumping, wide awake and insanely happy. I felt so grateful for having been able to tour with the guys and sent them virtual hugs. H: looked at me and carefully stated that this might have been better than Oulu. Later she specified that there was “more energetic dynamite in the atmosphere” here and they came even closer. The description fit perfectly, nothing I could add.
I knew I had a bus to catch in a few hours and would have hell to pay for all the late nights during the upcoming week, but it was totally worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Diamonds for Tears
Given and Denied
Children of the Sun
Dreaming Wide Awake
Carnival of Rust