Poets of the Fall – O2 Academy Islington, London; October 11th, 2018
Sitting on an early train to Glasgow I am reminiscing about Poets of the Fall London show last night and wondering who made this “let us zig-zag across the UK”-tour schedule. I certainly did not get enough sleep last night. 😉 Anyway, that’s not what you came here to read, so let me tell you that last night’s show was great. I have a slightly better feel about Bristol, but that might have been the “first time on a new tour” effect. Lights, sound and audience were all brilliant and everyone had lots of fun, myself included. This is shaping up to a good tour. 😀
Luckily I got a much needed good night’s sleep after Bristol, even had breakfast at my hostel and arrived in London well rested. Made it to my friends’ house, stayed and chatted for an hour or so and was out the door again to go to the venue, a 45 minute tube ride away. There were long lines already when I arrived and the VIP ticket holders had just gone in. Met up with L. and we chatted a bit, but she didn’t want to queue and opted for dinner instead. First she kept my spot though and I got some food as well. 🙂 They let us in a little late and surprised me with announcing that “this is a gum free venue” – WTF??? Otherwise everything went smoothly and I did have a photo pass too. Thank you Mike Lynch and Poets! Went inside and found a great spot upstair. I was dead center, just like the previous night, only higher up and further back. It was a perfect view, if a slightly strange angle. First it was empty up there, but all of a sudden people crowded it. Downstairs it looked pretty packed too. Full house!
This time Blackout Problems started at 8 and again they won over the audience quickly. They are certainly fun to watch and their energy easily spilled over to the crowd. I loved seeing them move around, dance and jump like crazy. They told us how lucky they felt to be invited on this tour, their first in the UK how great the audience looked. Sometimes I wish I had their point of view. The distance between the stage and the audience was bigger than in Bristol, but that did not keep the singer from going into the crowd during ‘Difference’. I watched how the long cable on his mic disappeared to the back and everyone helped passing it over to the side when he came back. That was fun. ‘Limit’, he told us, is a song about friendship and during ‘Kontrol’ they got a nice clap along going. I am really starting to like them. The last song was ‘Rome’ their new single, coming out at midnight. They thanked us, saying German bands don’t get to go to the UK so often unless they are Rammstein and joked about spitting fire backstage. 😀 Of course they all wanted to make us jump again, but it didn’t work so well. They did great though, I am looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow. 🙂
Once the stage setup was changed it felt like a long time until the lights went down, mainly because I really didn’t have anyone to talk too. Had chatted with a couple next to me earlier, but not now, so I just watched the people downstairs. If I hadn’t been scared of not getting my spot back, I might have gone to the merch to chat with Satu and Tiia, who were stuck outside the main hall and sported awesome violet wigs today. Anyway, I stayed where I was and waited. As soon as the lights went down, the audience started clapping and shouting “Poets! Poets!” – it was awesome! When the guys walked out they were greeted with loud cheers. 🙂
To my surprise they started with Dreaming wide awake’ this time. It kicked off the show in high gear and I was singing at the top of my lungs from the start. As it seemed, I was the only one who did so upstairs. That was not going to keep me from singing though, or doing all the moves for that matter. It’s all part of the experience. 😀 ‘Dancing on broken Glass’ was second this time. I actually thought it worked better the other way around. Maybe because it was new, while ‘Dreaming wide awake’ has been the first song before. It was fine though and it certainly got people moving. I do like the lyrics to ‘Dancing on Broken Glass’ and can related to them, even though what I feel about it has nothing to do with the meaning we have been offered for that song. It’s the beauty of it that it can fit other situations too. Right then an there, “I want you to know I still love you” was what I wanted to tell the guys. I’ve told them a few times already that I am not going anywhere and will be in this for life and that remains true, even with occasional doubts. 🙂
Early on I waved to Ollie when he was looking in my general direction. He usually spots me, no matter where I am in the crowd and he smiled when he saw me waving. Moments later, Marko spotted me to and gave me a nod. Being acknowledged, even if only for a brief moment, makes me feel connected. It has always been part of the band’s magic that they remember their fans and let them know they recognize them. I love how they show us their appreciation this way. <3
For ‘False Kings’ I was air drumming and from the corner of my eye caught someone giving me a strange look. Smiled and continued. Everyone can enjoy the show their own way. I tried to turn down my singing when I saw people filming though and hope I didn’t ruin too many recordings. 😉 ‘Temple of Thoughts’ brought chills indeed. That song has been important to me from the start and carries many awesome memories already, but recently got a whole new layer of meanings for me and I sang along with all of my heart. During the chorus Marko tried to get us to wave along, but failed. I was the only one who picked up on his cue at least as far as I could see. For the second chorus he tried clapping. That worked much better. 🙂
Is there anything I haven’t said about ‘Rogue’ yet? I am not a huge fan of instrumentals in general, but this one has a special place in my heart. This time it gave me the opportunity to get some great pictures from an unusual perspective. Watching the guys work together is such a joy and I never get tired of seeing them directing everyone’s attention toward each other so each one of them gets his chance to be in the spotlight. <3 ‘Standstill’ was brilliant. The acoustic treatment serves the song well. I really enjoy how the melody and the lyrics compliment each other here. That can be said for many songs I guess, but here it is the perfect match to me. I suddenly remembered a moment from the previous night when Tiia and I smiled at each other during the “first hello to the late goodbye” line – shared appreciation for the reference. Musically, I feel the song takes me back to ‘Signs of Life’ too so it fits.
‘Brighter than the Sun’ was fun and brought Marko closer to the audience, leaning out into the crowd and shaking hands. He did not climb over the barrier though. Instead he directed us when to scream, first one side of the room, then the other, then the center and in the end everyone together. Yes, we can follow instructions! 😛 Marko talked about “The dark disquiet you feel when you can’t sleep at night” and I knew what he meant. The song is slowly growing on me and I feel the need to revisit it to figure out more of the lyrics. I am still not sure about the strings though. I love strings in general, but I prefer them to be real. When I heard them, I had an image on my mind of Poets playing this song with an orchestra or at least a string quartet. Can someone please make that happen? A lot of people in the audience were moving along to the song, but especially two on the far left caught my attention, going absolutely nuts and jumping in tune with the song. Way to go! 😀
At some point during the night I saw Jani walk up to Jari and tell him something which made both of them laugh. I spotted a few similar interactions that night and am really curious as to what was going on, but will never know. It is always fun seeing things go on in the background though. Later during the gig, Jani stood in front of the drums with a small camera and took pictures of Jari. I have no idea what that was about either, but it sure was fun to watch. There was some hugging going on too and I saw the guys sticking their tongues out at each other a few times too. They were clearly enjoying themselves. I watched Captain conducting the other band members at times when they were not visiting him behind the keyboards and both Jaska and Jani sat down on he drum raiser to play.
With ‘War’ came another memory of the previous night. When Marko looked at me to sing together I had a short blackout regarding the lyrics. They immediately came back to me, but it amuses me that after all these years he still sometimes has this effect on me, especially when it is a song I could normally sing in my sleep. I think he noticed too. 😀 ‘Daze’ came around and I got my chance to show I can sing along. Marko pointed up at me, I pointed back down and we shared the “Let the whole world burn” line. One perfect moment. 🙂
The encores arrived much too soon and I was rocking out to ‘Locking up the sun’, still as far as I could see the only one in the audience turning back time. 😉 I actually missed this song when it wasn’t being played. It is just way to much fun to jump to it. 😀 ‘The Sweet Escape’ was lovely and I took the opportunity to film it while I had a good view and wasn’t too close to the speakers for once. The sound turned out OK too. 🙂 ‘Lift’ had everyone going nuts, even upstairs, but there wasn’t much space to properly jump. I’m sorry if I hit any feet. When it was done, I mentally prepared for the end of the show, momentarily forgetting that we had two songs to go.
After all these years, ‘Carnival of Rust’ still gets to me. It is just as meaningful and amazing as it was the very first time I heard it. Different lines of the song have been important at different times in my life and there is always something in there that I can relate to. 🙂 Then it was time for the finale. At the front, people switched on their phone lights and held them to the back to show everyone what to do. It worked and the venue lit up for ‘Choir of Cicadas’. Then it was over and they said goodbye. Jani spotted me, smiled and pointed, so I smiled and pointed back and Jaska send me a smile as well. They all looked happy and I felt their smiles reflected on my face. It had been a good night. 🙂
On the way out I found L. again and met E. too, who had timed her vacation perfectly for this concert. Didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Tiia and Satu as they were too busy selling merch and we were ushered out. Reviewing the concert we quickly agreed it had been great and said goodbye until the next time.
Poets of the Fall Ultraviolet Tour 2018: Two gigs down, ten to go. Next stop: Glasgow
Dreaming Wide Awake
Dancing on Broken Glass
Temple of Thought
Brighter Than the Sun
Cradled in Love
My Dark Disquiet
Locking Up the Sun
The Sweet Escape
Carnival of Rust
Choir of Cicadas
Ultraviolet Tour 2018: Two shows down, ten to go