Poets of the Fall – Barba Negra, Budapest; September 2nd, 2023
The second show of Poets of the Fall’s 20th Anniversary Tour took us to Budapest and what a wonderful show that was. It was a great audience, great sound, cool projections on the screen in the back and a slightly different setlist too. I loved it!
Our day started way too early in Prague, where we had a train to catch before 8. I spent the first two hours taking a nap, feeling a bit more alive afterwards. All went well, we checked in to our hotel and met for a late lunch in the afternoon. Took a taxi to the venue and only when we got there realized that it had moved to a different location since last year.
There were surprisingly few people in line, even though we were late by our standards. It was sunny and nice and we chatted with everyone else who was there. With the doors opening at 8 this time, it still was a 2 plus hour wait. Much too late they put up a sign where the priority line was and things got a bit chaotic. People were lining up from both sides and not all Priority Pass holders had realized they needed to line up at a specific place. Eventually, all of them were found though and the doors for the regular ticket holders opened at 8.
We ran and scored a place second row in front of Olli. The stage was highe than in Prague and there were no annoying pillars or speakers in our line of sight. This time they did not have a regular backdrop, but a screen at the back of the stage – that looked promising. It was already really hot, so we had water before the show. Luckily, we had some space around us and people were not crowding us in.
Right on time at 20:35 the tape started playing, asking us all sorts of questions. Most people weren’t paying attention though and only cheered when they heard “the show will start in one minute”. Soon, the band stepped on stage and the cheering got louder. Olli saw as right away so I raised my hand in greeting and he gave me a nod and a smile in return. <3
When the show started with ‘Revelations’ I immediately noticed that the sound was much better than the previous day. It made me really happy. I had a pretty good view too even though there were some tall people at front row center. already during the first song, Marko received a few presents, one was a stuffed animal that he cuddled and kissed before putting it in his pocket and the other was a drawing of him that looked very cool.
With ‘Locking up the Sun’ the started projecting images on then screen in the back, in this case from the video to the song. It looked great and I enjoyed watching the different images throughout the show. Watching the guys play was much more interesting though. They all seemed to be in a playful mood. 🙂
This time around we had bottles to raise for ‘illusion & Dream’ and we did when the band did the same. I’ve always liked that interaction and smiled as they all hurried to grab their bottles in time for the “rise my glass and say ‘Here’s to you'” – line. That night, Marko let us sing more often than usual, i.e. held out the mic for random lines in some songs and it always worked. The audience knew the words. 😀
So fare I was loving the concert, having even more fun than the previous day. It’s official: I cannot be upset with these guys for long. Their music still speaks volumes to me and the show is just too good not to enjoy. <3 ‘Temple of thought’ never gets old and with ‘Rogue’ the guys were playing their hearts out.
I loved how they built energy towards the end of the first set afterwards with ‘Requiem for my Harlequin’, then ‘Dreaming wide awake’ where I watched Olli moving all over the place and flying high in the air, towards the finale with ‘My Dark Disquiet’. Knowing that it’s the last song before intermission, I gave it all and jumped around for most of the song – fun!
Somewhere during the first set (I think) their received a crocheted banner with their logo and the text “POTF 03 23” it looked amazing. Jani accepted it and put it on the drum raiser first, but some time during the second set it ended up on Captain’s keyboards.
After the break Marko returned with Jani and Olli. They al sat down, Olli and Jani on the keyboard raiser and Marko at the front of the stage. For a moment he considered lying down, but then thought better of it, commenting that he wasn’t 18 any more. “none of us are, except for Olli. We have been doing this for 20 years and he is still 18!” 😀 He talked some more concluding that they were still her and I knew what was coming – the had already played ‘You’re still here’ during soundcheck. It was a beautiful rendition and I loves that they played a different song than in Prague. <3
Everyone else cam back for ‘Sleep’ and then they picked up speed again with ‘Diamonds for Tears’. I especially appreciated the Revolution Roulette imagery on the screen. At some point I saw Jaska playing with the stuffed animal that seems to live on top of the bass drum, i.e. he changed its position. I wonder if it is he same rabbit that used to live inside the rum, but I couldn’t tell.
To my surprise they played ‘War’ right after and for a moment I thought maybe they had added an extra song to the encores. Anyway, it was a great rendition and fit well into the new spot. ‘Daze’ gave us the chance to move again and ‘Late Goodbye’ ended the second set. During the song some people in the audience spontaneously switched on their phone lights, holding them high and waving. It quickly spread through the venue and must have looked amazing from the stage.
Afterwards the guys thanked us all and left, only to be called back for encores. I exchanged looks with A. saying “Are they gonna play something else?” but they did not, it was ‘Lift’. I absolutely loved it though and had a great time jumping and following along to the call and response. At the end, when Jari played his solo, everyone else bowed to him. 😀 ‘Carnival of Rust’ brought the perfect conclusion. They stood together and bowed, Jani tried kissing Marko on the cheek again, but he tuned away. 😀 It had been a really great show and I raise my hand in form of a heart as they said goodbye. A final picture, a few hands shaken and they were gone.
We needed water after the show and then hung out for a bit, because it was impossible to get a taxi right away. It turned out to be lucky, because when we went back inside to throw away our empty bottles, Captain was standing by the stage chatting with a few people. We went and said hello, I grabbed a hug and after saying it was a good show and the usual chit chat about “where else are you gonna be?” I voiced my complaints about the Priority Passes. Captain took it in stride and told us that they really needed a way to make more money and someone had asked for it so they went with that. He did believe it when I said they could have just told us and people would have been willing to donate. Thank you for the honesty!
I praised the projections on the screen and the acoustic song and asked about ‘Maybe tomorrow is a better day’. He said they could not get it to work the way they wanted to and he especially wasn’t feeling it, that’s why they change dit for ‘War’. Fair enough, if it’s no fun for them, there is no point. Olli had been trying t get his attention from side stage and we waved to him, so eventually he came out too. Another hug and I joked that he had missed the “complaints part” of the talk. I thanked him for the show as well and told him where else I’d be. As they had to leave, he pressed a drink in my hand, saying “this is for you” and explained it was a fin Tonic he had mixed with an Apple slice. Awesome! Thank you. We shared the drink while we waited for our taxi and had a lovely time talking a late night walk in Budapest.
Locking Up the Sun
Illusion & Dream
Temple of Thought
Requiem for My Harlequin
Dreaming Wide Awake
My Dark Disquiet
You’re still here
Diamonds for Tears
Carnival of Rust