The flight from Sweden to Hamburg on October 26th was slightly delayed, but the pilot was good and we landed only 10 minutes behind schedule. I took a cab to the hotel, at the limit of the red district where the venue was. I came in and I felt really cold… I mean cold stares will do that to one, you know. The receptionist was welcoming enough I suppose, but he really did not want to be there… and the bartender talked so fast in English that it sounded German. He told me I should go put my stuff in my room and come back down to fetch my glass of wine. Which I did, but he wasn’t there anymore to serve me when I did… so no wine. I had food in the plane and a glass of white wine, but that had been hours ago, another would have help me sleep better. My phone was not working (my number was locked from being used abroad… long story) so it took me forever to reach my husband – thank you WiFi. Uncomfortable room, breakfast just ok, at least the coffee was strong enough. I almost ran out of the place as soon as it was enough daylight for me to go to the other hotel… in the red district… I tried and get the sleep I had not gotten at night, but could not. Oh well… the staff was very helpful and friendly, the room comfy. I was so tired I did not explore anything, besides I was waiting for Susan and Patricia. I literally counted the minutes while they were travelling from Munich. I could not be in the moment until they arrived. The whole weekend was over “before I could say Quidditch“… but it will never ever become a blur.
I have never done something like this before. I mean standing in line for three + hours to go to a concert… butt freezing in the grey October of Hamburg and Cologne, Germany. You know what though, the aftermath confirms that it was well worth it. I don’t know where to start because there is loads to say about this trip, but I will do my best to stay on target: Poets of the Fall. So, VIP experience… I mean who would not want to meet Poets of the Fall and get to talk to them, even if it is just for a few seconds, right?! This is only a rhetorical, you don’t have to answer. ? Of course, when you are nervous like I was, you would become so inarticulate that you’d feel like a fool and would want to go hide somewhere – although, not wanting to loose my spot, I did not. ? I promise you, I did what I set out to do, but as I stood in front of Marko his aura kind of froze me on the spot. He is so nice though, they all are… Nervous but in awe… I don’t know, it is difficult to express the way I felt. I said thank you and that I was happy to be there, and yet this was not what I would have liked to tell him. I need to prepare better for next time. I loved talking with Olli and Jari and all of them – especially the second time around when I could actually make intelligible sentences. Jani, I am sorry I yelled at you ? about your signing on your face… Jaska, I haven’t managed to say anything to you yet, I do not despair and hope I’ll manage next time. Captain did not believe me when I said to him that they created magic on that stage… Poets of the Fall are six kind-hearted men who really love what they do and it shows.
So, once we got our signed stuff, we rushed to the front row and picked our spots… then group photo… which meant we had to leave our spots unattended, imagine that!!! Then rushing back to our sports for the two acoustic songs. In Hamburg it was Fragile and Children of the Sun… ? and in Cologne it was Given & Denied and You’re Still Here. Among us was the cutest and sweetest and most privileged fan of all… Pam the little reindeer. Got to meet Pam, check it out…
There has been a lot of criticism about the price of the VIP tickets. I get it, compared to before, the new VIP formula that was a bit more formal this time around, people might have been disappointed. I get it, I really do. I never experienced the less formal VIP except through my friend Susan’s stories… but you know what, compare to other artists VIP tickets, Poets of the Fall are still fairly cheap tickets. Besides, strip the whole thing to the essential: front row, two acoustic songs and some good laughter, a one of a kind emotional musical experience with smiles, air kisses, looks, being sung to and hand shakes with the band. I mean, no complaint on my part… we always want more… but in all honesty, we already got plenty.
The intro… “Whatever you do, don’t scream!“… we still don’t know what that means. It is the inscription on the Ultraviolet t-shirt and it is used in the intro. Maybe this is the reason why it is on the t-shirt. Simple reason, but so far, the most logical one I could come up with. Because, I doubt it was inspired by the movie “Dead silence” and its children rhyme… no, no that would be too creepy. Anyhow, the show starts strong and uplifting and it goes on that way… all the way. Singing the songs by heart is not hard at all… I mean I do know them by heart, but when Jaska stared at me with a little smile, you know – one of those split second smiling stare… I turned into a marionette who forgot to speak. But that’s ok, because next time it won’t happen again I tell myself. Right, dream on! Now it is Marko staring at me, singing to me and wanting me to sing along this song that I love so much Brighter than the sun but nope, not only I start stuttering… I averted my eyes. Really, come on who does that… who in her right mind, does that? I who was so looking forward to such a moment. I am such a dork… I truly am sorry Marko. I will get better at this ?… I hope. Although, when they don’t look, no problem, I can sing alright. But don’t you dare not look at me next time, just because I remember the words fine that way… ?At least, for a split second, I got to sing a couple of words with Marko on Choir of Cicadas as he was on his way back up towards the centre of the stage.
Marko who reached out to people in Hamburg, me being one of them… and my stupid phone in my hand… I wondered what he wanted at first, imagine that, how quaint… I wish now that I had not been holding that phone. I wish for a lot of things, but in truth I really enjoyed every second of it all. The music, the energy, the contact… my colleagues at work asked me why I wanted to see the band more than once, they asked, is it not the same show over and over… the truth is, it is way more than just a show. Remember the Poets of the Fall effect? Right here, exactly that!
I think I got Jaska to chuckle as I tried to air my hair from the heat… because both Hamburg and Cologne were on fire, I am telling you. There was such an affinity between the audience and the band you could almost touch it. Even in Helsinki, at Circus, I did not experience that much closeness. Jani blew me a kiss during Choir of Cicadas (I found the video to prove it)… which melted my heart because I have to say his smile is contagious and it is almost as if you could hear it when he plays. I don’t know any other way to explain how much joy his smiles bring me. Now, I don’t remember if it was Hamburg or Cologne, but I think it was the latter… I had a great view on the drums and Jari… it looked like he was staring at me, or just daydreaming therefore looking through me, no matter, suddenly something happened and he started laughing like he was having the giggles… that too is very contagious but then he started playing and it was that. I am writing all this because it shows how much joy they have while playing together. I feel blessed every time I get to witness that and be a part of it too.
In Hamburg, I shed a few tears as they played Standstill, just like for my friend Patricia, this song hit home with me and I cannot explain really why, it gives me strength but hurt a bit at the same time. But in Cologne, when Jaska played that short solo on War that pull the tears out of my eyes and then Marko to continue singing… I just burst into tears. This was uncontrollable and fortunately, I think only Olli saw it. Olli, Olli, Olli… I got him confused – or so he said… well, I mean it is totally logical for a French woman, living in Sweden to go to Germany in order to see a Finnish band… what is confusing about that, really? Olli whom I was facing both time and whose smiles warmed my heart, his nods to me showed his gratitude while I was the one who was super grateful to him… to them. His playing is so brilliant and humble… and warm. I loved it when he realised that he played something wrong, his face and then of course Marko emphasising the whole thing afterwards… but there is this thing he does during temple of thought I just really really… I mean really enjoy ? (sorry for the bad cut though), I did not want the sound distortion due to my proximity…
Thank you Poets of the Fall. You are the beautiful ones – just the same – and I love you!
Now, after all this, why not continue… more, please sing to us more… five months to wait before that happens again, another way, but again nonetheless. I will see my friend Patricia again in Paris, but I will go to Stockholm first and this time my husband will be with me – you have no idea how happy that makes me, and our close friend is also coming too. No VIP there, but that ‘s okay. There will be in Paris ?. Another month after that for Poland, two shows with VIP experience. I mean you cannot get enough of a good thing… whomever said you could has never experienced Poets of the Fall obviously.
Anyway, the hotel I stayed at in Cologne was awful. Black mould in the bathroom, a deafening noise that was almost like I was on a plane at night… a receptionist that was rather rude, and slow… I think it took about half an hour to check in. The rooms were not ready when we arrived (we, being my fellow fans staying at the same hotel). Breakfast was better than nothing, I suppose. The kitchen, facing the breakfast room, smelled of sewers… disgusting. Then train delayed, plane delayed… and train again from Arlanda to Borlänge, where my husband was to pick me up: about an hour late due to a collision we had – no one’s hurt except for the poor moose who collided with our train. But all in all, the trip was amazing. I made even more new friends, which is so very cool. Some I will probably meet again very soon, some others… well let’s put it that way, sometimes there are very enjoyable upsides with social medias ?.
I will share some pictures there (social medias), if I find any good shots… my phone being what it is (I ordered a tiny camera supposedly good for taking pictures at concerts). I leave you in company of our Poets and Standstill:
Until next time ?
Setlist, Hamburg – Gruespan & Cologne – Die Kantine
1. Dreaming Wide Awake
2. Dancing on Broken Glass
3. False Kings
4. Temple of Thought
7. The Sweet Escape
8. Brighter Than the Sun
9. My Dark Disquiet
10. Cradled in Love
12. Choice Millionaire
15. Locking Up the Sun
16. Carnival of Rust
17. Choir of Cicadas