Ever since I’ve got hooked to Poets of the Fall, I have written many pieces inspired by the band’s music and inevitably got noticed by a couple of die hard fans. It all started with Susan though… with a friendship that is still young yet steadily growing into a beautiful flower. The truth of the matter is that I have been as much looking forward to meeting Susan for the first time as I have been to see the band live. I’d also said “see you soon” to Kirsi H. the week preceding the show, because she was coming too… it was about to get crowded with loads of friends… I just had no idea how much.
I have been wondering how to prepare for such a show… the first one, I mean. Impossible task, I can tell you that much. I was so unprepared… then I blinked and they were gone from my sight as if I had dreamt it all. But I digress and left the best part out. So let me take you back to last week and this memorable week-end!
Week before the show
I had already been sick a couple of weeks before the show, so I was relieved that it had happened then and not at the critical moment… think again, “long nose” as we say in Sweden. Tuesday morning I had to stay home and this cold that got worse for every day that passed… I thought I’d never be able to go. But then I got well enough to travel and attend the show at The Circus. A piece of advice, I do not recommend flying with a cold… the pressure on ones ears is excruciating (or maybe I am just too sensitive ?).
Anyhow… so began the waiting!
It was not all that bad considering that I was flying from Sweden to Finland on the same day as the concert… except that the plane was way too small for me to relax. I must say, however, that it was rather comfy. So, I landed and took a cab… ended up in front of the wrong hotel, fortunately, my hotel was only ten minutes walk from there. It was a nice and refreshing little walk, there is so much to see in Helsinki! I decided that I would come back for a proper visit, so watch out for the French girl from Sweden. I am saying this because the city felt a little like a multi-cultural one, maybe not as much as Paris, but at least English speaking was never an issue in Helsinki ?.
Evidently, I had to get a bite to eat before the show but just a sandwich would have been my undoing… I needed a proper meal and I did, in a rather timely manner… and it was really good. Remember Susan, whom I mentioned earlier, well she was as eager as I was to meet… she ensured my spot in the queue while I was re-fuelling some energy back in my body – still a tad sick. All the while, the number of butterflies I had in my stomach grew larger and more impatient. I got the check, and headed for the venue towards my friend… and new-made friends.
How long did we stand in line? Don’t know exactly when my friends arrived, but I started queuing with them at about 6:00 pm (I think), or maybe a bit earlier. My friends… these amazing ladies… they have their game on and are so well-organised. They blew me away, at the same time they do have a few years training behind them. The doors opened at 8:00 pm sharp, we walked in and then ran to the front row. There we stood for another two hours, waiting for our favourite Poets.
What do you do while waiting for another two hours in front of an empty stage? You take pictures and small talk with your friends, and sorry to have to say this but try and ignore the crappy music playing in the speakers in front of you… way too loud… especially the last half hour, very poor choice yet again, maybe it was done on purpose… ?
So it begins
When the band stepped onto that stage, my heart skipped a beat and I think I was smiling so much that the guys might have thought me crazy… not far off at that point actually. I was overwhelmed from the start with so much joy it is hard to explain or even convey. They are amazing on stage, uplifting one another through the playing, the looks, the smiles… the small and knowing gestures.
I stood on the “Ollie side”, which was mesmerising to me… Ollie, obviously, not the actual side… I could listen/watch him play for hours, just as I would Jani who was coming over that side often. There is something very special about Jani‘s way of playing the bass, and his smile is so contagious, it is scary ?. But you see, I know all that… only, knowing is not experiencing nor feeling it first hand… I was in the moment every second of the show, so much so that I forgot many of the lyrics and I think Ollie noticed – or it looked like he did anyway…
The funny part of all this is what I remember most: the feelings, the emotion, the joy… Everything was dreamlike since I had been waiting for this for such a long time… and been told so much about Poets of the Fall‘s events. Of course I do recall the music vividly still… just as I remember Marko saying: “remember you voted for this” to introduce Temple of Thought; the great duel Ollie/Jaska during Rogue… what they did not see was how stoked I was, I actually jumped and clapped and smiled like a maniac… I remember Kamikaze Love, Choice Millionaire… although there was some kind of well-oiled routine between the band and the audience which I had no idea about – see not prepared at all. I also remember looking around to understand what Marko wanted us to do, until I realised with Susan, that we were asked to use our mobile’s torch light… way better than a lighter, less… hot. Don’t remember the song though ?. There was this moment, or maybe I imagined it, I don’t know… Marko introduced Late Goodbye and said something like “our very first song” (yes, in English) and with a smile looked at me as he said the words (or in my direction anyway).
I wrote earlier that speaking English was not an issue… well, since we were in Poets of the Fall home country, of course Marko spoke Finnish. It is the way it should be… but I must confess that, even though it is a good thing to be immerse in a language to learn it, my Finnish has not improved one bit that evening. Therefore, when Marko talked to us to introduce The Beautiful Ones, I understood jacks, nix, zilch… So frustrating, but fortunately, my good friend Kirsi was in the audience too and captured that moment… then proceeded to roughly translate it and messaged it to me. You have no idea how privileged I feel… So, below is the video and its rough translation of the said moment with the courtesy of Kirsi H.
“Yes. There came the truth. That’s is to say, it’s been so, that we have forced you to listen to Poets for 15 years, and you have been listening, so thank you for that! There it happened 15 years ago in the front seat of Olli’s car at the sea shore where we for some reason decided to start writing songs. And what happened is that after some time, do you remember, some 14 – 15 years back when Lift was released… Well, I’ll correct something I’ve said on previous gigs, I said that this next song was on b-side of Late Goodbye, but in fact the next song was “b-side” of Lift single, if a cd-single can have a b-side… This song tells about all you who are there in audience.“
“Kiitos” in English is “Thank you” and Marko knows how to say thank you to each and every non-Finnish speaking fans from the front row… and certainly out in the crowd too – but I did not pay that much attention at that point…
This was an incredible week-end. All of you I have met for the first time, getting a face on your names, laughter out of your smiles and sharing group hugs, largely contributed to making it so… and Poets of the Fall, obviously…
Until next time in Germany ?
You’ll find the set list of the show here:
All photos in this post by yours truly, so if you’d like to use them, please ask.
Video and translation by Kirsi H.