Now they’ve gone and done it again!
Poets of the Fall‘s Alexander Theatre truly are a blast: my favourite time of the month. As expected and to my greatest joy, Markus “Captain” Kaarlonen was back at the grand piano to play Lift. It is a treat indeed, Tiia! Before I go on with my usual – uncensored – praises, I have to bring up a flat… not a big or a bad one… just a teeny-tiny-weensy one, besides I love the mood flats bring to music, so don’t bite my head off before you read it all.
Source: All the photos in this article are either screenshots from the video, or from the bands’ official social medias.
Photography: Tiia Öhman Photography & Design and Markus Karloonen
No Lift premiere for me
I was unlucky enough to have a meeting at the same time as the premiere. First time ever I have to miss an AT Premiere! This is sacrilege, I’m telling ya! I attended the chat for a while and got to read some of your lovely greetings (Poets & listeners alike) and the singing tips from Marko Saaresto for instance (might have forgotten a lot too though…) What matters is that not all was lost in the end. Sorry for drowning the fish… my point is this:
When I got to listening to Lift I was not overly joyed at first and the fact that I was not sharing the experience with anyone from the chat either, kind of did not help. Anyhow, hold your horses and remember how this post is starting, alright! Of course, I liked it, but up to episode 7, I have been awed at first sight.
My five to go songs to get an energy boost are Lift, My Dark Disquiet, Take Control, Daze and Choice Millionaire. So of course, I was a bit uneasy when Lift – my energy booster – was Poets of the Fall‘s choice for episode 8 of the Alexander Theatre Sessions. I might have started listening with a little prejudice… don’t mess up with my boost song (or something like that).
I watched / listened and something weird happened: my eyes and ears were drawn to Markus not Marko as usual, but really the one and only Markus “Captain” Kaarlonen. His hands on the piano accentuated the pull his piano playing had on me. So, you know me, it got me wondering if one of the purposes of the song in this form wasn’t to showcase our multifaceted pianist and his incredible talent. Probably not, Markus is too modest and humble for that kind of thought, still… wouldn’t be so far fetched.
Anyway, I still had work to do and I was getting tired after my meeting, so I listened over and over until my task was done. Do you know what? I got my kick after all – the boost of energy came right at me and it was a mix of both the piano – love those staccatos (or almost staccatos) Captain – accompanying Marko. They got me dancing on my chair and yes, they got me smiling and humming while I was working.
So to answer Poets of the Fall‘s question: how do you like Lift on the grand piano? I would say this: “Dear Lift, the grand piano becomes you!”
Marko’s new Lift
What about Marko, you’d ask. As you know, I have an unconditional admiration for that man. His singing has brought me back in touch with my own feelings a while back, so what can I say. Singing Lift that way is again flawless but to me, no offence, Marko was out-shone by Markus. Big words, right… and yet, at 4.24 in the song Marko caught my attention and I said: “wow, hello!” and Marko answered: “Honestly, come on, why don’t you rewind?” I did not… I listened to the song to the end before hitting replay.
I listened, again and again, more closely every time until it became this intimate monologue. Marko was telling me a story… the same as the original, with the same words, but it was not the same story. The tempo was different, his demeanour was completely changed and especially the way he sang those words. Soft, not one higher than the other, but all there to touch… and touch me, they did! I felt a deeper joy, a deeper strength and oddly enough, no sadness.
I love the album version of Lift best, but still the Alexander Theatre version has something that I cannot find in the original: proximity, intimacy. When Marko is singing, it is almost like a confession, a declaration. The sense of vulnerability that I felt in Angel was in Lift as well. It takes an incredible singer to be able to do that and nail it so subtly. Last word then: Love Lift at the Alexander Theatre… told y’a to read to the end! 😉
Now, hitting replay “Where all new wonders will appear” (Poets of the Fall, Lift – Signs of Life 2005)
Stay safe and take care of yourselves!
PS from the premiere’s chat
Lovely thought from Jani during the chat, after Marko‘s tips. He said something like: Marko‘s advice about remaining true to yourself when you sing, also applies to any other creative person. I will surely keep that in mind with my other writing (here I already am true to me, myself and I :D). Thank you Jani!