YOU GOT STALKED: Poets of the Fall

2 countries, 3 reports, 1 band – this time our YOU GOT STALKED series is dedicated to the Finns Poets of the Fall. Whereas my colleague Stefanie has seen about 100 shows of this band, for me it is „only“ the third time I see those guys live. And for the first time outside of their home country.

Interactive photo gallery at the bottom

This evenings´ show was moved at short notice to the smaller Galery (Pratteln, CH) because the advance sales were not enough for the big Z7 hall. And what I heard from Stefanie later, there were also problems with the meet and greet she attended, for which special tickets had been on sale. Yet finally the waiting fans got picked up to have a short meeting with the band.

The whole situation seems a bit chaotic, but it might be because this was the first gig of this tour that took the band through Germany, Austria and Switzerland. At least I have never seen a band of their local status creating such drama of having their pictures taken. 3 songs, no flash – that is the standard procedure, but then you have to leave the hall and even hand over your camera? HELLO – this is not a stadium but a small venue, holding maybe 250 people, usually there is not even a photo pit (one was set up just for this show), and people can take pictures with whatever they have with them. Well, I decide to take my camera to the car after those 3 songs, for safekeeping.

The band enters stage quite punctually at 20.30 h, and first I wonder if this is the same band that I had seen in Finland. Where´s the make-up, where´s the charismatic singer? Somehow the band seems more withdrawn and inapproachable. For me it looks like as if Jaska does not quite enjoy being on stage – in a bad mood or just over-concentrated? Yet the others seem to have fun on stage despite the small location. Musically they are still top, although Marko Saaresto seems less engaged with their faster songs. It takes quite a while to warm up for these guys – at least for me, although before I had been flattened by their show right from the first moment. Saaresto´s announcement are quite entertaining and most people in the club appear to love the band. Well, it is their first time in Switzerland and many have never seen them live before. Under such circumstances you might totally enjoy the show, but for me something was missing, until the last song. The acoustic part of the show – the encores – was brilliant, but could have been longer, and I really missed „Roses“ on the set list.

For me this show was a bit disappointing, simply because I know how awesome this band can be. And this drama put me off, too, although I cannot say if it happened because of the band´s or the management´s wishes. But when a band simply disappears, ignoring 15 fans that are waiting for them after the show, despite the not-quite-stadium-act status, that´s a bit shabby. It´s the fans that pay the musicians´ bills. ( Sandy Mahrer)

12.10.2013 Germany, Freiburg, Schmitz Katze
Once in a while concerts happen where sparks are ignited between band and audience and where everyone agrees that they have been witnessing something special. The Poets of the Fall concert in Freiburg was one of those. A small, nice location, an audience that was attentive as well as enthusiastic and a band that expresses how much they love playing, turned this evening into an experience that made everyone happy.
This concert was the fifth on their tour and while Pratteln and Vienna can be viewed as good “warm up gigs” in retrospect, each of their concerts in Germany got better than the previous one. The one in Freiburg was a highlight where everything fit together.

From the first notes of “Dreaming Wide Awake”, the audience got involved and was enthusiastically clapping and singing along. Their energy ignited sparks, instantly creating a connection between them and the band that was kept alive for the rest of the night.
The mixture of faster and softer songs was perfect that night. Poets of the Fall played songs for those who wanted to rock out, dance and clap along, as well as for those who just wanted to listen quietly. Kudos to an audience that was not only able to sing and clap along, but also managed to listen. When Marko stepped up to the microphone alone and sang the Irish ballad “The Wind That Shakes the Bareley” during the acoustic part of the show, one could have heard a pin drop. The sing along for songs like “Illusion & Dream” or “The Late Goodbye” was great as well.

One highlight was the new instrumental piece “Rogue” for which Marko left the stage and the rest of the band had the spotlight to them, showing what they can do. Less than that the little things made the concert special, like the funny moment when both Jaska and Jani decided to play Olli´s guitar or the one when Captain took his keyboard off its stand and played it on his knees towards the end of the show. Another thing worth mentioning were the signs saying “Drums: Jari Salminen” that some fans had brought after mistakes during band introductions the previous day. These made everyone smile. There were many such situations and the magic of the evening can hardly be put into words. Thus, I will end this by saying that everyone who was there should be happy to have been part of it. (10/10)

19.10.2013 Germany, Berlin, C-Club
After two and a half weeks on the road, Poets of the Fall ended their tour of Switzerland, Austria and Germany with a concert in Berlin. Once again, the show had everything that defines this band: Musicians who know how to play well, Songs that grab everyone’s attention and lots of nice and funny interactions with the audience and among the band members.

Just like the previous year people from all over Europe had come to attend this tour and within the front row that held less than 20 people, 9 different nationalities could be found. The entire hall was nicely filled and many different languages could be heard. When the concert finally started (a little bit late), all the talking ceased and the band was greeted with lots of screaming.

The sound was good, the light maybe a little too bring – especially during the acoustic part of the show, the set list, apart from said acoustic part, the same as for the other concerts on this tour. The atmosphere was great and the band obviously had a lot of fun. They were climbing on the box by the side of the stage, watched closely what the others were playing and from time to time had little duel with their instruments.

Apart from hits like „Carnival Of Rust“ or „Diamonds For Tears“ they also played lesser known songs from the different albums. Especially the newly added „The Distance“ from the current album „Temple Of Thought“ led to great cheers. The unplugged song of the night was „Stay“. The following „King Of Fools“ turned into a full band performance which suited the song well.

It was hot inside the venue, bassist Jani soon took off his t-shirt and singer Marko even pretended to takeoff his pants but thought the better of it. Instead he showered himself and the audience with water. All night long the band was on the move. Guitarist Olli was jumping, Marko danced and ran across stage and even Captain came out from behind the keyboards to check out how the audience was singing and clapping along.

All in all a beautiful concert that felt way too short. When it ended, everyone on stage was hugging. After one last bow they left us and everyone walked off into the night with happy smiles on their faces. A successful end of the tour.(Stefanie Oepen)

photos: Sandy Mahrer, Stefanie Oepen

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Contributors

Sandy Mahrer

Sandy Mahrer

Fresh Act editor,
reports, reviews, photos – – –
Favorite genres? – – –
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Pop-Rock etc.
Less Death, Black, Grind Core

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