It’s funny how every tour has felt like the best tour ever, this one too. When we started planning this one last summer, we really had no idea how much work it would be and we never could have imagined how great it all would be in the end. I wasn’t a 100 percent sure about seating the crowds at the shows and also if it would work with all the musicians on stage, but it was all more than perfect.
So many people worked so hard for so many months and gave more than they had in their souls and hearts. There were many close calls with arrangements, techniques and even on stage, but we made it. As I realized it’s all gonna be over soon and also that we pulled it through together, I really had to fight my tears on stage at the last show in Stuttgart. Well I tried.
First, thank you for the amazing arrangements Tero Lindberg, Visa Mertanen and Osmo. We didn’t want to do another “Sunrise Avenue with extra musicians” show. We wanted to make it sound, feel and look as if there’s one band of 40 people on stage and that’s exactly what it was. We wanted to be brave with the arrangements and the performances. Already as we sat in Stuttgart last summer with Raul, Riku, Sami and Osmo talking about this whole thing, we decided to even destroy some old songs, even some of our radio hits, if that’s what it takes to make the show what it should be. We were not sure how people would take the new versions of “Forever Yours” or “Unholy Ground” just to mention a few, but we felt every night that we had made the right choices.
Thank you everyone on stage. Playing according to your notes is your job. That would have been enough and that’s what we agreed when we signed the deals with you all. But following your notes but then adding your whole soul into it, jumping around with a contra bass and moshing like a Metallica fan while you play your strings or horn, means you’re willing to give the crowd and us much more than your contract says. This is how the Finns do it. We were so proud of you every night.
What you see at our shows is the two-and-a-half-hour performance, but there are people whose days are more than 14 hours long. They never get the applauses or platinum awards. There’s someone booking the arenas, planning everything there, someone rigs the stuff high above the stage. Someone pulls and connects 10 kilometers of huge cables and someone makes sure the light & screen is always on the right spot on stage while we play. A team of sound guys work their asses and ears off every night to make the show sound great for you. Someone has to feed more 200 hundred people FOUR times a day and someone has to transport us with all our gear safely every single day. Someone has to keep us and our instruments worth millions safe every second and someone actually cleans the arena after all the mess we leave behind with you. It feels kind of lame saying “thank you for your work” but that’s the best I can do for now. You all know who you are.
I have to tell you a little story what happened in Berlin. Just a few minutes before the show, we got some heartbreaking news. One of our crew guys had lost someone extremely close. And he hears that less than five minutes before the circus starts. This crew guy plays a major role and the show would be cancelled without him. Show must go on. Imagine yourself in his position. He has to go through the whole show, sad songs and melancholic moments. If he loses the focus for one second, the whole thing becomes a mess. He pulls it through like a man and the show is amazing. I find him after the show to tell him how sorry I am for having to do the show with such emotional storm. He tells me to “f**k off” with a smile through the tears on his face. We hug for a minute and he says “It was a great show” and then he goes back to work. This is what our boys and girls are like. Brothers and sisters.
But still… Most of all, thank you all for coming over every night. We realize that you all have a life outside Sunrise Avenue and the shows. It’s amazing that you actually all drag your asses after work, school or what ever to celebrate music and beautiful moments with us every night. We just received awards from our tour agent Contra Promotion after the last show for selling more than 500.000 tickets the last 12 months. This means that more than half a million people have spent an evening with us and that is just amazing. We feel blessed and we hope you get what you deserve at the shows. We don’t take you for granted. Ever.
Now it’s time to take a couple of days off and to recharge the batteries for the next challenges. I’ll try to get up from this sofa and to drag my ass to the Helsinki Ice Hall to support my dear HIFK as they’re battling at the Finnish ice hockey playoffs. The game is really tight and as a good fan I have to be there for my boys. I actually love the feeling. I was just on stage with the boys and you all were there supporting us. Now I’ll put on my fan shirt and I’ll be in the crowd. As one of the fan boys ;) screaming my lungs out. Keep your fingers crossed for us tonight….
We usually vote for the “best of” stuff on tour, but this time I’ll do it myself, since there were just too many people on the road with us. Maybe some co-travelers would disagree with me, but here’s my list anyway.
Helsinki. Nothing beats the first night. I was so nervous that even my friends heard it on the first couple songs. That’s when you give your 115%.
Forever Yours, by Tero Lindberg. This is actually based on a cool remix “Nightliner remix” by Jukka Backlund and Aku Sinivalo in 2006. And the crazy string idea in the end was Osmo’s idea. Team work.
Best Off Day
Vienna. Trumpet-Tero took us all to this amazing Schnitzel place called Salm Bräu (Rennweg 8, 1030 Vienna). GO TRY IT! And take a schnitzel with herb potatoes.
The loudest crowd
Leipzig. It always depends on the arena, if it’s made of wood, aluminum etc, but in Leipzig it felt like the loudest. And it was very loud everywhere ;)
Rock ‘n’ Roll moment
This time it happened on stage in Stuttgart. It’s the most stupid inside joke ever, but we really respect our horny-horn boys for playing something so stupid at “Somebody Will Find You Someday” that we all totally exploded with laughter on stage and lost the track with the song. It’s such a stupid insider, but it was so much fun. I hope someone filmed it.
Lasse Piirainen. Lasse was sick for more than half of the tour. And I don’t mean his nose was running with a little fever. He was almost dead. He didn’t complain once and the jokes never faded. He played even though the doctors told him not to. Don’t know if that’s smart or not. But respect.
I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life. But I must have done something good too since I have the best band guys in the world with me and we get to do trips like this one. This tall Finnish guy feels totally blessed on his own sofa and he’s missing you all. We had fun together.
Stay as you are everyone and see you all soon! Time for the red-white-blue fan shirt and a hot dog at the arena.