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200 days

I’ll be performing at a TV show tomorrow in Finland and I’m making my guitars and stuff ready for the sound check. Back when I used to spend more time on stages, all this happened with a routine, but now it feels like I’m going out for the first time. You need a guitar, a strap, head phones, guitar pics, pants, shoes, shirt…. Hope I don’t forget anything. Last May as I performed at the Voice Of Finland final, I remembered everything but the guitar picks. I stood on stage already at the studio and realized I had to ask the Voice band if they had any. Tomorrow I’ll be better. 
Today it’s 200 hundred days to the first show on Sunrise Avenue farewell tour. It starts at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin, my kind of second home town. We haven’t played on stage for more than 2 years with the guys and that’s crazy. In a way the last show feels like yesterday but on the other hand a lot has happened since late summer 2019. I started going through the set list this week and playing the songs again and I realized it’s gonna take some time to get myself back on track. When you tour constantly you have it all in your system, but now I guess we all need to learn again how things work. That can also be a good thing. Going though the songs also brought back amazing memories of the trips together with the guys and with you all but it also made me realize how great the Sunrise Avenue music actually is. We all put years and years of soul & work into the music and the performances and I felt quite proud of how great it all sounds today. 
We will continue rehearsing the tour with the guys late October and all planning with the stage design and show stuff is fully on. The thought of the final tour has been quite distant ever since the crazy times started but now diving deep into the Sunrise bubble again, made me want to dig even deeper. I’m really looking forward to the shows and the moments next year and a small part of me is happy that it’s still not all over and that we still have those steps and moments ahead of us. I think now after the long break, I will appreciate it all even more as it’s not gonna be experienced in a hurry. This strange time has definitely given a chance to see everything more clearly. For the first time after the pandemic started I dear to dream about the tour and it feels only great that we’ll be on the road again. I just can’t wait. 
I motorcycled by the Helsinki Olympic Stadium this week after an Ice Hockey game and I checked the distance to my childhood home. The stage is 11 kilometers from where I used to live, the attic where I played my first chords with a guitar as I was 12 years old. The thought of almost being able to see that magic place from the stage at the final show now 33 years later gives me chills. Dreams do come true if you let them.
I love the fact that the world is finally getting back to what it used to be. Today they announced in Finland that the “singing and dancing ban” is over (Haven’t personally missed the dancing part that much ;) and that you don’t need to wear a mask anymore on public places. It’s still a good idea for some situations, for example public transport, but damn it feels refreshing going out breathing free. There was a time when it felt like we’re gonna be stuck with these masks forever but that will be over soon. I have missed seeing people smile. It feels like we’ve all been alone in our own bubbles for the last 18 months. I realized today that many people actually have teeth in their mouths and that they show them as the smile or talk. I don’t think the vaccination thing is an evil plan to implement 5G microchips into our bodies, but if the other option is to be hooded & face covered for the rest of our lives, feel free to use me as an antenna ;)
Thank you all for the endless support during these times. And thank you for all the love you have shared even though life hasn’t been too easy and full of happy adventures lately. But isn’t it funny how when the storm is over, you don’t feel the cold anymore. You might actually appreciate everything even more as it was gone for a while. Imagine the lights going out at an arena right before the show starts. Or being able to hug someone dear after a long break without worrying. Or asking someone at the movies “do you want to have the rest of my popcorn…” I bet we’re almost there. 
Lots of mega hugs and biggest love from Helsinki,