Hallenstadion - Bierhübeli
Airplane. My blog writing place. It’s so peaceful and beautiful up here above the clouds. My phone is off, nobody’s sitting next to me and it’s just me and my thoughts for a couple of hours. These Finnair seats know more about me than my therapist ever will. I will start writing here and continue tomorrow somewhere in sunshine if we land too soon.
Today it’s 900 days from the sunny December morning I stood on stage with the band guys in Helsinki at the roof top bar of Clarion hotel announcing that we will go on a tour that shall be our last. 2 years, 5 months and 18 days. Soon after that the whole world went mad. And it still is. But even though there are so crazy, difficult and sick things going on around us, I believe that on Monday I will stand on stage at Hallenstadion in Zurich with the band guys and we will play our asses off and hearts out.
You could make a “Mission Impossible” movie about the whole tour planning operation. Especially Mikko and Comusic Management and Everyone at Contra Promotion and Live Nation have done an amazing job together with their affiliates and networks. And our crew boys. Rehearsing, building the set and planning everything again and again. We’ve had hundreds of arenas booked and reserved with all the staff booked the last few years. I have been looking at a calendar many times where there was an A, B, C and D option of the tour for the following twelve months and it all depended on the pandemic situation and also on how different countries and their leaders would react to things. We’ve booked and hired so much staff, drivers, catering, health care, security… You name it. Every time the tour was postponed, someone had to find a way out of the existing deals if possible and to make new ones as soon as possible. Some companies from the live industry went bankrupt or were bought by a bigger player and deals were almost impossible to close as usual. There was great uncertainty around everything every day and the days were long. These people operating this tour have families and lives outside Sunrise Avenue and they put this project before their own needs many times in their already difficult pandemic lives. Without giving what you have given us the last few years, this tour would have been a dream that never came true.
Thank you. Your devotion amazed me many times and you have given us an extra reason to do our parts even better and with an even bigger heart. I adore you all.
I also understand that making new travel and other arrangements again and again as the dates have been changing must have been difficult for many of you coming to the shows. Thank you for taking the effort. Without you there would be no Sunrise Avenue, never would have been, and looking at the amount of people joining us for the final moments makes my heart stop. I didn’t expect this even in the best case scenario. Saying thank you feels a little light here. We try to thank you every night on stage <3
We had the last last final final rehearsals with the band boys this week and it all feels right and somehow very peaceful. Everyone is so focused and so present. There are many arrangements that were already perfect as they were and the new ones we changed for this tour feel absolutely great. We wanted to challenge a few older songs and to bring in some more rock’n’roll or more emotion into some of them. I love the whole set so much and I have been listening to the recordings from the final session like a crazy person in my car all over Helsinki this week. People in my city are used to having this strange guy hassling in his BMW and singing mega loud. It’s a bit challenging in the summer as sometimes I forget that my roof is open and I’m standing in red lights right next to a bus stop.
I’m flew to Switzerland already last night for a private event that was supposed to happen last year, but due to – you know what - it was postponed to this weekend. After these years without having a chance to be on stage a little moment singing in front of real people is not a bad idea before it all starts on Monday. It actually feels unbelievable just to hear or sing live music. Or to be at events. I nearly shit in my pants at Finland- Latvia ice hockey game last week in Tampere at the Ice Hockey World Cup. Step by step the good things can come back.
Did you know that the first Sunrise Avenue performance ever in Switzerland was at Hallenstadion in Zurich. Nice start ;) It was the Energy Stars for free in 2006 and we didn’t get to play at the main event but at the children’s show in the afternoon. The volume for the kids was limited so low that they told me not to walk on stage during the songs as my Converse shoes made this “rubber“ sound. I was sure we would never make it in this country. Very happy to be wrong once again.
I love Switzerland. I can’t even start listing my top things here as there are so many. I have met so many amazing people, like promotion boss Carlo Pozzi who started working with us already in 2006. After that I’ve sat hundreds of hours in His Audi talking about life and all stuff also outside music business (sometimes driving his Porsche in Zurich in the night after all the duties and a nice meal - Yes very fast) and we visited every radio station, news room, club and festival more than once. Last week we did the final Sunrise Avenue promo together. Love you Brother. And all the crazy wonderful Swiss fans and music lovers. The thing they do before the encore at every show is just something you gotta experience at least once as an artist. Can't explain, you gotta see it for yourself. This is the only country where I have performed a festival set only wearing my underwear (thank God social media wasn’t too much happening then) as my night before had been just a bit too rough. The landscape here is amazing, the ice hockey league competes with the Nordic leagues and they have the strangest accent of all German dialects. From Hallenstadion to Bierhübeli and Maaghalle and to all the amazing festivals and more. Thank you for having us once more. The best thing is that I can always come back here. And I will.
Now that the tour is really gonna happen, I have done many interviews about the tour and they all ask me how will I feel on stage. I have no idea. I guess it’ll be quite emotional and strong also because of the long break from touring, but I don’t need to know more right now. The people who know me a bit deeper, they know that I often say when something amazing happens that “I need to save this moment on the hard drive of my heart.” So I can go back to that moment later to live the emotions and moments again. If I could, I would get a bigger hard drive for the next months as I know there will probably be more moments to save than ever before.
See you all very soon. I can’t believe this is really happening <3