Traveling to see gigs is not always easy. It’s tiring, it’s expensive and I often have to do a lot of organizing to fit it into my real life. Sometimes I question if I really should do this. Not often, but there are moments like that. Like last summer when I flied from family holidays from Italy to Finland, and then the next day from Finland back to Italy to see Rock in Rome. It was a long flight (I simply can’t always afford direct flights) and my taxi left me at a lonely alley in Rome in the middle of the night and I couldn’t find my hotel. And I was thinking “should I really be here alone and not in my own bed sleeping like a baby?”.
During the Scandinavian Tour I traveled to Copenhagen for a gig and then back to Helsinki. After that to Oslo, from Oslo to Stockholm and from Stockholm to Helsinki and finally to Dusseldorf, all in one week. I slept less than 10 hours during the whole week and on my way to Dusseldorf I must have thought if this all really makes any sense.
I do ask it from myself every once in a while and I always end up saying yes. At every single concert there’s a moment when everything seems perfectly clear. I know exactly why I do this, I know that it makes sense and that it is totally worth it. It happens during the first notes of Relax. That’s the reason I prefer Relax as the first song of the show (sometimes he does Rain as the first song – it works okay, but it’s not nearly as powerful as Relax). If I’m lucky, we hear Relax in the beginning and in the end of the show.
Relax was the first Mika song I ever heard and I genuinely think acoustic Relax is the most beautiful song in the world. Mika has described Relax as “a love song set in aftermath of London July 7 terror attacks”, and in that light it has two levels. Personally I have always thought it tells about a relationship in an exceptionally beautiful way. Besides some unofficial demo songs acoustic Relax is the only Mika song I ever listen to from my iPod. (I usually never listen to album versions. I collect different versions of albums and I listen to them first to learn the lyrics, after that I’m mostly interested in live versions and television and radio recordings.)
See below Relax from Rock in Rome (7/2010), from Scala, London (9/2009) and from Olympia Theater, Dublin (2/2010). The last vid is from Oslo (3/2010). For some reason I didn’t upload it to my Youtube channel earlier (maybe because the audience is screaming and singing their heads off, lol), but I decided to add it, because I know some people who read this saw the gig.