Arriving to Corsica one day before the concert was a bliss. I had had so much fun during the whole trip, but a “festival tour” means tight schedules and sleepless nights, cheap hotels and standing at festivals in a rain without any food. It was worth it and I really enjoyed every moment, but when I arrived to my last destination (before a small break at home) I felt I needed some sun and rest.

The first pic is the view from my hotel window, and I don’t want to sound spoiled but I needed it. I deserved it, lol! The second pic is a restaurant across the hotel. They had some fantastic salads, not to mention proper table lines, and yes, I deserved that too. In the evening I had time to have a dinner near the beach with my French friends and when I got back to the hotel I found Yulia and we went to see the venue near the hotel before having a good rest.

When I saw the venue I realized immediately it was not just another venue. The square was a local place for concerts but it couldn’t be a coincidental venue for a Mika show. He was planning to bring his show under the statue of Napoleon. Seriously, he was planning to bring his new French style stage setting to this square in Ajaccio and to perform in his silly pants and Napoleon style jacket under the statue of Napoleon! Too cute and adorable. I loved the whole idea. Things like this make him special, I really wouldn’t bother doing all this for any other artist. Just to remind you, see the statue one more time below.

We had a relaxed day before the concert sitting and chatting in cafés and we were let in to the concert area only a short time before it started (no supporting acts). I almost couldn’t wait to see the show. I always love the moment before it all starts, I love watching his team making the final arrangements – I’ve seen them doing it in so many places – and I love watching his sister checking the stage in her black dress (she is gorgeous, she must be one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen) and I LOVE hearing songs like this. I admit that just writing all this makes my heart beat a bit faster even I always say I’m not addicted.

It was a very good show. The Corsican audience was maybe not the kind of an audience that sets him on fire (like happened in Belgium), but he did definitely a very good performance. He was in a good and smiling mood, seemed to enjoy performing and interacted with the audience quite a lot. Well, he was speaking French so I couldn’t understand his stories, only some references, and after the show I made the same decision as always: I will learn some French before the next tour. Not sure that ever happens though.

The concert was at one of the most special venues I’ve seen but there are also a couple of other things I want mention here. Firstly, he took a long time to rehearse the new songs before the show and it was worth it, we saw the best versions for the new songs so far (BIOTW was even better in Paléo, I guess performing it several times makes a difference). I want to link Karen again, just because I love it so much. The beginning/the way he starts the song is my very favorite part (it’s absolutely beautiful!) and the chorus works perfectly live. I want to be grateful that I heard the song three times this summer but at the same time I’m afraid he will never sing it again (that’s what sometimes happens to my favorite songs).

Secondly, this must have been the best show from iMMa I’ve ever seen, she was partying her heart out with Ida, it was fantastic. Well done, girls, so much energy on stage!

It was good to see some familiar and some new faces from countries like France, Spain, Italy and Greece, and special thanks to Christie for making me smile (it worked!), to Vladimir for telling New York stories while waiting for the gig to start and to Yulia for keeping me company (it was fun!). Some pictures from the gig below.

I uploaded some pictures of the background paintings just to show how visual the Marie Antoinette setting looks. So if you haven’t seen the new stage setting or can’t remember all the details, just click the pics to make them bigger and have a look. The first picture above is from Ajaccio, Corsica and all the rest from Les Ardentes Summer Festival, Liege. I love it how the idea is so simple but also full of details at the same time and the new setting looks really impressive even at a large stage.

Everything looks really easy and simple but they must have put so much effort to this show. The whole show is like a huge theatre play. See how well the costumes fit together with the paintings? I feel so lucky I was able to see the show in Compiégne and Corsica, can’t think more suitable venues for the new setting and costumes.

The new show is a success. Yes, a success! Look at his face after the show at Les Ardentes Summer Festival in Liége, Belgium. Mika did a fantastic, relaxed performance and the Belgian audience loved it. What a great night it was. I’ve seen the new stage setting four times, in Compiégne, in Liége, in Corsica and finally last Saturday in Nyon. I saw it really well and properly for the first time in Liége, so I wanted to describe it with a few words in this Liége gig review post.

A show can be created in two ways. The first way is to have a huge amount of small ideas and elements, gather them all together and combine them as one big colorful show. He did that at his previous tour. It’s a bit messy way, but not actually bad, just unstructured needing a lot of work. I loved some of those show elements a lot, I still do and would do everything to see them again (the drumming scene and the space walking with the news flash just to mention a couple of these elements). It was fascinating especially for a fan to watch many shows in row and literally see in front of your own eyes how the show evolved and got better time after time. Loved the whole process. 

Another way is to take one clear basic idea and to build the show around it adding smaller details all related to the main idea. This is what he has done with the new Marie Antoinette theme and it’s a very structured way to build a new show and makes him look organized and more mature. The audience can follow the show more easily and it makes the show successful from the start, there’s a big difference. I genuinely think this is the best show he has created. I realized it already in Compiégne but seeing it better in Liége made me very proud of him, really. 

The new stage setting is very simple in a good way. There are a few big canvases with painting motives in them, hanging in two rows: Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, fighting scenes etc (some of them creepy, lol) and two big chandeliers. That’s it, and it works perfectly both at historical venues and at huge festivals. I’ve seen his awesome team building it up very quickly, and not sure if it is really that easy but at least they make it look easy. It’s simple, but there are numerous small details in the painting pictures, and you don’t get bored with it during one tour. Two big chandeliers are my favorites (just because I love chandeliers). See the stage in the picture below. I have more pictures of paintings, I will post them as soon as I have time to organize my pics. And see, he has gathered a court around him! 

On the (Marie Antoinette style) background he has added fantastic costumes by Mrs Penniman and some relevant theater elements: undressing Ida’s and iMMa’s huge skirts and showing their fabulous, colorful “underwear” under them (they both look gorgeous/this is not about the Victorian age so why not), the horse mask scene with iMMa and playing Napoleon in his dark jacket. Finally, there are two new French songs and one very theatrical new English song and the setting is more than perfect to them all. The new show is very controlled, really enjoyed it.

The Liége show was well done without any of those technical problems we saw/heard in Compiégne. It’s always amazing to see a big festival audience who doesn’t necessarily know his music so well enjoying his show this much. And even I think he did especially BIOTW better in Corsica and Nyon I still enjoyed all his new songs in Liége. Watch Karen below: 

Mika dedicated his show at Paléo Festival (in Nyon, Switzerland) to Amy Winehouse, who was found dead at her home in the very same morning. He was replacing Amy at the festival due to her show cancellations (and therefore many people at the festival had originally bought their tickets to see her) so mentioning her name was a respectful and appropriate thing to do. She was a talented young artist and her death was tragical from every point of view so he must have been genuinely very upset and shocked. I was worried that replacing AW in this situation would be very difficult for him, but despite of the tragedy the Paléo audience wanted to see a good show and surprisingly Mika did one of his best gigs this year.

The absolutely best thing (imo) in this performance was incredible energy circulating from Mika to the huge audience and right back to him. He took a lot of open contact to the whole audience (the place was ideal for a big crowd, it was naturally sloped and the whole crowd could see him and he saw the whole audience).  He seemed to clearly enjoy the easily-responding festival audience and I was happy to see the best versions for a long time for some of his energetic songs like Rain and Love Today. He did his new songs Elle Me Dit and BIOTW but no Karen (and I really wanted to hear especially that one, but I shouldn’t be this greedy, I’ve already heard it live three times).  I chose some pictures above to show his energy, but it’s difficult to describe it with pictures or words. Also, Mika seems to feel very comfortable performing together with Ida and it’s was a pleasure (as always) to see her on stage again. The band was more restrained than usually and gave a lot of space for Mika.

I had the most pleasant and comfortable short visit to Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux and Nyon thanks to Nanou, who generously let me stay at her home and drove me and the other foreign fans around these cities/towns showing some extremely beautiful views. I feel quite stupid admitting that I had no idea how beautiful country Switzerland really is with the lake and mountains. I had a great time indeed, so why do I feel this empty? So many sad news around us and I need some time to rest after traveling. I took only a few vids ( I wanted to enjoy this show without using too much camera), the vid below is BIOTW.