Rocher de Palmer, Bordeaux 25.22.2010

Just a few words about the show in Bordeaux, France. I decided to travel to Bordeax last minute but still before we heard Mika is having a massive cold. I realized he might cancel the show but I already had my tickets so I traveled first to Paris and then to Bordeaux (the trip felt really long, I admit that sometimes I do regret my quick decisions!). I finally arrived Bordeaux and was happy to meet some French fans at the venue on Sunday (thank you Leila, Virginie and Julie!) and we had a nice chat before the girls went to their choir rehearsals (they were all chosen to the choir for the show). The queueing was very relaxed and organized, the line was totally calm and direct (if you have seen some chaotic French queueing – this was the opposite) and the venue security was strict and effective. Looked like the people were going to a Sunday brunch and no one was in a hurry!

Mika was a little bit late and the crew did their best to keep people entertained having a small disco and a homemade light show (lol, crazy, funny people, love them all). Finally we saw the band, then Mika and the show started with the opening and Soleil. We could hear he still had a flu but he had seen a doctor before the show and his voice was surprisingly good considering he was not feeling 100 % well. I had decided to not take any pics, just as a gesture (because he was not well, and who wants people to take pics when not well). He looked gorgeous and not ill at all but I still decided not to take any pics and just enjoy the show every possible way.

He started the show with lots of energy and whatever weird medicine the circus doctor gave him must have been very strong, he was dancing and doing crazy jumps as always! His performing was charming and he totally warmed the Sunday brunch audience during the show. I couldn’t understand his chatting in French but I really enjoyed the show and certain songs especially. I noticed he did some super fast and not so planned moves skipping/adding some details and I saw the band had to pay more than their usual attention to follow him and improvise a lot (I had a great spot and saw Max and Curtis and their facial expressions very well). They managed to follow him really well though and the band and Doriand (who was on stage during a couple of songs) did their best to help him when his voice was a bit tired in the end of the show. The show was really good and I especially loved Stardust, Underwater, Karen and the fast songs after them. Karen was lovely, really, and loved how Mika and Doriand high-fived after the song. I tried to enjoy every second of the song because we probably can’t hear it live for a long time. UW made me almost cry a bit, I was feeling emotional and it’s such a beautiful song. I feel a huge gratefulness every time I hear this song live and try to store the feeling to remember it later.

I was amazed how well he did in the circumstances. I have seen many shows and this was a good one even he was not well and I admire him a lot for doing it. The audience loved him and was generally very understanding when his energy level suddenly dropped in the end of the show and he had to cough a bit. He started to look tired and I wished he could have just stopped but he didn’t, he performed the whole set list and didn’t skip a single song! He was probably under some medication and I seriously hope performing like this is not harming his voice too much and I was sorry to hear he can’t have much rest before the UK shows in December. I wasn’t too worried to see him performing though because he did so well and obviously wants to do every show and he managed to give the audience a fantastic evening.

The band was fab. Max was improvising more than usually (dancing, climbing on the piano) and we saw even Tim dancing (hahah, poor man, he didn’t have any other choice, but it was a lot fun and we loved it). The band needs to be very sharp with him, he can be very spontaneous on stage, but they seem to adore him and they all are becoming more spontaneous show after show. I was in front row next to Julie’s mom and she had a great time watching the show and her daughter on stage! The choir did well and was singing as much as they could. A lovely and amazingly polite young French fan (who I had met in Nice back stage) was behind me with his mother and was so much fun to have a little chat and laugh to our funny memories from Nice. Also, I was really happy to meet Axie after the show (it’s been a long time, wishing her all the best from the bottom of my heart).

I hope no one saw my facial expressions during the show, I probably looked way too happy and laughing, surprised (like when he was doing his huge jump) and even a bit scared (he almost fell off the piano once). My trip back home was more difficult than usually (okay, it was a pain, I felt I was running from France to Finland) but I was very happy have one more gig memory before the tour is over, as it soon is.

Done for now, more in a couple of weeks!

 

The venue and the fans

The gigs at Casino de Paris were lovely and special. The venue was glamorous and I loved it how he wanted to make the shows even more special wearing his fancy outfits (seriously, too cute, see the pics in my previous posts). I can well imagine his nervous walking before the first show on Monday, checking his clothes several times…

Paris seems always to be important for him, everything must be perfect. I’ve seen 15-20 Mika shows in France so I know the French fans quite well and always enjoy their company. Actually a half of the audience looks always familiar, I’ve seen most of them several times! I saw my favorite ever Mika concert in France (must have been Jam Sessions at Comedy Club 2009, his voice was so beautiful and the venue was tiny and pretty). My most chaotic gig memories are also from France (losing my tickets, seeing the chaos Compiegne etc) and I’ve been on stage in France twice even I don’t speak a word of French. France is always crazy and I always love it (so I’m fine with Mika concentrating on his French market, I really can’t complain).

I traveled with Fran and we met Marion (both nights) and her friend Jonathan (the second night). I was thinking of my favorite and dearest Mika concert memories and I realized that Marion has almost always been there, she is such a kind and easy-going person to spend time with at gigs. Marion, Fran and I found a lovely little restaurant the night before the gigs and had some risotto, wine and chocolate mousse and it was soooo nice (because I need some food to be in a good mood and I always eat chocolate mousse in France, it’s a tradition). Jonathan managed to find a ticket for the second night and joined us. I met Jonathan for the first time at the Comedy Club 2009 and again in Luxembourg 2010 (also a fab gig), he loves dancing and is such a cheerful company and we all had a great time on Tuesday. Thank you everyone, hope to meet to you all again! The Paris choir was really good and I was more than happy to see Netina on stage. Netina is one of those rare people who has always some positive words to say to everyone so it was good to see her having some special time on stage, so deserved.

The shows

I already wrote some details about the both shows. He was a bit nervous in the beginning of the first show but did well and it was a great show, I enjoyed it almost as much as the second show even the latter one was more relaxed. He was in a funny mood on Tuesday, doing even some crazy things on stage (asking a lot of people on stage, dancing and laughing loudly, teaching some Drunk song choreographies to the audience etc). It looked he was determined to make the audience dance and party and succeeded in it. The pictures below are taken during Love Today and Origin on the second night, some of my favorite moments in Paris beside of the Drunk song and Karen. We also heard Heroes for the first time and it was a very special ending for the second show, see the last video below. Doriand was on stage during Karen (both nights) and we met him after the show on Tuesday and he was really friendly and signed my album (which was really nice, because Karen is one of my favorite songs). Lovely three days in Paris, I just wish I could have spent some time walking around, I need to go back soon.

Toy Boy:

Un Soleil Mal Luné

Stardust:

Heroes:

The venue and the fans 

Den Atelier in Luxembourg was one of my favorite venues during the tour! Check it out here. It looks bigger in the pics but I can tell you, it’s t-i-n-y, really. Very small and club style. I was surprised to see a lot children in the audience. The crowd wasn’t partying the same way as at the Munich gig but it was loud and the atmosphere was good and warm. The stage was so small the setting could hardly fit on it and the band was playing everyone next to each other and in the end the choir was on stage less than planned. There was simply not enough space.

The queueing was relaxed and only a small group of fans arrived during the day. I flied from Copenhagen (long story, spent my night there), went to the venue and met Karin, Miri, Bubbles, Renate, Sabine, Ulrike, Fran and Kate. We spent the day chatting and Karin had brought a lot of material to use as “decoration” during Underwater and Nico (Bubbles) draw some funny fish characters that made us laugh the whole day. Hahah, so much fun and the result was hilarious. The gig was very international (beside locals there were fans from German, France, Belgium, Austria etc) and balloons, glow sticks and hearts on stage (made by French fans) added some extra color. The setting was extra simple though and Mika was wearing black trousers, white shirt and his green braces (striped socks belong to Curtis).

The show

The original set list for Luxembourg:
Relax (with a new beginning)
Blue Eyes
Lola
Billy Brown
Popular
Rain
Big Girl
 
Stardust
Underwater
Karen
Stuck In The Middle
 
Love Today
Drunk
Elle Met Dit
Origin
Celebrate
Grace kelly
 
Lollipop
We Are Golden

Going trough the setlist with a few words. He started with the same short opening he already used in Paris. It’s exciting and fits really well with Relax (I felt it was a bit random with the slow and beautiful French Soleil song in Paris). Blue Eyes gives Tim a moment to be in a spot light (and as you know we ❤ him), it’s an interesting and elegant song and warms the audience for Lola which is kind of the same style but even better. Billy Brown is familiar for every single person in the audience and even it’s almost too familiar it really must be there and it’s the moment for the whole crowd to start to dance and sing along. Popular is another interesting and entertaining new song (I personally like both Lola and the live version for Popular a LOT) and makes people ready for two older high-energy songs Rain and Big Girl. I like the first part of the show, it’s nicely built as long as the first song is powerful enough (and Relax is).

The second part is slower and extremely beautiful. Stardust (the way he is doing it atm) is pretty and even quite tender, I love it! After that he is doing Underwater in a very emotional and powerful way (a bit like he used to do Any Other World earlier) and even I would like to hear it more gently I do understand his point because the audience takes it very well. Karen is always a treat (we can’t hear it often enough) and SITM ends the section in a perfect way. I must say I really, really like SITM the way it’s done these days, it’s very entertaining and I love it how he often chats a bit before the song and how Curtis is playing in it.

The third section is the best part of the show. This is the moment when the audience is totally awake and it never fails. Love Today is better than ever, it’s probably my very favorite part of the new show. You know the movie scenes where the main character is walking in the street in peace and in the middle of the totally calm moment and suddenly sees someone standing and leaning the building in front of him and turns around and there’s someone behind him too? And he is trying to find a way out and you realize something dangerous and final is going to happen? That’s the feeling you get when the band starts to play around him and it sounds really strong and I love it and the feeling goes well through the whole song and in the end tiny, shy Max is doing his victory dance on the piano and the audience starts to jump and it’s just AWESOME! Hahah, I’m so excited about this song. After that he starts Drunk and it’s one of those perfect moments to chat a bit and teach some cheerful choreographies to the audience (and Drunk is really as good live as I thought in advance). After Drunk it’s time for EMD and a serious party time (EMD is a success even when the crowd is not talking French). Origin is generally speaking the best song from the new album and it’s the highlight for the whole show with some balloons and hearts and after that people start to calm down with Celebrate and Grace Kelly.

In the end it’s time for the last two songs. In Luxembourg he skipped Lollipop but added Toy Boy with Max and I really enjoy hearing Toy Boy now even it wasn’t my favorite songs during the last proper tour. I like the structure of the setlist but of course I would love to see him adding some new songs like Step With Me to the first section and Kids to the second and maybe ending the third one with Heroes like he did in Paris. He didn’t do Happy Ending in Luxembourg at all. It a difficult song and his voice has been a bit tired lately, sometimes we can’t even hear him properly. It can be a technical issue too, but the sound was quite good in Lux and I have a few vids even I had only my poor camera with me (Stardust, Karen, SITM, Toy Boy below, I can’t understand what I thought when not filming UW, but don’t have it, sorry). Yes, that’s it I think. It was a good, small gig, I’m happy that I did it.

Stardust:


Karen:

SITM:

Toy Boy:

I saw Mika at Atelier in Luxembourg last night and really enjoyed the show (last one for me at the moment, more in December). I was in a horribly bad mood in the morning (my flights were cancelled and delayed, I had to stay over night alone in Copenhagen and I wasn’t feeling so well, my voice missing for 5 days already) but seeing familiar faces in Luxembourg was so much fun, the venue lovely and tiny and the staff working there incredibly friendly that I really started to look forward to the gig. The audience wasn’t a party one or super amazing (a lot of kids in the audience) but it was generally very good and the atmosphere was really warm. Mika seemed to be in a good mood, I couldn’t understand his chatting (in French) and not sure if he recognized me in front of him (he probably did, he can always recognize everyone) but I had a feeling he had a good contact with the crowd which was loud even so small (the venue capacity was max 800).

A few highlights from last night. We had an “underwater world” prepared for Underwater (German, Belgian etc fans brought fabric, paper and ribbons to make “waves” and different kind of fish) and it all looked really funny and he looked amused and stopped his singing to laugh for a moment in the beginning of the song (it’s definitely not a funny song so the effect was even more hilarious and the waves looked great even it was just random blue fabric and paper). I just couldn’t stop laughing, it was funny indeed. Also, I’m falling in love with some old songs again and again, the band makes them sound awesome, really. SITM is fantastic and I especially love Love Today and not sure how it’s possible but it’s better show after show (it looked Mika and the band felt like on fire during the song) and the combination of LT, Drunk and EMD makes the audience always go wild (the best part of the show, imo). He skipped Happy Ending on purpose again, maybe it’s a bit difficult at the moment, but Stardust, UW and Karen were all lovely and made it up. A great colorful show, more details later, now on my way home. xx

What a crazy show in Paris tonight! Even better than the first show, imo. He was in a weird, crazy mood and did a lot of funny, spontaneous things on stage. Just watching his face and dance moves during Drunk was worth a trip to France. A few notes:

  • He added a small wake-up part in the beginning of the show before the first French song.  A bit random, but quite effective and I liked the idea.
  • Both Lola and Popular are fantastic live, loving them more and more after every show.
  • Karen was really, really lovely, it’s definitely still one of my favorite songs. Doriand was on stage looking happy and smiling (the audience loved the song).
  • Underwater is new Any Other World. I’m getting used to it and it’s an impressive live song done that way. He is very determined guiding the audience and looks so pleased when it goes well. I like watching his joy, so whatever as long as he keeps it on the setlist.
  • The parts he is doing with Curtis/Max in SITM and Love Today are getting better and better.
  • Love Today is better than ever, really loved it how it was done. He continued with Drunk and EMD and managed to rule the audience very well.
  • Origin seems to be the final highlight of the show, I enjoy it every time.
  • He did Heroes as a new song. It was put on the setlist a while ago but done tonight for the first time. I love Heroes but can’t remember the live version well enough after only one listening, because extra people (from the audience) on stage took my attention.

I have a lot of details to tell about the show, I will write a longer review if I can find any time. I’m glad I did the both Paris shows, I loved them and he did well both times.