Istanbul is a beautiful city and a fascinating cultural mix, I loved the vibe and wish I could have spent a few more days walking around the city (and eating, the local food is fantastic…). The architectural view is breathtaking, and the atmosphere surprisingly European (making the city safe and easy for an average traveller). I love the Turkish attitude and how people seem to be determined to succeed combining hard work and being friendly. The staff working for the parking area around the venue offered us hot tea and played with the huge dogs living near the park and the security was polite and helpful.
My husband and I did some sightseeing on Saturday and I used hours taking photos of beautiful blue and green tiles (beautiful color combinations) and was amazed in Hagia Sophia (it must be one of the most impressive buildings I’ve ever seen).
The concert venue for the show on Sunday was a large plain tent in a big park. The tent had some kind of a heating system but it was still cold and ugly and the atmosphere was not typical for a Mika concert at all. People were let in at 7 PM as promised and the tent was not even half full that time. The DJ played way too long for my taste and I didn’t even feel the usual excitement before the show. Obviously the organizers still knew what they were doing and during the DJ set the tent started to fill up and the locals seemed to love the DJ music and were ready for the show. The audience turned out to be a very good one, singing and dancing through the concert. The girls in front screamed a lot and people threw enormous amounts of stuff on stage (lol, never seen anything like that!) but the overall vibe was very positive, Mika seemed to enjoy it and after a couple of songs he was full of energy too. The band was playing fine (even they had a new drummer and they probably hadn’t much rehearsed together) but was mostly on the background and didn’t have their usual roles. I didn’t mind (even I usually love watching the band as well, having fun on stage and working together) because my attention was totally focused on Mika anyway and I just wanted to listen and watch him singing. I saw him last time in Iceland and already missed his gigs.
There were moments when I couldn’t hear his voice but it was still much better than before Christmas, imo. The stage was very simple and looked good that way.
I really enjoyed the gig, and the mood and atmosphere got better and better during the show. The setlist says he did the following songs and I can’t remember anything to add:
Mika asked one of the fans to play piano with him during Billy Brown and it was a really sweet moment and the audience loved it (see the vid below). The girl on stage had probably the time of her life and I thought, once again, how I love this artist for being so kind and making people so happy. The new songs worked well and all my favorites were from the new album: Popular, Origin, UW, Drunk and EMD. I guess I wasn’t properly awaken during Lola and the audience was disturbing Stardust a bit so I couldn’t enjoy it as much as usually. No extra songs or any special treats, but the mood was fantastic and I had a great time. I was totally hooked from the beginning (well, maybe not from the very beginning but after a couple of songs) till the end and I couldn’t stop smiling long after the show. It’s good to see him performing like this. He seems to be genuinely excited about the upcoming US tour and promised it will be joyful playing with many different instruments, acoustic and intimate. Very much looking forward to it.