The venue
Korean fans

The last Mika concert for the summer was at Rock Oz’Arènes Festival in Avenches, Switzerland. The gig was night before Mika’s 30th birthday so I bought my ticket in good time and wouldn’t have missed it in the world. So happy I was able to do this festival. It was one of my favorite ever shows and we had so much fun during the show and after it. The venue was quite small (as a festival venue) and probably had a great view from the seated area. However, this was a special night so even the stage was high I wanted to be as near it as possible and to enjoy watching everything from a close distance. A lot of fans had arrived to see the gig and I loved meeting my MFC friends (thank you everyone, you know who you are). The gates were opened at 4 PM and the schedule started at 6 PM.

The line up wasn’t anything special. The first band was a good party band but to tell the truth I would have enjoyed their music more without their female vocalist. The sound was so poor I couldn’t even recognize the language she used. Could be French, could be English, I have no idea. I loved a couple of the musicians though, they were totally on fire.

The second band played rap/electronic music and the front row filled up with young boys and girls. I let a 11 yo boy come in front of me and he seemed to enjoy almost as much as I enjoy Mika shows. I mostly concentrated on watching the audience and their contact with the band, the music wasn’t my personal taste and I couldn’t understand the lyrics but they weren’t bad on stage at all. Later I was told their lyrics are actually really disturbing and even homophobic. I was so disappointed, I almost couldn’t believe it. It’s one thing to have ignorant, narrow opinions and another (even worse) thing to teach them to innocent kids. The audience was mostly kids and preteens. How come the parents didn’t seem to care? How come any respectable festival hires bands like this? What’s wrong with this world? I don’t like it that I need to come down from my soft, happy Mika cloud and face ugly things like this.

The people working for the festival looked almost as excited about Mika’s birthday surprise as we fans and they were nice updating us several times before it was Mika’s turn to be on stage. We had bought little lighted balloons to wave them exactly at midnight and the festival staff promised to show time on the screens and ask the whole audience to show their mobiles with lights (so everything would look nice and lighted to wish Mika happy birthday). They also promised to bring us a Happy Birthday banner and told they have a little cake to give him at midnight. See everything happening on the Origin video below, it’s from my point of view so it’s not possible to read the banner of course. Loving the festival style ending for Origin, btw.

He came on stage and started with the French ballad and as I’ve said I have mixed feelings about this decision (sometimes it’s not strong enough for the first song) but I loved it in Avenches as much I did in Albi, it was a beautiful contrast to the noisy rap band before him. I was quickly back on my cloud and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. The concert was fantastic and probably my favorite for this summer. He didn’t do any extra songs or didn’t add anything special to the songs (anything I hadn’t heard before) but he did a really intensive show and was focused all the time, taking a lot of contact with the audience and adding funny little details to his performance. He had fun with hats, balloons, confetti and the cake he got at midnight and he teased the band and made them do funny things (lie on the piano, wear cake on their head) and the band naturally let him have his fun (well he is the boss and it was even his birthday).
The evening was emotional and during Underwater I felt tears in my eyes, I couldn’t help it, because it was so beautiful and because I realized I won’t hear it again for a very long time. The front row was full of Mika fans and the security looked surprised to see our dance moves for every song (Billy GK, Brown, Drunk, LT etc) and I think Mika saw how many fans had come to celebrate his birthday and he gave us a lot of attention and smiles. And even it was the last show for the tour and his birthday (and he must have looked forward to some private partying) he didn’t show any hurry on stage but concentrated to the audience and generously let us be a part of his birthday celebrations and have fun with him and it felt really good and was important to every fan who came to see the show.
Comme un Soleil Mal Luné
Billy Brown
“Your tiny balloons, my HUGE balloons…”
Celebrate balloons
WAG confetti
Lollipop (hat from the audience)
The band surprising Mika with some noisy confetti after the show

I don’t think we could have had any better way to end the tour. The situation after the show was very crowded but his team knew we had a collective present to give him from his whole fan club and was very helpful (even they were busy) organizing us a possibility to go to back stage. See the video about Mika receiving his gift here. Not sure if it really was a surprise to him or if there was a bit of acting but it was sweet and kind and definitely good enough for me and I think he genuinely appreciated the gift (a huge thank you to the fan club moderators who organized the gift and made it possible for everyone to take part, loved the idea behind it). It was too crowded to have proper personal conversations with him but I really appreciated a possibility to congratulate him on his birthday and I think his team was very generous tolerating such a big group of fans.

For Mika ending the tour means moving on from one exciting thing to another exciting thing whereas for his fans it means waiting and missing him and his shows. And I’ve always thought it’s not possible for him to understand how important his shows can be for a fan (how could it be?) but the special and kind moments he gave us during the past few weeks made me think he might understand after all. He is a very kind person. Now we have so many lovely concert memories to remember while waiting for new music and new shows. Of course it’s not that I will just sit at home and feel depressed. Ending the tour means also concentrating on some other good things in my life. Still, there are so many different things that remind me of Mika and make me miss his music. Things like practically every country and city I’ve ever visited, traveling in general, trains and planes. Food, wines and breakfasts I’ve had while traveling to gigs. Dogs like Mel, chandeliers, balloons and colors, some clothes I’ve been wearing at his shows, my green lucky shoes, some books and movies, and – especially after his instructions – pouring champagne.

A fantastic, very emotional show in Switzerland night before Mika’s 30th birthday. I loved the show and have a lot of details to tell about it and the whole festival. The audience wished Happy Birthday exactly at midnight and after the show his fan club had a possibility to to give Mika his birthday gift. I hope he enjoyed the gift as much as it looked. I had tears in my eyes during the gig because it was the last one for this year (and I don’t like endings in general) but it’s a new chapter and all that. Many good things waiting for us in the future. More about the show later when back home.

I was lucky to see the Sziget festival in Budapest on Saturday for the first time and was totally amazed. For everyone who wants to experience a proper old-fashioned pop/rock festival in every possible sense – Sziget is your place to go. Endless days and nights good quality music, totally wild and crazy audience with human pyramids and crowd surfing and the best festival security I’ve ever seen. The line up for Saturday (and looks that for the other days as well) was extremely good. It was an honor for Mika to be a headliner, imo, and he seemed to enjoy it.
Enter Shikari
Enter Shikari

The first act called Enter Shikari played hard alternative rock with a very strong attitude and even I wouldn’t listen to something like that voluntary at home I loved experiencing their show (which could easily be compared a roller coaster ride, “thank god, it’s finally over and survived” lol!). They had a mad fan base bouncing around the venue and first I was really afraid to be in front row, but their crazy fans (at least the one directly behind me) were actually very respectful and obviously tried to be very careful not to harm anyone. The security was amazing and incredibly smiling. They patiently helped dozens and dozens of crowd surfers and gently walked them out holding their hands. Never seen anything like that and for the first time ever at concerts/festivals (and I’ve seen many) I loved watching the security guy in front of me and genuinely wanted to tell him “please don’t leave me, you make me feel so safe”. Awesome work.

The second act The Fratellis was like a relaxed break between the other two intensive shows before Mika and my favorite of these three acts. Not really special or super entertaining but still pleasant rock’n roll and gave me time to have a little rest, listen and dance. Very much enjoyed their performance.

The Fratellis
The Editors

The third band was called The Editors and seemed to be very popular at Sziget. Good quality music and professional stage performing but a bit too adult and mainstream for my taste. (Just read they are described “alternative”.  Really?). The audience loved them and jumped and screamed using a lot of energy and looked already a bit tired when Mika finally started (making me almost worried) and to tell the truth Relax wasn’t as energetic and good start as it usually is. However, the situation like that is only a challenge to an artist like Mika and took only a couple of songs from the audience to totally warm up for his show. I knew it would happen, the Sziget audience was a fantastic element for a great gig and he did one of his best festival shows. He added some very suitable extra details like an exciting dance ending for Origin and a fierce Make You Happy part before sitting in front of the piano for Happy Ending, loved them both. Emily/EMD was more relaxed and energetic than last time I saw it, very much liked it (and Live Your Life as well for the same reason). Underwater was simply super powerful (see the vid below the photos).

I loved the show and felt lucky to be there, so happy I decided to include Sziget in my plans. Thank you to everyone I met at the festival, not only to my Mika friends but also the Editors fans I met in front. Such polite and helpful people, it was a pleasure.

Signature jump once again
Joy celebrating
Kick Ass in the audience

A few words about the show in the Faroe Islands last night. First of all, Faroe Islands must be the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen! Klaksvik didn’t hit me like Reykjavik did in December but I definitely fell in love with the place and its incredibly beautiful nature.

I assumed the Faroe Islands summer festival is the biggest annual event in Klaksvik so seeing the audience was a total surprise to me. Lara, Yulia and I went to see the show and were suddenly surrounded by preteenage children. I couldn’t understand what was happening. Why the venue was full of 9-13 years old kids and not the usual audience (meaning people from different age groups or even if fairly young still older than preteens)?

Then I realized that of course only the kids were there. Their older siblings and parents were working at the festival as young security workers/for media/for administration/selling food and party items (and the adults with free time were having a beer in the bar tent or skipping the kids event for some other reason). That naturally left a huge amount of very excited preteens and a few tourists for Mika. As awkward it sounds (and was) it was also quite touching. A lot of overexcited kids were pushing and screaming and it was very uncomfortable but you really can’t blame 12 yo kids for being a 12 yo, can you?

Obviously I couldn’t  focus on the music the way I usually do. Took me a few songs to get used to the audience pushing from every side and was impossible not to worry about the smallest children the security (probably their uncles, neighbors and older brothers) tried desperately to keep in safe. Some of the teens were (or imagined to be) old enough to drink and caused small trouble in every five minutes making a group of security guys (again, probably their uncles, neighbors and older brothers) move as a group waving their flashlights (didn’t much help, of course). But again, it was quite sweet and touching to watch the whole community doing security work together (well that’s how it looked) and I was tempted to offer my help with babysitting but it wasn’t my job, lol, I was there to enjoy the music.

I decided to take a lot of photos as I love it and this time there was so much distraction any way that it didn’t add any extra disturbance. Sadly the lighting was very bright and challenging and I’m only practicing with my camera so the result wasn’t good at all. I still really enjoyed listening to the music and taking photos at the same time and after a few songs I was able to concentrate on the songs better. The security ruined Origin (grouping in front of me to wave their lights) but I was able to properly listen to Underwater and it was absolutely beautiful and suddenly I felt like crying, I was so happy to be there even the gig was very different than usually. It’s not that everything in life needs to perfect. It’s more that life is everything and that makes it perfect (not good English, I know). And of all the crazy, cool and amazing things I’ve seen and done this Faroe Islands trip was definitely one of the most special.

Happy Ending was my other favorite with extremely lovely ending and as I’ve said before I love the new intros he is doing for several of the old songs. He did Emily in English again. He still can’t remember the lyrics and I don’t understand why he is so stubborn with the song and keeps trying it in English instead of doing it in French for every audience because EMD works well even for non-French audiences (just my opinion of course). The stage was far away and I couldn’t see details well but the band seemed to be in a good mood and I must say once again how much I love the way they play Love Today, just perfect and one of my favorite songs at every gig. A very special trip in every possible way, definitely something to remember for the rest of my life, so grateful and happy .