Only a written report about the show in Cattolica. Gutted I don’t have any photos or videos to share. There were so many things I wanted to film and save: several new songs and generally an amazing show on every level, a lot of funny details happening on stage, a new outfit, balloons, confetti and the colorful audience with toys and posters. Unfortunately both my camera and mobile stopped working in the beginning of the concert and couldn’t believe it happened on a night like that but of course also couldn’t help it so just put all my focus on watching the show and what a show it was!

Wow. Just wow.

A wonderful treat to everyone at the venue and according to what people have tweeted also to many fans who couldn’t be there but saw the show via periscope. A new set list, several new songs, several older songs we haven’t heard much lately, a huge level of energy, relaxed, happy and confident looking Mika and the Italian audience at its best. A fantastic concert that made me totally forget how hard the day and especially getting in to the venue was.

It felt hard. I had traveled 15 hours to be in Taormina and another 12 hours to be in Cattolica with very little sleep and the weather was hot and tiring. The atmosphere between the fans was very, very good though and everyone was chatting and really nice to each other and I loved meeting long-time fans I hadn’t met for a long time and new fans I didn’t know before Cattolica.

Things became really hard only when it was time to get in and some people coming last minute decided to push themselves front at the gates. The situation was actually quite dangerous but I really wanted to see the show well so I tried to keep my spot doing my best to keep a young fan next to me safe. She was obviously scared and cried and I used all my strength to prevent the crowd squeezing us from my side other fans protecting her from the other side.

I can usually keep my spot quite easily but this time I almost wasn’t physically strong enough and I felt exhausted when I finally got inside the gates. I couldn’t help thinking that maybe I shouldn’t do things hard way. I’m lucky to be able to travel to many different countries so I could choose more relaxed areas to see concerts. It’s just that the people I meet in Italy (and met also this time) are incredibly friendly and fun company and the Italian audience is so loud and supportive that just seeing happy smile on Mika’s face makes it worth it and me happy as well. Pushy crowded situations are an unavoidable part of the experience.

The security was actually extremely nice and told that they would love to see people organized but that they don’t have any official authority or resources to control how people behave outside the gates and that all they can do is talk to them and they did talk to them asking to do the right thing, not to hurt anyone and respect people who peacefully waited the gates to be opened. Of course no one listened to them but at least it made me and probably the others as well in a better mood. At least someone paid attention to what happened and stopped people pushing inside the venue area.

Everything went well in the end. I didn’t see anyone getting hurt except a few people crying and most fans I know got a good spot and I was located on the left side in front and had a great view to the stage. From the left I could easily see Max and Joy and was so happy to see Max back doing his funny dance movements and Joy being totally on fire. Really like it that I can hear them both singing! I could also easily see Mika in the middle of the stage and would have of course loved to take a few photos of his new outfit or funny toys people threw on stage.

The show was fantastic and I don’t know where to even start describing it. He opened with WAG and continued with GK, both good in his usual way but a little bit of nervousness in the air. Then Talk About You with a lot of funny toys coming on stage and Mika teasing Max with them and posing with the toys. Then Blue Eyes and suddenly I was totally blown away with the show! It was everything I want from concerts. I want everything else to disappear and I want to feel how the music fills my mind so there’s absolutely no space for a single disturbing thought and all this happened in a massive way once again.

I remembered – once again -how much I love watching Mika on stage. When everything goes well he looks like he can rule the whole world and magically do whatever he wants and it’s brilliant to watch and makes me always forget everything else. In smaller concerts he can show his voice better/go deeper in every song but in front of big audiences the most fascinating thing is to see the huge crowd totally under his spell and it’s almost as good as listening to his singing.

The show went on quickly and suddenly he was doing Staring At The Sun and took me a while to realize it’s probably the first time I hear it live? The live version is so much better than the album version. As the biggest surprise he started Promiseland and people in front went wild and screamed their excitement and I couldn’t believe he is finally doing it and I loved the performance and now hope to hear it at gigs over and over again. In the middle of the Good Guys lyrics fans raised their little posters saying ”Thank You Mika” and he looked shy smiling and thanking people. So sweet.

I was happy to hear Over My Shoulder again and this time thousands of people behind me couldn’t disturb my focusing. I didn’t even hear them, I just enjoyed the song. Most songs on the setlist were somehow even better than on average and the show was very generous giving many special treats and eventually – too soon for us – it was time for an encore.

He went backstage and came back wearing his tight black jeans with a bit too small adorable black T-shirt with a lighted ”M” on it (from the audience I think) and did a wonderful relaxed version of Ordinary Man playing piano and suddenly something clicked on its right place. I’ve never really got Ordinary Man before. I enjoyed his voice in Montreal but singing the song in that elegant suit a massive symphony orchestra on the background was everything but ordinary. Somehow it felt not credible and too dramatic from him and generally didn’t make sense to me.

It bothered me that I couldn’t understand the song like it was meant even I tried. Listening to his relaxed singing in Cattolica and watching him in a T-shirt that looked like a children’s shirt I suddenly realized and could even imagine that someone can make him feel ordinary for real and the whole song made sense and I loved this sad and incredibly beautiful version of it. This is how the song should be performed. Unexpected but made me very happy.

I didn’t much dance during the gig, my muscles felt heavy and sore after the battle at gates. Even waving my hand felt too much and I thought it’s okay just to listen and enjoy and I really did enjoy the show. I closed my eyes for a long time during Happy Ending and not sure I’ve ever done that before at gigs but loved listening to the song that way. Lollipop with balloons in the end after Ordinary Man and the show ended.

Mika looked so happy, the band looked cheerful and impressed and I loved how Tim slapped his shoulder like ”well done” and we fans gathered together to have a little chat together before leaving to our hotels and Grazia and I just watched each other in agreement and no one really had to explain how they felt because everyone felt the same. Lovely. Thanks everyone I met in Italy, it was a pleasure. xxx

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A few notes about the show in Taormina last night. Teatro Antico was absolutely breath-taking as a venue! No stage setting was used, just the spectacular historical buildings with sun flowers and a massive light show. The performance itself was very good with chatty, naturally Italian speaking Mika.

He started with No Place In Heaven and had obvious troubles with his singing… Quite worrying at first but it was only temporary and everything went well. I couldn’t focus on the show as well as usually but I tried to concentrate on especially the most important songs like Over My Shoulder (haven’t heard it for a while so was extremely happy to hear it again!), Happy Ending, Underwater and Last Party (which is increasing its importance show after show being definitely my biggest personal favorite so far), all fitting so beautifully with this incredible venue.

However, the show wasn’t a total success as a seated gig especially comparing it to the Barcelona show just a couple of weeks ago where the audience looked using Mika’s words “elegant” and generally speaking acted like an ideal seated audience focusing on ballads staying still, then getting up and dancing during dance songs and going back seated between the songs.

In Taormina the crowd was restless during slow songs but the real problem was that when it was finally a suitable time to dance the audience sitting downstairs was not allowed to stand up and to do so, the security – again and again – strictly instructed everyone to stay still instead. Mika performed with a nice energy  and looked ready to party and the frustration in the audience was tangible when everyone was told to sit down time after time.

Not sure if this was because of the historical value of the venue or for other reasons but the setlist was not planned to keep people totally seated and Mika’s performance or even outfit (not wearing a suit!) didn’t give any message to stay still. Maybe it would have worked if the instructions were clearly told in advance, not sure. This way it kind of ruined the fun and could clearly be seen that people were frustrated and they didn’t obey the instructions any way. When people sitting next to and in front of me stood up I did the same but the older man behind me kept banging my seat until I quickly sat down.

Towards the end a lot of people just run to front of stage from the back of the venue and eventuality people in front of me were standing on their seats so I just did the same during the last minutes as the game was lost already and no one could see anyway. The Italian audience seems to be always like this and as a consequence the security is alarmed all the time which is unpleasant but we can’t help it and I could understand it when I saw some young girls suddenly just running to the stage trying to grab flowers or set lists while the crew was taking the stage down.

My seat was in the second row very side and I couldn’t see much of Mika or the band or especially the spectacular view (was hoping my seat was higher during the performance) and my mind kept wandering to irrelevant things (= not music) like his outfit and how on earth someone can look that good in that incredibly tight white trousers. So tight, can’t think of anyone else wearing them successfully. Lol!

As a conclusion the venue was super special and I’m already in love with Sicily after my holidays there this summer so I’m so grateful I saw the show and I know it will be one of my warmest and fondest concert memories the same way all special events are even some of the circumstances felt a bit chaotic at the time. Italian fans who could see the show better absolutely loved everything and I guess I’m comparing the audience and vibe too much to the other shows I’ve seen lately. A few pics above.

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Colours of Ostrava is an annual, old-school summer festival with a huge amount of people, good line-ups and relaxed atmosphere and it offers – beside music – also all kind of festival entertainment (like fire trucks keeping people cool with water) and a good and affordable selection of food and drinks for every taste (Indian food, vegan etc). The local who helped us to find a taxi after the show told he has hardly ever missed the event during the past 15 years and I can easily understand why.

I really liked the vibe, the security was super nice and the audience seemed supportive and open to many kind of artists. One of the security guys chatting with us during the day felt almost like a fan and he actually told us that he knows and likes Mika’s music and because his duty was supposed to end before the main act he was already planning to enjoy the Mika show.

The venue was located in an old, industrial area and the surroundings looked ugly but still somehow cool. The last festival day was hot and we tried avoid the sun but weather cooled down towards the evening and as expected it started to rain just before Mika’s performance.

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I didn’t know any of the three other festival acts in advance. The first one was a local big band and generally entertaining but I couldn’t understand a word and every song sounded similar. Then it was the turn for a Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela and the audience loved them and they were amazing indeed. Such unique performance! Check them our here or here if you haven’t heard about them. The third band was an indie rock band called Other Lives and their music was not properly my taste but still good quality and I actually enjoyed watching them and especially their calm singer on stage.

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Then it was time for the final 1,5 hour break before Mika’s performance. The atmosphere was so relaxed we could use toilets and buy food during every break but an hour before Mika’s performance the crowd started to pack near the stage and we decided to stay in front of it and saw how the the crew finished the setting. I saw the familiar houses and felt I couldn’t wait for the show and was wondering how the audience would react.

Festivals are not about any particular song or show detail but about filling the huge space, bringing energy on stage, catching people’s attention and keeping them interested and even holding their breath during the whole performance. Mika came on stage and started to talk Czech language, not just a few words but several, proper and long sentences and then opened with Grace Kelly and the audience was immediately on his side and the show was absolutely fantastic. I was amazed once again how well-prepared and professional everything was and how focused he was on the show despite of traveling and a big important event in France just night before.

The setlist was perfect for the situation. His performance was officially an hour (maybe a bit more) and he did a combination of his most popular hits (GK, Relax, BG, Lollipop, BB), his most energetic (LT, WAG, EMD) and most powerful songs (UW, LP), introduced TAY and did a very energetic “festival” version of Origin (I loved it). Every single song had a huge energy or tension and he obviously gave his everything totally ignoring the pouring rain and took a lot of contact with the audience by reaching their hands, giving high fives, making comments to people near the stage and taking little gifts/objects people tried to give him.

He kept dancing and running and did his signature jumps and after a while took off his jacket and threw his tie to the audience and rolled over the wet stage despite of his white shirt and fancy trousers and the audience loved every moment and supported him well singing the chorus parts even most people (except fans wearing Mika T-shirts) probably didn’t know the whole lyrics and was rewarded by a surprise after a surprise like big balloons, a confetti party and some mad drumming in the end. I couldn’t help but thinking “omg he can even drum like that!”. Well of course he can drum. I’ve seen dozens of drumming sessions when it was a regular part of his show but just haven’t seen it for such a long time so I absolutely loved it. The colorful balloons looked especially awesome in the dark and work every time no matter how many times I’ve seen them used.

I enjoy seeing many different kind of events so I was so happy to see a massive energetic show like this in a new country between smaller seated gigs where I’m always more focused on every song and where the setlist includes ballads and new songs. I had accidentally wrong settings in my camera and I couldn’t properly focus it but I didn’t want to waste a moment of the short show to fix it so just a few pics here and above and below to better describe how everything looked. A huge thank you to Saskia (who was lovely and patient as always) and Do Re Mi from Ukraine for the company! X

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Festival Jardins de Pedralbes was my first Mika show in Spain. I’ve been so unlucky with my trips to Spain and cancelled them several times, so happy that I could finally make it happen. I travelled together with my good friend Salla. She flew to Barcelona on Wednesday to be able to do more sightseeing and I arrived on Thursday. We met Lara on Friday and had an awesome, sunny day visiting Montjuic by a cable car, watching the view over Barcelona and walking in the park. Barcelona looks a cheerful, relaxed city. This was only my second visit there and it’s maybe not one of “my cities” but still a fun place to spend a short holiday listening to Mika and meeting friends.

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The gig was seated and there was no need for queueing so we arrived the venue around 8 pm just before the gates were opened to have a drink and meet the others before the show. So rare to have a possibility to arrive last minute feeling fresh and rested and still have a good spot in the audience. The venue was beautiful and offered an amazing setting for a seated Mika show.

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He started the show with Toyboy and everyone was listening quietly. Photographers were sitting on the ground in front of the audience not to block our view. I had originally planned to take only a couple of photos for my report but ended up keeping my camera in my bag (as the security on our side asked people to put their cameras away) and just enjoyed the show.

After Toyboy was the turn for Grace Kelly and Blue Eyes. Seated gigs start always more slowly than usual standing gigs as it takes time for the audience to have courage to dance and be a part of the show. This time I immediately had a weird feeling that Mika didn’t have his usual energy or that he didn’t enjoy being on stage. In those situations he always tries hard to be on his stage mood and usually succeeds and Talk About You was indeed much better already and the gig got a proper start. I find it interesting that a song I don’t much care on the album is one of my favorites at gigs. I really like the live version of TAY and it was among my top three songs in Barcelona as well.

I can’t remember the exact setlist but we heard at least Big Girl, Relax, Billy Brown, Happy Ending, Love Today, Underwater, Origin, Elle Me Dit and Drunk from his older albums, Live Your Life as a special song for the Spanish audience and Boum Boum Boum and Good Guys from the new album (not in this order of course). The gig got better song by song and even I couldn’t totally feel the usual gig adrenaline I really enjoyed the evening and loved especially some particular songs like Live Your Life after not hearing it for a very long time. Hope to hear it soon again if not in his regular set at least every now and then.

Boum Boum Boum was – once again – one of my biggest favorites, I really like the way it’s performed live with the piano and it was definitely one the highlights in Barcelona. Underwater is one of my all time favorites but there’s something too loud in the current live version and it always disturbs a little bit. It’s obviously done on purpose (otherwise they would have fixed it already) but I can’t understand or explain why and my mind was wandering during the song a bit. As soon as Billy Brown started I realized it’s such a comfort song. I guess there is a need for songs like that and even it wasn’t on the printed setlist in Barcelona it was performed as usual.

I was already a bit disappointed that he didn’t do more new songs but Last Party was saved for the encore together with Lollipop and I absolutely LOVED it! One of my favorite ever versions and would have alone made my trip to Barcelona worth while. Definitely my favorite part of the gig.

The audience wasn’t really enthusiastic but there were a lot of funny moments between Mika and his fans. One of the Spanish fans was asked on stage to translate Mika (the situation was hilarious) and another one got credit for the Spanish additions for Drunk. In the end of the show Mika jumped in the middle of the audience and sang a bit standing on the seats and it surely increased the party feeling together with the usual confetti which is always my personal favorite no matter how many times I’ve experienced it, I love it.

I had thought he must be a bit jet lagged or exhausted after super busy promotion schedules but he told later while chatting with his fans that the gig felt a bit harder than usually because of several reasons/last minutes changes like a new musician in the band. We all assured Mika he had done incredibly well despite of the challenges. I had already thought during the gig that the new bassist did well and was brave smiling through the gig even the situation was totally new for him and he obviously had to follow the rest of the band to keep up. Tim was super sweet smiling to the front row looking so kind and I made a special note to myself how much I like Joy’s current role, I really enjoy her part in several songs. Even Salla mentioned Joy and Happy Ending which was her favorite song in Barcelona together with Love Today, Relax, Good Guys and Last Party.

We got the sweetest ending for the night and I loved it that Mika tweeted after leaving the venue thanking his fans and I’m sure it made everyone reading it smile. Thanks everyone I met in Barcelona (good to see so many people I hadn’t met for a while) and thanks Becks for organizing a little flower and food surprise, I hope our pop star enjoyed it. A couple of pics below are taken by Salla.

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