Mika performed at Lokerse Feesten in Lokeren on Friday so I flied to Dusseldorf on Thursday and travelled to Belgium by car on Friday with my gig traveling friends Saskia and Karin. It was great to meet so many French, Belgian and Dutch fans I haven’t met for a while. A huge thank you to everyone and especially to Saskia for being such an amazing host and making me feel so welcome. Can’t wait to see everyone soon again!
The festival opened at seven and started with a local rap performance, continued first with a punk band, then singer-songwriter style with Milow and then finally with Mika and even a dj after him. The line-up was quite strange put together and most people in the audience seemed to be there for the event, not just for one particular artist or band. The stage was very high – at least twice as high as usually – and I spent an hour walking around and trying to choose the the best spot in the audience. The best view was obviously from the middle of the square but I had my camera with me so eventually decided to stay front and take a few pics even I couldn’t see the whole stage from there.
I felt tired so I focused on every artist on stage (it’s always the best way stay awake) and was puzzled how different they all were compared to each other. The rap band was arrogant and had their twenty best friends on stage with them like rap artists always do. They were also quite rude throwing bottles to the audience so I didn’t like the vibe and neither did the majority of the audience but they had their own fans dancing in the middle of the field. The punk band was awesome, very positive and friendly and the audience generally liked them. Milow is actually a good artist and I had looked forward seeing him live but would have preferred seeing him on stage earlier and felt already a bit sleepy during his performance. Then it was finally time for Mika and I was happy to see him and suddenly felt totally awake and energetic.
Every artist/band had the same amount of time for their performance meaning Mika did his short festival set and was just one of the acts instead of a proper headliner even he was the last one to perform (at least before the dj part). He didn’t start as sharply as he did in Ostrava and the audience warmed up slowly so the performance felt a bit too short even it got better during every song like it always does. I had a feeling he didn’t even try to go for the best possible impact and was aiming just for a good, standard festival performance which he successfully did.
He didn’t do many songs from the new album, there was not enough time for that. I know many fans were disappointed because of that but I hadn’t expected many new songs in an event like this and was actually very pleased with the show and just enjoyed and danced and focused on the two things I always focus on during every Mika show.
I always do my best to forget everything around me and concentrate on and listen to very carefully the most important songs. No matter where I am and what the circumstances are – a concert hall, an intimate club, a muddy festival field – to see Mika live and close in front me singing songs like Happy Ending, Underwater or Last Party is a huge privilege. Being able to be there makes me a privileged, lucky person and would be ungrateful from me not to concentrate on and fully enjoy every second. It’s actually very easy, I just focus on the moment and always love it and this gig wasn’t an exception.
Also, I always look for something that is special for that particular show. Something to remember later and something that separates the show from every other show I’ve seen. It took me practically three days to travel abroad to see this a bit more than one hour show and traveling from my country is always expensive. Would be waste of my time and money not to make every trip memorable and not to find something unique from every gig to remember afterwards.
This time it was definitely Staring At The Sun. I saw the new beautiful video earlier that day and loved it how they had managed to catch the same atmosphere (with lights) in the live performance and really enjoyed the song. It was definitely Happy Ending and Mika’s face when he realized the audience just kept singing the song. And it was definitely Love Today in the end when the band was finally playing the mad look in their eyes and the audience was finally jumping crazy and the confetti rain ended everything too soon but still as well as possible. Those carefree seconds of simple, childlike happiness. If I could stop time for a while I would have done it during that confetti rain.