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I’ve met a lot of Mika fans around the world and they are always easy to like, generally lovely people. Mika’s style attracts certain type of people. His fans are open-minded and creative and usually follow his kind and polite example. His little fan community in China must be the sweetest I’ve seen and been honored to meet.

The venue in Shanghai was practically full both nights but a half of the audience was French and to be honest not sure if they were mostly guests or if the whole French community in Shanghai was simply dying to see him because of his popularity in France.

The real Chinese fan base is smallish but extremely dedicated. They are proud to be Mika fans and do all they can to help him to be more widely known in China (which they know is not easy for a foreign artist). I was told that most people in bigger cities know songs like Happy Ending or Lollipop. The problem is people don’t know who the singer is.

For that reason it’s hugely important to spread the word from person to person and to share information in Chinese on the local forum easily accessible to local people. This is where the local fans can and want to help and Erda (the one with painted face) is co-operating with the promoters, spreading flyers at his university and administrating the local forum.

Despite of his young age (he must be 19 or 20) Erda is a natural born leader. Even his given name Sardar means “a leader” and he takes his role very seriously. He is the one who kept people calm when the over-booked show in Peking had to be divided into two parts and he is the one taking care everyone feels good and is included in activities. He goes through the concert etiquette before the show and explains it to people and coordinates fan actions giving out little lights and bracelets.

The local group includes a Hong Kong based fan Jeremi who is in a regular contact with Emi who lives in Italy and in turn shares news from China to the rest of the world. There’s Daisy who studies international politics at the university in Shanghai and speaks excellent English and together with Jeremi helped me with all the possible issues I had as a foreigner (thank you, girls!).

There’s stylish Gene (the one with a hat and scarf), beautiful smiling Felix who comes from Mongolia and shy Chenchen who works as a photographer and took amazing photos of Mika both nights (I got one of them printed as a memory and will put it above my desk to remind me of my trip). There’s colorful Phoebe (with her I  haters hat) from Peking and young artistic girl in her tiger suit and many others who’s name I’m not mentioning because not totally sure how to spell them.

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I spent both gig days with the local fans. My husband had already attended two shows in Hong Kong and Shenzhen and asked if I mind if he comes to these Shanghai shows very last minute and stays at the back of venue because he felt like going to gym and walking around and I said of course I’m totally fine with that. For me it was enough he traveled with me and saw all these shows and I wanted him to have relaxed days doing what he personally enjoys.

Not sure when was the last time I laughed as much as I did while waiting for Mika shows with these young Chinese people. Erda has a flexible skin (it’s like his super power) and he joked and entertained people and I laughed tears in my eyes. The local fans were playing card and wolfman (werewolf) and I was politely invited to take part in all the games but felt jet lagged and preferred watching. I had little chats and conversations with people and learned a lot about China and its culture and language. Some fans were a bit shy to speak English at first but actually spoke it very well.

I learnt that in China it’s not polite to say things directly, people give you hints instead. I tried really hard to understand every possible hint and genuinely want to apologize if someone tried to give one and I simply couldn’t catch it. Lol! In Finland we use the direct approach. It’s not okay to be rude but on the other hand we are also not used to empty politeness which is very typical for many English speaking countries. Why to say so many polite things if you don’t mean them for real? In China nothing is said directly, there are indirect expressions people hope you to understand. Such an interesting cultural issue and I loved learning about it.

People told how they had discovered Mika’s music and many of them had known him (and each other) for years and since Relax or Lollipop. Some newer fans had discovered him after hearing Good Guys which seemed to be an extremely personal and important song to many of them. I heard touching personal stories that made my attitude towards the song totally change. I would love to write more about this issue but say it very shortly and hope people can understand between the lines.

It’s not easy to be somehow different anywhere in the world. However, without much individual freedom (that most of us take for granted) or easy possibilities to look for support outside your own country it must be so much harder. People told me how they heard Good Guys for the first time and couldn’t understand how someone was saying those things in a song just like that and how it gave them courage to be who they are and made possible something they never even thought to be possible.

Mika and his music give us all positive energy, joy and happiness every single day. However, there are big differences in circumstances and for example mine have always been easy. And it’s not easy for everyone. I felt so touched by some of these stories that I can’t stop thinking about the issue and hope Mika is aware how meaningful his work and example is and how much beyond music it all goes.

Most Chinese fans are young adults or teenagers for very obvious reasons. Older generations are not into foreign artists because of the language barrier and the difficulties to find information from abroad. People found it weird that someone of my age is a fan and travels around the world to see concerts but they didn’t express it in a bad way. They were simply surprised that someone of my age wants to hang out and spend time with them.

Everything was so calm and organized. Even the security was smiling and excited to see what the fans had planned for the gig and kindly – and just a little bit laughing – let me use a separate toilet because I was too helpless to use a hole in the floor. How on earth you are supposed to pee in that hole and not on the floor?? Lol!

The closer the gig came the more excited everyone got. I could feel the excitement too. Not just for myself but also for everyone else and mainly for them. All the local fans were jokingly competing with each other and hoping to catch Mika’s attention. Who would be the lucky one to be on stage?

Second night it was the girl in a tiger suit and her being there and being such a success wasn’t a coincidence. She had used a lot of time to plan her suit and watched all the videos she could find of fans being on stage and actually even practiced her dancing in advance. She was lucky to get a suitable spot, was asked on stage and did her best. Mika looked impressed and for a good reason!

I’m eager to see how the promotion in China continues and hope it all goes well and know there have already been several interviews. Even Erda and Felix were interviewed by one of the main local radio stations and the boys emphasized how amazing it is for them to follow an artist this down to earth and taking this much contact with his audience. All the shows were fantastic and obviously meant to make up all the difficulties Chinese fan’s experienced during Mika’s previous China visit.

Thanks everyone I met during my Hong Kong and China trip for being so kind and for making me feel so welcome. It was difficult to say good bye. China is so far away and I never know if I can afford another trip like this but the experience was definitely worth the time and money spent. I asked permission for every photo but if anyone feels uncomfortable seeing their pictures here just please let me know and I will remove them. xxx

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“A good basic show” analyzed my husband after the first Shanghai night and I agreed with him. It was a good night. It didn’t compare with the intimate sweet gig in Hong Kong or the super energetic show in Shenzhen but was definitely good and we all enjoyed a lot. No extra/new songs and three songs were actually left out from the set list (no NPIH, UW or Promiseland). Maybe to secure the second night? I had a fantastic day with the local fans who have been so kind I have no words and know how to have fun together. More details and videos later.

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The concert in Shenzhen was such a surprise. I never knew Mika has this kind of dedicated following in China. The venue was clearly bigger than in Hong Kong but still something I call a small venue. The crowd was loud and knew all the lyrics and was singing loudly every single song.

It’s amazing to watch Mika with his Asian fans. He takes a lot of contact with people and goes close to them. During many songs he didn’t even stay on stage but went to the same level with the crowd. Touching fingers, shaking hands, giving (or receiving) hugs, pulling people on stage, pointing them, talking to them.

So different than anything I’ve seen in Europe or with his European fans. People in Asia are so excited to see him that it must be quite special for him as well. He knows they’ve waited for so long and obviously wants to make the shows unforgettable and worth waiting. And China is a huge market. It could be a big opportunity.

Took only three hours to get from our Hong Kong hotel to the venue in Shenzhen but the trip was actually quite complicated with a taxi, train, immigration point, metros and one more taxi and both my husband I realized we were lucky we got such detailed advices from our new Hong Kong friends and were so happy to meet Andy from Hong Kong and a Chinese fan Sogi (who both we met at the Vine day before) and head to the venue together.

A8 Live in Shenzhen was one the most “luxurious” venues I’ve ever been to. The lobby for the venue was a really nice cafe and the staff let us in so we could have comfortable seats and tables, coffee, food and toilets while waiting for the gig. A young Chinese girl gave everyone a little Mika pic with a queuing number and everyone respected the system and made a nice queue just before it was time to check our tickets.

We got a stamp in our hands and five (yes, five) nice ladies made politely but strictly clear that everyone takes their own place in the queue after having their tickets checked. Someone told that the ladies were volunteers but can’t know if that was true and if so, if this is a normal system or something typical for this particular venue/promoter. It still surprised me after seeing so many battles at European gigs.

The young girl giving numbers and her friends came immediately to say hi and recognized me as a ”crazy woman from Finland chasing Mika around the world”. Oh dear. Not a flattering description or something I want my traveling to look like (or how it feels to me). But the girls were thrilled and my life style can look crazy so I didn’t mind and we took some pics and the girls gave me a beautiful gig poster I’ve been wanting since first saw the announcement of these shows (absolutely love the poster, it’s going on the wall at home to remind me of the tour) and I told them how impressed I was by the queuing system (organized by the promoter I think).

The crowd was pushy and almost climbing to the stage and the venue was so hot that breathing felt difficult but I forgot all that the moment the gig started. A few random comments and observations.

– I absolutely love Porcelain in the beginning of the show. It’s one of my new favorite songs even it’s not the same ballad we can hear on the album. It starts slowly but the band makes it more powerful and it works really well. It started too loudly (again) and almost broke my ears but was quickly fixed.

– Almost immediately after the beginning the first fan was lucky to be on stage and the audience went wild just seeing it. The girl went wild too and had the time of her life.

– I love how the band plays together in other powerful songs as well. They all seem to generally enjoy playing together. Max is doing his signature dancing and posing and Tristan is more aware of himself but does still a little bit rockstar playing which is so much fun to watch.

– Wonderful lights last night. Again, not sure if this was something to do with the venue or if they paid more attention to the lights because no other stage setting. Looked exceptionally good.

– I love Staring At The Sun done close to the audience. My husband liked it as well and especially mentioned the song after the show.

– I would prefer focusing on the singing parts but the local audience seems to be very much into show elements so there’s a lot of playing included (the number of toys teenage girls have with them!). The crowd makes so much effort and Mika wants to show he appreciates it.

– My absolute favorite was Last Party once again, was totally transferred to another world and almost forgot to breath! I can remember staring at Mika so focused I probably didn’t blink during the whole song. My usual favorites: Last Party, Porcelain, Relax, Boum Boum Boum, Happy Ending, Underwater…

– I’m so impressed Mika can drum so well. I can’t explain this because he has done all kind of drumming scenes since the first show I ever saw. I still find it even more impressive than his language skills.

I took a lot of pics and a few vids but seems to be very difficult to upload them in China. This is an interesting experience on many level, makes me think. Will upload all my pics and write more when back home. Added a few above (out of focus but I liked the situations). X