For me the first two gigs of the last part of the Italian tour were very different compared to each other so I decided to include them both in the same post. So lovely to be back in Italy and meet people I haven’t seen for a while. My Italian and French Mika friends, the Korean girls, Stefania (Italian but living in Denmark), Andreja, Isa and Ani of course, even Kanni and her husband from Germany (such a surprise to suddenly meet them in Trieste, I didn’t know they were coming).
Waiting for the gig in Trieste at Piazza Unità d’Italia was pretty much as perfect as it can be. The place was stunning. The venue was a square open to the sea and otherwise surrounded by beautiful historical buildings. My hotel was next to the stage and not sure I’ve ever stayed that close to the venue before. I could literally watch the stage while eating my breakfast or lunch at the restaurant downstairs. There were several cafes around the square and after hearing Trieste is one of best places in Italy to have a coffee I couldn’t wait to try them all. Everyone I met was extremely kind and it was so lovely to spend time together.
We had a relaxed day around the venue and later afternoon the venue security put up the barriers and asked people to organize a queue. They actually asked us to make a numbered line and even made sure that fans with small numbers were let in first. I can’t even start to describe how rare that is these days. Everyone was astonished! The peace and order was a bliss!
I got a great spot in front and the gig started with a very sweet children’s choir and orchestra. The kids had white gloves for their heartwarming sign language performance. Then it was a turn for the Xylaroo girls and their wonderful performance and I felt a bit sad (because this was their last one and I really like them) and suddenly also tired. It’s been a busy summer. That might be one of the reasons why the gig didn’t turn out exactly like I had expected and hoped.
It wasn’t one of my best gig experiences. There was nothing wrong in Mika’s performance, he did well. It seemed a bit like working and the energy was lower than on average but that is natural as he must be tired for real even he smiles and still manages to make also high energy performances however that happens. It was more about everything around the performance, many things were either too little or too much.
The lights felt a bit too bright, maybe because the stage was so extremely high. The sound was way too loud but again, the venue was a huge open space and I wasn’t thinking when taking my spot next to speakers (so I can blame only myself). The teenage majority in the audience was hysterical and I was surrounded by a crowd that screamed and pushed and it was all really uncomfortable. There were some extraordinary moments in the singing but I simply couldn’t hear or enjoy them properly and I wasn’t pleased because rare things in the world annoy me as much as something coming between me and my concert experience and disturbing me when I try to listen to Mika.
The setlist was good and he added Kick Ass as a surprise song. It was somehow too loud to properly enjoy (at least where I was) but the little ending part without too much background was absolutely stunning and along with the Happy Ending a cappella my favorite part of the show. Loved it when the audience were silent for those short moments! Mika seemed to enjoy the screaming audience, maybe it gave him energy and I tried to be happy for him but didn’t have a proper success in it. Loved it how he showed respect to the children’s choir putting white gloves and making a heart with his fingers!
When the show was over we went to say good bye to the Xylaroo girls and had fun and got a bit drunk instead of sleeping and I got a killer headache which wasn’t ideal for traveling 10 hours in trains with several delays (so much fun though, thanks everyone!). I arrived Chieti late afternoon and met Francesca who was extremely kind meeting me at the station, taking me to my hotel, showing me the venue and helping me to find food. Really can’t thank her enough!
I had a quiet night and next day it was time for the second gig at Arena La Civitella. I didn’t know what to expect. Chieti is small and pretty and the hill where the venue was located offered a beautiful view. The day was extremely hot and waiting for the gig was harder than it usually is. The majority of the people was well organized and followed rules but then there were those three obligatory persons who just have to create a chaos whatever it takes (arguing, complaining, refusing to move or make a line).
The security did absolutely nothing, eventually the crowd pushed and pushed and people were crying because it was dangerous for real and we had to use a lot of strength to keep our space in the middle of it. Several policemen were asked to hold the crowd, there was no order at all and eventually everyone run in a panic wherever they could find a place. I took the first free spot and it happened to be a very good one and I could see really well.
The stage was much lower than night before and suddenly – after the burning sun and pushy crowd – everything was peaceful and perfect and the show could start. The stage looked right and the sound was exactly right and I could hear Mika and his singing well and there was nothing disturbing it. The whole performance looked totally effortless and he seemed to have all the energy in the world (the change was quite remarkable) and the setlist was very generous with the Italian favorites, Good Wife, Boum Boum Boum, Kick Ass (again) and even Promiseland. Extremely good setlist indeed. Now in love with Beautiful Disaster and dreaming about hearing an acoustic version of it some day.
The band was on fire, Max being funny and Tristan playing Love Today standing like a tree looking confident and keeping his center of mass low like all real guitarists do (you know what I mean) and they were both so entertaining, loved watching them. Mika was talking, talking and talking and mentioned several times that the tour is ending (I ignored it because I can’t understand italian and I’m in denial anyway). He asked a few people on stage during Underwater and the little boy was super cute! My Korean friend was there and I know she is shy so I loved it how sensitive Mika was with her not giving her too much pressure (so she could enjoy her little moment) and it just melted my heart. He can be such a good pop star.
Everything looked fantastic and the whole crew seemed to outdo themselves, such a change compared to Trieste. Not saying they didn’t do well there. The circumstances were simply very different. In Trieste it was more like pleasing the whole town so maybe there wasn’t a possibility to focus on every detail. Mika came and took over the whole centre of Trieste and everyone who possibly could came to see him (a lot people without tickets around the square and even people in their boats). I was all about quantity.
In Chieti it was more about details and quality and it was wonderful. He did little changes in many songs – I always love that – and several times used his voice a bit differently than he usually does and once or twice I even spontaneously said “wow” aloud just for myself and that’s quite impressive because I’ve seen many wow moments during the past few years.
Last Party was absolutely stunning but in the end he left out ”it was the best time we ever had” which always bothers me a lot and leaves me sad because it implies something is wrong and that saying it would be lying. I want him to think it was the best time but it was not…? He is an ambitious artist and the whole summer I’ve had a feeling he wants to top himself concert after concert and gives more and more and I wish I could tell him he is good enough already. No matter how the day ends up it’s good enough. It’s important for an artist to evolve but in this moment (and in every moment) he is everything he needs to be. People are always impressed by him, even when he is not trying to do it.
Rome tonight and it will be different (seated, more formal) and probably important for him (maybe with friends, family and important people). I have really enjoyed this Italian adventure and taken a lot of pics of fans and places and will make a separate post for them and also post more gig pics and vids both from Trieste and Chieti.