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.

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I chose the photo above because it reminds me how fantastic the stage and the whole setting looks. The whole summer tour has been even better than I ever expected and I feel so much love and only want to express how wonderful everything both sounds and looks.

Despite of the busy tour schedule Mika’s voice is in a very good condition. He sounds beautiful and gives no signs of tiredness at all. The sound works really well at the moment, we have seen some amazing venues and I could write a whole post just to describe the heaven stage which has been evolving a lot since the original Heaven Tour, with a few big elements it looks colorful yet simple enough.

Summer tours like this are not for everyone. July is hot and queuing in the burning sun is not easy at all. Schedules are busy and crowds big and at some events it’s necessary to stand hours or the whole day watching other artists while waiting for Mika. For me it’s still all a part of my usual summer program and I love it and have really enjoyed this tour first in Italy and then in France.

Italy is my favorite summer holiday area and visiting places like Molfetta, Palermo, Perugia and Padova and spending time with my Mika friends at events like Perugia Jazz Festival was definitely the best possible way to start my holidays. I generally love gigs in France. Mika is close with the country, the atmosphere is always special and it gives me a warm feeling to meet the local fans. I know well and admire their loyalty and group spirit and connect them to many of my concert memories since the early days. It was so wonderful to see all the familiar faces in La Rochelle, Nimes, Carcassonne and Sollies Pont!

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The festival in Sollies Pont started with a supporting act with a very peculiar, almost painful style which is typical for France but not my cup of tea at all. I loved it how beautiful the chateau behind the stage looked before setting up the backgrounds and took a photo of the pink color that reminded me of the color of The Grand Hotel Budapest. So pretty!

Mika started with No Place In Heaven which one of my favorites on the album, makes me happy to have it back on the setlist again. It’s not for the biggest festival crowds because people need to focus for it but worked still fine in Sollies Pont. It’s one of the best Mika songs and I know that people who properly know his music love the song. I adore this simple version!!!! See a video below.

I don’t know who takes care of the lights but the stage looks fabulous. I don’t have many good pics of the full stage but it does look amazing and I tried to film a couple of videos to show it. I love it how dreamy the lights looks in the beginning of Good Guys making the atmosphere more gentle. During the best parts of Happy Ending the whole stage is glowing in different shades and the Heaven sign sparkles like pointing out this is it. This is heaven. It looks magical. There are so many details like a short rainbow glimpse also in Billy Brown and I pay a lot of attention to them while watching the show.

I loved the special ending in Relax (below), so beautiful! Maybe only a coincidence but the blue, white and red scene looked suitable. I don’t speak French but I could recognize parts of the speech Mika did already in Nimes. Happy Ending was absolutely breath-taking. It’s not as emotional or touching as Relax or Last Party but it’s kind of his signature and definitely impressive every single time and makes me always think of how extremely lucky I am to hear it live (also vid below). I wish I had a video of Last Party to show the foggy lights but it’s my most important moment of the show and I have a rule not to disturb it by holding or focusing on my camera. Boum Boum Boum was so funny, make sure to watch the whole clip.

This was the last concert of the tour in France and I was aware Mika mentioned it several times but tried to ignore the thought. I can’t handle endings, they make me too sad. I’ve been traveling the past 18 months. I perfectly know how lucky I am being able to do this and I’m grateful for every single concert I’ve seen so far. Also, I know Mika needs a break to do new music and I know both my resources and my family’s patience are limited so a break is not a bad idea and I’m even kind of looking forward to it. Still, it’s always hard to know that something is ending and that I can’t be sure what will happen in the future… Makes me cry a little but just thinking of it.

My husband and I had a long drive after the show and he would have preferred to leave immediately but was kind and waited so I could say good bye to everyone. In the car I fell asleep but he woke me up to see three foxes walking on the side of the road. They all looked cute, young and a bit silly. Traveling to Finland tomorrow and then back to Italy for a few more gigs. Some pictures below.

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The French part of the summer festival tour is over and I’m still excited about it and have a lot to say but will describe the Carcassone gig only shortly in this quick update and leave the rest of the thoughts to write a longer report about Festival de Chateaou as is was the last one.

The gig in Carcassonne was seated and happened in a medieval village so it was special just as a setting and I was naturally looking forward it. The venue was even smaller than I had dared to hope for. My numbered ticket was on the right side of the long first row. It was very side so I took a moment to decide if I want to sit there or use a seat next to my husband quite middle in the audience where I could see the whole stage. I decided to go front and was really happy about my decision later.

The stage was a half circle so I could see much better than I had thought. My angle was a bit different than usually (I could see also a part of the audience) and I had no one sitting in front of me. The night was simply lovely and I enjoyed every moment! The venue wasn’t spectacular like the arena in Nimes and the energy level was clearly lower but the atmosphere was still good and the audience enthusiastic for sure so the over all vibe was joyful and positive during the whole night. Mika sounded beautiful and I could hear the sound well. The show started with No Place In Heaven which is now one of my very favorite songs (loved how simple it was!).

The French fans had prepared a fan action with white and red papers and I was eagerly waiting with them if the audience will participate or not. In the end of the first song everyone in the audience hold the papers and the result was exactly as planned and the crowd made a white flag with a red heart and a white letter M inside the heart. Mika started Big Girl without even looking the audience but the papers stayed up and suddenly he saw the pattern and smiled and obviously loved the surprise! The best result comes always from simple ideas. Well done from the fans involved. Eventually the audience danced the whole Big Girl holding their papers.

The set list was different compared to Nimes and I very much appreciated that and enjoyed hearing My Intepretation, Blue Eyes and Origin all after a little break. During Boum Boum Boum Mika asked three girls to join him on stage and during Underwater he had a special little girl as a guest. His fans know to expect small additions like this but the most of the audience doesn’t and people seem always surprised and impressed seeing people from the audience involved.

I was next to Melyssa and as Carcassone was her last gig of the tour she had a little poster saying “thank you” that she showed to Mika. He noticed the poster and smiled and during Underwater stopped in front of us for a moment and suddenly everything became absolutely magical and so intimate and special despite of the big crowd. Rare things in the world are as amazing as Mika suddenly singing Underwater (or any song for that matter) directly in front of you. I was lucky only because I happened to stand next to Melyssa and her poster but still loved this special turn and will remember this show for it.

Our location was very lucky with confetti as well… So much confetti rain! We jumped – well almost swam – in the confetti! I love the last colorful photo even it’s taken from a side and you can’t even see Mika. I had a lovely time in Carcassonne. Thanks everyone I met and thanks to the girls for organizing such a successful fan action! xx

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It’s hard to describe the special atmosphere in Nimes the other night. The timing was delicate. I knew in advance some fans were afraid to come to see the concert after horrible, violent things had happened in Nice so near to their homes just day before and it must have been a challenge for Mika as well to be sensitive, serious and compassionate in the tragic situation and at the same time do an energetic, cheerful show (because it was still his job and because music and joy were exactly what people needed that moment).

The venue security told us during the day that many other events in Nimes were cancelled so all the police forces could be focused around the festival. We couldn’t see armed forces (like in Paris after the hits) so it wasn’t scary that way but seeing security standing high on the top of the arena like statues against the sky made us understand how serious this all is. It might have been their usual practice but I’m sure everyone at the venue was aware their presence was needed also for other reasons than preventing kids to climb on the top.

The audience was united since the first moments. People joined the Mexican wave again and again and once a random guy in the audience started clapping and showing dance movements the whole audience followed him which was extremely funny and anticipated a great show. So different compared to the restless, disoriented audience in La Rochelle, I couldn’t wait the show to start.

Mika opened differently than he usually does coming on stage alone and giving a small speech and asking people to join a moment of silence to show respect for the victims. I couldn’t understand his words but I could understand his tone and people’s reactions and it all seemed right, appropriate and correctly done. People were respectful, a few kept their mobiles up but at least the most of the audience understood to be quiet, the moment was very serious and some fans near me were crying. After that it was time for music and No Place In Heaven was definitely the best possible and gentle enough choice to start with.

And it was absolutely perfectly done. I’ve waited for a long time to hear No Place In Heaven in the way I have had in my mind and this was it. I uploaded a video below and it doesn’t do justice the touching beautiful vibe but I’m still happy I have it to watch and remember later.

The whole gig was as close to my personal heaven as a concert can be. The setlist was basic, he didn’t add much extra and even skipped Good Wife and Last Party (which I both find established songs on the setlist). However, everything that was done was done in a stunning way. Concerts like this are the rare things in the world that give me pure happiness and only that. His voice was absolutely beautiful. The sound was extremely pleasant, very clear and not too loud. This was my first time at Arenes des Nimes and I was amazed by the venue, the acoustics was wonderful. I visited the arena day before to take photos and saw the view is great from every seat (of course to see from close distance you needed to be in the standing area).

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The audience was so ready for Mika that the mutual energy was there since the beginning. No photographers to disturb the gig this time. Just Mika and the audience. The band was on the background, he was totally the star. It was like no one else was on stage and it’s not just me saying or thinking like this, that was also the first comment from my husband who had a seat opposite of the stage at the back of the venue. You couldn’t see anyone or anything else except Mika, he took all the attention with his energy and singing. He did the usual set list Boum Boum Boum included (see it below). EMD was done in the middle of the audience which was not as effective as usually because it took a half of the song to locate him but offered a great moment for people further away and was impressive just as a gesture (again a comment from my husband).

Happy Ending was magical and for me the highlight of the whole concert. It’s such an honor to see Mika singing Happy Ending at the venue like that, don’t know how anyone could ask anything more. I often think he shouldn’t do the a cappella ending every time. It’s much more impressive done in special, intimate situations to make them even more special. However, with that wonderful acoustics the Arenes des Nimes was definitely the right place to do it. My husband gave a special mention to Staring At The Sun, not because of the balloons but the song. I’m quite surprised about that, I never thought it’s that much for his manly taste (but I do like the live version as well). And not sure if many fans agree with me but I’m somehow happy to have Billy Brown back. It’s something safe and familiar and goes well with big audiences.

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A lot of special attention and love was given to French fans and France and it was heartwarming and both well deserved and needed at these difficult times. He took a lot of contact with the audience in general and during Rain looked at me and imitated my hand moves and I could suddenly remember how charming he can be when he does that. He is so incredibly charming. I do realize he it, should be brain-dead not to. The special French ending was absolutely lovely (again, see the vid below). No Last Party after that. My mind said that was the right decision for the evening but my body and senses were so prepared for the song that I felt momentarily a bit disappointed. Then the usual final party with Love Today and confetti rain. Such special atmosphere during the whole night. The hearts Mika and the band gave to the audience before leaving were truly deserved.

I had a ticket to Barolo but decided to spend the day in France with my family gathering energy for two more French festivals and thought I would be miserable to miss the gig. Actually this time I was happy to stay in the Nimes vibes one more day. As a fan I can do it. For Mika it’s always moving to the next one and the old memories are mixed with new ones. Do you think he can remember the best moments (whatever they are for him) later? Just wondering. It was lovely to see everyone in Nimes. Soon again. xxx

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