I saw the last gig of the European tour in Cernobbio near Como on Tuesday and it gave me all kind of surreal, mixed feelings I can’t recall experiencing before. I felt a bit emotional already before the show. I was over-tired and felt myself lonely because even I love traveling in Italy, love Italian gigs and know many lovely people there (*waves to everyone*) I’m still inevitably a foreigner and can’t speak the language and for that reason often outside the information and discussions. Experiencing a gig in Italy means also experiencing the whole Italy in a smaller scale and it’s different and far away from what I’m used to at home.
Villa Erba is a beautiful venue. The situation at the gates was moderately calm which I knew to expect as the security told us they were the same group as in Milan (Fabrique) a year ago where everything worked perfectly. It’s not rocket science. These were ordinary looking guys, putting a few barriers and just standing there expecting people to be in order. It’s the attitude and behaving like professionals what makes the difference. If the security tells they couldn’t care less of course people will create a chaos.
The gig itself was as good quality as the whole tour before it. This was my favorite summer tour so far, a lot of effort was done for every show. I could see it and I appreciated it and always felt lucky to be there. There was spontaneity that comes from being in front of a live audience but everything behind it was well-thought and not random at all. The schedule was tight and tiredness obviously there but we couldn’t much hear it, not even in Cernobbio. We saw and heard a stunning performance every single night.
The setlist was a bit different again and we got two surprise songs, Step With Me and Blame It On The Girls, neither of them my biggest personal favorites but rare and I loved hearing them both. The atmosphere on stage was wild and the last gig of the tour seemed to give a reason to do some crazy things that hadn’t fit in other shows. During Talk About You Mika fluently changed to Sara Perche Ti Amo and then laughed so hard to the audience’s reaction. Max climbed on the piano and was given a microphone so he could sing there like it was something he had always wanted to do. The whole piano was opened for confetti so it could fill the stage and in the end of the show even Tristan was playing guitar standing on the drums.
The show seemed to be in every way a little bit extra cheerful but I still felt incredibly sad. This has been the longest touring period without breaks so far. I’ve invested a lot of time and love (and money but that’s the least meaningful of these three) and everything has become important and familiar and a big part of my life and given some kind of sense of belonging (not to even mention the excitement the traveling and concerts can give) and suddenly – almost without a warning – it’s over. I knew this tour will end but I didn’t prepare myself how final it feels and didn’t want to even think about it until I had to in Cernobbio.
Then I couldn’t postpone it anymore and at the beginning of Relax realized that I won’t hear it anymore and the sadness just came and I cried and felt a bit more miserable song after song. I’ve never thought these lyrics are so sad. When will I see you again. There’s no love no glory no happy ending. And sadness is such a personal feeling. It doesn’t go away or can’t be put aside just because someone else feels differently or has better reasons for their own sadness.
So I felt very emotional and wanted to carefully listen to Relax and the exact moment people behind me decided to negotiate with the security about another fan action and started to move giant cardboard figures over the front row and it felt wrong and disturbing. Too many and too complicated fan actions for one show, imo. I know people love planning them and I’m happy to take part most of the times but would prefer them as simple as possible and only one (or max. two) every show. I loved yellow stars and they would have been enough for this show. Expecting me to hold a flashing poster during Happy Ending or covering the whole audience using a fabric without a warning or without explaining it in advance is just too much.
The simpler the fan action the better it works. The rest of the audience behind us is there to focus on the show, not on any extra activities, and can’t or don’t want to participate if the action is too complicated. Also, a simple idea gives more wow effect when it really works like it did in Carcassonne with white and red papers or in Korea with beautiful blue paper planes. The timing should be carefully thought like in Cattolica last year when people had prepared different kind of water toys for Talk About You which fitted together with the mood of the song and even stage decorations and were suitable for Mika to play with while singing.
After the show it was time for a short after party the fan club had organized for 100 people and I didn’t have high expectations – simply because 100 people is a big crowd – but the moment turned out to be really touching and I want to thank you everyone who made it happen. I didn’t talk with Mika or probably even fit in the group pic but was happy just to be there and hear his long speech he did thanking his fans, including us and sharing his new plans. It was lovely because most of the time I feel everything I do is just for myself. And it should be enough (of course!) but felt still good he made it sound like it has meaning for him as well. He was very tired and left quickly but the band was still there and we could say good bye to also them which was a nice ending for the night and the whole tour.
Thank you everyone I met in Italy. I have still a few reports to write and many pics to share and will do that as soon as I can. Below my only video from Cernobbio (sorry that I can’t share more, my camera memory card was unfortunately full). xxx