The second Casa Mika season is still continuing on television but the recordings are all done and for us who liked to be in the studio and watch everything live it’s practically over. Luckily there are still two episodes to watch via streaming. I’m afraid the ratings for the show haven’t been nearly as good as last year but that’s definitely not because of the quality of the show but for other reasons like the timing and also the fact the big audience in Italy simply don’t know to value high quality as much as we all had hoped. I’ve really enjoyed this season and I collected some of my favorite details below. The past four weeks have been a project for me as well and it had a personal meaning to be there for the last recording and I really appreciated that I was able to do it and I saw some performances that will always stay in my memories.

During the last recording we saw the party confetti version of It’s My House I had hoped for all these weeks. I love confetti. It makes a mess and I feel childish to admit it but I love it. Different theme versions of It’s My House have been one of my favorite parts of the season and I find it surprising. It’s not a song I love the same way I love his best songs and it’s not the kind of song where Mika can go deep inside of the song like he can do with his most stunning songs. It’s rather like one of those songs where he needs to built something around the song to make it work (the same way like Celebrate or Talk About You) but – or maybe for that reason – it fits perfectly for television and it could fit on his concert setlist as well. I loved the show elements for the aquaworld we saw last Sunday (probably aired during the third episode) and I loved the confetti party version from Wednesday. Every detail – the stage and even his suit – was matching with the colorful theme and the idea was cool and will surely look fantastic on television.

It’s not easy to make high energy songs work on television the same way as controlled, slower songs do without impressive show elements. Hearing stunning versions of songs like Any Other World, No Place In Heaven or Happy Ending or beautiful covers either in English or Italian where Mika is fully focused on the song is the biggest reason that makes me travel to Italy time after time instead of only watching the show on television. Mika is at his best when he’s doing strong songs sitting at his piano or otherwise purely focusing on his singing. Not only because his voice sounds better that way but also because he’s reached the point where his performing side is strong and describing enough to make those songs extremely stunning.

It’s good development, it means he’s maturing as an artist. Also, a television recording means different circumstances for high energy songs compared to a concert. In the studio there’s no (the same kind of) adrenalin or energy included. During a real concert both Mika and his band can listen to the audience and respond to the current energy, they can also make small changes and let the energetic songs evolve night after night and all that can’t happen during a controlled and considered one time only performance they do for a television show.

About the audience. Most of the time studio audiences don’t know what to do. People stand up and clap in a wrong rhythm when they should either sit and focus on a very special performance or dance and party. It would have been a good idea to have a person who guides the audience and clearly tells when to sit, when to stand and how to clap like many other big productions have (like it is at the Voice, can’t remember the guy’s name but everyone who’s been at the recordings knows who I mean). It might have been worth it especially nights when most people came to see their first recording like it looked on Wednesday.

One of my favorite details during this season was the fiction part, it was well done in every way including outfits, style and designs and there seemed to be a good story to follow all the way. I loved some collaboration ideas as well. I’m not an opera person, I don’t know much about it and in the beginning I thought it would make me bored but I loved watching especially the last one we saw. I loved some guests, some others not so much. Rita Pavone and Massimo Ranieri made me smile and enjoy the show because they are the kind of old stars Mika can have fun with on stage, he doesn’t need to take care of them, they take care of themselves. The level of guests varies and I understand it very well. Recordings are done in such a short time period and it must be difficult to fit everyone’s schedules together and must be a challenge to find interesting enough guests for every episode.

This year the production had chosen several a bit provocative details to show to the audience. We could see Mika taking off his clothes, we could see him in the bath tube with Fedez and we could see him giving a beautiful lady a long, long kiss. Some fans might think it was all done just to attract more viewers but it didn’t look to me Mika thought it that way. It looked to me he wanted to show he has no limits on stage. That he can do whatever it needs to be done for the show and I think he was quite brave doing it all, he’s sometimes very shy. Also, it was all genuinely quite funny. There were many funny details between music and more serious topics.

I would naturally like to see Mika in the main role all the time. On Wednesday he did several solo performances and I absolutely loved it and in the end of the session we all had the feeling he let his music talk and tell the message. He said good bye to the house and did the last song and I had tears in my eyes, partly because good byes are always sad but partly also because the performance was so incredibly beautiful. It’s not that I want Mika to be stuck in Italy doing Casa Mika for the rest of his life, there are many other options for him. He can take the concept to other countries or he can bring it on stage or he can just take some ideas and use them at gigs. I want him to make music one way or another, where ever it happens. There’s so much potential to use in numerous different ways.

After the recording the atmosphere was actually very happy. Italian fans had planned a wonderful after party and invited us all to be a part of it. It was raining but they still set a beautiful table with a white table cloth and real candles and fairy lights and beautiful glasses and serving dishes and it was all really Italian. Italian people love dressing up and making things fancy and beautiful. They had wines and pizza and even potato crisps (practically the only thing I can eat in situations like that and believe me I was hungry after not eating the whole day) and when Mika was ready with his own after recording duties the security invited us inside the Casa Mika gates and the table and everything else was brought with us and Mika came to see it and he saw the amazing house themed cakes and the fancy champagne bought him as a gift and I think he could understand the effort the girls had made because he showed a very sweet reaction. He opened one of the bottles and poured some sparkling wine to everyone and patiently cut and served the cake and was generally as kind and thoughtful as only he can be and it left a good, happy feeling to everyone. A very sweet thing from him to do.

Another Italian adventure behind, thanks everyone xxx

I haven’t posted any blogs after the past three recordings so I’m collecting a few thoughts here. I was at the studio a week ago on Sunday night after the mfc party and I really enjoyed watching the filming together with my friends but didn’t have any special thoughts to share afterwards and blogged only about the party (photo galleries here). I returned to Milan on Wednesday even I didn’t have a ticket (I still wanted to travel to keep my flights for this week, they were connected) and wasn’t lucky with overbooking. I stayed outside the studio the night because that’s the whole idea with overbooking, you might get in at any time during the recording in case there are free seats. However, no luck for me with that on Wednesday.

It was sad, to be honest, to listen to “my house is your house” outside in the cold knowing it’s just a song and that obviously that time his house wasn’t my house at all. It came to my mind maybe I shouldn’t be doing all this. Maybe I shouldn’t take risks all the time because it’s not possible to be lucky all the time (for any of us). I couldn’t wait to be back home and get some hugs from my family and also have a little rest. After a day off I went back to Milan, this time with a ticket and last night saw a beautiful, beautiful recording!

Suddenly occasional few hours outside like a few days earlier didn’t feel that bad anymore. It wasn’t the first time things don’t work out and it wasn’t the last time they don’t work out, sometimes it simply is like that. What’s important, most times everything works out like it did last night. Everything was beautiful. The whole session was absolutely beautiful from beginning to the end. As beautiful as it can be.

A few random thoughts about these recordings below.

It’s amazing to watch how confident Mika is compared to the first season. I’m sure he’s a bit stressed, the work is hectic and something unexpected is happening all the time but we can’t really much see his stress at all, he looks just very confident and relaxed and chats with the audience during breaks. He’s very focused and it’s easy to see how important it is for him to do things well, he looks determined and ambitious and that’s always attractive to watch, isn’t it. I find all that really charismatic in anyone and as you all know Mika can be charismatic just standing there. It’s impressive to watch him on stage and I’m sure the whole audience feels the same.

We haven’t seen any particularly interesting international guest this year – not as interesting as last year – but on the other hand there are some interesting collaborations and I’ve very much enjoyed seeing them. Also, I think the topics are more serious this year and that’s good development and something I had hoped for this season in advance. I’ve been surprised by the response Gregory is getting on twitter, people are really touched by this character and sharing their own experiences about depression, anxiety or other kind of darker emotions. In Finland people are naturally melancholic and for us sadness is a normal part of life and it’s natural to talk about it but I think Italians are not that direct or used to it and for them it can be easier to talk via Gregory. Maybe, not sure if that’s the explanation, in any case the idea works really well and I’m happy to watch the warm response the character is receiving. Unfortunately my Italian is not good enough to understand any monologues and I need to wait translations to properly understand everything.

Last night we saw performances with Fedez and I think that was a good thing as we had earlier already seen several older guests and this balanced the age structure (Fedez already posted about his visit so it’s not a surprise to anyone and not something to avoid mentioning). After Fedez some stunning solo performances from Mika. I felt extremely lucky to be in the studio last night and I know I will feel lucky to watch the performances again on television and also to have the clips to watch later. Everything was perfect, the voice, music, outfits, show elements. Now looking forward to the show on television on Tuesday and the last recording session on Wednesday. The season will be over before we properly realize it started xxx

Mika Fan Club is celebrating the 10th anniversary and organizing fan meetings in different countries and on Sunday the Italian crew hosted another great Italian Mika party in Milan and we gathered together before heading to the studio to follow Casa Mika recordings. What a fun party we had! A huge, huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the preparations and special thanks to Marina who – as always – was once again endlessly patient and helpful with everyone and answered all my questions and kindly made sure I had suitable food to eat at brunch. Below a group pic of the organizing team and a photo we took together with Marina (thanks to Roberto for taking the pic).

The venue/restaurant was reserved only to Mika fans and the place was absolutely wonderful, it really couldn’t have been more suitable in any way. I took a few pics so everyone can see what I mean, the place was exactly like a house! Kitchen, dining room, living room area, hobby space… So colorful and cozy and the best thing was the amazing, friendly staff taking care of us. I’m trying to visit some cafes and restaurants during my each Milan visit to learn to know the city and this was honestly my favorite place so far, I couldn’t feel a hint of the cold attitude I’ve felt in some of those otherwise so cool, trendy places I’ve visited during my trips lately. The atmosphere on Sunday was lovely and it seemed to me everyone at the party felt the same.

Ani had an idea of a big card/poster we could all make together during the meeting to give to Mika later in the evening so we all draw a little house and the result was a big poster full of different colorful houses to celebrate Mika’s new single It’s My House and of course also the beginning of the second season of Casa Mika. The idea worked very well, I think! Most of our houses looked like pre-school drawings (I know my butterfly house certainly did) but I think the result was still quite cute and we definitely had a lot of fun doing the project between eating, dancing and chatting. Maybe not art exactly but I hope it means something to Mika his fans come from many different countries to gather together and to do something as a community.

The highlight of the party was a giant cake with the MFC colors and anniversary logo and the cake looked absolutely fabulous (again, thanks to the organizing team for this amazing surprise!) and we took some group pics around it.

I tried to walk around and take photos of every table and people having fun but as people were moving and doing things in different parts of the ”house” I probably couldn’t catch everyone but still collected as many different pics I had and made a big photo gallery below. I know several fans were periscoping during the party and hope all you who couldn’t be there enjoyed watching those periscopes and felt you were with us in spirit. So good to see everyone, until next time. xxx

Back home from the third Casa Mika recording. I’m keeping my update short and try not to give any details in advance. We saw one international special guest – something different than I had expected – and would be difficult to describe the session without revealing too much. Also, we didn’t see any solo performance from Mika so I didn’t feel as excited and emotional as I did during the previous sessions even of course I enjoyed watching him with guests and appreciated the opportunity to follow the production work as much as I always do.

This time Mika was mostly in his role of the host of the evening and interviewed and entertained. He is good at that all and it was a pleasure to watch him but naturally, it didn’t give me the excitement and extreme happiness I usually get from his own music performances. He did some songs with his guests and with them he’s very much focused on them, making sure they get their share of the spotlight, trying not to draw too much attention to himself. All what we can expect from a good and generous host.

One of the songs he did on Sunday together with an Italian well-known guest was a particularly great performance and it seemed to me both the guest and the host had equally fun. The audience was very lucky and the performance had to be repeated (I think they made a mistake with their choreography) and even Mika seemed to enjoy doing everything all over again. My favorite kind of Casa Mika performance even this popular Italian song wasn’t familiar to me in advance.

In case someone thinks it looks too easy for people like me to be there and see everything I want to remind this is actually not that easy at all. Milan is far away from Helsinki and being there twice a week means spending two nights at recordings and four days and nights traveling between Helsinki and Milan leaving only two days to spend at home with my family. I can do all that only because my family is being endlessly patient with me and I try not to take it for granted. My husband takes care of everything at home while I travel and he does it because he knows how important this all is to me and how happy it makes me.

It does make me happy. It’s wonderful to see Mika on stage again and to hear him sing both alone and with guests. There’s a new tone in his voice compared to some old recordings I’ve been listening to at home during the gig break and I love hearing it. I don’t think things can stay exactly the same all the time and thinking of time passing by makes me aware of how precious everything is. When this moment is gone it will never come back. We need to enjoy everything as much as possible.

For many fans things happening purely in Italy seem like minor events on Mika’s career but a show of his own in general, especially a show of his own this big is a huge possibility and would be an amazing opportunity for any artist. It means also huge pressure. There’s a massive production and people who write and people who design and people who take care of every technical detail but it’s Mika’s name written on the wall with giant letters full of flowers and it’s him on stage in different glittery suits practically the whole two hours. It’s even his responsibility to make everyone else look good and whatever the result it will reflect back on him and the channel investing in him.

Italian television audience is not like us fans, it’s demanding in a different way. Luckily the studio is full of people who already love him and everyone’s attention is on him during the whole recording session and I’m happy it’s like that. I want him to feel the instant response from the audience so he can remember how it feels and how important his music is to people in case he has forgotten it.

The cutest thing actually happened after the third recording when I heard Mika talking about the special guest he had that night using words a child would use and being very serious in his excitement. I think he just used words he had in mind. In the middle of those crazy busy schedules and hard work and after being such a professional television host the whole evening he genuinely talked like an excited kid. I thought it was adorable. He’s very special that way. I often think there’s a part in him that’s not totally grown up, sometimes he makes me think of my 6 year old nephew. I’m happy to know the television world has not yet ruined him and hope it never will.

At the moment this show is as close to Mika making music as we can get and I’m looking forward to seeing many memorable performances before the season is over. I will be back in Milan on Saturday. There’s an MFC party on Sunday morning and I’m planning to take a lot of pics and will post them after the event. Can’t wait to meet everyone xxx

In the pic above is only a cardboard version of Mika but I thought it was funny they brought it outside next to the Casa Mika car so the audience could take selfies with it before going in. It’s not allowed to take any photos inside the studio so no pics of the setting to share but I wanted to write a small update in any case, otherwise seems impossible to keep my notes in time order.

I know my emotional response to the first recording (part 1 here) seemed silly but actually many people told me afterwards they felt exactly the same way and that it was lovely to tears to hear Mika’s voice and to watch him preparing his performances and to see only him on stage after such a long break in gigs lately. On Sunday during the first filming there were no tight schedules with guests and the atmosphere was warm and cosy, Mika was very casual with the audience and chatted and shared his slightly nervous feelings with people which added the emotional vibe.

On Wednesday the production went through the whole first episode and filmed all performances with guests. Mika was chatting as casually as he did on Sunday but he had to also stay extremely sharp because the schedule was long and full of different components: music performances, interviews, monologues, small fiction parts and other details like clips filmed in advance and showed on the screen. The whole session was really interesting to watch and follow on many levels, not just Mika’s part and the guests but everything what was happening in the studio. The production group is big and I could recognize many faces from the last season.

I was seated a barrier located directly in front of my face and the lady from production responsible of the audience kindly offered us a couple of places with no barriers and further away (she saw them after everyone had arrived) but as soon as I stood up my view was stunning so I preferred to stay at my barrier seat and had really a brilliant view during the parts where the audience could stand or dance and saw actually very well between the barriers everything else as well and I told the lady after the session how perfect it all was. The production for a show this big is like a huge machine and I feel we fans are extremely lucky to have our opportunities to watch everything this closely and I hope people working for the audience know how grateful we are.

I’m trying not to give any spoilers about the upcoming episodes but as Rai has already announced some of the guests it doesn’t matter I mention them here too. Most songs would be better performed by Mika alone (my honest opinion), I’ve never been keen to hear duets for that particular reason. However, of course the whole idea of the show is Mika opening his house and welcoming people into his world so letting his guest to take their time and space is quite essential to the concept no matter how much we all would prefer listening only to him.

And I do love watching him with people and I admire his sensitivity and ability to face people as persons and everyone as they are and have always thought what a complex person he must be on the other hand giving such a private impression and on the other hand being so patient and generous with his attention to people around him. He’s got a lot of practice in that and he’s very professional but I still find it astonishing to watch every single time.

The most interesting guests are always those who impress Mika as much as they impress the audience and I love watching his gestures and how much he seems to respect people’s experience and long careers they’ve built. On Wednesday my favorite guest was singer Rita Pavone who had an incredible energy and who totally rocked the whole studio. She and Mika did a performance together and people in the audience had a blast dancing and partying.

Because the show is Italian I’m naturally not always familiar in advance with the guests and think they’ve been selected partly because of timing like always with different television shows – there are always singers and actors willing to promote their latest projects – and whether I like these guests or not usually depends on their performance that night. International guests are artists suitably visiting Italy or people Mika somehow personally knows and this time we saw Dita von Teese who’s performance I didn’t know to look forward to in advance but which I eventually found very impressive.

Her figure looks absolutely stunning, I must say. I was wondering how it even can be that stunning but as she told herself, she was born a blond-haired Midwest girl and has probably worked hard both for the character/role and the figure. I would have loved to hear her talking longer to learn to know how she is as a person but at least we heard a small interview between her burlesque performances. I’ve always thought burlesque means a certain style and certain type of show elements but I guess the main point is still to take clothes off. Anyway, I found her performances exciting and her as a guest very interesting. Also, her part in the show was entertaining many ways and I’m sure people will love it.

I really love the small time traveling idea located between guests as it seems to give rhythm to the show and connects the studio space and beforehand recorded clips together and it works well and I can follow it (and also the taxi parts familiar from the last year) quite well despite of my weak language skills. However, Luciana Littizzetto who joins Mika several times during the episodes speaks incredibly fast and understanding her with my practically non-existing Italian is impossible and from my point of view those parts feel long but the Italian audience seems to think she’s very funny.

The highlight for the season start is the performance for It’s My House, an obvious choice for the first episode. It’s My House was filmed again on Wednesday and the performance was full of energy and show elements and seeing it now twice is not enough for me and would love to see it again and again and hope Mika will do it at least one more time maybe in the end of the season with lots and lots of confetti. Also, I loved the old-fashioned Italian song we heard both on Sunday and Wednesday, his voice sounds extreme pleasant in a song that style and I could have listened to it for hours.

One of the performances Mika did on Sunday was so stunning they didn’t film it again on Wednesday at all but we saw the recording on the screen and it was as breathtaking as I could remember it being. The second recording ended around 2 am. Even all the performances gave me a lot of energy I was still very sleepy in the end of the session and could only imagine how exhausted Mika must have felt after focusing so hard for so many hours without any breaks but I hope the joy and pride of having his own show we could see on his face and even in his moves and gestures made him forget the tiredness.

I met some new and many familiar faces on Wednesday and had a lovely time, thanks everyone xxx

Recordings for the second Casa Mika season started on Sunday and I travelled to Milan on Saturday to have a possibility to spend a few hours both days learning to know Milan before going to the studio on Sunday night. I’ve visited the city many times for gigs and different events and recordings and even spent there time with my family but never really learnt to like the place. I’m sure there are many hidden treasures for those who know Milan well but for an average traveller it’s a distant place. I’ve always thought it’s expensive and a bit too fancy for my taste and I didn’t feel any different this time either. I’ve travelled in Italy a lot and seen many places much more suitable for me than Milan is.

I visited a couple of cafes I had seen mentioned in articles and a bookstore I had hoped to see for a long time but mostly just enjoyed walking around. The weather was beautiful both days, almost like in summer even it’s October, and loved being in the sun and watching dogs, saw many of them. An elderly very elegant gentleman dressed in a carefully chosen suit walked his likewise elegant elderly dog and I couldn’t stop admiring this amazingly stylish couple. I randomly discovered a small bakery near my hotel and it looked like a small family business with mother and daughter and grandmother and I visited the place twice and bought coffee and gluten-free little biscuits and almost felt I have a nice new routine and I like having small routines like that when I travel abroad.

I couldn’t wait to see the first recording but also knew that this time it would be quite short and that Mika would even leave the studio to go to another one in a different building to perform his new song and I had prepared myself to a possibility we wouldn’t hear him singing at all not to be too disappointed if that really happens. As soon as he came on stage he confirmed to the audience he needs to do another recording in the middle of our session but also explained he would sing both before and after that and that while he’s gone the girls would film their part and we could watch that.

Knowing we could finally hear his singing made me incredibly happy and was so unexpected that I actually started to cry the moment he started to sing. That was weirdly emotional even from me and quite embarrassing and Ani gave me a surprised ”woman are you serious” look but I really couldn’t help it, I felt overwhelmingly happy. My eyes became horribly red of course. You know all pretty young girls who get teary eyes and become even more beautiful than they already are like real life princesses? I cry and I become one of those new species scientists have been discovering from the bottom of the oceans. No one even knew those creatures exist and now there’s a possibility I was filmed for Italian television looking like one and I don’t even care. I was so happy Mika is singing again and thought I now have everything I can possibly hope for.

He did a couple of songs and the version of one his most impressive live songs was absolutely beautiful and the audience went wild and people were standing and clapping and screaming and making noise with their shoes – obviously I wasn’t the only one who had missed his singing – and he looked a bit touched of this spontaneous reaction and after seeing that I cried even more of course.

Then there was a break while Mika did his performance in the studio next door and to be honest it wasn’t as disappointing as I had thought in advance at all because his family took over the stage and we could watch the girls and I love watching them. Those dogs are adorable! I can’t tell how long it took and suddenly Mika was back and promised to sing us a couple of more songs and we watched some clips and filmed some introductions for Rai 2 to be broadcasted in the near future.

Everyone was super excited to hear the new song and the performance was really good and energetic and I was once again surprised how different a song becomes when it’s performed live. I had heard a clip and thought My House is extremely catchy and perfect to use as a tune for his show but maybe not as suitable to play at gigs as his other songs but he did it in front of us and it was just like any other energetic song he performs regularly and will surely work well also outside the television show (and it has been playing in my head non-stop since we heard it). Then one more Italian song as a surprise and it fitted his voice perfectly and I very much enjoyed listening to it.

Mika’s singing was beautiful even he hasn’t been performing much lately. There was a warm tone in his voice slightly hinting he had a flu but it didn’t make his singing any less lovely and I only hoped singing wouldn’t hurt him and that way disturb the upcoming recordings. We didn’t see any guests during the first recording (a dream recording for fans) but as I can’t give any spoilers I couldn’t mention them any way and just wanted to write a small post to describe how the atmosphere felt in the beginning of the filming and will probably blog more detailed after the first episodes are out. We got little sneak peeks to the fiction parts Mika has mentioned in interviews and after seeing them I expect people to love them and feel very curious about them myself as well. There will be a lot of new details in the concept!

Now back home for one and a half day (to hug my kids and my dog and of course my husband who has a birthday today) and back to Milan on Wednesday. Keeping my fingers crossed for tickets and hoping everything goes well. It was lovely to be back in Italy and to see everyone again xxx

 

I like to think people build personal relationships with places. Different cities talk to me – I mean it figuratively of course – and I either really like them or not. Berlin is one of those places I’ve been extremely fond of since the beginning. Good things have happened to me in Berlin. Berlin is where I met Mika for the first time during the acoustic tour and the energetic gig in Berlin 2010 was one of my favorite Imaginarium tour gigs.

Maybe for that reason booking a trip to Berlin to see the Rose d’Or awards ceremony without even knowing if Mika will be there or not felt a good idea. I followed the first Casa Mika season closely doing several trips to Italy and knew that seeing this ceremony would have a special meaning for me as well. I was thrilled Mika was nominated and his hard work for the show that way acknowledged. I want the world to see him like I see him and I want him to get the recognition he deserves. Golden Rose is an established award festival and I remember seeing it on media since I was a kid.

I heard just before my trip that Mika was expected to be present at the event and it cheered me up after feeling sad for missing the Peugeot gig in Paris. Being sad for missing one gig may sound silly after seeing this many concerts during years but I couldn’t help it. It was the only gig this year and I tried hard but didn’t manage to get a ticket. Realizing there was a super special acoustic gig and I wasn’t welcome to see it made me irrationally sad. Silly, of course, and I thought a day in Berlin would make me feel better and it did.

I arrived Berlin on Tuesday morning and had a breakfast with Karin at a cafe near our hotel. I had read about this bike themed cafe and I wanted to visit it and the place served awesome gluten-free breakfast indeed. Ani joined us and we walked to Checkpoint Charlie to meet Kanni who lives just a couple of minutes from the place. How amazing someone can live like that in the middle of Berlin! The weather was beautiful and we walked around the museum Island and had coffee at the Bode Museum cafe just because the building is so glamorous. Then back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.

We arrived to the venue and the security told the nominees would go in first and the rest of the audience after that. However, if I wanted to take photos I was allowed to wait at the red carpet and I naturally did that. I couldn’t recognize any of the guests before Mika and turned out neither did anyone else so the girl working for the event showed a list of the most important people with their pictures and names.

The man in the pic above was the host of the evening. I took quite a few photos while waiting and guessed Mika would arrive last minute like he usually does. Finally he came and smiled and posed for cameras for a moment. He noticed me and started to chat while posing and was really sweet and that took my attention and I laughed later when realized that I don’t have any really good photos of the moment even he specially posed in front of me.

I joined the girls and we went in and had welcome drinks before going in to the auditorium to take seats for the official part. The schedule was nice and compact. First drinks, then announcing category winners and their short thank you speeches and after that food, drinks and chatting. I had a good seat next to the aisle and saw that Mika and his group were guided to the first row. He had Giulio Mazzoleni and some other people from his team and Rai 2 with him and the lady representing Rai 2 went on stage with him when the category winner was announced. Mika introduced her and thanked her for giving the opportunity (if interested what he said I uploaded a small mobile clip of his thank you speech on FB).

Casa Mika is a high quality entertainment production and I had assumed Mika will win his category and seeing him being guided to front very near the stage gave me even more hope. Of course it was possible they only wanted to be polite to their international guest and to give more space for his long legs so I hold my breath a bit when the winner was announced and was relieved to hear his name. Afterwards all the winners gathered together for photos and I thought Mika looked genuinely pleased and almost shined holding the award in his hands. People congratulated the winners and we could have a little chat with him and tell how happy and proud we felt for him. Everyone was probably a bit overwhelmed in the middle of the crowd but it was a lovely and cheerful short moment, see our group pic here.

After that interviews and maybe a private celebration for Mika and his team and food, wines and relaxed chatting for us. See “our team” below. I’m the one on the left and next to me Karin, Ani and Kanni. I added a couple of pics from my mobile in the end as I rarely have my photos taken, the first one was taken by Kanni before the red carpet and the second one by Ani after the event. Thanks ladies for your company! It was a pleasure to visit Berlin, hope to do it soon again! X

 

Watching Mika winning the Rose d’Or Awards Entertainment category and getting his award in Berlin last night was touching and made me so incredibly happy for him. It’s good to see him getting official recognition, so genuinely and well deserved. I asked the ceremony organizers if I could take a few pics for my blog and they were super nice and told sure, it’s okay, and I took my camera with me. I’m not much of the photographer so I stayed a bit side not to disturb anyone. Mika saw me at the red carpet though, looked surprised and smiled directly in front of me telling “one for you!” and I quickly used the opportunity to take a pic. The ceremony was nicely organized and we had a possibility to congratulate him after the official part. A report to follow as soon as back home. X

I’m always interested in hearing how people experience and process music. Musical people impress me. On the other hand, surprisingly many people ignore lyrics and just enjoy dancing or having music on the background. For me there’re pleasant sounds (melody, singer’s voice) and there’s a story coming from the song. I have sensitive hearing so I’ve always listened to less music than people usually do and have only very little knowledge about the technical side of it.

I like being able to to see where the sound comes so that’s why being too far away or not being able to see the stage takes away the pleasure of the concert. I remember concerts where I didn’t see the stage at all and those are weird experiences even sometimes just being there is valuable enough. Also, I’m like picky-eater kids who like to have everything separated on their plate. Carrots, green beans, potatoes and chicken all in their own areas. I like to be able to separate different voices and instruments. That’s why an acoustic gig with only few instruments or a symphony concert where everything is in order sound heavenly in my ears.

The story part is much more random and seems to have no logic at all. There are images and emotions related to almost every song. Sometimes the story comes the moment I hear the song. That happened with Relax. I knew immediately there’s something special in the song and whenever I hear the acoustic version of it I feel the same happiness and safety. It brings me peace. After seeing Relax at gigs so many times it has become exciting as well and gives me adrenaline. I have Relax as my ringing tone and I’m always a little bit disappointed to realize nothing exciting is happening for real, that it’s just my phone and means probably someone selling me something.

Sometimes the story is there since the beginning but becomes stronger and stronger during time. I loved Last Party since the first time I heard it but the background story made it even more powerful and I’ve given the song a lot of thought and read books and watched films about the topic (80’s HIV situation) and the song has had more effect and influence on me than any other song. Even though the issue is so heart-breaking I can still listen to the song a lot because the tone is gentle and somehow leaves me comforted.

Some songs make me see small movies in my head. This happens when there’re characters and a very clear storyline like with Karen, Lola, BIOTG or Good Wife to name a few. Often it’s still images or feelings and symphony versions make those multiply and I’m transferred to another place – I feel I’m physically in a new place – and I can smell (like the autumn ground in Over My Shoulder) or even feel wind or water or just feel very strong emotions in my whole body (like in Heroes or Overrated, for example).

Sometimes I know there should be an image or a special atmosphere but I can’t catch it and that’s what bothers me. I listen to a certain song again and again and nothing happens until I hear a particular version or there’s a trigger that helps me catch the song and that’s incredibly satisfying, I can remember several moments like that. That’s what happened with Ordinary Man and Good Guys. Both have such clear, meaningful lyrics so easy to understand but the image in my head just wasn’t right. For Ordinary Man it changed after hearing a certain, special live performance and Good Guys just kept growing in me until it finally felt right.

The trickiest for me personally are songs with mother/son issues and naturally I don’t relate to the son part but to the mother part and I always remember I’m not as good a mother as I want to be, I’m bossy and short-tempered and not patient enough and I complain too much (at least according to my sons) and I try to think surely that happens in every family but still don’t get good vibes from songs like All That She Wants. I basically never listen to it.

Sometimes I don’t get any images or special emotions from a song but it can be fine that way if the song works well performed live, the experience is still fun and very enjoyable, Celebrate or Talk About You are good examples that way. Some songs don’t have any interesting story to catch but with special intros or show elements or other added details they usually still find character and create little images and clips in my head. Boum Boum Boum is one of my favorite songs purely based on how it’s performed live, it’s exceptionally nicely done and I love the piano parts and sensual but still playful atmosphere.

I’ve always loved reading about artists and their lives. Writers, painters, rock musicians. Not just about their work itself but the people behind it. There’s something fascinating in their life style and in stories about people constantly creating and focusing on their work whether they are already famous for it or for time being only known in their own circles.

Artists can have as much influence as scientists and politicians. Art has made the world as it is today as much as inventions and political decisions. Artists look at the world and describe it for other people to see, pointing out what’s important, opening people’s eyes. They can make a difference and be an active part of change. I’ve always seen Mika as one those people. I’ve always known he is intelligent and creative enough to have a real influence on people and to be a part of a bigger change through both his music and his words and example.

Something I read the other day made me think of his albums and how he described the world in them. He changed his perspective in TOOL. LICM described the world using examples and characters. In TBWKTM he was watching himself watching the world. I’ve always wondered why I feel it’s the most distant of his four albums even I’ve been lucky to hear many of the songs live and really enjoyed them. Maybe something was lost in translation, like it’s possible when I read Murakami and the Finnish translation is based on the English translation instead of the original book. Or like watching things through two filters instead of one.

Origin and No Place In Heaven (especially the title songs) felt different from beginning. Like watching a photo without any filters. Like seeing the world described by someone who is brave enough to face it directly and I think this is the reason NPIH is my favorite of these four albums. I love it how listening to music can make everything different. There’s so much to see, so much to love. Can’t wait for new songs, for all these reasons.

I read Mika will be talking to young filmmakers at Giffoni Film Festival in Italy this week and remember clips of him answering questions at the same festival last year. The audience was young, creative and enthusiastic and he seemed so inspired and interested, such a big difference compared to many of his usual interviews and Q&As. I can only wish to have an opportunity to listen to him speaking like that some day and hope these young people know how lucky they are.

I love hearing him talking – through his music or in public – about life, love, tolerance, equality and being an artist. Whether he wants it or not he is an example to many young people. And I wonder how it is for artists (in general) when they grow up. Is it still all about being creative or does it become more like business management with busy schedules and decisions, finding the right people and managing projects.

The photo above was taken at Bercy during Underwater, an unforgettable moment. The lights look like stars. X

There’s a summer competition on Mika’s FB page with the theme “how Mika’s music makes you feel” and I’m not feeling creative enough to take part but still liked the idea of people sharing their love and wanted to write a few words about the topic and made a collage above putting together some lyrics and think it sums up my feelings.

Mika’s music is huge part of my life and obviously gives me strong emotions. I enjoy especially live music, for several reasons. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie and concerts offer a safe, healthy way to get loads of it. Waiting for the moment, gathering together and sharing energy with like-minded people, gradually feeling the excitement coming from the stage and finally experiencing the music taking over the whole audience like a giant wave. There’re no words to describe it all. I can feel it my whole body, in my every muscle.

I enjoy observing as well. Watching people doing their work on stage, seeing the chemistry, paying attention to every detail and following how the show develops during the tour. Every song has a story and just knowing it feeds my imagination. I enjoy traveling and different cultures and feel amazed to watch how music brings us together time after time, concert after concert.

Listening to the singing is the most important part of the experience of course. That moment there’s nothing else in the world. Anxiety, tiredness, whatever was disturbing me is gone. I feel harmonious and happily aware how different and extremely beautiful the world suddenly looks. It’s a blissful moment, I can travel as far as it takes to experience it.

I carry the feeling back home with me and start noticing details and colors and feel a powerful urge to do something new and different and surprisingly have also energy for that. Sometimes I travel between gigs just to see his face to be reminded of his universe but I listen to Mika’s music at home as well. Not in my car or on the background (it’s too important for that) but for comfort and choosing songs carefully. Usually something soothing, maybe something I can’t hear at gigs.

What I particularly love in a live concert situation is how real it shows the artist. I used to think artists are more themselves outside the stage (naturally, because on stage they are performing or even acting a role) but I’ve learnt it’s the other way around. Stage is the place where they have to face everything exactly as they are.

It’s rare moments when any of us can be who we really are and not pretend anything. That’s not because people are generally fake but because this is how our society works. There are rules that tell us what to do and ignoring them can mean no job, no money, no status, no access, no friends or no likings in social media. People say things they don’t mean, pretend to care, are aware of opinions and try to fulfill expectations whether they want all that or not.

And those expectations can follow artists on stage but when the performance is extraordinary good, when the artist is truly inside the song, focused on the music and feeling pure enjoyment of being on stage there’s no space for them any more. There’s only that particular moment and the openness with no possibility to be distant, that’s not even an option. And it’s somehow so real. Well it’s as real as it can be.

Being able to experience all that is one of the biggest luxuries in life. I feel grateful to have this music in my life. xxx

I spent a long weekend in France and had a lovely time. I’ve visited Paris many, many times but I’m learning to know it properly and seriously falling in love with the city only now. I had a couple of extra days so I walked around, visited a museum, bought some books and checked a few gluten-free restaurants and cafes to visit them again with my family next time we are in Paris. I had looked forward to this final television show. I generally enjoy live television, there’s a particular excitement in it and I enjoy watching people working around the production. Of course there was the usual bittersweet feeling related to my trip as this was my last one once again and now there’s nothing to look forward to in the near future. The pics below are taken at the radio station where Mika did an interview for Saturday and fans used an opportunity to give him some gifts (thanks to Eriko, listen to the interview here).

I felt bad after seeing the results of the last week’s show because Mika had voted Audrey over Vincent (who still went to the final after the audience votes) and in my eyes his decision looked almost like an insult towards Vincent. Vincent hadn’t made much progress during the live shows but I had assumed that was partly because of the format which put him on the same level with the other contestants and instead of letting him be different asked him to be ordinary and like everyone else and he seemed to be only average at that. I thought since the beginning there’s something special in Vincent, not in his technical skills but in the way he performs, there was something passionate and even and a bit mad in it and I thought that Mika (if someone) could bring out whatever was special in him.

It didn’t seem to happen though. I wanted to think it will happen if we can just be patient. After seeing the results I thought even Mika had lost his patience and given up with Vincent and for that reason voted Audrey. That was an irrational conclusion of course. Maybe as a professional he understood why things didn’t work out and also, even if from my point of view only Mika’s opinion matters and all those audience votes meant nothing this contestant hardly thought the same and being among the final four talents was an achievement itself. I could see both Mika and Vincent were well prepared for their night this week and Vincent did really, really well and finally made some progress (at least in my honest opinion) and can be pleased with his part in the competition and how it ended.

We saw many actually quite interesting performances during the night. Nicola was clearly the weakest contestant during the final. None of his songs impressed me in any way. He might have tried a bit too much and had also bad luck and the least interesting special guest as his duet partner. Lucie was better than earlier and I liked her songs. She looked absolutely stunning during her New York performance and did well with it. I’m warming up to Florent’s music. I’ve liked him as a person since the beginning but never much paid much attention to his singing even I know he has a great voice. Lucie had Shakira as her another special guest and no one noticed anyone else than her on stage so Lucie was totally in the shadow of her but it was quite an opportunity for a young girl to be on stage with a star like Shakira and probably well worth sacrificing this one song especially taking in account Lucie wasn’t a favorite in the competition at all.

Lisandro was the big audience favorite and (I admit I’m biased in this as I’m a mother and in my world teenage boys can do small wonders every day) I kind of hoped and assumed Lisandro would win even I supported Vincent as my personal favorite. I watched Lisandro this week and he looked amazingly ready for his new role and was incredibly smooth with people shaking hands, giving hugs, smiling, posing in pictures, chatting and doing even small dances on the street in front of crowds (a pic of him below).

Lisandro’s first song was not his style and generally not suitable for him but as soon as he started his performance with Soprano every single person in the studio knew there goes the winner. There was no other possibility and at some point I turned my head and saw Mika’s face and imagined him thinking ”oh fuck there goes the winner” even of course it couldn’t be a surprise to him. I thought Lisandro is a better singer than his coach but Matt is a fantastic dancer and their talent/coach performance was for that reason quite impressive as well. Lisandro deserved to win the competition without a  doubt. He is still a kid and yet someone ready to be a pop singer and probably has a better possibility to make it than talent show winners in general.

Vincent did super well with his solo performance Take On Me from A-ha and I hope Mika feels proud of him. He performed well also with his guest partner but the French song was not familiar to me and I practically missed it because the guitarist took over both the stage and my attention. Yesterday – Vincent’s duet with Mika – was absolutely beautiful. They sounded lovely and balanced together and I thought Mika was very thoughtful and sensitive with his talent and well remembered he was was there not alone but had someone to take care of and also that Vincent’s singing didn’t disturb my pleasure of listening to Mika at all and that’s a big compliment and more than I can say about most people I’ve heard singing together with him.

I had so looked forward to finally hearing Mika’s singing and even it was only one song and together with his talent it was still breath-taking and put my life in order like it always does. I sometimes have moments when I question this weird dedication but he needs to sing one song only, just one, and everything makes sense again and every hour of traveling feels well worth while. The whole world becomes like a different place than it was before. Everything looks suddenly brighter, colors are much stronger and there’s a fresh, beautiful smell and I feel harmonious and happy and confident that everything is like it should be. In seconds. It’s like magic.

I wish he could make music all the time. He enjoys his busy cosmopolitan life and wants to try everything new and different and challenge himself and probably thinks business wise as well and I understand that all well and think he is extremely good at several areas, much better than most people can ever be. I still think he is at his best when he sings. And if he wants to stand out as much as he has potential and to be something truly special he should include singing and making music in whatever he is doing. Like do Casa Mika built around his music. The art of song covering great song writers. Musicals. Symphony. Singing is his super power. It’s like a part of his soul. I want to be understanding and supportive and I enjoy watching whatever he does (and will do it in the future) but for selfish reasons I cry just thinking of my life without his music.

I had hoped that something I see or hear at the Voice would make me excited and look forward to the future but it didn’t happen. I was lucky to see Mika quickly a couple of times but there was no possibility to actually talk with him. He was sweet and polite and greeted me in English (paying kindly attention that way)  and then quickly continued discussion in French so I wasn’t in the conversation or wasn’t even expected to ask anything (only fair remembering we were in France) and didn’t get any excited vibes. I know he has mentioned a new album but to be honest I haven’t got an impression he can dedicate enough time for it in the near future and expect more television or other projects whatever they are. The second season for Casa Mika is confirmed though and I live in hope I can follow it like I did last year and I leave my blog here to wait for either that or something else that might come up.

I really enjoyed this The Voice season and especially the final night. We saw Shakira as an international guest and she came on stage giving a few handshakes to people on her way and I was surprised she assumed people are prepared for that and was grateful I wasn’t standing where I was last time (because I wouldn’t have been prepared) and was told that she is hugely, hugely popular and actually a big star. She was charismatic indeed. She started her performance showing some incredible – and I mean absolutely unbelievable – moves and you know, after watching her a while I kind of hoped she would come to me and shake my hand as well but she didn’t, just high-fived people on my right and left. Impressive lady.

The evening was entertaining and after midnight the show ended and we took a pic and said – reluctantly of course – good bye to Mika and to each other and left everyone our own ways. I left with Isa and Ani and we stopped at a restaurant to have drinks and crashed a random birthday party and were invited in to have wine and cake and to watch burning lanterns sent on the sky and it was a weird but funny ending for a wonderful day. We saw a crowd on our way out from the area and recognized Vincent in the middle of it and I took a pic with him but not sure how it turned out and will see it later. The girls gave me a lift to my hotel in their car (I was worried to walk alone) and I heard later they were robbed on their way to their own hotel and felt shocked about it. Luckily they are okay (just small bruises) but everyone please remember for the next season that the area around the studios is not safe at all.

Thanks everyone for this spring and the whole season. Special thanks to my dear French friends! I miss you all and hope to be back soon. It was such a pleasure to meet you again and to do things together. I add below a few pics I took this week. Take care xxx

Back home from Paris. I haven’t slept and have a really busy week ahead so just a very quick summary about the show this week. The weekend itself was sunny and also quite funny, I laughed a lot. The recording event was very crowded and I was totally lost both during and after it, a huge thank you to the French girls who patiently helped me to find my way in the chaos. 15 calls from the uber-driver while he tried to find me in the studio area. 15! I gave him five stars just for not leaving me there in the middle of the night.

The teams gathered together a moment before the show was supposed to start and Mika appeared on stage wearing his best stage outfit black trousers and a white shirt looking super, super, super stylish and making my heart almost stop. I’ve seen him doing some amazing concerts wearing that kind of an outfit but no concert this time, of course. He added a glittery jacket and sat in his chair between Florent and Zazie and the show started.

I had no idea what to expect this week. Matt’s team was the first one to perform. The young boy from his team is seriously good indeed. He is very confident and performs like an adult despite of his young age. He was voted safe by the audience again and after that Matt chose the girl as his second talent for the next week’s show. I wouldn’t have done that but I don’t much care about female voices any way.

Zazie’s team was next and the first guy from his team had the most interesting song in the group (With Or Without You) and he did it well and was therefor my favorite from Zazie’s team this week. Her two other talents had boring songs like most contestants this week. I wasn’t surprised the Italian guy was voted safe, he seems popular and is good even sounds quite similar every week. I hoped Zazie would choose the first guy as her second talent and she did.

Florent’s team was visually as stunning as last week but I didn’t like the songs chosen for them this week. The girl who did I Will Always Love You was saved by the audience and I totally agreed with the television audience. Not because I liked her version, even the song is massive and bold, but because I generally like her performing. She is a true show girl and a great dancer and I can well see her as a professional performing artist in the future.

Team Mika was the last one. Audrey started and she and Mika were extremely cute together having a sweet little dance moment in the end of the song. Audrey is sweet and I wish her well but I still hoped she would be out so Mika wouldn’t have to choose between the other two. She was saved by the audience though and Mika had to make the difficult choice.

Just like last time in a similar situation I hoped he would choose Vincent. Also just like last time I didn’t trust him to do so. He can be unpredictable and this week Imane was better than earlier and Vincent wasn’t having his best week even the song was a good one. He did choose Vincent – just like he did last time – and I was happy (and again, a bit ashamed that I had doubted his decision). Vincent is definitely my favorite, he has a very unique style.

This week was Florent’s turn to do his solo performance and I was happy for his fans who could see him performing. Sigh, we haven’t seen Mika’s performance yet, I selfishly hope it won’t happen next week when I’m not there (but don’t know the schedules at all). xxx

A small report after the first live show. The studio is officially outside of Paris but I was lucky to have a couple of extra days to walk around and enjoy the city so the weekend felt like a short holiday in Paris. Live shows are different compared to other studio recordings. There’s not as much possibility to observe Mika and the other coaches as during auditions but the atmosphere is very cool and it’s easy to feel the excitement coming from the live recording situation. Live shows are always quite entertaining because of added show elements and the level of contestants feels better than during the first recordings as the talents have gone through coaching and got advices and their songs are more carefully chosen and interesting than in the beginning.

Going in to the studio was crowded but I managed to take a place near the barrier which made my back hurt less during the long standing. I tried to avoid drinking anything during the day (there’s no possibility to go to toilet while recording) so I was happy the staff gave us water and this time we could even have our mobiles and take a few pics during breaks so everything was really quite comfortable and we could just enjoy the show.

Mika’s team started and all his talents did well but to be honest my focus was totally on Vincent who is my favorite and I loved watching how Mika lived through his performance note by note and word by word holding his breath a little bit and looking really happy after everything went so well. We could see on the screen how he showed a tiny part of the song to Vincent in the middle of his coaching and I could see it made everyone happy and would bet it made the television audience happy as well and I found it funny because all he did was a few seconds and it made us all so pleased.

I had assumed Audrey would be out this week because her voice is so unique it can be even too unique but the song this week was really suitable for her and the audience voted her safe along with Vincent so Mika had to choose between Imane and The Sugazz and he chose to keep Imane just like I expected. It’s a shame that The Sugazz is out, they were one of my favorites during the auditions, but I didn’t feel too bad for them. They are a group and have done this long before The Voice and will continue after The Voice and to be honest their song was the least interesting from the whole team this week and all I cared was that Vincent was safe anyway.

After Mika it was time for Florent Pagny and his team and how amazingly pretty his girls are and how beautifully they were all styled last night! I rarely pay this much positive attention to the styling at The Voice, it’s mostly quite awful. All the girls performed nicely and the girl in the metallic outfit was a wonderful dancer and one of the youngest girls looked so breathtakingly beautiful she could be the next Miss Universe as well. They were all such a joy to watch and surely also to listen like Florent’s contestants usually are. However, my taste is too far away from Florent’s style and I simply couldn’t keep my thoughts in the songs chosen so I didn’t listen to them carefully enough. Even Billy Jean which I would otherwise absolutely love was so unrecognizable I didn’t much enjoy it.

In the middle of the night it was a turn for Matt Pokora and his solo performance. He had a huge dance group, both fashionable looking guys and girls (in their underwear!) and I must say I hadn’t figured out if Matt is more a dancer or a singer but after his performance I would say a dancer? The audience seemed to really like him and his fans next to me knew all his choreographies and after seeing how much the audience liked him I could well believe he is as famous in France as my French friends have told he is. His style is very different from Florent’s but still equally far away from my taste and I can’t much remember his performance but I paid attention during the whole evening how genuinely supportive he seemed to be with his team and it was nice to watch.

The third coach was Zazie and she has an interesting team and I generally like her style and watching her. I can’t understand a word but always immediately get the vibe she doesn’t want anyone out and would love to everyone continue in the competition and it’s quite sweet. All her contestants are different compared to each other which makes her team the most colorful along with Mika’s team and I found the guy singing in Italian good and the audience seemed to like him.

Matt’s team was the last one to perform and I could still remember a couple of the boys from the auditions. A youngest looking member from his team is a kind of wonderkid singing and dancing and performing like a pro despite of his young age and it looked Matt was already celebrating him as a winner and you know, he can be right and the contestant will probably go far in the competition. Still fingers crossed for ”our team” and Vincent and hope he will do as well next week as he did this week.

Mika looked young and very charming in his new boyish hair style. It was nice to see him smiling and was such a pleasure to meet so many fans, the French girls who welcomed me as they always do (which is incredibly kind as I mean always extra trouble for them) as well as many international fans. Thank you so much, everyone! I had almost forgotten how much I love hearing French on my left and Italian on my right and seeing people from many different countries grouped together. So Mika style and an important part of this all. X

I can feel the lack of Mika gigs in my stomach. I’ve had this feeling before so I can recognize it. It’s not the waiting, I can be rational with that. It’s the uncertainty. I’ve never liked not knowing.

I enjoy live music in general so a couple of days ago I went to see a concert by a local artist I like. It was a huge, special celebration gig and made me very touched. Not just as a concert even everything went well but as an overview to someone’s career and whole life as an artist. What touched me most was the way this artist seemed to value both the opportunity to perform at the legendary venue and the crowd sharing the event with him.

Seeing this one of the kind anniversary concert made me automatically think of Mika and his big shows at PDP and Bercy and how grateful I am for seeing them both. Massive, special spectacles are rarely the best ever concerts (there’s too much pressure and expectations for that) but can have and often do have a huge personal meaning for the artist. For a fan it’s like seeing someone’s career and life-long dreams in two hours. If everything goes well and these people put their hearts and personality into the show we can see them not only as artists but also as persons and maybe even children they once were. This is what I thought while watching the Bercy show. I imagined Mika as a child. The dreams he had.

I discovered the local artist I mentioned a few years ago because of his story-telling skills. I went to see a gig after listening to his lyrics, enjoyed it and have seen several gigs after that. I was impressed by his professionalism both with the audience and as a musician. I don’t know much about music but have seen many artists and bands on stage and can recognize when people know what they are doing. I love watching Mika’s musicians as well and I’m always impressed by them and especially by the ones who ask only little attention but take a lot of responsibility. Watching Curtis taking his guitar and joining the wild playing during Love Today (in the middle of being busy in every way) is one my favorite moments during every gig.

The artist I saw the other day is known as a private, introverted person which seems typical for many artists even it feels paradoxical while watching how confident they look on stage. Sometimes people are born to be on stage. What happens outside it doesn’t matter, on stage they can be whatever they like. Sometimes artists learn to be good performers during time simply because they have to (to be able to make music). I’ve always seen Mika in the first group and thought performing is an instinct for him but of course he has come a long way during the past ten years as well.

Reading people and their reactions and connecting with the audience may start from natural sensitivity but to really value the audience and to truly understand the meaning of the crowd comes only after hard times when it’s clear not only how it feels to work for success but how it feels to work for it and still not achieve it. When it’s not taken for granted that people will show up. So cruel but also an important part of growing as an artist. I couldn’t help but thinking about all this while enjoying the music the other night.

Usually it’s all about music but these big, special shows make me emotional in many other ways as well. I love watching how artists shamelessly do something they have always wanted to do, no matter how grand it is and even if it means taking a risk of not everyone understanding them. I love watching them taking time to value the moment, the possibility to be on that particular stage that particular time and the audience around them. Something so easy to forget at regular gigs.

We are all lucky every single time we can share a gig experience together. Can’t wait to do it again. Sending love xxx