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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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My trip to La Rochelle was colorful to say the least. Nothing went according to the plan but I still had a good time. Saskia and I had an early flight from Venice to Paris and after that missed our train from Paris to La Rochelle. She wanted to use time to consider options. I didn’t want to take any risk to miss the gig in La Rochelle so I run to the track for a train to Poitiers (with a connection to La Rochelle), saw a closed gate (they close it 2 minutes before trains leave), just opened it and run to the train only seconds before it left. I managed to buy a ticket and sent Saskia an update. She would be in La Rochelle a bit later.

I arrived La Rochelle, checked in my hotel and decided to join the queue. People had told La Rochelle is a lovely place but the festival area was confusing. Eventually I saw the gates and joined the crowd. The gates were opened and I got in to find out there’s another waiting due to sound checks and the situation looked messy. The crowd was separated in two parts (the other part was naturally let in before our crowd) and everyone run in trying to get as good spot as possible. I was very lucky and got a great spot near the end of the catwalk and saw both the big stage and catwalk quite well. I could feel a small sharp pain in my ankle while running but didn’t give it much thought and just looked forward to the gig,

Soon it was obvious I had somehow hurt my ankle. It was painful, hot and swollen and I couldn’t put much weight on it. However, there was no way I would waste a spot like that and go to the medical tent for ice. I would definitely see the gig and I was sure it was nothing serious (I’ve hurt my ankle once before so it’s probably just a bit vulnerable for accidents like this) and luckily I had a barrier to lean on while waiting. I was alone but a group of French fans was very near me so I could see also some familiar faces.

The venue was packed with people and the festival camera filmed the audience between the performances showing people on two big screens. Suddenly I got a Facebook message from Sasha who I had met when we were on stage with Mika in Nice a few years ago asking if I can still remember him and telling he saw me on the screen. Of course I did and turned out he was just a few rows behind me and we had a small chat after the show. Being on stage with Mika is probably the coolest way ever to meet new people. I love it that Mika has given these opportunities to his fans and even I have a bad stage fear and my mind goes almost blank during the moments on stage I will still always remember the feeling and the experience and everything that happened that day.

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The evening started with the first artist called Broken Back (a singer with a drummer on stage) and I don’t usually listen to music like that but I still liked it and found it entertaining. The audience generally liked him and clapped and cheered nicely during the whole performance. Then it was time for Marina Kay who I had seen once before. She is very pretty and can sing well but her music is a bit boring and empty and aimed for a younger audience. It was sweet to watch her with her very young fans, she gave them smiles and waves and other little gestures making them all extremely happy. The second female artist Louane was much more interesting and I loved her style and would have probably enjoyed her performance a lot if my ankle hadn’t felt so painful. We had already stood for hours and I couldn’t wait to see Mika. There was still a short performance while building the stage for him and then he was finally in front of us.

Mika started with No Place In Heaven. The song is definitely on my top 5 list and I personally absolutely love it but the audience in La Rochelle didn’t seem to have enough patience for it and had probably expected something more energetic. I could hear Max too loudly during the song and it didn’t make any sense so my first thought was that something is wrong and Mika is not well but luckily that was not the case and after NPIH the show continued in a normal way and sounded good. Big Girl and Talk About You  still didn’t make the audience go wild and even songs like Grace Kelly and Good Wife seemed a bit like hard work. I kept hoping for balloons and finally it was time for Staring At The Sun and the giant balloons woke the audience up.

Never underestimate the power of king size balloons! Festivals can be very challenging crowd wise. The audience is massive and only a part of it is there for Mika. In France most people know him and many likes him but people still come to festivals also for other reasons – the event itself, for the whole line up or even for other artists – and need a trigger to party along his music and to listen to how good he really is. Maybe it was only my personal experience but I felt the latter part of the show was more energetic than the beginning and that it took a while for people to warm up (and when it happened Mika looked genuinely pleased with the crowd and his performing was more relaxed).

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I could feel the in pain in my ankle even during the show but it didn’t bother me and at times I totally forgot it was there at all. Usually my gig experience is a combination of enjoying the music and observing the show and details and everything that happens on stage. Sometimes I purely enjoy the music, that’s what happened in Padova. It was so lovely to just feel the music and enjoy the pleasure and I didn’t think anything else than the moment and how much I deserved it (and even if I didn’t, I could do something good as a person in the near future to pay for it).

In La Rochelle I was more focused on observing, I had a view over the whole stage which offered a rare possibility to really focus on lights and watching the stage setting and I paid a lot of attention to the audience because it was restless and so different than the usual Mika audience. My personal favorites were Boum Boum Boum, Underwater (always special with a big audience!) and Last Party with colorful rainbow lights that make me think of Freddie Mercury. I generally enjoyed watching the light show as I can’t often see it this well. Good Guys feels better gig after gig and Rain is back in my favorites. I couldn’t understand French chatting but the small French song in the end was really pretty.

After the gig I went to the medical tent and asked for ice. People working there were really nice and helpful, put ice on my ankle and eventually helped us to find a bike taxi because we couldn’t find a normal one. The driver saw our hesitating faces and gave us a hilarious drive around the city before taking us to our hotel. We couldn’t stop laughing and I will add the bike to the list of unique vehicles I’ve used after Mika shows (along with planes, police cars and burning trains). A few pics and a vid below.

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The gig in Grenoble was rescheduled so the venue and the area around it near foggy mountains were familiar to me, I was there a few months ago. At the venue I met French, Italian and Korean fans and sweet Melina and her mother from Greece. I already met them twice around the cancelled/rescheduled Marseille gig. Melina is only 14 yo and I promised to keep her company while waiting and during the gig.

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The girls from Xylaroo opened and the audience seemed to really like them. Shortly after that it was time for Mika. I posted a quick update and some pics here. I didn’t take many photos so a few words about the current setlist. There are small variations of course, it’s not similar every night.

He starts with Big Girl (several times in row already) which a basic choice to start with. There are more interesting options but if Big Girl needs to be on the setlist it can be in the beginning as well. When the curtain went down Mika took a sheet covering the throne and threw it over himself, Max and Tristan and continued teasing the band throughout the gig. I almost felt sorry for them, lol! They really need to be prepared for anything if he is in the mood to use them during the show.

He continued with Talk About You and the finger sign above the caravan came visible and he did the same gesture with his own fingers and the audience took the song well as always. The new detail in the end and the band doing a tiny dance together is very entertaining! Good Wife next. It’s one the best songs on the album and I would be disappointed if couldn’t hear it.

Grace Kelly has had a little face lift with a new chatty intro and confetti coming from the piano and I absolutely love the confetti. I’m childish that way, my life needs some confetti rain. There can’t be too much confetti. I want a lot of it as multicolor as possible and preferably every time when it’s appropriate if the venue doesn’t forbid it (that must sometimes happen, it’s such a mess).

I like hearing Rain but wouldn’t mind if it was something else. Origin is a must, goes without saying. Boum Boum Boum is my big favorite, I want to hear it everywhere, no matter what the country. I don’t care the joking part, I just want the song and especially the intro as long as possible. Lollipop is done with the band. In Grenoble he told the story in English (maybe the band to understand it) and I enjoyed hearing it even it didn’t make any sense.

The new version of Relax is beautiful and very much enjoyed it in Grenoble! He is changing his old songs it a little bit all the time. Staring At The Sun was done in the back of the venue again. People in the standing area almost panicked a little, it’s difficult to see where he goes. It’s a nice gesture to people sitting far way of course. First I couldn’t locate him at all so I didn’t pay so much attention to the song.

Good guy is a lovely and important song. Underwater is one of my personal favorites, love it every time. Lights aimed to the audience disturbed in Grenoble badly, I almost hoped the song to be over simply because the lights were too much.

The audience had Merci signs to show in the beginning of the Happing Ending (prepared by some French fans) and Mika reacted in a very sweet way and showed he appreciated the gesture. A cappella part in the end of Happy Ending is a bit tricky. It’s amazing of course but would be even more precious if it didn’t happen every time. I don’t know how to put it, I don’t want to sound like I complain hearing such a wonderful detail, it’s naturally one of the biggest highlights of the show.

EMD and WAG were once again like energy explosions. At some previous gigs Mika asked a fan on stage during EMD and I liked seeing him choosing guys who were dancing and trying to catch his attention instead of young girls who are always a majority, makes it more interesting to the audience (sorry girls!).

Last Party is the most important part of the show for me, the most beautiful and the most impressive song on the setlist. I love love love it and pray every gig he doesn’t add any extra tricks in it. Love Today makes a carnival style ending. The band is playing like their lives were depending on it, even Curtis, it’s huge. In Grenoble Mika teased Tristan with a soft animal behind his back and he must have been expecting silly things to happen, he hardly blinked his eyes. Mika really chatted and joked throughout the gig more than usually, maybe he wanted to save his voice and energy a bit or just felt like doing it.

That’s almost the setlist, can’t remember the exact order but will correct it later. No Promiseland, No Place In Heaven or Ordinary Man, would love to have any of them added. In Grenoble we heard Over My Shoulder as an extra song, absolutely love the song and this time Mika asked his friend Alex to join him. It was special to hear something different, cool that he asked and so cool that his friend agreed to come on stage even it seemed to be unplanned. The vid below. Thanks everyone I met in Grenoble, loved seeing familiar faces from Korea (please DM me the pics we took together after the show) and hope to see you all soon again!

Funny and entertaining show in Grenoble tonight! So much chatting! Naturally in French, some of the stories maybe familiar. To be honest find it hard to believe he would be this chatty in London on Sunday, haven’t heard him like this in English for a long time. Over My Sholder together with his friend Alex. Great version of Relax, really loved it. Last Party standing on the piano. Lovely moment with merci signs in the audience in the beginning on Happy Ending. A lot of funny details like Mika, Max and Tristan all singing and playing lying on the stage and a bird mascot on stage making silly noises. Bou Boum Boum below (new lights on the background). Now a couple of hours of sleep and back home.

The show at Bercy was such a spectacle it’s difficult to even start to describe it and I assume people most interested in it were either there or saw someone streaming the show so I’m going to just collect my thoughts and share photos to give an overview of it. I genuinely think everything went really well. I can’t say if it all went like Mika had originally planned it but from the audience perspective everything looked smooth and little mistakes we saw or heard were only minor and didn’t disturb the show at all.

His voice was good. He was occasionally out of breath, of course, but that can’t be avoided when running around a stage this big. Show elements were massive and included background films and animations inside enormous M I K A letters, a huge lighted construction on the smaller stage (Arc de Triomphe), a massive throne and a cake, a big Mika style heart with wings, confetti rains, red and white dressed dancers and similar color schemed heart flags.

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The show was grandiose and not sure it that’s a totally suitable word but I mean it in a positive way and say it with love. It was very Mika style, this is one of the reasons I like him so much. There’s still a child inside of him and he managed to make a massive show at Bercy look not only hard work, pressure and schedules but also a thrilling challenge and an opportunity to use his wildest ideas.

Concerts this big are more for him than for the audience. His singing was aimed to further galaxies and I generally prefer more basic concerts like the one in Strasbourg but it doesn’t make this one any less special, it was equally or even more precious but for very different reasons. This was important for him, we could see how well he prepared and the amount of money and hours put into it must have been enormous. I found it a bit disturbing that recording the show was a priority and that he had to speak to TV channels in the middle of the love letter to Paris but I totally understand it had to be done and I’m grateful a massive show like this could be put together whatever deals it took.

I saw the previous two Paris gigs and the big Milan gig seated and always regretted being so far away and not being able to see details or dance (in Milan it was even strictly forbidden) so after considering whether to sit or stand I finally went for standing. We couldn’t know in advance where to find a good view and I chose the big stage instead of the catwalk/second stage like seemed to be a good option at PDP but noticed my decision wrong since the beginning of the show as he used mainly the catwalk/small stage like at Rock In Rio. At that point it was too late for me to use my seat (unfortunately, the view would have been nice) so I watched most songs from behind and far away.

I could still see many details and elements before they were transferred to the end of the catwalk and luckily the end of Happy Ending and Last Party happened directly in front of me and that made me in tears of happiness as they are always my favorite parts and I was already feeling emotional and touched by the whole event. Because I couldn’t see the performances I carefully watched the background clips and pictures and admired how impressive they looked, all well made and variable.

Everything started with a dozen of dancers dressed in red jackets like solders hanging out here and there around the stage for a while until Mika came on stage and started the show. The set list was surprisingly very basic and familiar only a couple of French songs added. The special nature of the event came from show elements and they were impressive, to be honest much more impressive than I had expected.

My biggest favorites were Les Baisers Perdus with an extremely beautiful, talented circus performance – the song is delicate and loved it how the performance could be seen in shadows both sides of the stage – and Underwater with strings and 20 000 people in the audience singing the chorus and waving lights like thousands of stars on the sky. Maybe the most beautiful Underwater moment I’ve seen. Loved also the the similar costumes on Mika and the young boy giving the idea of a king and young prince and very much enjoyed Last Party (as a song) and Love Today.

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I kind of missed many songs because they happened on the other stage and wished I could have seen Love Today Tristan playing the opening in front of the audience. He looks young and I can remember how scared he seemed to be when he started in the band, soon he was having fun in the corner, then got his solo part hiding behind the gates and had now a role directly in front of the audience. So pleased to see Mika giving him some spotlight.

In the end of the show Mika came on stage inside of a magical sparkling cake, the whole band played vividly and everything ended under colorful confetti rain. I was located next to a confetti machine and literally had my eyes and mouth full of paper. What a fantastic, colorful ending for the spectacle.

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I felt happy and grateful I was able to see the show, just being there was enough. Mika was like a little boy who playing with his costumes, the whole family gathered around him watching him, smiling and supporting. The girls were there, even his little nephew was there. I know that creating a show like this means professional designing and planning, numerous hours of work and a lot of money but that’s still the impression I got. Melts my heart.

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The gig in Strasbourg last night was pretty much everything what I want from a “basic” Mika show (not talking about special cases like symphony concerts or intimate gigs which are more focused on singing or spectacles like Bercy): a good combination of amazing music, positive energy and fab looking, colorful show elements.

I wasn’t sure we would see any Bercy elements on stage – I tried not to expect it – so almost screamed of joy when the curtain was down and saw the giant Arc de Triomphe in the middle of the stage and the huge throne in the corner. The construction is truly giant and looks fantastic sparkling in different colors and the colors of the throne match with house backgrounds as well.

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The set list was familiar/basic and to be honest I was happy with that after being overwhelmed of new details in Paris night before and I’m generally satisfied as long as I can listen to my favorites. I was located on the side so didn’t get the whole view of the stage but haven’t seen Tristan playing from a close distance for a while so was totally happy with that too.

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The French crowd was as good and supportive as it can be. French gigs are always worth traveling and made me smile to realize that the school class surrounding me in the train this morning was talking about Mika the whole trip. The whole trip! Like that wasn’t cool enough the granny sitting next to me was absolutely delighted to see Bercy pics on my laptop and said oh-la-la to every single pic. Every single pic and I had many of them! He has charmed everyone. Confetti rain was crazy. I love the last pic taken after the show.

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Le Printemps de Bourges was the first festival for the new European tour and it was good to meet so many familiar people and to see Mika on stage again. We met as a group of fans at dinner the night before the festival and even I was tired after a long day of traveling I really enjoyed our relaxed evening together, thanks everyone!

I had lovely summery memories from my last visit in Bourges so I looked forward to the festival day. This year the weather was unpleasant and went annoyingly back and forth from cold rain to burning hot sun but that’s how rainbows are created (like Mika reminded in his tweet) and the night turned out to be as colorful and energetic as we could hope for.

The festival system was messy and included several gates and nervous waiting in big crowds before finally getting in to the festival tent. Everything looked unorganized but the security was nice and the area offered many different kinds of food (no toilets outside the tent though).

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The line up included two artists/groups before Mika. Unfortunately the first performance was totally ruined by a sound failure. I felt an enormous pain in my ears the moment the young singer called Marina Kaye started. The sound wasn’t just loud like usual in front, it was a disaster and several rows of people were covering their ears, some of them even crying and I had tears in my eyes as well.

I asked the security guy for ear plugs and he only shrugged but after a while saw that people are serious and went to look for some and brought as many as he could find. We all felt almost like vomiting and just waited the performance to end. So sorry for the artist. Such a shame her performance was ruined but it was not her fault and there was nothing she could do that moment.

The second act was an awesome group of three girls called L.E.J. The trio does mashups of famous songs both in French and English playing cello and drums. Their style was unique and very entertaining (and that way very suitable for festivals), they had good voices and even looked gorgeous so the whole audience loved them. I really enjoyed their performance. Check them out here or here if curious about their music.

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Then it was time for Mika and I really, really loved his performance even more than I had expected. Lovely, positive and relaxed vibe that totally made up a bit uncomfortable circumstances before the show and reminded once again why I like French gigs this much. There are already some great detailed reviews about this gig so I just list some of my favorite moments to remember them later.

I still love Porcelain in the beginning of the show. It’s powerful enough and I love starting the the gig focusing on Mika’s voice. Also, no matter how often I’ve heard it, no matter how many new songs I like Relax still triggers an enormous emotional feeling I can’t help, like a giant emotional wave. I will always love this song and it was a highlight also in Bourges.

Good Wife and Origin work in an opposite, care-free way and this time I enjoyed especially Origin (can’t even explain why, I need to look for some vids). Boum Boum Boum is still in my top 3 live songs. I don’t mind it’s in French – actually I like it how it sounds in French – and it’s not the joking part I like most. It’s the beautiful, gentle beginning and the warm, playful and smiling tone in the singing.

Good Guys has evolved a lot in my mind and I really enjoy the live version and the song was one of my favorites also in Bourges. I have no personal connection to the theme so I see the song from Mika’s point of view watching back to his youth and like to hear it performed in a very soft, gentle way. After hearing people telling their personal stories and how meaningful the song is to them I can now see it also from another, new angle and find it even more touching.

Last Party is one of my personal songs and becoming my very favorite and in Bourges it was even more special than it usually is. Suddenly there was only a spotlight in darkness,  we saw Mika as a figure and fog/smoke circling around him and it looked absolutely magical! I had never seen it like that and the performance was incredibly beautiful and sad and I could only stare and listen smiling and having tears in my eyes at the same time. I don’t usually like the foggy effect on stage, I much more prefer seeing everything clearly but this time it looked perfect.

And then it was time to end the show, too early as always, with Love Today and this time we couldn’t see the guitar playing figure behind the gate so I closed my eyes for a while and pretended the whole intro was played just for me and that no one else was there and it worked perfectly, lol! Then I opened my eyes and soon all my friends and everyone else inside the venue – even the calm looking father of the family next to me – were dancing, partying and having fun. Loved it!

The setlist was basic and some songs skipped to fit in the schedule but the show felt still even better than average because of the positive energy and atmosphere so I have high expectations for the new tour especially if there will be at least small changes in the setlist and maybe some new details (and hopefully a lot of surprises in Paris). My mobile was stolen on my way home from Bourges so my vids are gone but a few more pics below.

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Good, energetic and relaxed festival performance in Bourges last night. The weather was horrible and the festival itself not so well organized but I really loved watching Mika on stage and could well remember why I like to see him in France so often. I will soon write a proper report and describe the event and my favorite parts of the performance, meanwhile a few photos below. It was a pleasure to meet everyone again!

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Marseille is a dodgy place, rats running on streets and policemen just hanging around in big groups like waiting for something to happen. However, it has a lot of character, the architecture is absolutely beautiful and the place is shabby in that particular light way I really like. And there’s the sea! The port smells salty and the mistral goes inside your clothes but also blows away rainy clouds. We had a lovely sunny weather for Monday and I spent the afternoon walking and watching the sea and sky changing in different shades. So pretty!

There was a lot of pressure for the gig. The original date was cancelled the moment the doors were supposed to open so it was important the audience could feel it was worth it to come there twice. I was wondering myself if it’s worth it to travel all the way to Marseille (and queue the whole day) twice but I like seeing gigs in different parts of France and wanted to see the last show of the tour and decided to go. I traveled Marseille from Como with Solange who has an apartment near the venue. A huge thank you to her for hosting me and the other girls at her home!

Mika made a lot of effort for the show. Maybe not in his usual “let’s have fun on stage” way but more like “let’s wrap up this tour, we can do it” way and the result was good. He flirted with the audience a lot, even climbed to the balcony twice to kiss and personally sing and dance to a lady sitting near the stage (she certainly had the time of her life, see my GW vid) and almost jumped into the crowd directly in front of him. He was dancing, jumping, posing and having fun with Max and Tristan and generally showed his showman side in every possible way.

The front row was already almost full when we were let in but we somehow managed to get spots on the right side of the stage (I was next to the French fans and quickly checked that the Italians were on the left side). My one woman Tristan fan club was directly in front of him, I had generally a nice view and Mika did his best to do a good, energetic show. I still felt exhausted during the show, not because of lack of sleep but simply because I’ve been so busy lately.

Listening and watching the show brought my energy back but still happy that I decided to take some videos to be able to watch at least a part of the show again at home. I wish I had filmed every single song. I have really liked the set list for the tour and could hear almost all my album favorites also in Marseille (Last Party, No Place In Heaven, Good Wife, Boum Boum Boum, Promiseland). A few pics and videos below.

I travelled to Paris with my whole family so the experience was different than usually (equally or even more fun but for different reasons). First I had to postpone my trip due to bad cold and I missed the show on Wednesday. Another missed show! I felt disappointed about it but was gladly well enough to travel on Wednesday and could enjoy our family time in Paris on Thursday and Friday. My sons wanted to see the view so we climbed on Eiffel Tower in the freezing cold weather, visited a couple of museums (really enjoyed the new women photographers exhibition at Musée d’Orsay and the building is fabulous as well) and found a really nice restaurant to celebrate my husband’s birthday on Friday.

On Saturday I went to the venue in good time to get some particular seats I had in mind. Well didn’t get those (thanks to the incompetent security who first decided my tickets are not for the golden area even they obviously were) but had still a nice view. Having seats instead of seeing the show from close distance/feeling the crowd effect is not the same – I had tested that twice during this tour already – so I wasn’t as excited as I usually am but was still waiting for the show in a good mood and extremely curious to see my family’s reactions!

The Citizens started and had a good energy. I like them and felt a bit sad I won’t see them again after the tour ends, I’ve really enjoyed their performances. Then the Mika show started and I loved how surprised and excited my 12 yo son was when he heard the medley and saw the Heaven sign coming down. Mika came on stage and sounded a bit sore throat/tired but still fine and I felt relieved and started to enjoy the show (I was already nervous for Sunday and had been worried he might not be well).

The audience standing in front of me was enthusiastic and knew the songs but the crowd sitting around the venue looked a bit lame just like in Milan earlier this tour. People were watching and obviously enjoying but didn’t seem to know Mika’s new music properly and many of them had probably bought their tickets after seeing him on television and not because of the new album. The seated area was mostly sitting (and not dancing and taking a part of show) until the later part of the show so I had to sit and watch as well instead of partying along.

I was observing my family to see their response and to my surprise they sat and looked somehow shocked during the whole performance but told later they had loved everything they saw. I guess everything happening on stage was simply too much to handle and took all their attention! I basically knew what to expect but still found several little surprises here and there. So many new details added again, loved it and find it amazing how the show has evolved during the tour!

The crowd knew the old hits and was thrilled about Grace Kelly and Relax but lived along also some newer songs like Talk About You. It’s obviously the best new song for an ignorant audience and it’s always good live even originally not a fan favorite. However, some other new songs would have deserved much better response than they got. Promiseland was absolutely perfect (it seems to get better and better every time I hear it) but still totally undervalued by the seated crowd which made me frustrated in the middle of the area.

I couldn’t feel the usual energy but maybe just couldn’t catch it sitting so far back? However, it was obvious Mika was seriously making an effort with his performance wanting to end his tour in France with an especially good gig and he managed to do well indeed. The show was fabulous and impressed me once again even I had already seen the full setting several times during the tour.

I absolutely love it how everything works on stage and how nicely and smoothly every detail follows each other and how the whole stage is used for the setting! My youngest son could seemingly appreciate the impressive setting with the caravan, globe, gate, background and the light show so I’m glad we saw the full stage in Paris before the smaller London show (which as an experience was so super magical and precious to me, will write a long report about it later!).

I was excited to hear how GK was started in a new, harder way and loved BBB and Mika focusing on the song again. Felt happy and carefree during GW, energized by TAY and a bit sad as soon as Relax started. It’s a personal song for me so paradoxically and despite of the lyrics it always makes me to remember everything I need to be worried about. I pushed the feeling away and really enjoyed Promiseland and loved loved loved Last Party (my favorite part of the show even the worried feeling returned for the same reasons as earlier). I could feel the audience’s excitement during Love Today and adored the rock star style beginning definitely at least as much as my family who saw everything with their fresh eyes.

I missed a few details/changes during the show simply because I was too far away and for that reason couldn’t see any facial expressions. I was blinded by the beautiful magnificent globe, my favorite part of the set and couldn’t help but explaining and pointing to my son how it’s specially made and covered by crystals. I didn’t manage to take any really nice photos from far back but took a few of the whole stage to remember it now when the tour is over.

The setting must have been expensive and it makes me wonder if it was really done only for one month or if there will be more shows to come. The Paris show ended and we could hear the new dance version of Hurts played on the background, I loved it and started to hope we could hear it live in London (as we did, more about that as soon as possible).

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Writing this on my way home from Grenoble. I saw three concerts during my trip, the two last gigs in Marseille and Grenoble were cancelled. I had planned to write a proper report about every gig – taking a bit different point of views and telling about the show and the new setting, the current set list and everything happening around the gigs – but the tour schedule is tight and I didn’t have time for that so I’m gathering some thoughts about my week here.

The new set list is the longest Mika has done and as already said really satisfying to the audience. It’s also hard and tiring to sing. He tried to save his voice a bit before cancellations – skipping a song here and there, making the audience as a part of the show, using the band – but kept the set still long and gave his everything during every show so no surprise he was vulnerable enough to catch a cold (like we all during every single tour) and has now issues with his vocal chords. Maybe pushing himself too much in Madrid? Marseille was cancelled and I was happy the same was done in Grenoble even it meant we missed the gig and even it must be frustrating for him. Too much to risk for one or two random shows just before several important events.

Fans are understanding with cancellations like this. Of course everyone was a little down and worried in Marseille. I suddenly realized I’m sick (now lost my voice like to show my sympathy), over-tired, hungry enough to have hunger tantrums and all other things we never notice in our gig high. I felt homesick but couldn’t find any reasonable way to shorten my trip so I followed my original plan after Marseille even expected Grenoble to be cancelled as well.

A few thoughts about the shows in general. We didn’t see the full stage set at every venue. The Heaven sign and gate can fit also to smaller stages, the caravan and globe need both width and heigh. The beautiful gate – to heaven or to hell – is my favorite part of the set (starting a song behind it looks incredibly cool) and absolutely love the glittery globe! I’ve enjoyed seeing variations and shows with smaller setting, that way it’s easier to focus on the performance and the full set stays fresh and special for bigger shows.

The supporting band Citizens! has been a huge hit! Practically everyone loves them and they are good indeed. I’ve been listening to their album but like their rock live sound even more. They are not so well known (yet) so they make an effort to be nice to everyone and have always time for little chats with fans. Their performance makes me in a good mood before Mika starts meaning I don’t need to adjust my mood during the first Mika songs and I can fully enjoy the whole gig.

About the set list. It’s slightly changing and I really appreciate it. There is a basic structure but the order is changing a bit. My neural system is programmed to expect a certain order, it’s useful to be woken up by unexpected songs and after seeing several shows little changes give a positive, surprising impact. The beginning medley is still exciting. It feels irrational (meaning I can’t connect it to anything) but I like the clips and purple lights behind ”Purple Rain”.

A few random thoughts about songs.

No Place In Heaven fits with the theme, I just wish Mika wasn’t covering and hiding himself during the song. He is dressed in a coat and hat and the audience’s attention is in the caravan (unless the stage is too small for caravan and the song is done in the middle of the stage) and the true meaning of the song stays somehow hidden. First I thought I can’t focus on the song enough. No, the problem is I can’t see that Mika I want to focus on. He is in the middle of the theater scene covered by a secret agent’s outfit. NPIH is a personal and honest song. I would love to see it performed in a personal and honest way, softly and wearing sweaty, wrinkled shirt.

Sounds silly but I’m not joking. There can be a big difference in the atmosphere, just see how amazing Ordinary Man became when he was brave enough to do it in a smaller way. Love love love this version from Bordeaux:

He is doing little changes in his old songs. I’m especially pleased he is doing something with Relax. Not sure I like the result (yet) or can explain what he is doing with it but I like the idea he is giving his attention to Relax, it deserves it. The new beginning of Grace Kelly I already like a lot. Lollipop can always raise again. Love Today is phenomenal! Very impressed he can make it better year after year. Big Girl is a crowd pleaser. I would prefer Century Man as a high energy song but of course everyone enjoys BG and it’s a good, standard option in the beginning if photographers are disturbing the show.

Boum Boum Boum has become an entertainment number so the song is a bit lost in the middle of boxing gloves, funny glasses, hats, jokes, fans and dancing scenes. It gives a suitable moment for entertainment and chatting so I totally understand why it’s done that way but miss the old version I loved so much. Just the song and dancing. I love the live version of this song and the atmosphere going from gentle to powerful and the Spanish style beginning is pretty cool as well.

Talk About You has a good, positive energy but it’s not the highlight as it used to be at festivals simply because there are better songs to stand out: Good Guys is getting better and better and we heard a super special version in Bordeaux or Toulouse (travelled too much, someone help me?). Staring At The Sun is great live especially in English like heard in Madrid. Good Wife and Promiseland are both brilliant! Last Party in the end keeps its place as my personal favorite.

Good Wife is such an uplifting song! It’s so good it gives me a surprise every time I hear it. I can feel my posture changing because suddenly the world doesn’t feel so heavy anymore. The melancholic thought of something that never happened is somewhere on the background. I really enjoy this song, it makes me so happy and carefree. Promiseland has become the highlight I expected it to become. The calm part sounds calm and confident and the party part makes people go crazy. Perferct!

Funny, interesting and special details happened in all three shows. In Bordeaux Mika filmed a little clip to congratulate his friend and asked the audience to make some noise for it. He was pleased with the result and rewarded us (the whole audience) with giggling and smiles! In Madrid he asked a sweet young girl with a puppet on stage (see photos in my gallery). He used Melissa’s flowers and Karin’s crown and made Max wear Saskia’s wings the whole Madrid gig. He took Spanish lyrics someone gave for TAY and tried to sing them.

He changed his outfit several times and used several colorful jackets (really love those jackets, my favorites so far). He gave a lot of spotlight to the band and put Tristan behind the gate in the beginning of Love Today. One of my all time favorite Love Todays! Tristan is a rock star, all the others have already lost that kind of real enthusiasm. Hope he can continue his happy stage party without restrictions.

Last but no least stunning a cappella moments in the end of Happy Ending every show even in Madrid which was super amazing and a little bit worrying at the same time. The venue wasn’t small at all and I had a feeling Mika was already giving the audience everything he possibly could and everything and even more the audience possibly could hope for. Maybe even too much? One of my all time favorite shows for sure. I have really enjoyed this tour, now fingers crossed the man is in good enough health for a few more shows.

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Finally a new Mika Tour! The Heaven Tour started in Rennes on Friday and continued in Paris on Saturday. I have no words to describe how impressed I was in Rennes while watching the show for the first time. I loved every moment, it was definitely one of my very best Mika nights ever. Full of surprises one after another, a totally new setlist with an exciting beginning, a lot of songs from the latest album and a new, massive and colorful stage set built around the “Heaven” theme. Everything was magical.

He started with No Place In Heaven. The stage was dark and first the audience could hear a small intro/medley containing several little references to different songs and themes. Then a huge lighted HEAVEN sign appeared above the stage and Mika started No Place In Heaven in front of the little caravan, hiding mysteriously behind his hat and coat. I almost couldn’t handle the excitement so I couldn’t give the song the attention it deserves but loved how exciting and mysterious the moment was (and so suitable for the theme of course). After that the caravan opened looking like a mechanical miniature theater with a sign PARADISE and Big Girl was done in front of it, Max in the spotlight together with Mika.

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Then the show continued being so rich and generous with new songs and details that it’s impossible to describe it all and I don’t think it’s even needed, there will be many more shows and time to go through everything. The new setlist is so long that in the end of the show the audience feels really satisfied and just a little bit melancholic instead of the usual desperate “noooooo don’t take him away from us yet”. Of course we all would like him to continue forever but it’s a full-length, very satisfying show.

The new stage looks fabulous. The signs (Heaven, Paradise) and the giant beautiful gate have an obvious connection to the theme. The colorful background looks some kind of the end of the world situation and is not as easily explained and I need to see it several times to be able to understand everything in it (smoking factories? a giant shark? a submarine?) but the whole stage looks fabulous especially with the amazing light show. My favorite detail was the magical shiny globe in the middle of the stage. It made me think of Rio which we didn’t hear yet (maybe later, who knows). Mika wasn’t wearing a suit but his white outfit with different jackets and I loved especially the stunning embroidered Valentino (?) with beautiful animals in the back.

We heard several songs from the new album and I loved them all. Good Wife was the best and most flawless performance, it’s such a great song. Promiseland was the most thrilling and everyone screamed as soon as they realized it’s coming. It’s not yet the biggest highlight of the show – he still needs to practice it – but it will be. He just needs to keep doing it. Last Party in the end was simply perfect.

He has added a lot of new details to the old songs as well. There’s an exciting guitar intro in the beginning of Love Today! It’s a pity that Tim is not on stage with him anymore. Everyone loves Tim and his charm and kindness… However, I’m sure the new guitarist will do well and Tim seems to be still around at least for a while. Max is as adorable as always! I loved the Roger Rabbit intro for EMD and the dancing with it. Boum Boum Boum is still one of my favorite live songs. I can’t totally explain it but I love how it goes from gentle to another extreme (see it below).

We had the best possible spots in Rennes and I could easily see everything. I was happy like a child in a toy store, my face probably glowing of happiness from the beginning to the end. As a cute detail we saw Mika leaving the Rennes venue with his family. This time he didn’t have a car with black windows. He left in a normal car like normal people do, the girls in the back of the car. The both dogs raised their heads in the window when they passed the crowd. Melachi – already used to everything – seemed to think “oh there’s a crowd”. Amira – still so young – was grinning in excitement “what’s happening, what’s happening, what’s happening”. Cuteness overload. I was so happy for Mika. I mentioned the dogs to my husband as soon as I called him (he loves dogs as much as I do) and he laughed asking if it was the highlight of the show for me. Well not the highlight but it warmed my heart. Touring must be so much easier for Mika if he can see his family.

Saskia and I had seats for Paris because our schedule was tight with trains and it felt a stressless option. We met the other German fans at the venue and managed to get us all really good seats with a great view to the stage. I still had mixed feelings. I’m not a party person singing and dancing along, I want to hear and see everything. I looked forward to seeing the new set and the light show from a different perspective but also felt I was going to miss a half of the show because I couldn’t see any details from that far away. I can’t understand French so it feels important to see Mika’s facial expressions to know what’s happening on stage.

Watching the show from the back was different but it was also so much fun being there together with the girls. Marion is fluent in French and she explained Mika’s words to Saskia who in turn repeated everything to me. It was like the old children’s game where the story changes on the way and I was laughing too much to be able to repeat everything to Karin next to me.  I loved seeing the whole view and paid a lot of attention to the set and lights. There’s so much work put into this new show, it’s really amazing. So proud and happy after seeing it and can’t wait to see it again later this week. My photo gallery from Rennes is here and from Paris here. A few more pics below.

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