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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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Mika was one of the performers for Casino Night Under The Stars in Monte Carlo on Saturday and I felt tempted to go as I had always wanted to hear Grace Kelly live in Monaco (one of the places where I hadn’t seen a concert yet) and booked a trip and then took part of every possible competition on the Casino Facebook page to win one of the dance floor passes. I was finally lucky to win a pass (most of the fans I know had already won one) and it gave an access to an exclusive area in front of stage so it was possible to see the show properly and from close distance.

The pass offered also drinks and a free game at the casino so I ended up having a very cool and unusual gig experience first watching the gig outside in front of Casino and then having a little game session inside. I’ve never dared to try those machines before but it’s actually very easy. You just push the button and then either win something or lose your money. Saskia and I won some money! We were naturally thrilled. Lol!

As so typical for big free events organized by companies for sales promotion purposes the event was quite poorly organized security wise. I always find that annoying and pay attention because companies should take responsibility of people’s safety, have a proper plan and enough professional security routines to control also big crowds. After getting in the dance floor area everything went well though and I was in a better mood as soon as the first artist (Charles Pasi) started. He was good! I liked his performance and felt entertained while waiting for Mika.

It wasn’t a proper Mika show so he didn’t have his normal stage set or light show and for some reason had some technical troubles on stage. It didn’t really matter though. He managed to keep up his usual good energy level and positive atmosphere and the audience had a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the evening. His performance felt short (it was probably shorter than planned) but the special venue and visiting the casino after the gig made it up and I was generally really pleased with my trip. Before leaving to the airport Saskia and I had a little chat with a couple from Manchester who happened to be in Monte Carlo that night and was still listening to Mika songs happy and high after the gig. I always love seeing how much people enjoy his shows. A few pics above, might post more later.

Rochefort is a lovely place with boats, beautiful buildings, parks and flowers (the flower/boat pics in the gallery are taken right next to the venue). The show was one of the first festivals announced this year so a lot of fans had made early plans to travel there. I loved meeting people and had a relaxed day in general.

The security arrangements for the festival were strict, even a bit exaggerated. I saw scary looking scanning equipments at the gates and decided to leave my bag and bigger camera in the car just a few minutes before the gates were opened. That way I had only my tiny camera in my hand which meant no good quality photos but also no extra fuss at the gates and I was lucky to get a great spot with a good view.

The program started early, I enjoyed watching the first act (a girl band) but wasn’t listening so carefully. Olympe’s performance didn’t convince me but he seemed very sweet and I could understand he has a lot of fans. Cristophe Willem was good. Really good actually. His music is not my style but he has a great voice and he was excellent on stage. When he finished his performance I almost had a feeling the show was over.

And it hadn’t even started yet! I was wondering if Mika knows Willem is that good on stage. I wanted him to show he is clearly better and hoped he doesn’t have any kind of a bad hair day. Not that he can’t do a good performance even those days – his show is always good quality – just wanted him to be at his best.

He came on stage and the show was fantastic from the beginning to the end. There was no doubt who was the headliner for the event. He did a proper length gig with several new songs and with a great mood, great positive energy and a lot of chatting and talking to the audience. I couldn’t understand his chatting of course but haven’t understood it for years and just enjoyed the show song after song. It was wonderful.

I especially loved hearing new songs. Talk About You, Staring At The Sun, Good Guys, Ordinary Man. French fans had prepared little surprises for several songs so we had balloons, hearts, stars and big printed pictures of “good guys” described in the song to show during Good Guys. I was happy to hold a Rufus pic! Mika seemed to like the idea and smiled watching and counting pics.

He did Ordinary Man properly with piano, it was a lovely treat. I heard Boum Boum Boum after a break, my biggest hope for that night. He makes it like a different song at gigs, going from calm to passionate emotions, I really love the atmosphere!

I very much enjoyed Talk About You and Staring At The Sun. Neither of those songs are my favorites on the album but I really love them performed live and can’t wait to finally hear my real favorite songs from the album (heard No Place In Heaven and Promiseland but only once). So much looking forward to the tour in September/October.

I felt really happy after the show and saw only happy, smiling people around me. The HEAVEN text in the hat a French fan is wearing above pretty much explains our feelings for the night. So much positive energy gathered in one place! I can’t decide which show I enjoyed more, this happy, long Rochefort gig with several new songs or the crazy, funny gig in Landerneau the day after, both really good experiences and a great way to end the season. Thanks everyone! X

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On my way back home from Southern France after seeing the last two festivals for the summer festival season. I really enjoyed this trip. I’ve seen dozens of Mika shows in France and like it how familiar everything has become and enjoy seeing so many faces I’ve known for years already.

To be honest festivals are generally hard. Messy, big areas with thousands of drunken people, most times located far away from everything, the weather always burning hot or pouring rain. I carry my camera with me because with a bit of luck festivals offer a very rare possibility to take photos with a bigger camera, sometimes even in day light which is the biggest luxury I know and it’s stressful and means constant worry about the security. Festivals are also often chaotic and you never know if you manage to get a good spot or not.

However, when things go well the show is always fantastic. Mika is brilliant at entertaining big crowds and I love watching how the audience gives him energy and how he gives all his energy to the people during the show. When he is the last performer or the only act for the evening the gig is normal length and like his usual shows except outdoors and always well worth traveling.

This time I saw two wonderful shows. Rochefort was a long, proper Mika show with several new songs. Landerneau was a festival set but felt longer and much more energetic than the Belgian one with lots of crazy, funny details. I will later write a proper report about Rochefort with photos and videos, now a short report about Landerneau and some more pics. My technical skills are poor, at home I use only natural light and photoshop photos as little as possible and the result for my gig photos depends always on pure luck but makes me still happy to try and I loved taking some photos in Landerneau.

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It was difficult to find a public transportation from Rochefort to Landerneau but I was lucky and got a ride from Corinne and his husband. A huge thank you to them both for being so helpful, couldn’t have done this otherwise. We slept a couple of hours in Corinne’s holiday house and arrived Landerneau around noon. The gates were opened at 2 pm and everything was relaxed and we went in trying to decide where to stay.

The Landerneau venue was different compared to Rochefort and didn’t have a proper front row. The stage was high with a little extension (just like in Belgium) and I wanted to stay in front of it (and would have obviously got much better pictures from there) but was too short to see anything else than the extension and didn’t want to risk the show in case the security tells strict no to taking photos and eventually went to the left corner to see also the piano. Regretted it a bit during the gig but enjoyed seeing the piano and festivals are always tricky this way, it’s very difficult to know the view in advance.

The line-up was really bad and not my taste at all. I bought food immediately after going in but the crowd started to pack around the stage soon after the program started and after that it was simply not possible to leave our spots even for toilets without losing them so I just tried to concentrate on every artist. I had seen Lily Woods a couple of times before so I knew some of their songs and enjoyed their performance (and loved her outfit!) but found the reggae bands before and after them a torture. The first band was quite experimental and had a lovely message (love and equality to everyone) but sounded absolutely awful and I couldn’t understand who let them on stage and literally thought ”just shoot me now” when saw another reggae band coming on stage with their big woolly hats.

I simply dislike reggae music unless it’s nicely hidden in pop and find the lazy rhythm irritating. However, I always try to be polite and supportive towards every festival act because I feel it’s my responsibility if I take a front row place and sometimes genuinely love discovering new music I would otherwise never listen to. For example I absolutely loved the punk band in Belgium and Cristophe Willem in Rochefort even neither of them my usual style of music, just really liked their stage performances. This time I really tried to smile and awkwardly danced along while listening to the second reggae band but the singer still totally picked my vibe and kept giving intense looks and raising his eyebrows and made me feel incredibly embarrassed. Thousands and thousands of people and the singer immediately read my real feelings? I hope it’s equally obvious to Mika that I love his music.

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The show in Landerneau was fantastic. He started with Relax and no matter how typical it is I can’t imagine any song being a better start for a Mika show (maybe Promiseland for the new tour?). After Relax he did Talk About You and Big Girl and after that his usual festival set but can’t remember the exact set list or order because paid so much attention to everything happening on stage.

The crowd was drunk and wild and he did crazy, funny things keeping it entertained taking a lot of contact with people talking especially to a random guy in a pink bunny suit, wearing a bunny hat offered to him and then asking the bunny guy to dance on stage with him. A lot of interaction with the band, loved it! Teasing Max several times, taking Tim’s hat, joking with Curtis who was lying on the piano and laughing so hard he could hardly play his saxophone. A lot of chatting with the audience and sweet attention and smiles to the fans. At some point he suddenly had women’s bra in his hand. He gave them a couple of confused looks and hang them in the microphone and later offered to our direction (my face being “noooo, you are not throwing someone’s underwear close to us”). Lol! A lot of silly dancing and every way a very colorful, cheerful festival performance.

I took photos and laughed at everything and – again – focused carefully on some songs to remember them later. I was especially happy about my live favorite Boum Boum Boum because haven’t heard it for a while and now heard it two nights in row and the new Love Today which is even more intense than earlier, not sure how that’s even possible. After the show he stopped quickly to say thank you to the French fans he knows well, saw me and gave a quick handshake because he is always so polite. It was somehow funny but very sweet of course, as an opposite to my cold hands his hands are always soft and warm. More about these festivals when back home.

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