Mika Fan club is doing a yearbook and while writing my festival report for the book I realized I never posted the photos I took during my trip to the Faroe Islands Summer Festival 2013. I read my old blog entry and everything came back to my mind again.

Breath-taking views, walking in the chilly weather, sitting in the warm and cozy living-room style tourist cafe, listening to the local radio station and watching mothers and their babies dancing along Grace Kelly.

The young, very excited audience, local “security” standing in front of the crowd with their flashlights (ready to point the light into the eyes in case one of the kids in the audience misbehaved) and of course Mika singing Underwater at the beautiful, foggy venue. Unforgettable memories. Some photos below.

faroe_3

faroe_4

faore_10

faroe_2

faroe_11

faroe18

faroe_8

faroe_9

faroe20

faroe_6

faroe_7

faroe16

faroe17

spiderwoman

sumu

faroe_mika_3

faroe_mika

faroe_mika_5

faroe_mika_6

faroe_mika_7

A few words about the show in the Faroe Islands last night. First of all, Faroe Islands must be the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen! Klaksvik didn’t hit me like Reykjavik did in December but I definitely fell in love with the place and its incredibly beautiful nature.

I assumed the Faroe Islands summer festival is the biggest annual event in Klaksvik so seeing the audience was a total surprise to me. Lara, Yulia and I went to see the show and were suddenly surrounded by preteenage children. I couldn’t understand what was happening. Why the venue was full of 9-13 years old kids and not the usual audience (meaning people from different age groups or even if fairly young still older than preteens)?

Then I realized that of course only the kids were there. Their older siblings and parents were working at the festival as young security workers/for media/for administration/selling food and party items (and the adults with free time were having a beer in the bar tent or skipping the kids event for some other reason). That naturally left a huge amount of very excited preteens and a few tourists for Mika. As awkward it sounds (and was) it was also quite touching. A lot of overexcited kids were pushing and screaming and it was very uncomfortable but you really can’t blame 12 yo kids for being a 12 yo, can you?

Obviously I couldn’t  focus on the music the way I usually do. Took me a few songs to get used to the audience pushing from every side and was impossible not to worry about the smallest children the security (probably their uncles, neighbors and older brothers) tried desperately to keep in safe. Some of the teens were (or imagined to be) old enough to drink and caused small trouble in every five minutes making a group of security guys (again, probably their uncles, neighbors and older brothers) move as a group waving their flashlights (didn’t much help, of course). But again, it was quite sweet and touching to watch the whole community doing security work together (well that’s how it looked) and I was tempted to offer my help with babysitting but it wasn’t my job, lol, I was there to enjoy the music.

I decided to take a lot of photos as I love it and this time there was so much distraction any way that it didn’t add any extra disturbance. Sadly the lighting was very bright and challenging and I’m only practicing with my camera so the result wasn’t good at all. I still really enjoyed listening to the music and taking photos at the same time and after a few songs I was able to concentrate on the songs better. The security ruined Origin (grouping in front of me to wave their lights) but I was able to properly listen to Underwater and it was absolutely beautiful and suddenly I felt like crying, I was so happy to be there even the gig was very different than usually. It’s not that everything in life needs to perfect. It’s more that life is everything and that makes it perfect (not good English, I know). And of all the crazy, cool and amazing things I’ve seen and done this Faroe Islands trip was definitely one of the most special.

Happy Ending was my other favorite with extremely lovely ending and as I’ve said before I love the new intros he is doing for several of the old songs. He did Emily in English again. He still can’t remember the lyrics and I don’t understand why he is so stubborn with the song and keeps trying it in English instead of doing it in French for every audience because EMD works well even for non-French audiences (just my opinion of course). The stage was far away and I couldn’t see details well but the band seemed to be in a good mood and I must say once again how much I love the way they play Love Today, just perfect and one of my favorite songs at every gig. A very special trip in every possible way, definitely something to remember for the rest of my life, so grateful and happy .

Iceland, Reykjavik

I have been procrastinating my Iceland report because I have no words for everything I experienced in the past few days. I fell in love with the country the first moment I walked out of the airport. Everything was perfectly simple and simply perfect at the same time. It was absolutely beautiful, the cold color in the air, the emptiness. I’m used to cold weather, darkness and ice, we have much more snow in Helsinki than I saw in Iceland and I’ve managed to see the Northern Lights just a couple of hours from my home but the volcanic nature in Iceland was something new and so different than anything I had seen before. The Icelandic nature is so powerful you can feel it around you. It’s absolutely fascinating. I had only little time to explore Iceland but I felt my heart belongs to there (it felt like home) and I can’t wait to go back and take my family with me. I left a small amount of local money in my wallet so going back will be easier. I saw the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, I wish I had had my proper camera with me but didn’t want to carry it while traveling so I don’t have any really good photos to show.

Reykjavik is a fantastic place in so many ways. The center is so small you can walk around it but it’s full of weird, colorful cafes and tiny stylish but still cozy restaurants serving incredibly good food. There are books everywhere (book stores, book cafes) and people are are friendly and they seem to be open-minded and liberal like in Nordic countries in general. I had breakfast here, lovely vegetarian curry here and delicious fish meal here. met Deb and Bianca as soon as I arrived Reykjavik and was so much fun to do things together. Deb and I both agreed we were very lucky to have Bianca as our guide to show us the best places to watch the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and have a cup of hot chocolate in a lovely restaurant while waiting (the first pic below). A HUGE thank you for your company, ladies!

Harpa

Harpa is a large and modern venue with several concert halls. Mika performed at Silfurberg conference hall. The stuff was friendly and helpful and the building offered every possible facilities (restaurants, shop etc) we could hope for. I especially loved the view (see above)!

The supporting act

The supporting act was called Páll Óscar (or internationally Paul Oscar) and he literally almost blew up the venue – people went wild! We heard later he is one of the most famous and most popular artists in Iceland and at least the Harpa audience loved him. I loved his very entertaining and camp performance too (you can watch one of his old youtube vids here, but he is even better live, imo).

The Mika gig

The Harpa audience saw an old-fashioned Mika show with a simple setting/outfits and very high-energy performance. He didn’t much joke or interact with the band but told some stories (see the vid below) and ended the show with balloons (a very nice ending, the audience loved it). I really enjoyed the show especially the most energetic songs but felt a bit sad at the same time and especially during Stardust and Underwater (both breath-takingly beautiful once again) because it was the last concert of the tour, and this time it felt different, like he is not even planning to come back. I’m probably just overdramatizing as usual. The crew was very convincing when wishing merry christmas and saying “see you next year” and I already bought three festival tickets for 2013 so maybe I will see him again, we never know.
Still, don’t you just hate endings? It looked Mika was relieved to see the tour ending though. It was short but tiring and he wasn’t properly well in the past few weeks and sometimes had this worried look in his eyes. He was really sweet to everyone after the show, it was good to see him smiling and he even made a video to wish happy holidays to all his fans (see it here, thanks Deb for filming and uploading the video!). I gave him my Christmas card (I’m not very artistic, so it was embarrassingly very 5 yo level) and he promised to read it. I saw him at the airport and waved good bye and he gave me a very wide smile so I thought he probably either had read my silly card or just guessed that seeing him so suddenly in front of me was a highlight of my flight. So everything was really good and unforgettable and also a bit emotional at the same time. I came home and told my family how awesome Reykjavik is and that we could spend our next Christmas holidays in lovely cold Iceland and the kids burst in tears (because their class mates spend their holidays in sunny Thailand). Oh well, maybe they will get used to the idea.

And that was the European Tour 2012. Can’t believe it’s over. I collected wonderful memories. I met lovely people. It was a pleasure, really. Thank you everyone for your company while queueing, eating, traveling and partying at the gigs, for lovely chats and for all your help,  for making me smile and making me laugh (laughing is good, isn’t it?). I saw some fantastic venues in 10 different countries (really, it didn’t feel that many?!) and, of course, saw and experienced many very, very special Mika moments. Happy holidays, people. Bring on next year, bring on whatever it brings. xxx

Copenhagen, the fans, the venue

I flied to Copenhagen on Tuesday. I had randomly booked a basic hotel near the venue and just look how white, simple and lovely it was! This why I love Denmark, don’t know how they do it, but they make ordinary, everyday things look so good. I could easily live in Copenhagen and I especially love Tivoli and the Botanical garden I have visited with my family a few times.

I traveled alone and was a bit sad about it because I knew the rare people I know from Sweden/Denmark were supposed be in the polkadot choir and spend most of their day backstage. Luckily I met some great new people and Michael (Lara’s friend) and Lau (who’s girlfriend Line was in the choir) kept me company when the girls went backstage. One of the choir members had cancelled so Tim and Max had to do a quick auditioning outside the venue and it was fun to watch. They were really nice and supportive to the people singing to them and told we are all going to have a great time later even only one of the people could be chosen to the choir and I really started to look forward to the show. Vega is such a stylish venue and has an internationally famous architecture and 50’s design, see some pics here.

Mika, the show

This was one of my favorite shows! The stage setting was kept very simple, the background with only a few written words looked good. The stage looked almost a bit weird before the show started, all the instruments were in weird positions and there was a lot of empty space. Then the main lights went off, the band took their places, the show started and suddenly everything looked fantastic! I took some pics and noticed everything was in a perfect harmony. Unfortunately most of my photos are poor quality so I can’t show the setting but I realized how challenging it must be for the crew to make every stage look good because the size, height and shape all vary so much.

I managed to film Stardust and it was my favorite song in Copenhagen. I loved Lola and actually fell in love with Popular, the live version is different and much, much better than the album version! UW and Origin were both brilliant, loved them. Mika was really chatty in Copenhagen, it was so much fun to watch. I took some parts of my vids to show his chatting, see it here. The opera singing from the audience was so cool and such a funny detail, loved it!!

 

What a wonderful concert at Vega tonight! I wasn’t expecting that good atmosphere even I did get a very good vibe (from some little details) just before the gig started and knew it will be a good one. The stage looked better than usually. I wonder who makes it. I know Mika designed it but everything was really on their places and I loved the background especially in cold light/dark (sounds a bit freak but the stage must be right and now it really was).  Mika was at his best mood. I haven’t seen him this lovely for ages. He always does a good show but the mood – it comes naturally and depends on the day. He was chatty and sharing a lot of stories between/in the middle of the songs, I really enjoyed listening to them (and he told not only random comments but more like little stories).

The slower songs were breath-takingly beautiful and the high-energy songs had a fantastic energy, a very good combination. Stardust was so pretty I could hardly breath and I fell in love with Popular. Can’t believe it because it’s my least favorite song but the live version is awesome! The audience was good (young, singing and screaming) and it made him smile. The choir was great again. Hahah, I wasn’t sure if I should just stare at Mika or party with the choir so I did both, lol. I met some great people tonight, it was so much fun! I will upload a few pics and vids and write a proper review when back home. X

Mika announced his Helsinki concert and suddenly he was all over the Finnish media. His face was on every news page and I got emails, FB-messages and texts from friends who hadn’t contacted me for ages. “Did you hear, Mika is coming to Finland?” Yes, I heard, can’t wait!!!

I was also worried sick. I knew Mika would do a great concert in Helsinki, he always does a professional show. I knew the audience would enjoy it. I was worried he would not enjoy it. I couldn’t bear the thought that he might not enjoy performing in my home town or not like the audience, the venue or my country in general. It was his first concert in Finland, I had no idea about the audience (though I knew there would be some enthusiastic teens).

In the end everything went just perfectly. The venue in Helsinki was small enough to sell and the audience was amazing, everyone singing and dancing their hearts out. Finnish fans were moderately young, but so sweet and adoring, not aggressive or pushy at all and Mika seemed to totally enjoy the situation. He gave his young fans a lot of attention and it just melted my heart! The gig was so happy and warm (actually, the Circus night club was literally hot as a sauna), everyone smiling from the beginning to the very end of the show and I loved every moment of it and the whole atmosphere.

I didn’t much talk with him after the gig. He said something like “so I’m here” and I said something like “yeah”. You know, casually. I was so happy my heart was singing and all I could think was oh, I love you, not only for finally coming to my country but also making it such a fantastic show (it was not the first or only show I have seen but definitely the most meaningful). But I guess you can’t just go and say things like that to popstars (or can you?) so I said “yeah”. You know, casually. Maybe I was also kind of hoping that an artistic person like him can sense the feelings coming from his audience without saying.

Now I understand why people say “a home gig is always a home gig”, because it was a special day for me indeed. I had finally a possibility to bring my family to see my favorite artist, for once I was not too tired (because there was no need for traveling) and I had time and a chance to do some sightseeing with my foreign friends before and after the concert. Besides, I had two Baltic city concerts to look forward to so my mood was just excellent. Good times, happy memories.

Rain:

Kick Ass:

Sweet Dreams:

Mika did a small Scandinavian tour (officially a part of the European Tour) March 2010 and the gigs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm felt almost like home gigs for me, especially because the Helsinki gig was not yet even announced at the time. It was so much fun, and I will always remember Oslo as one of my best ever concert experiences. I was wondering afterwards if it really was that great. Maybe it was just my own good mood that caused it, but no, it wasn’t. It was his good mood that caused it. Mika was relaxed and having fun and the audience went just wild screaming and singing.

The audience in Scandinavia (as in Helsinki and Baltic cities) was younger than his old fan base who found his music through LICM. I have always enjoyed meeting people from different age groups in these circles. There is a clear message in his songs and I feel strongly that it’s not only for teenagers. I think the second album was very tempting to the teenage audience though, maybe because the theme was his own younger years and definitely because the promotion was directed to a very young audience.

Mika is one of the most intelligent (not only creatively talented) persons in the music business, has a fascinating and colorful personality, an interesting multi-cultural background and passion for several things – arts, illustration, style and fashion culture, theater and other performing arts. After following interviews and reading his texts (blogs, columns) for years I know he is a good person and someone who’s thoughts and values I can respect (and while watching this world full of small-minded people I wouldn’t support anyone I can’t respect).

Still, all that my local press has ever told about Mika (mostly in teen magazines) is that he was bullied at school and that he is interested in colorful sneakers. His small concert in Helsinki was warm, lovely and joyful. It was efficiently promoted by the small company who brought him to Finland but the tickets were mostly sold by spreading word amongst 13-15 yo girls and the audience in general was very young. It’s time to change it. The Helsinki concert got wonderful reviews and his short visit left people happy and excited.

The first vid below is Lollipop from KB Hallen, Copenhagen, and after that I See You and WAG from Sentrum Scene, Oslo. Look at his face, he was in a great mood, wasn’t he? The last vid is Any Other World from Annexet, Stockholm (one of my favorite songs from last tours).

Lollipop:
I See You:
WAG:
Any Other World: