Concert memories: France 4/2010
The ash cloud from the volcano messed my plans to travel to Barcelona, my flight was cancelled. I wanted to make sure I would be in France soon after that and didn’t dare to wait my flight in case it would have been cancelled as well so I took a ferry to Stockholm and a train from Stockholm via Copenhagen, Cologne, Brussels and Paris to Marseille. It was a long way. I didn’t much sleep during the trip and I was afraid I would miss the first gig in France but was luckily in Marseille just in time to see Mrs Penniman (Mika’s mother) choosing fans to be Big Girls and Lollipop Girls.
Instead of using professional dancers at his shows Mika lets people from the audience dress in colorful dresses and dance with him on stage during a couple of songs. It is extremely kind and generous from him. It means a lot of extra work for his team but it gives his fans some unforgettable memories. For many fans, especially for younger ones, being on stage with him is something to remember forever.
Personally I’m not a stage person. To be honest I was scared to death even think about being/dancing on stage. However, I’m really interested in everything happening during shows – every single little detail – and this looked like a great opportunity to see how things work backstage. Many of my friends had told about it and I decided to give it a try. And I loved every moment of it! I saw Mika’s mother and sisters working so hard, everything was so busy. I loved helping the other girls to get dressed and just watching what happened but I admit I was really scared to wear the green corset and be in front of people myself.
It is really not that scary as it sounds. Big Girls wear masks, so no one can actually recognize them. And there are always many girls, all size and age. The problem was mostly that I didn’t know what to do (I don’t speak any French) until Mika’s lovely assistant realized I can’t understand a word and quickly gave me the details in English. I couldn’t much see behind my mask, and I was quite terrified I would fall off the stage. What worried me most was that Mika would be annoyed or angry if something went wrong (I just had a feeling he wants things his way and is not pleased if something goes wrong during his shows). Telling Mrs Penniman that she has one BG less than planned was definitely not an option though, I would have never cancelled just because I was nervous.
It wasn’t so serious in the end. Well, I was really bad. I couldn’t see a thing, I hit my mask to Jimmy’s bass and tried to hide behind Lollipop Girls the rest of the time to save the situation but Mika wasn’t angry at all. I don’t think he had time to pay any attention. We took a group picture after the show and I exchanged a few words with him about the Helsinki gig (which was just announced).
After Marseille I travelled to Lyon and Paris. I wasn’t feeling well in Lyon (not enough sleep, too much traveling and excitement) but the French fans were really helpful and kind, giving me medicine and a place to rest before the show, and luckily I was able to watch the Lyon show which was the first Arena Tour show for me. It was a fantastic, huge show. I was so proud to see Mika performing in front of the huge audience and see all the theatrical elements.
He had done several changes to his show after the European Tour to make it more suitable for large venues. Everything went well and the Lyon show left a good feeling and I really started to look forward to Paris and the important Bercy shows. Watch below Good Gone Girl with gorgeous Ida and Happy Ending, both from Bercy. During Happy Ending Mika made some happy, loving hearts to the Paris audience.