Gig reviews: Balaton Sound, Hungary
Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in the world so there was no question if I could possibly skip Balaton Sound festival a couple of hours jorney outside Budapest at Lake Balaton. I arrived Hungary a day before to have some time for sightseeing. My friend showed me the city and some interesting places, cooked us proper Hungarian food which was delicious and made me feel really welcome and I had a fantastic time, can’t thank her enough.
We traveled to the festival by train in the festival morning and I was really surprised to see the area. The stage was only two minutes walk from the beach, the place looked beautiful and people were starting their beach party wearing bikinis and swim suits. They had obviously come to see their friends and to party, not actually to see artists, so the whole day and night was relaxed, there was no pushing and we could easily leave our front row places to buy drinks or use toilets.
Balaton Sound was a proper festival and we watched two artists/groups before Mika. The first one was a local party band, I never even caught their name but they were great, I loved them! The second one was a rap artist called Big Boi, and rap artists are so not my style, but actually it was a lot of fun live and I enjoyed the show. We met the most amazing and helpful Hungarian guy called Balázs, who came to see Big Boi but decided to see Mika too and kindly offered to film Mika songs with my camera so I could take some photos with my another camera. The quality is really much better than usually in my vids (all credits to Balázs for that) so I naturally want to have a full-time cameraman at gigs with me for now on!
Mika started his show with Relax as usually and he kept his eyes closed at first. I bet he was a bit unsure how the audience would be like (I heard the audience wasn’t so good in Budapest a year ago) but he opened his eyes soon and saw that the audience was happy and warm and partying with him.
I really enjoyed it that everything in the show was kept really plain and simple. Mika had his old flower curtain as a background and he was wearing white clothes and took a lot of contact with his audience, and this is how I like him best. We can always read a lot of emotions from his face and he looked almost touched when he noticed that the audience knew lyrics for songs like Happy Ending even he is not really popular in Hungary. The vid below shows two songs, Happy Ending and Love Today (Mika in his new red jacket).
This was really a very basic show, meaning no new songs or not many show elements. It was mostly the audience (so much better than I expected) and Mika’s relaxed singing what made it so special, and although I was dying to see his new Marie Antoinette show and to hear his new French songs I really enjoyed this last “old show” with Big Girls and Lollipop Girls. In the end of the show a random guy from the audience (not a fan but an average festival visitor) shouted “Mika, you rock!!” and it made me smile so much because such a great and well-deserved feedback!
I was hoping to see Mika after the show because I had promised to Mana (who was the editor of the MFC yearbook 2011) to give Mika his copy of the new yearbook. It was heavy to carry and I was looking forward to giving it. His sister promised he might meet us after the show if he has time but didn’t tell when and where and the festival area was huge, but luckily he saw us before leaving and came to say hi and I was able to give the book (which looked awesome, I was so proud to be one delivering it!). He was pleased to have the book and he took a moment to admire it.
After that we talked a few words about the show next day and he assumed I was not coming, I guess he was practical enough to understand it was middle of the night at countryside in Hungary and it might be more challenging for me to be early enough next day somewhere outside Paris than it was for him (with a driver and people taking care of him). I told I was coming and we did a high five for that. It is sweet he seems to think it’s perfectly natural for his fans to travel wherever his next show is and that only tiny practical issues with timing can stop us. He is so spoiled but he is right, I wouldn’t have missed his new show and took a train to Budapest and was on time at the airport for my flight to Paris and Compiéne.