Gig review: Das Festival, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
I didn’t originally plan to travel to Schaffhausen but I wanted to give the tour a proper end and Paleo Festival didn’t feel a proper end even though it was a good show. My German friends had some space in their car on their way from Munich to Schaffhausen and they even offered me a place to stay for Friday night so I decided to fly to Munich and do a road trip together with them. I was worried something will go wrong but the festival was not cancelled, there were no thunder storms, we didn’t get stuck in traffic jams (at least not for a long time) and we didn’t arrive too late. Everything went well.
We arrived in the afternoon just on time to see the venue before the area was closed (after the first part of the festival, there was a children’s event in the morning). I saw some paintings hanging already above the stage and I took a few pictures, and suddenly the band came to the stage and started to do their soundcheck. Usually the sound team does it, sometimes the band is there, sometimes Mika is there but most times we are not allowed to see it. So we were happy to watch iMMa and Ben rehearsing and Marion (who was next to me) and I were wondering why Martin was not there, we couldn’t recognize the guitarist. Suddenly I realized that Mika had appeared. I was sure we would be asked to go outside the area but the security only asked us not to take any photos and we were allowed to watch the soundcheck. Mika explained that they have a new guitarist and that they need to do a longer soundcheck than usually. He didn’t sing only one or two songs but many songs and it felt like a real surprise gig. I really loved watching it!
I have seen him on stage many times but he is always performing and doing a show and the moments we see him off-stage are always over too quickly. So it was really special to see him practicing, doing his job and guiding the band looking so casual in his jeans. He seemed to be in a very good mood, he said some comments to us and the audience didn’t seem to disturb him. He spontaneously did some lines from Elle Me dit in English and it was amazing, everyone was cheering and he looked surprised (“oh, you liked it?”) and we said “YES!” and we secretly started to hope he would sing it in English in the evening. Marion and I were standing stunned and speechless during the whole soundcheck, not capable of saying more than a few very obvious lines to each other. The whole situation made us laugh out loud afterwards and it was so cool to see we both (and everyone there) thought it was one of the most special Mika moments ever. I wonder if he knows how silly his fans are, but it was definitely worth traveling just to see the soundcheck and we still had the show to see in the evening.
This was a festival once again so waiting for the gig meant watching the other festival artists, in this case all bands. I can’t remember the names for the first two. The first one was a bit boring but compared to the second one it was actually quite good. The second band had a really weird female singer who looked drugged and their music was just bad in my ears. Marion and I couldn’t believe the festival was paying for having them, I bet someone paid to send them away from UK. The third band was called The Rambling Wheels and they had the attitude!! I totally loved their show, and not only because they had a song called The Girl With the Tattoo (my song). After them the audience was really ready to see Mika, and it loved him!
He had so much fun on stage, it was awesome to watch. The whole band did well, and loved seeing them participating so much. The stage was so much smaller than in Nyon and they seemed to fill it with joking and laughing. The new guitarist did well, can’t understand how he looked so relaxed at his first gig together with Mika and his band (it was literally his first day). BIOTG was great. It’s weird that I never listen to the album version but I liked the vid and I always love it at concerts.
I loved hearing Rain one more time this summer because the new version is so good and I was especially pleased Mika did Touches You (we haven’t heard it much lately). He talked a bit before Happy Ending explaining it’s a challenging song and it was really adorable! Of course we know it’s more difficult song to sing than most of his songs, and it always tells how his voice is that day. It’s a bit different every time but I don’t mind, HE is always one of my favorites, love it. His voice is like an instrument, it can’t be similar every day and that’s one reason to listen to it live.
In the end Mika really did Elle Me Dit in English and it was quite amazing to hear a new song at the last gig. Now I need time to understand that it is actually an English song and not French! I liked the idea of French songs so much, but I guess I will get used to the English version soon. Of course the song feels totally different now when I can understand everything and the image in my head is not based just translations and my own thoughts.
It was a good way to end the tour. Mika mentioned several times that this was the last festival and he was extra kind and sweet to people (well, he can have some space now after the tour is finished). I know this was actually not a tour but it felt like a mini tour, and we saw the Marie Antoinette stage and the new costumes and heard three new songs (four versions). I already miss everything – I need live Mika music just like I need books around me – but at the same time I have more energy after all this traveling and fun than I have had for a long time and it makes me look forward to some busy times in my real life.
I went back to Munich with Karin, Saskia and Renate (and Karin was an excellent driver even it was so dark and wet) and I flied back home and I hugged my husband telling how awesome Schaffhausen was and said thank you thank you thank you for letting me go (it was expensive and it also meant some extra work for him at home). And I explained that we saw the soundcheck, that Mika looked gorgeous and so casual during it and that he did a great show and was really kind and my husband said “yeah, no problem, just please stay home for a while now”.