Gig/event reviews: Tallinn Ollesummer Festival
Tallinn is only a couple of hours ferry trip from Helsinki, but Mika wise like a whole new world. I arrived to Tallinn night before the show and was surprised (but pleased) to chat with an older taxi driver, who told that “quiet today, Alphaville playing at Lauluvaljak but tomorrow it will be mad: Mika will be there”. Amazing he’s so popular in Estonia!
I met my friend Saskia at the hotel. We planned to see Alphaville but it was already really late and we didn’t go in the end (I regretted it a bit, because you know, I have lived Alphaville times, well, at least “the best of Alphaville times” and would have loved to see them live). But we did a lovely walk near the sea instead and I was surprised how pretty everything looked. How come you never appreciate things near you? It’s not always necessary to travel for days to see something beautiful. Saskia and I chatted until late night at the hotel (we knew we can sleep late in the morning) and it was so much fun, a big thank you to her for the company!
The gates were opened at 4.30 pm next day and we went there a little bit before that, met some fans and heard Mika/his band doing the soundcheck. I always love that moment, it makes me wait for the evening so much. The gates were opened and we went in and saw the area around the stage still closed and suddenly realized he is on stage and rehearsing! The security said it’s okay to be there and watch but no filming or taking pics so we stood there listening and smiling and started to hear new songs! It felt unreal! I almost couldn’t understand we were really listening to Lola and Underwater (and another new song we didn’t know about at all). I love watching these moments, Mika is always very different than during his usual shows. I could see his mother dancing and having fun in her colorful dress and couldn’t decide which one is more awesome, listening to the new songs and watching the rehearsals or knowing we were going to see his full, proper show in a few hours!
Ollesummer festival is actually a beer festival. It doesn’t sound so good but it wasn’t bad either, not too many drunken people and I could even found a proper coffee stand. The performer before Mika was a bit harder style, probably not something foreign Mika fans (like Saskia) usually listen to. The band seemed to be popular in Estonia though, maybe in Russia too, and even they are not known in my country I could totally see their style being popular here too. I really liked their music and the singer was quite charismatic. I think they were a good choice to perform before Mika, the audience loved them and went a bit crazy already. The band is called The Sun and I think the singer Tanel Padar won the ESC years ago (please correct me if I’m wrong).
I was lucky to see Mika in Tallinn two years ago so I knew the audience will be the best possible and I was really looking forward to the show also for that reason. Tallinn never seems to fail, the audience was epic and so loud and Mika was on fire from the first moments. He told later how the audience made him almost fly backwards because the effect was so strong and totally believe him because I could feel the power in the audience. The audience blow some soap bubbles during the Happy Ending and it must have brought a lot of memories to Mika from his previous Tallinn show because he had that huge smile on his face again.
Tallinn was the first proper opportunity for me to see the new band and I was very curious to see how they play together (I did see them in London but the set was short and the band looked a bit nervous there). This time they were totally having fun and very relaxed. They sound really good, seem to know what to do and are musically very versatile (playing a lot of instruments etc). I’m not surprised, I expected them to be good, he wouldn’t have changed his band otherwise, but I was happily surprised to see their sense of humor and relaxed performing. My first thought was that even the band looks more mature than the previous one. It can be just the outfits and style, I haven’t checked their age. Anyway, I already love the band and was happy they could experience this kind of Mika magic in so early phase of the touring. They must have felt how amazing the atmosphere was.
He lost a bit of his voice during the night so the new songs sounded actually better in France a couple of days later. I still loved every single moment in Tallinn. Hearing new songs for the very first time is always special, I’m glad it happened in Tallinn (because it seems to be a special Mika place for me) and felt very emotional myself (new music after a long, long wait), I can’t describe it. It was good to see Mika starting touring looking happy and pleased. Looking forward to many good moments in the future, but the Tallinn show will absolutely be one of my favorite shows this summer.