Gig/polkadot choir review: Mika @Gasometer, Vienna 5.11.2012
Mika performed at Gasometer in Vienna on the 5th of November. During the windy afternoon only a handful of us hardcore fans bothered to queue and most local fans arrived just before the doors were opened. When Tim (the guitarist) arrived and asked if anyone liked to join the choir only a couple of fans volunteered. For many fans Vienna was the only opportunity to see the show this autumn and they preferred to see it properly from the audience. I told Tim I would love to be in the choir but to tell the truth I can’t sing well enough. Tim assured that the main idea was to dance and have fun on stage and that there would be several of us and I shouldn’t worry too much so I promised to give it a try.
I’m really glad I did, I had such a great time and I enjoyed every moment! Our polkadot choir was multinational and had six members from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Finland. I knew some of the other girls in advance and we all had a lot fun together first practicing with the band and Mika, then waiting and chatting in our dressing room and eventually singing as a choir on stage.
First the band helped us to go through the songs in our dressing room and it was the first time I could spend some time with the new band and I loved how kind and supportive they all were, so humble and friendly to everyone even they are so professional and used to work with stars. Next we rehearsed on stage practicing also our dancing and moves and suddenly Mika joined us, looking a bit sleepy, so handsome and casual wearing jeans and a blue sweater.
He started to sing and we were allowed to watch the whole soundcheck on stage. This is always my favorite part, I love watching him preparing/practicing for the show (always so impressive). We met Mrs Penniman and she gave us our outfits and some good advices to help us on stage later. I admire her patience and kindness and this time she told us about the touring and asked some questions about our countries, traveling and lives in general.
We got the setlist and were told we would be on stage with Mika during eight songs singing some pre-chorus and chorus parts. Eight songs!!! It’s really something different than being on stage two minutes during one song. I enjoyed everything happening and wasn’t a bit nervous while rehearsing with Mika and the band but as I’ve always been afraid of performing in front of an audience/people my mind went totally blank during the show and I can’t remember all the details. I just did my best following Karin’s (who lead the choir) dancing because the main idea was to look like a choir and have a synchronized moves and also remembering the right parts to sing. It wasn’t so easy because we didn’t have much time to practice and as usual Mika added some surprise elements like killing us on stage (so we had to improvise falling down).
We were told in advance to smile and have a good time whatever happened and that was actually very easy because we were on stage next to Mika: I loved being there, watching the audience and being a part of the show. Mika added Toy Boy to the setlist during the show so we were able to watch it from a very close distance and I absolutely loved every second and couldn’t help but having a stupid happy smile on my face after the song. We could watch the songs we didn’t participate first from the audience and later from the side of the stage and the stage manager showed us the way back to the stage when needed.
I had to concentrate on my own singing and dancing so I couldn’t observe Mika and his performing the same way as I usually do. After the show Mrs Penniman told us that she saw this wasn’t an easy show for him (and as his mother she can surely notice these things). One of us asked later Mika if he enjoyed performing that night and he told us how every show is different. I understood this wasn’t an easy one but that he still managed to enjoy the show in the end. The audience was good and enthusiastic even the show wasn’t sold out this time and I could see the whole crowd responding him.
We waited a good while to have our moment with him after the show and eventually he came and was really, really sweet and kind and spent some time with us joking, signing our backstage stickers/setlists etc and taking pics. I wonder if he knew I was worried about my singing because he made a little bit fun of it and looked just amused and not annoyed at all and made me be feel a lot better.
He offered to take individual photos with everyone so we could have a memory of our experience and I took photos for the other girls and Karin took a photo of Mika and me. I told him it’s my first photo with him and he looked really surprised and put his arm around me and gave the camera the most adorable smile ever. Obviously so lovely I closed my eyes. Can’t believe it, such a sweet picture and my eyes are closed! Karin took another pic and that time our eyes were open (but in the second one Mika is trying really hard to keep his eyes open and not blink them and I look a bit uncomfortable). At least the atmosphere in the pics is authentic; I guess I really was that embarrassingly happy.
Asking fans on stage is already a tradition and gives us a feeling of being a part of the Mika world (and it’s not only about being there myself but also seeing my friends there like I did last night in Munich). The polkadot choir is again a huge work to Mika and his band, crew and family so it makes me think he genuinely appreciates his fans offering them opportunities to be on stage with him. Personally I love watching what’s happening behind the scenes, a lot of professional people but also a warm atmosphere and a huge involvement from his family (and I value seeing things like that). What a great day in many ways, thanks everyone who made it possible, so much fun!