Traveling, events, people: Mika @ Harpa, Reykjavik
I have been procrastinating my Iceland report because I have no words for everything I experienced during the past few days. I fell in love with the country the first moment I walked out of the airport. Everything was perfectly simple and simply perfect at the same time. It was absolutely beautiful, the cold color in the air, the emptiness. I’m used to cold weather, darkness and ice, we have much more snow in Helsinki than I saw in Iceland and I’ve managed to see the Northern Lights just a couple of hours from my home but the volcanic nature in Iceland was something new and so different than anything I had seen before. The Icelandic nature is so powerful you can feel it around you. It’s absolutely fascinating. I saw the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and I wish I had had my proper camera with me but didn’t want to carry it while traveling so I don’t have any really good photos to show.
Reykjavik is a fantastic place in so many ways. The center is so small you can walk around it but it’s full of weird, colorful cafes and tiny stylish but still cozy restaurants serving incredibly good food. There are books everywhere (book stores, book cafes) and people are are friendly and they seem to be open-minded and liberal like in Nordic countries in general. I had breakfast here, lovely vegetarian curry here and delicious fish meal here. I met Deb and Bianca as soon as I arrived Reykjavik and was so much fun to do things together. Deb and I both agreed we were very lucky to have Bianca as our guide to show us the best places to watch the Northern Lights and have a cup of hot chocolate in a lovely restaurant while waiting. A HUGE thank you for your company, ladies!
Harpa is a large and modern venue with several concert halls. Mika performed at Silfurberg conference hall. The stuff was friendly and helpful and the building offered every possible facilities (restaurants, shop etc) we could hope for. I especially loved the view.
The supporting act was called Páll Óscar (or internationally Paul Oscar) and he literally almost blew up the venue – people went wild! We heard later he is one of the most famous and most popular artists in Iceland and at least the Harpa audience loved him. I loved his very entertaining and camp performance too (you can watch one of his old youtube vids here, but he is even better live, imo).
The Harpa audience saw an old-fashioned Mika show with a simple setting/outfits and very high-energy performance. He didn’t much joke or interact with the band but told some stories and ended the show with balloons (a very nice ending, the audience loved it). I really enjoyed the show especially the most energetic songs but felt a bit sad at the same time and especially during Stardust and Underwater – both breath-takingly beautiful once again – because it was the last concert of the tour, and this time it felt different, like he is not even planning to come back. I’m probably just overdramatizing as usual. The crew was very convincing when wishing merry christmas and saying “see you next year” and I already bought three festival tickets for 2013 so maybe I will see him again, we never know.
Still, don’t you just hate endings? It looked Mika was relieved to see the tour ending though. It was short but tiring and he wasn’t properly well in the past few weeks and sometimes had this worried look in his eyes. He was really sweet to everyone after the show, it was good to see him smiling and he even made a video to wish happy holidays to all his fans (see it here, thanks Deb for filming and uploading the video!). I gave him my Christmas card (I’m not very artistic, so it was embarrassingly very 5 yo level) and he promised to read it. I saw him at the airport and waved good bye and he gave me a very wide smile so I thought he probably either had read my silly card or just guessed that seeing him so suddenly in front of me was a highlight of my flight. So everything was really good and unforgettable and also a bit emotional at the same time.
And that was the European Tour 2012. Can’t believe it’s over. I collected wonderful memories. I met lovely people. It was a pleasure, really. Thank you everyone for your company while queueing, eating, traveling and partying at the gigs, for lovely chats and for all your help, for making me smile and making me laugh. I saw some fantastic venues in 10 different countries and, of course, saw and experienced many very, very special Mika moments. Happy holidays xxx