Gig reviews: Mika Asia Tour, Tokyo & Osaka 5/2015
Two Asian tour concerts in Japan: Studio Coast in Tokyo on Tuesday and Namba Hatch in Osaka on Wednesday. I’m overwhelmed by everything I saw and experienced during my trip and loved the country and every single detail so I’m trying to write down some impressions as quickly as possible not to forget them. First some impressions about these two gigs and later more about places I visited and people I met.
Seeing concerts in Japan is very different than seeing concerts in Europe or US. Firstly, it’s not possible to influence on your spot in the audience in any way as every ticket has a random number and people are let in in number order either in bigger groups (like happened in Tokyo) or checking their numbers one by one (like in Osaka). Secondly, the pressure in the crowd is strong and some people may find it uncomfortable and perhaps want to avoid the front part. The pressure comes from excitement and people are very smiling and friendly and I’m used to many kind of audiences so I didn’t mind at all, but was definitely bruised after the show and it was difficult to breath at times.
I managed to locate myself in the second row in Tokyo. When Mika walked on stage the crowd immediately packed forward and threw me into the first row towards the barrier before I could realize what happened. I was happy to be there and grabbed the barrier and apologized the girl next to me who was luckily very kind and understanding and just smiled and told there’s nothing to do when the crowd moves with that strong power and that it’s similar at every concert. In Osaka I decided to go to the back of the venue (to a bit higher area with barriers) to see the whole stage and had a great view but of course felt like watching the show as an outsider compared to Tokyo. I was still happy to see the both perspectives.
Mika opened both nights with Toy Boy and people were so excited they could hardly calm down to listen to it. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Japan gigs and was a bit worried that between massive, enthusiastic Korea and new, unknown China already familiar Japan could be almost like an anticlimax and not exciting enough for Mika. However, he obviously enjoyed the atmosphere and gave the audience his best energy and full attention and the gigs were fantastic measured by any standards.
The crowd in Tokyo was absolutely crazy and I had a great spot so I naturally enjoyed the gig fully and can put it very high on my personal top gig list. On the other hand in Osaka we heard three more songs (Good Wife, Any Other World, Drunk) and saw even chattier Mika so the both gigs ended up being amazing experiences (the picture and Toy Boy above from Tokyo, other vids from Osaka). Mika took a lot of contact with the audience and gave his attention to people and it was lovely to see my Japanese friends getting happy Mika moments after waiting the gig for such a long time.
My favorite live songs include my permanent favorites Underwater and Origin, my new favorites Last Party and Good Wife and now surprisingly also Boum Boum Boum, which seems always to be fantastic performed live and Japan was not an exception. I absolutely loved the intro he did for Boum Boum Boum in Osaka and as I sometimes film beginnings of the songs before I decide whether to film them or not I have a little clip of it so uploaded it below (only the intro part).
All high energy songs are great at gigs and EMD is a success everywhere and not only in French-speaking countries. The quality for my EMD clip is not very good so I didn’t plan to upload it but there’s a very cute moment with Tim and Max in the beginning of the video so I share it here, it’s simply too cute not to share (love the ”good boy Max!!” part), so watch at least the beginning (and the whole song if you don’t mind a bit poor quality).
Colorful confetti party is a highlight every time. We saw one in Tokyo and it looked fabulous! Osaka got long serpentines and the colors looked good with the setting and I’m always happy to see new details even (with that amount) it wasn’t as impressive as confetti.
I really enjoyed all new songs live and found – maybe surprisingly – Talk About You even better live song than Good Guys even though expected the opposite way. I didn’t film those songs but happy that I filmed Last Party and Good Wife and been watching the videos over and over again and had the weirdest moment in Osaka watching the clips after the show and experiencing a small earthquake at the same time. I knew it was harmless but it still felt weird because I’m not used to them in Finland and couldn’t first decide if it was real or my imagination. I already shared LP, GW and AOW (spectacular version!) in my previous blog post and have uploaded two more videos – Happy Ending and Drunk – see them below.
There’s a funny fan moment in the beginning of the Drunk video. Mika is talking how a fan asked Max to be quiet. She actually asked them to lower bass (from drums?) because it was really loud like it unfortunately so often is. I hope Mika doesn’t quiet Max because we all love Max and want to hear also his beautiful voice. The situation is hilarious and you can hear Iona teaching Mika Japanese before he starts Drunk. Mika did also some very funny additions in the end of Billy Brown and I can’t wait him to do something equally funny during European shows as everyone is thrilled to see variations in his old songs.
Already missing everyone I met in Japan. So happy I could finally meet Eriko after knowing her via internet for years! This was definitely one of my most memorable trips on many level and I really hope I can go back some day. More about my trip/Japan/fan meetings as soon as possible.