Mika @ Festival Jardins de Pedralbes in Barcelona, Spain 7/2015
Festival Jardins de Pedralbes was my first Mika show in Spain. I’ve been so unlucky with my trips to Spain and cancelled them several times, so happy that I could finally make it happen. I travelled together with my good friend Salla. She flew to Barcelona on Wednesday to be able to do more sightseeing and I arrived on Thursday. We met Lara on Friday and had an awesome, sunny day visiting Montjuic by a cable car, watching the view over Barcelona and walking in the park. Barcelona looks a cheerful, relaxed city. This was only my second visit there and it’s maybe not one of “my cities” but still a fun place to spend a short holiday listening to Mika and meeting friends.
The gig was seated and there was no need for queueing so we arrived the venue around 8 pm just before the gates were opened to have a drink and meet the others before the show. So rare to have a possibility to arrive last minute feeling fresh and rested and still have a good spot in the audience. The venue was beautiful and offered an amazing setting for a seated Mika show.
Mika started the show with Toyboy and everyone was listening quietly. Photographers were sitting on the ground in front of the audience not to block our view. I had originally planned to take only a couple of photos for my report but ended up keeping my camera in my bag (as the security on our side asked people to put their cameras away) and just enjoyed the show.
After Toyboy was the turn for Grace Kelly and Blue Eyes. Seated gigs start always more slowly than usual standing gigs as it takes time for the audience to have courage to dance and be a part of the show. This time I immediately had a weird feeling that Mika didn’t have his usual energy or that he didn’t enjoy being on stage. In those situations he always tries hard to be on his stage mood and usually succeeds and Talk About You was indeed much better already and the gig got a proper start. I find it interesting that a song I don’t much care on the album is one of my favorites at gigs. I really like the live version of TAY and it was among my top three songs in Barcelona as well.
I can’t remember the exact setlist but we heard at least Big Girl, Relax, Billy Brown, Happy Ending, Love Today, Underwater, Origin, Elle Me Dit and Drunk from his older albums, Live Your Life as a special song for the Spanish audience and Boum Boum Boum and Good Guys from the new album (not in this order of course). The gig got better song by song and even I couldn’t totally feel the usual gig adrenaline I really enjoyed the evening and loved especially some particular songs like Live Your Life after not hearing it for a very long time. Hope to hear it soon again if not in his regular set at least every now and then.
Boum Boum Boum was – once again – one of my biggest favorites, I really like the way it’s performed live with the piano and it was definitely one the highlights in Barcelona. Underwater is one of my all time favorites but there’s something too loud in the current live version and it always disturbs a little bit. It’s obviously done on purpose (otherwise they would have fixed it already) but I can’t understand or explain why and my mind was wandering during the song a bit. As soon as Billy Brown started I realized it’s such a comfort song. I guess there is a need for songs like that and even it wasn’t on the printed setlist in Barcelona it was performed as usual.
I was already a bit disappointed that he didn’t do more new songs but Last Party was saved for the encore together with Lollipop and I absolutely LOVED it! One of my favorite ever versions and would have alone made my trip to Barcelona worth while. Definitely my favorite part of the gig.
The audience wasn’t really enthusiastic but there were a lot of funny moments between Mika and his fans. One of the Spanish fans was asked on stage to translate Mika (the situation was hilarious) and another one got credit for the Spanish additions for Drunk. In the end of the show Mika jumped in the middle of the audience and sang a bit standing on the seats and it surely increased the party feeling together with the usual confetti which is always my personal favorite no matter how many times I’ve experienced it, I love it.
I had thought he must be a bit jet lagged or exhausted after super busy promotion schedules but he told later while chatting with his fans that the gig felt a bit harder than usually because of several reasons/last minutes changes like a new musician in the band. We all assured Mika he had done incredibly well despite of the challenges. I had already thought during the gig that the new bassist did well and was brave smiling through the gig even the situation was totally new for him and he obviously had to follow the rest of the band to keep up. Tim was super sweet smiling to the front row looking so kind and I made a special note to myself how much I like Joy’s current role, I really enjoy her part in several songs. Even Salla mentioned Joy and Happy Ending which was her favorite song in Barcelona together with Love Today, Relax, Good Guys and Last Party.
We got the sweetest ending for the night and I loved it that Mika tweeted after leaving the venue thanking his fans and I’m sure it made everyone reading it smile. Thanks everyone I met in Barcelona (good to see so many people I hadn’t met for a while) and thanks Becks for organizing a little flower and food surprise, I hope our pop star enjoyed it. A couple of pics below are taken by Salla.