Gig reviews: Mika @ Colours of Ostrava, Czech Republic 7/2015
Colours of Ostrava is an annual, old-school summer festival with a huge amount of people, good line-ups and relaxed atmosphere and it offers – beside music – also all kind of festival entertainment (like fire trucks keeping people cool with water) and a good and affordable selection of food and drinks for every taste (Indian food, vegan etc). The local who helped us to find a taxi after the show told he has hardly ever missed the event during the past 15 years and I can easily understand why.
I really liked the vibe, the security was super nice and the audience seemed supportive and open to many kind of artists. One of the security guys chatting with us during the day felt almost like a fan and he actually told us that he knows and likes Mika’s music and because his duty was supposed to end before the main act he was already planning to enjoy the Mika show.
The venue was located in an old, industrial area and the surroundings looked ugly but still somehow cool. The last festival day was hot and we tried avoid the sun but weather cooled down towards the evening and as expected it started to rain just before Mika’s performance.
I didn’t know any of the three other festival acts in advance. The first one was a local big band and generally entertaining but I couldn’t understand a word and every song sounded similar. Then it was the turn for a Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela and the audience loved them and they were amazing indeed. Such unique performance! Check them our here or here if you haven’t heard about them. The third band was an indie rock band called Other Lives and their music was not properly my taste but still good quality and I actually enjoyed watching them and especially their calm singer on stage.
Then it was time for the final 1,5 hour break before Mika’s performance. The atmosphere was so relaxed we could use toilets and buy food during every break but an hour before Mika’s performance the crowd started to pack near the stage and we decided to stay in front of it and saw how the the crew finished the setting. I saw the familiar houses and felt I couldn’t wait for the show and was wondering how the audience would react.
Festivals are not about any particular song or show detail but about filling the huge space, bringing energy on stage, catching people’s attention and keeping them interested and even holding their breath during the whole performance. Mika came on stage and started to talk Czech language, not just a few words but several, proper and long sentences and then opened with Grace Kelly and the audience was immediately on his side and the show was absolutely fantastic. I was amazed once again how well-prepared and professional everything was and how focused he was on the show despite of traveling and a big important event in France just night before.
The setlist was perfect for the situation. His performance was officially an hour (maybe a bit more) and he did a combination of his most popular hits (GK, Relax, BG, Lollipop, BB), his most energetic (LT, WAG, EMD) and most powerful songs (UW, LP), introduced TAY and did a very energetic “festival” version of Origin (I loved it). Every single song had a huge energy or tension and he obviously gave his everything totally ignoring the pouring rain and took a lot of contact with the audience by reaching their hands, giving high fives, making comments to people near the stage and taking little gifts/objects people tried to give him.
He kept dancing and running and did his signature jumps and after a while took off his jacket and threw his tie to the audience and rolled over the wet stage despite of his white shirt and fancy trousers and the audience loved every moment and supported him well singing the chorus parts even most people (except fans wearing Mika T-shirts) probably didn’t know the whole lyrics and was rewarded by a surprise after a surprise like big balloons, a confetti party and some mad drumming in the end. I couldn’t help but thinking “omg he can even drum like that!”. Well of course he can drum. I’ve seen dozens of drumming sessions when it was a regular part of his show but just haven’t seen it for such a long time so I absolutely loved it. The colorful balloons looked especially awesome in the dark and work every time no matter how many times I’ve seen them used.
I enjoy seeing many different kind of events so I was so happy to see a massive energetic show like this in a new country between smaller seated gigs where I’m always more focused on every song and where the setlist includes ballads and new songs. A huge thank you to Saskia (who was lovely and patient as always) and Do Re Mi from Ukraine for the company! X