Mika @ The Vine in Hong Kong
I knew in advance that the Hong Kong venue was small and lovely but still didn’t expect to love the gig as much as I eventually did. The venue was originally built as a movie theater but serves now as a church and an event venue. The capacity must be just a few hundreds, the place was tiny and very intimate. The stage was so small only the Heaven sign and instruments could fit on it and the audience was directly in front (no barriers between).
The gig day went smoothly and everything was as perfect as possibly could be and I guess that made the experience generally so good. The queuing was extremely relaxed. My husband and I spent our day chatting with the locals even there was no real need to queue. Most people arrived last minute and the place was tiny anyway.
I met some awesome local people who had seen Mika during his last Hong Kong visit six years ago and waited this gig eagerly as the one planned for last year was cancelled due to illness. I knew only some Korean fans in advance. At the venue I met a local fan Andy and his friends Silver and Wednesday and several other Hong Kong/Chinese fans. Andy and his friends helped us to plan the day after the gig and answered all the questions we had (because not able to understand the language).
I really enjoyed chatting with everyone and the atmosphere was so excited I started to look forward to the show even more than I usually do. We talked about everything: life in Hong Kong, music, football… Lowell who lives in California arrived during afternoon and was so lovely to spend time with him! We hadn’t met for three years so we had a lot to catch up and we went through all our gigs together like always and realized that the Hong Kong venue was almost the same size as the venue we saw in Solana Beach in 2013.
We were let in to the venue at 8 pm and everything was calm and polite. Elegant looking security (must have been the most stylish security I’ve seen) asked everyone not to run and walked us in calmly which was a huge relieve as we had to climb up several dangerous looking stairs. We got places in front of the stage and saw the tiny space and the microphone on the edge of it already waiting for Mika.
After a short waiting the band came to their spots and Mika followed them sitting at his piano and started with Porcelain and it was wonderful to be so close and see every single detail (this was the first time I saw the band playing Porcelain) and I loved the beginning even the sound was a bit loud at first and the stage resonated like it does when you are very close to it. He continued with My Interpretation, Talk About You and Grace Kelly and the gig had a proper start.
He asked a fan on stage during Boum Boum Boum and came very close to the audience while singing Staring At The Sun. I thought he might want to walk in the middle of the audience like he did in Korea and Japan and was ready to give hims space but he decided not to come down but stay on stage leaning very close to the audience.
The whole situation reminded me of the Verboten gig in Brooklyn where he was equally close – so close he could just take my eye glasses without a warning – and suddenly he took my glasses again, just for a few seconds as he really can’t see with them and it was funny and I was wondering if he could remember the earlier situation (it wasn’t that many months ago).
Sweet from him to do little things like this and gives a feeling he can notice people. He did his best to answer comments and touched people’s hands and asked another fan on stage to dance with him.
The whole gig was very funny and full of silly little details. Mika took everything the audience gave him (hats, pictures, posters, Christmas decorations, everything) and hang them on Max who looked like a little Christmas tree still playing like nothing weird happened.
The setlist was the same as earlier without any additional songs but felt somehow more special because everything happened so close to the people and we could see and hear every detail so well. He did Happy Ending putting his microphone side in the end and the audience went absolutely crazy shouting his name which was very cool and made him look quite pleased.
I felt so grateful being there that I had to turn around and give hugs to my husband who was standing behind me and say thank you for spending his winter holidays in Hong Kong and China with me. I love venues like The Vine and listening to Mika from a close distance. That’s basically all I want. I’m too shy to be on stage, I rather watch other fans dancing and having fun there and enjoy just being able to see and hear everything well.
He finished Love Today and the show was over and wished I could have just grabbed his leg and ask not to go yet. Lol, I bet I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want the gig to end! These small ones are my favorites and would love them to continue forever. It took a long time to say good bye to everyone, I was happy I could see so many new and familiar faces. Will post some pics and mobile vids later (can’t use internet properly in China). X