Mika @ Zenith de Nantes in Nantes, France 12/2019
In Nantes I was located behind the piano and was mostly focused on it and wanted to use the opportunity to take some photos of it. The pink piano is a beautiful show element. It’s one of the most beautiful elements Mika has had on stage during different tours and I love it, not only because it looks pretty but also because it adds this beautifully crazy, surreal vibe to several songs, especially to Tiny Love and Paloma.
The images of Mika’s parents are the main focus points on the background. The stage background, the multicolored rainbow-like stage floor, the pink piano and a huge amount of giant balloons in different colors in the end of the show, those are the elements that create the special atmosphere for the Revelation Tour show. Those and the lights, of course.
The lights have an important role creating different moods. Green for Dear Jealousy, pink for Origin, red for Love Today. The prettiest and most successfully done lights are the ocean colors for Underwater and oranges for Lollipop. I’m particularly happy for the lights during Underwater because it’s a hugely important song for me. Lollipop, on the other hand, gains significantly from this visual impact. For some songs the lights are flashy or “dotted” and for example during Tomorrow everything goes dreamy and that’s one of my favorite looks as well.
The images of Mika’s mother and father on the stage background have a key symbolic meaning. Their presence on stage and in his life and their general importance is so obvious and clear it’s not possible to ignore it. The way Mika is giving credit to his parents and highlighting the meaning of his whole family is one of the things that makes My Name Is Michael Holbrook so valuable and heart-warming. Many of the songs on the album are open letters to people he loves or public yet very personal conversations with himself.
The stage floor doesn’t have the exact rainbow colors, it’s more like all the colors of life put together. However, even though Mika’s not literally walking and dancing on the official rainbow the way he’s talking about his sexuality on the album and during the show is as clear as it can be and makes me happy and proud of him.
There’s still a lot of discrimination in our world and just thinking of it breaks my heart. Makes me happy to see Mika so open and relaxed with his sexuality and the way he speaks about the topic (as it is and not only on a symbolic level), makes public statements (the Sanremo video) and obviously wants to be an example, even a role model to people who listen to his music (for example giving interviews to numerous LGBT magazines) is something that makes me extremely proud of him.
Before the gig in Nantes started I was so tired I could hardly stay awake and it was a struggle to just stand there. I saw 6 gigs in 9 days in different cities and a schedule like that can be tiring. Sometimes people point out I shouldn’t do what I do, that it can be too much and too tiring. Obviously I don’t need people to tell me anything. I’ve done these things so many times I know exactly how it is.
And I’ve learnt that the moment I’m most tired and almost struggling is the moment I respect Mika as an artist most, even more than I usually do because I know he must be tired as well. He just can’t show it the way I can, he doesn’t have that option. He’s a professional and has obligations to his audience and despite of his mood he goes on stage and does a high quality performance every single night that is scheduled for that tour.
In many countries people smile and talk cheerfully even when they don’t feel like it because it’s seen a polite thing to do. In Finland we don’t think that way. It’s a big cultural thing, for us it’s natural to show our genuine feelings, fake cheerfulness is out of character for us. Sometimes we are serious and sometimes we are quiet simply because we have nothing to say. We don’t mean it in a rude way. In Nantes I was tired and aware I might look serious or even unhappy. For a moment I was worried Mika might see me in the audience that way, totally lacking my energy. I was worried he would see it rude and be angry or disappointed.
It took me a while to absorb the energy but suddenly it happened and I just enjoyed the music like I always do. It’s amazing music can make us feel that way. I could see Mika gave his everything on stage, literally everything he could, and I admired him so much for that. In Nantes I particularly loved everything happening around the piano and the high energy songs, maybe because of my location and view and because I needed the energy. It was a beautiful performance once again X