The day I left Australia a week ago was actually my 12th gig anniversary. That means it’s been exactly 12 years since I saw my first Mika show in London. What a better way to celebrate it than seeing those beautiful, intimate gigs in Australia and two very special shows in New Caledonia and New Zealand! Anniversaries make me feel nostalgic so my mind automatically went through some of my favorite things from the past years. The list below is in time order. The image and artwork in the featured picture are from Parc des Princes DVD booklet and Songs For Sorrow book.
1. Parc des Princes 2008. It’s not a long time ago since I mentioned this but the documentary about making of Parc des Princes released together with the Parc des Princes concert DVD is really interesting and I highly recommend watching it. I find it still astonishing that Mika could create such an incredible spectacle at such a young age. I could have listed one of his later spectacles but I guess it’s his age that time and also the fact that after so many years this event still feels valuable that makes me impressed. I’ve always wished I could have seen PDP several times and not only once, so having a possibility to see the big Revelation show many times in different cities made me extremely happy.
2. Songs For Sorrow EP and acoustic tour 2009. I loved this concept and have always thought Mika was ahead of his time with it and that years ago it wasn’t noticed as much as it deserved. I also hope that when he’s now talking about making EPs instead of albums he means a concept somehow similar as Songs For Sorrow. A collection of songs with a theme, illustrations, maybe even a small film or films and an intimate, lovely tour.
3.The news flash and space walking from the Imaginarium Tour 2010 as a special show element. I saw this scene several times and felt equally excited every single time. I knew it was a show element yet it felt like something was happening for real. The whole Imaginarium Tour was legendary and I can still feel the excitement whenever I watch the photos or videos of it.
4. Intimate Evening Tour in North America 2013. This was a beautiful concept. Mika had just two of his musicians with him on stage, each of them playing different instrument. The venues were small and cozy and like the tour title told everything was even more intimate than on the previous tours. As a special treat some unreleased songs on the set list.
5. Symphony concerts 2015-2016. All of them, in Montreal, Como and Florence. The most beautiful of all the concerts Mika has done.
6. China Tour 2016. I saw the whole Asia Tour and obviously enjoyed it all but as this was the first proper Mika tour in China I mention it particularly. First there was a sweet, small gig in Hong Kong and then three very special ones in Mainland China. It was very much like the recent Australia Tour, a loving generous audience that had waited their turn for a long time, yet – because of cultural differences – everything was different. China is kind of isolated and that way different compared to any other country I had or have visited.
7. Casa Mika 2015-2017. Not sure if it’s surprising I mention it on my list but Casa Mika on Italian television was an important learning experience for Mika and I still feel grateful I had an opportunity to watch his work. The team for this television project was huge and the budget must have been enormous and even though I saw only small glimpses I could feel how much pressure there was. Everything was around Mika and obviously he had to take a lot of responsibility and it impressed me how well he handled the pressure and what a generous host he was, making it always about his guests, not about himself. I can particularly remember a moment after one of the recordings when after being professional and focused for hours he chatted about Mickey Mouse who was one of his guests and the words he chose and his enthusiasm reminded me of a joyous little kid and that contrast just melted my heart.
8. Tiny Love Tiny Tour 2019. After such a long break this tour felt like being back on the Songs For Sorrow or Intimate Evening Tour. Happy gig moments. The whole tour was wonderful but obviously the highlight of it for me was visiting Mexico which had been my long-time dream and hearing Blue which is my favorite song on the new album.
9. Tiny Love as a song. Everything built around this song has been like from my dreams. There’s a strong and meaningful song that has many levels. There are many different versions of the song and all of them have a different atmosphere and there’s an absolutely stunning visual side (cover illustration, very special film). My name is Michael Holbrook is my favorite sentence from all the Mika lyrics and watching the pink piano going high felt as exciting as watching the space walking scene ten years ago.
10. Australian Tour 2020. The vibe was incredible. Just when I thought I’ve seen it all he did a tour like that, with so much love and positive energy in the air.