Album era project (part 3)
I’ve finally finished the third part of my album era books and this No Place In Heaven book is my favorite of these era books so far. It’s even thicker and heavier than the previous books. 2015 and 2016 must have been my busiest Mika years. I saw more than 30 gigs and many television recordings both years and have so much material that years 2017 and 2018 couldn’t possibly fit in the book. I left those years to be included in the next one and I guess it’s okay that way, during those years Mika was already preparing My Name Is Michael Holbrook.
During the NPIH era I saw six symphony concerts in Montreal, Como and Florence and that alone makes the time period unforgettable. I have booklets from both Montreal and Florence and I took a photo of my favorite page of the Montreal booklet to add in this third era book. The symphony poster below was under glass next to the entrance of the stunning venue in Como so there’s a reflection of the buildings next to it. This symphony illustration is one of my favorite Mika illustrations and I have the posters from Montreal and Como framed at home but I wanted to add the photo in the book as a memory as I can remember the moment I took it and the whole sunny day so well.
Before the album was out and before the big Heaven Tour 2015-2016 I saw some smaller gigs in the US and Japan in May 2015 and several colorful summer festivals during summer 2015 and I loved the simple house themed stage I often call “cartoon” stage. Basically it was just a very simple colorful city view with houses and other elements like signs and traffic lights but it gave the impression Mika and the band were in the middle of the special cartoon world and depending on different lights it felt the stage was either in daylight or moonlight and I loved the effect.
No Place In Heaven was out in June 2015 and that point it was my absolute favorite Mika album. I loved it and I loved the big Heaven Tour related to it. The official Heaven tour started in France autumn 2015 and went through several European countries. In February 2016 I saw the whole Asia Tour and then again several shows in different parts of Europe before the heaven stage was brought to outdoor venues for summer tours both in France and Italy.
The stage setting was huge and designed together with Studio Job and it included a giant HEAVEN sign, a real crystal globe, a huge gate with “glass paintings” and other elements like a big throne and colorful cake (introduced during the big spectacle at Bercy in Paris). I have a lot of photos from this time period and for my album era book I tried to choose pictures that describe the stage and different details and show elements as well as possible. As outfits Mika was using custom made decorated Valentino suits and I see those suits as an important part of this era the same way as his dotted shirts and colorful suits are a part of the MNIMH era.
Some of my favorite photos are from the Italian and French summer gigs from 2016. Before every show I tried to take a photo of the stage with the heaven sign against the environment where it was and I have photos with palm trees, rocks and mountains, castles, chateaus and mansions. I loved it how literal it was, wherever Mika and his music took me, the heaven was there and I love that memory and I wish I can feel that way one day again. I loved being surrounded by all those colors. With a few big elements, lights and confetti the show was always a celebration.
When the summer gigs 2016 were over it was time for a totally new and different adventure, Casa Mika on Italian television. In November and December 2016 I travelled a lot between Helsinki, Milan and Paris to see as many recordings for Casa Mika and The Voice France as I could. It felt hectic that time but I enjoyed every trip and feel still grateful I could see everything when it really happened and not only on television and also think that even though Mika is always mainly and firstly an artist his television experience is still a big part of his career and in the current situation almost like capital he can use in different ways.
Pictures below are from the setting of Casa Mika from the television studio in Milan and a photo of me with a Moomin character from Bergamo where Mika hosted a pajama party. It was raining during the filming and Mika did Singing In The Rain and we all in the audience had umbrellas as well.
I didn’t have items like signed set lists or group photos to add in this era book but I took a photo of the signature I have on my Mika Swatch box. The third Swatch design from 2016 has a mask theme that looks familiar from the previous designs.
My third album era book ends in the best possible way with symphony concert photos from Florence in New Year 2016. The next book will start with years 2017-18 and include television projects and promotional events and focus mainly on years 2019-20 and the 5th album My Name Is Michael Holbrook and the Tiny, Revelation and NC/NZ/Australia Tours around it.
Hope everyone is okay during this difficult time. My own moods go from one extreme to another. One day I feel brave, the next totally desperate. I’m spending time at home with my husband and boys and feel safe but fear the moment when my family returns back to work and schools. That’s when the loneliness starts, my normal life won’t be back so easily. I need to build new routines, just don’t know where to start. Take care X