Mika's third studio album The Origin Of Love was released in autumn 2012 but we heard the first single Elle Me Dit and songs like Karen already year before in 2011 during the Marie Antoinette style summer festivals. Some more songs from the new album were introduced at summer festivals 2012. The first festival that summer was Lovebox in London and after our long wait we finally saw the totally new Mika, his totally new, more matured look and his totally new band. The new setlist included Celebrate and Make You Happy and a few weeks later in Tallinn also Underwater, Origin, Lola and during rehearsals even a few notes of Kids (which we eventually never properly heard live). The outfits during this Summer Origin festival period were extremely stylish and a bit vintage style and Mika and the band were wearing old-fashioned grey suits, white or striped shirts, braces and hats.
During the Nice Crazy Week summer festival in July 2012 I had a possibility to be a part of a big group on stage and had a memorable day watching Mika and his team preparing for their performance backstage. Another big personal favourite of mine was the gig in Vienne, France. The venue in Vienne was absolutely amazing antique theatre where the sound was beautiful and watching the gig from higher part of the audience offered a stunning view. My favourite songs in Vienne were unbelievable Underwater and also Karen which already a year before became one of my favourite songs.
The official European Origin Of Love Tour with the polkadot choir in autumn 2012 brought a new setlist with several songs from The Origin Of Love album. The European tour started in Amsterdam in October 2012 and the setlist included songs like Origin, Underwater, Elle Me Dit, Celebrate, Lola, Stardust, Popular and Drunk. I didn't see every gig of the tour but tried to see gigs in as many countries as possible so after Amsterdam I went to Copenhagen in Denmark, Brussels in Belgium and after that Vienna in Austria where I surprisingly had a possibility to be on stage in the Polkadot choir. After my Polkadot experience I saw gigs in Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and France. Together with the energetic Munich and absolutely lovely Paris the small and funny Luxembourg gig was one of my favourites.The European Polkadot Tour ended just before Christmas in the UK and finally in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was a memorable destination to travel.
All the venues for the European Polkadot Tour were theatre size so we didn't see any big stage setting, there was no space for that. As always with cozy smallish venues, it was just Mika and the band and this time also the changing choir always in white and green polkadot outfits. If there was any extra space on stage they added some cubes with polkadots and the Origin Of Love motifs like a heart, an apple, drugs or a snake and also Mika's elegant outfits had often polkadot details like a polkadot vest or a scarf. The show itself was focused on music and included no show elements.
After Christmas in March I saw Mika in Istanbul, Turkey, which again, was a memorable location to travel and hear Mika's music. Later in March it was time for a longer trip. The Intimate Evening Tour that Mika did in North America in spring 2013 is still one of my biggest favorites of all the tours I’ve seen. The concept and setting were super intimate with special small venues and only two musicians on stage with Mika. The setlist included two wonderful and totally new and never released songs Century Man and Hia Leah, rare Only Lonely One and some very special details like parts of the original China Boy. The gigs in San Francisco, Solana Beach, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are some of my dearest gig memories. The gig in Solana Beach was the first time to hear the a cappella part of Happy Ending and in what beautiful circumstances it happened. That moment will stay with me for ever.
2013 was a good festival year and Mika did many, big festivals with the Polkadot theme. The setting was simple enough for festival stages and their strict schedules and included polkadot flags and the Origin Of Love themed cubes. Of all the French festivals that summer Les Nuits d’Istres near Marseille was my favourite. From its seated audience I could see the whole stage opening in front of me and with lights that was a stunningly beautiful sight. After that Liepaja Summer Sound in Latvia, Faroe Island summer festival and massive, old-school Sziget in Hungary are worth mentioning for sure. The summer ended in Avenches in Switzerland with a super energetic gig and celebrating Mika's birthday exactly at midnight with many familiar people in the crowd. Year 2014 was quiet gig wise as Mika was focusing on television and making music. The photos with Italian singer Chiara are from the Nutella concert organised in Naples in May 2014.