For The Rite of Spring Tour 2022

For The Rite Of Spring tour started in North America in March and April 2022. The flowery theme continued after the Eurovision and we saw a special, very emotional gig in London and a full summer festival tour in several European countries. The season ended with a massive celebration at the Arena di Verona in Italy in the end of September. The special outfits and show elements like the cape dance continued the theme during the whole summer and it's often like that, the summer festival tour continues the theme the title tour started. 

The North American tour was scheduled to start in Boston and each gig in a different North American city was in advance promoted with a particular flower chosen for that particular city to support the spring idea. The illustrations that were made for different cities were beautiful and the tour poster we got afterwards was a lovely merchandise. Once again things were not as simple as we imagined at first and the tour didn’t start as planned: the Boston gig was cancelled last minute only a couple of hours before the gig was supposed to start due to illness. Luckily the rest of the tour got rescheduled dates. Personally I decided to fly back to Finland to spend a long weekend with my family and returned to New York a few days later to finally start the tour in Brooklyn.

What an amazing gig we saw at Brooklyn Kings Theatre. I’m pleased I wrote a summary after the show because reading and going through it takes me back to the atmosphere and makes me vividly remember how impressive the first gig of the tour – the first tour after the pandemic – was. After Brooklyn the North American tour continued in Toronto, Canada, then at tiny, iconic venues in California and after/between that Mika did two very special performances at the Coachella Festival in Indio.

I was lucky to see the latter Coachella day and even take some photos from the audience and the performance blew my mind being one the biggest highlights during the years I’ve seen and followed Mika’s career so far. The combination of joy, positivity and beautiful colours was something extraordinary. The stage was in full bloom, the sun was shining and Mika was showing his best performing, being that professional he can be in every situation. Coachella is in the middle of the desert, it was difficult and expensive for me to travel there on my own but it was definitely worth the effort and it will always make me happy I was able to see the performance. A very special experience.

The show in North America was full of surprises and the structure of it told a clear story that was based on the unique outfits designed by Mira Mikati. The show started with the anatomy suit that gradually opened a view inside of the human body symbolising vulnerability, showing the person carrying the suit as bare as we can imagine. The second part of the show started a healing process and the white tank top under the pink suit had literally a healing heart on it. The third part of the show had a white, flowery suit: life was blooming again. In the very end of the show the white flower pants were mixed with the very special, hand-made crown and gorgeous, gorgeous cape with more flowers and the word “RESIST” on the back of it. Impressive story, impressive ending for the show. The setlist had two new songs, Yo-Yo and Modern Times, and we saw also special additions like Promiseland with Mashrou Leila’s lead singer Hamed at Brooklyn Kings Theatre and some older, these days rare songs like Blame It On The Girls. 

After Coachella we had three beautiful, good energy gigs in Canada before it was time to head back home to rest for a moment before the Eurovision started in Tourin, Italy. The Eurovision Song Contest was naturally a totally separate project and had nothing to do with Mika and his own gigs and tours but his performance at the ESC final was probably his biggest ever spectacle having almost 200 million television viewers and deserves to be mentioned for sure. A remarkable project, as a host and as an artist. Again, I feel lucky I managed to organized my traveling and was able to spend the whole Eurovision week in Tourin. The song contest was once in life time opportunity for Mika and everyone who follows his career. 

For The Rite Of Spring tour continued in June, July, August and September as numerous festivals and events. The rainbow colours were on stage at many festivals but particularly at the Disney pride event in Paris Disneyland. At big stages the magic piano with rainbow lights was brought in, the light show was always impressive and as always at festivals, Mika was using a lot of colourful things that the audience handed to him: hats, sun glasses, flowers, flags, you name it. Also, no matter how big the event was we could always see Mika stepping down from the stage in his usually pink suit to do a small walk in the crowd to be close to his audience.

During the summer Mika performed at different events and European summer festivals in Switzerland, France, the UK, Belgium, Spain and Italy - some of them were huge, some smaller – and it’s impossible to mention every single highlight we saw, there were so many of them. We saw one of the most emotional ever solo gigs at Roundhouse in London. We saw sunny summer moments in Bertrix, a smiling performance at the beach in Zeebrygge, many powerful Underwater performances the one in Jullouville being personally the most memorable for me. We saw gigs at historical venues in places like Hauterives, Nimes, Carcassonne and Perpignan. We heard and saw another, stunningly beautiful new song Who’s Gonna Love Me Now, several incredibly pretty acoustic performances of Yo-Yo, captivating cape dances (the one in Colmar deserves a special mention), the traditional festival chant by the audience at Francofolies in La Rochelle and finally the giant ending heart with the big letter M at the Arena di Verona. Just to mention a few examples. 

The gig in Verona ended up being the last gig of the For The Rite Of Spring tour instead of being a part of the Magic Piano tour like originally planned. It was hard to say good bye in September but For The Rite Of Spring made 2022 one of the most amazing gig years ever and gave us many, many precious concert memories to treasure.

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