So I finally uploaded all my videos in my previous post. The only one I didn't upload again is the one of Love Today because it's mostly dark and you can just hear him, but I included the link to my IGTV video instead.
Anyway, here's my report.
I arrived in Paris in the afternoon and met up with Nina and Michelle. We had something to eat, had a look at the venue, and went to the Arc de Triomphe, which is in walking distance from the venue and is currently covered in fabric as an art project by Christo. Seems they only finished that the day before and it's just that way for a few weeks, so we were lucky.
Around 4 or so we went back to the venue and I thought we could just wait at the artist's entrance on the side, because in the front there's a busy and loud street and lots of people on the small sideway, and we might have a chance of seeing Mika arrive. Nina and Michelle noticed Marc-Olivier Fogiel standing at the artist's entrance, I wouldn't have recognized him, esp. with the mask - so I didn't mind at all standing there, while Nina and Michelle were embarrassed because he was there. A few minutes later, Mika arrived. I saw him arrive by foot, but other fans told me later that he had come on a motorbike and just walked from the motorbike to the entrance. He was wearing a mask and said Hi / Ciao while passing by. For Nina he stopped and greeted her social-distanced with putting fists together. As I was right next to her, I held out my fist as well and got this greeting from him - guess he might not have done it if I hadn't held out my fist, so I regretted it a little afterwards, I certainly didn't want to make him greet me the same way if he didn't intend to. Well, whatever - from what we could see of his face with the mask he looked happy to see us.
He went inside quickly and after that it took me at least an hour to recover from seeing him again, just like that. I had thought we might see him arrive, but I wasn't prepared really, I was in shock. It was a mix of total happiness to have seen him and some sort of feeling of "what, that was it, the big reunion I had waited for since 1,5 years?!" ... haha that's what happens when you make up in your mind scenarios of how it might be to finally see him again and then you just have to process the fact that it's not that special but just normal. But also special. Lol, I can't describe it, but it's similar to what I felt after the gig, or even during the gig. It was all I had expected and hoped for and at the same time it wasn't at all what I had expected. Even tho I tried not to have any expectations at all, I mean, really, it was just so fab to see him again and be at a gig again, we had no idea before we saw the setlist that it'd be an actual full gig, we thought maybe a few acoustic songs. Maybe my feelings can be described with what he sings in Tiny Love, "it isn't bursting into song in central park, it's a don't know what they're missing kind of love".
Anyway, about the gig. At the door the bags were searched and they checked the health pass, then we got wristbands and a bag with a bottle of water, earplugs and a light - the ones you see in some of my videos. The blinking looked rather annoying when I first tried out the light, so I wasn't sure people would use it during the gig. They did, a lot, and it looked nice with all the different colours. Mine was blue, fitting to my blue dress. But I didn't use it that much, I was worried I'd hit Mika or the other fans with it. There was a video on repeat during the waiting time, with Amex advertising, and in between showing a big picture of Mika. At some point a woman came on stage and said a few words, then the support act started. It was a female French singer, was nice to listen to. After that there was ca. 30 minutes pause, and then the lights went out again...
We had seen on the setlist that Mika would start with Lollipop, that was quite a surprise - and even more surprising that he started by talking. He did the "waking up" thing that instantly reminded me of the Lollipop intro at some gigs on the Revelation tour. Throughout the show he repeated several elements of the last tour, I think he also said at some point something like he's starting off again now where his last tour ended in Melbourne. But he slightly changed those elements. You could tell he had put some thought into this, to make it feel familiar but still like something new. Also the lights, like at the indeed concert. The layer of lights on the top made the ceiling of the venue seem lower, almost like at a small club.
We all know how over time his shows are building up and changing, when he's touring he has such a good feeling for what works and what doesn't. What he did worked well but it was obvious that it was only the beginning, it was trying out, having fun together, and just enjoying the fact that gigs can happen again at all. And this feeling, of being at a gig again, a real gig, a Mika gig, that was what stood out most to me. Not so much Mika himself, seeing him, having eye contact - tho he did make eye contact with the crowd a lot, in fact, but it felt different than on the last tour. And my experience didn't feel so much like "I have missed you", but more like "I have missed this", although I've missed him a lot during the pandemic. Do I even make sense? Lol!
As you can see in my videos, during Relax he did something similar to what he had done for Underwater on his last tour, making the crowd sing just with gestures. For Popular song he spontaneously got a choir on stage from the audience - he asked for people who knew the lyrics well. I didn't raise my hand, first of all because I wasn't so sure of the lyrics anymore (it looked like those on stage weren't either tho, lol!) and secondly, because in my dress I wouldn't have wanted to go on stage. It was a blue summer dress, but a really long one, so it looked kinda elegant - and it definitely wouldn't have fitted to the people who were on stage ... they might not have been the best choir but they definitely looked very cool! And for EMD he said the crowd was his dancing partner. What I missed a little was him singing Happy Ending off-mic, but I suppose that wouldn't have worked with the new guitarist. I hope that Tim will come back for the next gigs. Of Mika's old band it was just Max and Wouter.
I'm not sure if the sound guy was new as well, but he first didn't play Joannie's voice in Tiny Love Reprise, he started it too late. You can see that in my video, Mika looked very annoyed. But then her voice was there and Mika sang as well, together with his Mum. It was such a moving and personal moment that I wasn't able to film it. You can see in my video how I wasn't able to hold the camera straight anymore, then I stopped filming and started again only after a few moments. It was definitely the most moving moment of the gig and I still get tears in my eyes when I think of it. I think Mika's voice was shaking too.
Anyway the tears that surely some of us cried couldn't be told apart from the sweat on our faces. I thought several times during the gig of Mika's Christmas message, where he said that in 2021 somewhere in the world we'll sing, dance and sweat together again. He was right. Was so nice to get covered in popstar sweat again!
So, what else do I remember... the setlist went by much too fast. I'm not sure which was my fave song of the setlist, I guess Tiny Love and Tiny Love Reprise. I also loved hearing SITM, but without the piano intro and the extras that he used to do for it, something was missing for me. It was so short ... and still Mika took longer than they had planned, in advance they said the venue would close at 11 - I think the pause was a bit longer but anyway we only left the venue shortly after 11, so of course it's just my feeling again that it went by too fast. I saw that on the last tour, gigs that both had the same number of songs on the setlist felt completely different to me. Well, time is relative...
For Underwater he was wearing a yellow scarf that still had the price tag on it. In my first SITM video you can see how he notices it, rips off the tag and gives it to a fan, that was pretty funny.
I loved Mika's outfits, that blue fringe jacket he wore for the first 2 songs was just awesome! And also the blue outfit from the indeed gig, and the pink outfit he wore for the encore - and the "Hope" necklace! I had never paid much attention to it in the past, but during the pandemic it got a special meaning for me, as Mika was talking about hope several times in interviews and also wore the necklace a few times. Anyway, during Big Girl (I think) the necklace broke and burst into a fireworks of beads. The "Hope" writing itself is still in once piece, I think - it seems to be made of some fabric, like ropes. But the necklace with the beads is broken. Maybe he'll get a new one for the Hope writing. At the end of the show I took one of the beads from the stage, a green one, so I have my own little bit of hope to carry with me everywhere. I usually don't collect so much Mika stuff, especially never cared much about personal items of him, like t-shirts he threw in the crowd or something like that... but the bead from this particular necklace has a special meaning to me, because of Mika giving us hope during the pandemic, and this gig was just everything I had hoped for during the last 1,5 years.
Ok you can see my thoughts about this gig experience still aren't very organized, it was simply overwhelming. And I'm very glad I had this before the symphonic gigs so maybe I can enjoy those more without being completely overwhelmed.
I filmed and photographed more than I had originally planned, I wanted to just enjoy the gig... but I also remembered how during the pandemic I was so happy to have my recordings from the Revelation tour, I think this made me use my camera a lot more often than I had intended to.
Ok and I think that's it for now. After the gig I was done. I was tired because I had gotten up at 5am that morning and, as I said, just so overwhelmed by it all. Sorry to everyone who tried to talk with me after the gig, I guess I was pretty absent. Maybe good that Mika was already gone when we went outside and gathered at the artist's entrance... if he had tried to talk with me, I'd probably just have stared at him, unable to say a word, lol! Anyway it was so good to see you all again, or for the first time!