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LIVE WIRE: Mika takes us on a journey to any other world




(In this rare leaked scene from Star Trek XII, Mika challenges Spock to a karaoke contest amongst the stars. Test audiences responded favorably. © 2009 Benjamin Luk.)


I doubt Mika's ever been sad a day in his life. Between that captivating grin and his increasingly flamboyant costume changes, it's nigh impossible to be even vaguely glum in his presence. The stage was decked out with hanging planets, fog machines sat waiting in the wings, and air blowers preloaded with confetti stood on the sidelines. When Mika made his grand appearance to tumultuous fanfare, it was in full astronaut regalia as he bounced and hovered in slow motion, as though weightless on the moon. Even though we knew we were in for a show at this point, the next hour-and-a-half was still a mad spectacle.




The band started to play. Mika had hovered offstage momentarily and the band members looked like Carnivàle, covered in neon face paint that glowed in the black lights and wearing stylish suits and dresses with mismatched patterns. There was a brief hiccup in the opening of their set as "Relax, Take It Easy" began; Mika was nowhere to be seen even as the notes of the first verse were playing. The band was confused but played on, and soon enough, Mika ran back onstage to deliver the chorus with explosive energy. That astronaut costume must've been difficult to get off, probably exacerbated by the fact he seemed to be wearing a cast on his right leg. As the show progressed, I couldn't help thinking Mika was anchored by that cast and maybe we'd all been cheated of a full-energy show by an ill-timed leg injury. But more about that later.




The theatrics of the show were a scream. "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)" was accompanied by large, loud and proud backup dancers at the rear of the stage; "Blue Eyes" had two giant cardboard eyes waving back and forth to the beat of the song; and for reasons I'll never understand, at one point in the show, Mika walked offstage playing with a teapot marionette and was replaced temporarily by a giant walking teapot holding a Mika marionette! I wish I could explain that in a way that doesn't sound so much like a bad acid trip, but maybe it's something you just need to see to understand.




Between songs, Mika flirts with the Vancouver crowd, remarking on "how fragrant the air is" and how the wireless transmitter in his pocket keeps him from sitting down "like Bette Midler or something". He also thanks us for being such a great audience to end their North American tour with. (I'm sure he says something like that in every city, but we accept the compliment graciously anyway.) All in all, it was a wonderful performance, two encores and all; and yet, I felt as though something was missing. Maybe Mika wasn't quite channeling Freddie the same way with that cast on, or maybe it was the way his amazing backup singer seemed to upstage him at times with sheer energy alone, but there was a certain je ne sais quoi that just wasn't there. Oddly, in spite of a grand finale involving balloons and confetti raining from the ceiling, I was expecting more. But perhaps it's a testament to Mika's excellent work as a recording artist that my expectations were so unreasonably high.



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Thank you Christine for posting.

I am a little confused or maybe the writer is confused.

A couple of the things that the reviewer didn't get were things the writer didn't bother to check.

Other performances of Mika would have explained two of the so-called mishaps.

It also shows that he isn't really familiar with Mika.

The "Fans" - everyone - that I have heard from wanted more at the end of the concert - but None of them said they "expected" more.

Needless to say I don't totally go along with this reviewers assessment even though for the most part the review is pretty good.

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I think Mika has certainly had plenty of sad days in his life :naughty: but I'll let that comment go as it seemed a little flippant anyway, no big deal.


It's a good review, and I for one can forgive the bit at the end about there being something 'missing'..yes it could just be that feeling of wanting more, which we all get, I think. My own theory on this might be a bit controversial :blink:..but I think sometimes the general pace of a Mika concert is so frenetic (which is good....) that it doesn't always have time to sink in, if I make myself clear. I sometimes wish the show varied in pace a little more, with some really slowed down stuff (I tend to think he always rushes songs like Billy Brown, My Interpretation, Toy Boy even) to really give fans chance to breathe, literally and metaphorically.


I understand that what Mika is aiming at, ostensibly, is a high energy whirlwind experience and there's no doubt he delivers that like NOBODY else can :wub2:. In the future though, as he matures as an artist and has more material to draw from, I would personally like to see a more balanced show in terms of pace, and I think if we got that maybe we wouldn't leave the show with that slight 'oh, it's over :boxed:' feeling, quite so often.


Thanks for posting Christine.

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I sometimes wish the show varied in pace a little more, with some really slowed down stuff (I tend to think he always rushes songs like Billy Brown, My Interpretation, Toy Boy even) to really give fans chance to breathe, literally and metaphorically.


I feel like he's slowed Toy Boy down a bit and his performances are more similar to the first one at the Roxy than the ones on the acoustic tour. I See You and Pick Up Off The Floor are also perfect for this. I See You is especially captivating as he's standing front and centre for it instead of behind a keyboard.


My Interpretation is not on the set list anymore. I could live without Billy Brown and Lollipop, but otherwise I think it's a good balance and I don't feel like these shows are over before they start like I did on the Dodgy Holiday tour when the set was barely an hour long.


I've been spoiled with a lot of gigs so perhaps that's affecting my perception, but I still think objectively speaking you couldn't ask for much more from an artist on his second album performing in a club of less than 1000 people. I mean most artists performing in this place probably don't even have a set to speak of or costumes. This wasn't Parc des Princes, it was a bar.

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