Gig reviews: Mika @ Ritz, Manchester
Manchester was lucky to see Mika in his best stage mood last night. He did a great performance with a lot of contact with the audience (very loud one indeed), with the band (the musicians were having fun and genuinely seemed to enjoy being on stage, very different compared to London) and with the awesome Polkadot Choir (which definitely added some extra color to the show).
There was so much energy on stage I couldn’t believe it. At the same time the show was probably the most random and the weirdest I’ve seen. Some of the jokes – ideas coming from the audience – were almost awkward in the beginning but he went on and on, the audience responded and in the end everything was absolutely hilarious and a lot of fun. Mika sounded good despite of his voice problems. A few times I couldn’t hear his voice properly but it didn’t matter, the atmosphere was so good and energetic. He seemed to be more relaxed than in London from the beginning of the show but told afterwards performing felt more difficult than day before so he probably had to work very hard to be in a suitable stage mood but he definitely succeeded in it.
I’m too tired to write a long report in English but I wanted to share some images as soon as possible to remember the details later. Underwater was my favorite part of show. I’ve really learned to love the live version and the whole atmosphere with soft blue lighting was absolutely beautiful. Lola is one of my favorites at gigs and Mika performs it in the way I’ve always seen the song with every little detail, it’s almost scary. Stardust with the audience singing along was touching: was so good to see his face when he was watching the audience singing along the new songs. The new album is his best so far, I wish he had decided to perform more songs from it. Especially Stardust, Lola and Drunk work perfectly at gigs!
The interaction between Mika and the band and between the band members was totally different than in London and a huge part of the atmosphere. Two action men figures were thrown to stage from the audience and Mika wasn’t sure what to do with them but he started to joke and continued and continued and in the end the whole band was playing with the figures, I saw even Felix taking photos of Max wearing a figure in his braces (in the middle of the show!). Last night was a huge circus from the beginning to the end with a lot of improvised and totally random details and Mika knows how to do it, he’s so good at it. And I always dream about seeing an acoustic Mika performance and Mika singing, playing piano and concentrating only on his voice but I can’t help it, I love his circus too. He knows how to make people smile and have a good time even when he is not in a perfectly happy mood himself.
I know that people who haven’t either seen the polkadot choir live or really experienced how good it can be can’t see the real purpose of it. It’s not supposed to be a cheap, fake “choir”. It’s a show element and it’s fans sharing their positive energy on stage, together with their favorite pop star. You should have seen it last night! Guys, you rocked!
I love this artist. He was awesome last night and created a hugely entertaining evening around his songs using weird, random ideas and the audience had so much fun. Very mixed feelings now though. Off to London and Iceland: the last gig of the tour.