Gig reviews: Mika @ Verboten, Brooklyn 5/2015
Waiting my flight back home at the JFK airport after spending three amazing days in New York. I really wanted to see the first two shows of the new tour and US shows are always a good idea with such a great, energetic and intimate vibe. I met a lot of new people and visited several cool cafes/restaurants so more posts about my NYC trip and the Webster Hall gig to come when back home.
The first show was on Sunday in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at a small club called Verboten. I went to the area in good time to be able to take photos of the view to Manhattan and to have brunch at a restaurant near the venue and spent a wonderful day first watching a bike tour and visiting a little outdoor flea market area selling all kind of little vintage treasures and then meeting local fans and waiting the gig to start while watching dogs and families walking around.
The venue staff was surprised to see people gathering to queue but didn’t seem to mind and the person in charge gave good instructions to the security coming work later in the evening and checked us at least four times before the doors were opened just to make sure everything was okay and that no one was trying to push in the queue. Such great service we rarely see in Europe. I was happy to see Indy and Kira (below) who I met in Montreal and who blow my mind just being so incredibly smart and cute, local fans Angela and Jess, Yang from China, Lasher from Korea, Natasha – who periscoped the whole gig for Mika fans all over the world to watch – a really nice local couple who came to their first Mika gig and left looking very pleased with their experience and everyone else I met during the day.
The doors were opened at seven. Everything was relaxed, we got in and waited a couple of hours listening to a DJ. The venue was really small and the stage low and tiny and even without the setting left very little space for Mika and the band. The atmosphere was super intimate, almost too intimate as I suddenly realized I was very close to Mika which was both amazing and a bit awkward at the same time. He started with Toy Boy and I was worried I am even too close to him but he didn’t seem to notice or mind and of course I couldn’t help it anyway and quickly learned to put my eyes on either his shoes or up his face or on Max on my left (and not on his crotch in front of my face). The club was too dark to take photos but some pics below just to show how small and intimate the space was.
Mika took a lot of contact with the audience during the show and as I was so close to him he suddenly messed my hair and after seeing me looking surprised did it again grabbing my glasses putting them on which was hilarious especially afterwards as Deb told she had actually thought Mika had to put on his reading glasses to be able to read the set list! Too funny. He took a selfie stick from a Korean fan filming himself (and his butt!) and gave some special greetings to the periscope watchers putting Natasha’s mobile very close to his heart. He loved a chatty fan called Michael a couple of rows behind us and came closer and closer to be able to communicate with him and his friend and I did my best to give him space.
Toy Boy was absolutely beautiful, then Popular (works always in the US), Grace Kelly and Blue Eyes and finally a new song Talk about You. Loved the live version of it! I knew I would enjoy it but liked it even more than had thought in advance. Then Big Girl and Underwater (which wasn’t as it usually is, not sure what happened) and then again a new song – Good Guys – also a success. I really love all the new songs! Relax, Origin, Boum Boum Boum and Billy Brown and then finally Last Party which was phenomenal live. See my vid below, not the best quality but you can get a small impression how powerful the live version is. Then Happy Ending, Golden and Love Today (all familiar and loved) and surprisingly no Lollipop encore and no other new songs and the gig ended.
He seemed to love being back in the US and connecting with the local audience. I loved the vibe the gig had and was generally incredibly happy to see him back on stage and left the venue smiling and so pleased with the new songs, still curious about the new setting as there really wasn’t space for it on the tiny stage.