Gig reviews: Mika @ Teatro Antico in Taormina, Sicily 7/2015
A few notes about the show in Taormina last night. Teatro Antico was absolutely breath-taking as a venue! No stage setting was used, just the spectacular historical buildings with sun flowers and a massive light show. The performance itself was very good with chatty, naturally Italian speaking Mika.
I couldn’t focus on the show as well as I usually do but I tried to concentrate on especially the most important songs like Over My Shoulder (haven’t heard it for a while so was extremely happy to hear it again!), Happy Ending, Underwater and Last Party (which is increasing its importance show after show being definitely my biggest personal favorite so far), all fitting so beautifully with this incredible venue.
However, the show wasn’t a total success as a seated gig especially comparing it to the Barcelona show just a couple of weeks ago where the audience looked using Mika’s words “elegant” and acted like an ideal seated audience focusing on ballads staying still, then getting up and dancing during dance songs and going back seated between the songs.
In Taormina the crowd was restless during slow songs but the real problem was that when it was finally a suitable time to dance the audience sitting downstairs was not allowed to stand up and do so, the security – again and again – strictly instructed everyone to stay still instead. Mika performed with a nice energy and looked ready to party and the frustration in the audience was tangible when everyone was told to sit down time after time.
Not sure if this was because of the historical value of the venue or for other reasons but the setlist was not planned to keep people totally seated and Mika’s performance or even outfit (not wearing a suit!) didn’t give any message to stay still. Maybe it would have worked if the instructions were clearly told in advance, not sure. This way it kind of ruined the fun and could clearly be seen that people were frustrated and they didn’t obey the instructions any way. When people sitting next to and in front of me stood up I did the same but the older man behind me kept banging my seat until I quickly sat down.
Towards the end a lot of people just run to front of stage from the back of the venue and eventuality people in front of me were standing on their seats so I just did the same during the last minutes as the game was lost already and no one could see anyway. The Italian audience seems to be always like this and as a consequence the security is alarmed all the time which is unpleasant but we can’t help it and I could understand it when I saw some young girls suddenly just running to the stage trying to grab flowers or set lists while the crew was taking the stage down.
My seat was in the second row very side and I couldn’t see much of Mika or the band or especially the spectacular view (was hoping my seat was higher during the performance) and my mind kept wandering to irrelevant things like Mika’s outfit and how on earth someone can look that good in that incredibly tight white trousers. So tight, no on else could wear them successfully.
As a conclusion the venue was super special and I’m already in love with Sicily after my holidays there this summer so I’m grateful I saw the show and I know it will be one of my warmest and fondest concert memories the same way all special events are even some of the circumstances felt a bit chaotic at the time. Italian fans who could see the show better absolutely loved everything and I guess I’m comparing the audience and vibe too much to the other shows I’ve seen lately.