Mika @ Corona Theatre in Montreal 15&16/9/2019
Two lovely gigs in Montreal. The venue was called Corona Theatre and it was small and more intimate than the venue in Brooklyn, the capacity was hardly 1000 people, probably even less. The first night I had a seat in the first balcony row and saw a view over the whole stage, the second night I went near the stage to experience the gig from closer distance.
The set list was similar both nights and we saw also some similar style details. During Big Girl Mika came down and sang in the middle of the audience which was a nice touch and made people clearly happily surprised. On the second night he also asked a young girl on stage to join EMD which was extremely sweet. I really enjoyed the both gigs but the energy was still different and on the second night the mood and the whole performance were particularly good.
The second Montreal night may be my favourite gig of the tour so far. It’s hard to measure. The first show of the tour – this time the first night at Brooklyn Steel – is always special and after such a long wait and with so many new songs it was even more special than it usually is. My own mood was clearly a bit over-excited and there was some first gig excitement in Mika’s performing as well which made the vibe generally quite emotional and memorable. The second Montreal night was good in a different way. Relaxed, full of positive energy.
Just going through the set list and collecting some thoughts. In Montreal we didn’t hear Tomorrow or Sanremo which both were on the original set list in Brooklyn. The second gig in Brooklyn was recorded and made sense to have more new songs included. I was surprised Mika did that many new songs in the beginning of the tour and felt grateful and lucky to be there. Naturally, would have loved to hear especially Tomorrow also in Montreal but kind of knew to expect it might not happen.
After hearing six new songs I’m totally and completely in love with the new music. Usually I can somehow hide my love but now there’s no way to hide It all. It’s in the look in my eyes and it comes out when I smile or talk and honestly I can’t help it. My family will need a lot of patience with me, it’s hard to focus on everyday things when there’s another world full of music asking my attention.
Every Tiny Tour gig has started with an intro speech and continued with Ice Cream. Mika is wearing his Prince style outfits with beautiful, beautiful white ruffle shirts and on the second Montreal night he suddenly appeared on stage wearing black jeans, a white ruffle shirt and gorgeous long white jacket. I hadn’t expected a new outfit and repeated “wow” aloud. Very impressive, a very powerful start for Ice Cream. I’m surprised how much I like this song live, it’s better than I had imagined it ever could be. Funny thing is I can see only Mika on stage. I know the band is there but I can’t see them, during the first song I totally ignore them. I expected the guitar to be stronger but I don’t pay much attention to it. I’m not complaining, this Ice Cream is more than I dared to hope.
After Ice Cream he continues with Jealousy which is a wonderful song. I love also the melody but what’s important in this song is the lyrics that are quite deep. I don’t know if the lyrics come from Mika or if he has co-written them with someone but especially some particular sentences fit perfectly for him and my mind starts to add more story to them. When a song has enough thought behind it starts to “spread”. It continues in my head, I can see a lot more than the exact words, there’s a bigger story that starts to build and that happens with Jealousy quite easily. Different pieces start to move and find their places and create new images. New songs are always getting better night after night so the version we heard on the second Montreal night was probably the best so far.
After Jealousy a few older songs. Relax is an important classic, Big Girl goes well to the NA crowd and was that way one of the big songs in Montreal. Origin in the middle has been one of the highlights of this tour for me. I can’t explain why exactly, a part of the energy probably comes from the band the same way as in Love Today.
After that Tiny Love and the live version is amazing. Simply amazing, I have no better word for it. There’s something pure genius in Tiny Love, it can be everything depending on how it’s performed. It can be tender, it can be smiling, even playful, it can be serious and melancholic and it can be intense, deep and very intimate. The live version starts in a small, pretty way but is soon filled with energy. It’s powerful and uplifting and the band sounds amazing and I feel my body is filled with energy as well. When Mika sings “you get me high…” his voice is absolutely beautiful and suddenly I’m full of love, honestly there’s so much love I feel I’m bursting. Such a great live version, I wasn’t prepared it could be like that, I didn’t know this song could have so many faces, it’s incredible.
I mentioned in my previous reports I connect Tiny Love with music and for me this song represents Mika, his love for music, his life around music and his music that takes me high as well. Today I read the very personal interview Mika gave Italian Vanity Fair where he talks about his family, his mother, his childhood and music career that started at very early age and the pressure related to it and how music and making it is something that defines him and about Tiny Love as well and I don’t feel my interpretation of the song is that wrong. I feel easily for other people and I feel strongly for him when I read him talking about such heavy things and I think he’s very brave with the new album. Very very brave, and the more I hear Tiny Love the more and more important and special it becomes.
With that serious thoughts behind I understand why the live version is made that powerfully uplifting. The band is a big part of Tiny Love performance and I really like the new band. Always happy that Max is there, his voice is important in many songs and I’ve always loved how beautiful it sounds next to Mika’s especially when able to separate their voices clearly. Tim is my favourite, somehow reliable, and I’m happy he’s back. I don’t yet know the new keyboard player but already paid a lot of attention to the new drummer. After Cherisse drummers have been the most invisible part of the band. Not this guy. He’s in the centre of everything, he’s observing everyone on stage, communicating and laughing while hitting the drums. I especially like the drum part in Tiny Love.
After Tiny Love Blue which is the most poetic song on the album. It’s different than any other Mika song and I want to learn to know it really well so I can breath it while listening to it. Sometimes songs need to breathed and not just listened. The lyrics are exceptionally beautiful. To accept and even love blue in people is such a beautiful thing to do, makes me cry just to think of it. The topic of the song is very special and important.
After Blue Underwater and again, one of the highlights. Underwater is an important part of the show, like the strongest part of the building. I love it when Underwater is in the middle of the set list where it makes the structure symmetrical. Lollipop and Popular are big US favourites and for that reason expectedly on the set list. Not my personal favourites but in my current loving mood I loved also them more than I usually do and I have probably never liked Popular as much as I did on the second Montreal night. As already said, after them no Tomorrow or Sanremo but we got EMD instead. A kind of a must in French speaking Montreal. A good, well and loudly appreciated performance.
Happy Ending had a beautiful ending part on the both nights. The Montreal audience seemed to know the value of this special detail and that made me happy. Extremely energetic Love Today, and again, the band doing a great job. We Are Golden and after that a quick disappearing backstage before Grace Kelly. Then the Tiny Love reprise, the most beautiful part of the song and Stay High before everything is over. Tiny Love, Blue and this ending are my favourite parts on the new set list (naturally Tomorrow as well but we didn’t hear it in Montreal). You get me high… we gonna stay high… There couldn’t be any better way to end the gig. I felt almost in an unnatural way energetic afterwards.