Mika @ The Fillmore, San Francisco 18/9/2019
Mika warned in advance the venue in San Francisco wouldn’t be a fancy place and it wasn’t indeed, The Fillmore is one of those shabby, cool historical music venues I’ve always wanted to see, full of energy from the past, legendary performances. The doors were opened sharply at seven and we walked peacefully in. Several big chandeliers were hanging from the ceiling and when the performance started the floor was bouncing under the jumping crowd.
The audience was one the loudest I’ve ever seen at such a small venue. People sang along and screamed so loudly my ears were hurting. It was obvious the San Francisco crowd had eagerly waited for Mika to be back. The vibe during the gig wasn’t as relaxed as the vibe during the second Montreal gig was but again, it was really good on its own way, extremely cheerful, and the crowd was diverse and even a bit crazy, bouncing high during the most energetic songs, and I’m sure Mika enjoyed seeing people that enthusiastic.
I had a camera in my hand and took a few photos during the night but not sure what I got, I need to check them later. This tour is so special I want to mostly focus on enjoying. When Mika is on stage he’s like the sun filling the whole venue with lovely warm feeling and I’m there just to enjoy it. These have been good moments.
The set list was otherwise same as in Montreal except that EMD was – to my huge, huge pleasure – replaced with Tomorrow. I already went through the set list in my previous blog post so now just a few comments about the new songs because this is a very particular time for them. Every new performance is an occasion, the live versions are still in construction, during the Revelation Tour they can sound different already.
The Jealousy we got in San Francisco was so so good! I enjoyed dancing it, I enjoyed the lyrics and I enjoyed listening to Mika’s voice. This song is about all that put together and for me San Francisco offered the best version so far. Tiny Love has been amazing since the beginning and also the San Francisco audience took it really well, singing and dancing along. It was harder for me to focus on the song compared to Montreal, maybe because the audience was restless, but the performance itself went well.
Blue was absolutely beautiful. I enjoy it more and more every night. Not only because the stage version somehow evolves, I think it does, but obviously also because I’m learning to know the song better and it’s easier for me to listen to. I love this song. It’s beautifully poetic and paradoxically simple yet extremely complicated at the same time. It’s a difficult song and I love it how different it is compared to the other songs and I’m happy Mika decided to include it on the album (even though it is so different) and find the topic almost too easy to relate to. If you feel blue thoughts you feel this song in your heart.
Then Tomorrow. Tomorrow is my new good mood song. It makes me smile, I listen to it and I enjoy the vibe. It can perfectly describe a very genuine chemistry between two people. There’s a big difference between Tomorrow and Ice Cream even though the both songs are about sex. Tomorrow creates an atmosphere I immediately feel and want to feel. It’s a beautiful feeling. Ice Cream doesn’t make me feel, it makes me think, of sex as our society sees it, as something to consume. Not sure if it was meant that way but it’s an important topic to think and to discuss about.
It’s not a bad thing these songs have a different point of view. I already know I’m going to listen to Tomorrow all the time. Ice Cream is not a song I listen to at home but I do enjoy the live version and did enjoy it a lot in San Francisco as well. With Mika on stage in front of you the vibe becomes totally different, you can’t watch him in a ruffle shirt and think at the same time, it’s not even possible.
Tomorrow is one of the feel good songs on the album. I know and knew already in advance there are also some heavier thoughts behind the new music. Mika has shortly described the themes in different interviews and the film for Tiny Love showed clearly some very dark and personal elements. I try to think that if Mika is brave enough to write and perform these songs I am brave enough to listen to them but I have to admit these darker elements are taking a lot of space in my thoughts.
I feel for him. I don’t know how it could be possible not to when listening to his music. He talks about the pressure that’s been there around his work and career since his childhood and I can’t help but feeling heavy. I know successful people have to make sacrifices, the success doesn’t come without that, but it’s a heavy topic to think about. And it’s not only the lyrics or things I read or hear in interviews, it’s also everything I can see all the time. I’ve seen Mika working and I’ve seen how tiring and demanding it is. Sometimes I watch him being filmed for 12 hours and I think if he can work in front of the the camera that long hours I can sit there and watch it, and it’s been important for me to see it. People think his music is pure cheerful pop but it’s not just that, there’s also heaviness behind and some of the new songs are obviously related to that side and I think about that a lot.
As a funnier note, every sold out show at The Fillmore gets a very cool poster! These Mika posters were handed out at the door on our way out but they run out before I got mine. I was disappointed but one the ladies working at the venue noticed I didn’t get one and gave me hers! What a kind thing to do, it made me so happy. The poster has ice creams on it and the first poster Mika got more than ten years ago at the same venue had a lollipop on it and during the gig Mika laughed at the thought his career can be described with dick symbols. Too funny, what can he do! I loved the idea and so did everyone else and after the gig he signed every single poster. I was holding my poster in the air between people and he quickly signed it and saw my face and asked if I’m okay and I said YES. I’m always okay after seeing him on stage.
I’m going to frame the poster and put it on the wall and then every time I see it I can remember the red suit and the white ruffle shirt and the Ice Cream in the beginning of the show. Jealousy and Tiny Love and Blue. Lovely Tomorrow. Mika in the middle of the crowd during Big Girl. The audience bouncing with Love Today and We Are Golden. Magical no microphone moment in the end of Happy Ending. Getting high and staying high long after the show.
I’m writing this in LA and I don’t like this city. Everything is dirty and I can smell the grease coming from restaurants. LA is supposed to be all about the healthy life style? People use polite words but no one means anything they say. The venue for Saturday looks amazing though and I hope the gig will be as special as the previous gig I saw in LA. That’s why I’m here for. Then on Sunday off to Mexico for the last gig of the tour. xxx