Mika @ TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, Netherlands 2/2020 (part 2)
Wednesday was another relaxed day at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht. First a few words about this modern, quite amazing space. TivoliVredenburg is one of the most practical venue complexes I’ve ever seen. It’s smallish but offers everything anyone can possibly hope for: a cafe/restaurant open the whole day and late night, toilets, wifi, warm space to spend time while waiting and an extremely polite and friendly staff. Instead of queueing people can just chat and hang out before entering and even their biggest hall Ronda where Mika is performing is small and cozy. A very enjoyable experience and such a contrast after all the arenas we’ve seen!
Secondly, after seeing several big shows it’s lovely to see the smaller setting and to be able to observe also the band. I’ve always enjoyed seeing the communication on stage. The communication between Mika and the band, between the different band members and between the band and the technical group. I’m always curious to see how things are handled on stage and how for example the musicians message to each other and small technical issues have never bothered me. On the contrary, I’m interested in seeing how these things are done. On the second night I loved it that the whole band had new colors in their outfits compared to Monday. Mika was wearing his red suit in the beginning and the dotted one in the end and each band member had their own style in different colors. Max was wearing yellow, Wouter blue, Tim green and Mitch warm reds.
Thirdly, the vibe on Wednesday was different than it was on Monday. It was totally different. The atmosphere was clearly more cheerful and party style compared to the first night and instead of touching or serious songs the focus was on more energetic songs. Mika didn’t do Blue, he skipped Paloma and added EMD and even Happy Ending that was on Monday done in smaller way was now fierce and powerful. I wouldn’t say one show was better than the other, they were just totally different style. Personally I prefer the style we saw on Monday, simply because Blue and Paloma are my two favorite live songs. However, what I particularly loved was that these two shows were so different, that’s what I came for.
The biggest surprise of the night came quite in the middle of the show when we heard the first notes of Last Party. I could hardly realize what was happening, it never came to mind to expect that song. It’s been so long since I heard Last Party and it had been a while also for Mika since he performed it. It was a beautiful surprise to hear one of my all time favorite songs, literally a (positive) shock. The biggest highlight of the show was still to hear such a fierce version of Happy Ending and I immediately thought of Happy Ending I saw in Dublin 2010 that had the same fierce vibe. The a cappella part we heard last night was one of my favorites during the whole Revelation Tour. I almost couldn’t believe I was there and had a possibility to experience it and the whole Utrecht audience seemed to feel the same and rewarded the moment with giant applauses.
Mika was less chatty than he was on the first night but after Origin we heard a lovely story about writing of the song. Mika has talked about this Montreal writing process earlier in some interviews but now he added more details and told about being on a break in his relationship that time, about working together with Nick Littlemore, writing the song while “breathing smoke and eating muffins” and it was really funny to imagine it all. I loved the story and it felt a gift to the audience the same way as hearing a rare song like Last Party. The crowd on Wednesday was a bit different than on Monday, I think. Surprisingly many children in the audience.
Again, I didn’t take many photos. I was in front of Wouter and loved his dotted scarf so I added a pic of him. I loved watching his drumming especially in the end of We Are Golden as he seemed to have so much fun. I very much like it that the drums are located the way they are on stage. Curious how the vibe will be for the third night, so looking forward to it. X