Setlist summary 2008-2020
I added the setlists I had in my archives in time order to my album era books. Most times I don’t have a setlist on paper so I either take a photo of it after the show or at least describe it in my report to remember it later. However, now when we can’t experience concerts I wish I had documented things in a more systematic way. I wish I had written down the exact details of every event – the time and place, the exact name of the venue and the exact order of the songs – and will definitely do that in the future when one day have a possibility to see concerts again.
I never wrote down the setlist from the first gigs I saw in 2008. Luckily there are DVDs from that time period, both from the tour and from the special Parc des Princes spectacle, so it’s easy to see the structure of the shows. In addition to Life In Cartoon Motion songs like Relax, Big Girl, My Interpretation, Billy Brown, Any Other World, Ring ring, Stuck In The Middle, Happy Ending, Love Today and Grace Kelly Mika did some covers and at Parc des Princes performed also Rain. From covers I can remember him doing Missionary Man in London and We Can’t Get Enough in Paris. I always wanted to hear him covering Sweet Dreams and finally managed to hear that song several times in 2010.
At the 2008 gigs I was almost overwhelmed by the energy and colors and the biggest song highlights were to finally hear the live version of Relax, the beautiful intro before Love Today and my another favorite song Ring Ring. I feel particularly lucky I was able to hear Ring Ring twice before Mika dropped it from the setlist, I haven’t heard him doing it ever since.
2009 and the Songs For Sorrow acoustic tour brought us all the songs from the EP and the setlist was meaningful and suitable for those pretty, small and very special venues. The setlist in the picture below taken at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris tells that the show started with Grace Kelly and included Lady Jane, Lonely Alcoholic, Blue Eyes and Toy Boy from Songs For Sorrow EP, some Life In Cartoon Motion songs and Good Gone Girl, Blame It On The Girls and Rain from the upcoming album.
The small gig at Bloomsbury Ballroom in September 2009 promoted the new single We Are Golden and the new album and included also Dr John and I can remember hearing the both songs at several promotional gigs that time. Mika toured North America in October 2009 and I don’t have a detailed setlist on paper or as a photo so not sure about the exact song order but can well remember being extremely happy about hearing songs like I See You, Touches You, One-Foot Boy and Pick Up Off The Floor from the new album The Boy Who Knew Too Much.
I felt lucky to be able to hear One-Foot Boy and Pick Up Off The Floor in North America as we didn’t hear those songs during the big European Imaginarium Tour. I enjoyed seeing how the setlist and the whole show evolved during the long 2010 tour. I added below two setlists to describe how the beginning of the show changed between the start of the tour in February and moving to arenas later in the spring 2010. Rain with the school boy scene was replaced by Relax and the space walking intro and Rain got a new, darker intro with a “nightmare” scene in the middle of the setlist.
Elle Me Dit was released in July 2011 and Mika performed it at festivals during that summer together with Karen, Blame It On the Weather (as a duet with Ida) and his older songs. Occasionally we heard also Kick Ass that was written for a movie soundtrack and performed years 2010-11 and only rarely after that.
We heard some songs from the new album already at summer festivals 2012 and The Origin Of Love Tour with the polkadot choir in autumn 2012 brought a new setlist with several songs from The Origin Of Love album. The European tour started in Amsterdam in October 2012 and the setlist included songs like Lola, Popular, Stardust, Underwater, Drunk, Elle Me Dit and Celebrate, later also Step With Me and Heroes, the two latter ones only as special additions and not as regular songs.
The Intimate Evening Tour that Mika did in North America is still one of my biggest favorites of all the tours I’ve seen. The concept and setting were super intimate with special small venues and only two musicians on stage with Mika. The setlist included two wonderful and totally new and never released songs Century Man and Hia Leah, a rare song Only Lonely One and some very special details like parts of the original China Boy. After the Intimate Evening Tour the summer continued with festivals and with a more basic setlist, one from Liepaja as an example.
There were only very few events in 2014 but The Heaven Tour 2015-16 offered the best songs from the new album No Place In Heaven on the setlist. I didn’t have any papery setlist or even photo easily available so I went to my old reviews and copied a setlist from Luxembourg in October 2015 below. The venue was small and the gig lovely, cozy and warm and when I look at the setlist it looks absolutely incredible. I have fond memories from this small, intimate gig and hearing songs like No Place In Heaven, Good Wife, Good Guys, Promiseland and Last Party. None of those songs has lately been on the regular setlist but luckily we heard for example Good Guys in Zurich 2019 and Last Party in Utrecht 2020.
No Place In Heaven
Boum Boum Boum
Talk about You
Staring At The Sun
Elle Me Dit
During the Heaven Tour we heard also songs like Ordinary Man, Porcelain and Hurts. In France Mika occasionally added French songs and in Italy Beautiful Disaster. Especially during the later parts of the Heaven Tour we heard small changes and surprises at every gig. I’ve never seen two totally identical Mika shows and that’s one of the things I particularly appreciate. Mika is not overly spontaneous with his setlist and often has a basic structure for the show but he keeps evolving his shows during every tour and adds small details and often has a few songs that are possible to either skip or add depending on the audience, atmosphere and venue (seated vs. standing) to make every show as good and as suitable for the audience as possible. For that reason each written setlist doesn’t necessarily describe the actual gig, there might have been some last minute changes. Of course there are some occasional songs I’m not mentioning here. Sometimes songs are also related to certain places like Live Your Life to Spain where it was used in an advertisement.
Some of the Mika songs were chosen to his symphonic setlist for symphony concerts in Montreal, Como and Florence in 2015-16 and I love all the symphonic versions so it’s hard to choose my biggest favorite. Heroes might be the most impressive, I love the symphonic version of the song and had earlier heard the gig version probably only once in Paris. Over My Shoulder, Relax, Happy Ending, Make You Happy, Overrated, Last Party, just to name some of my symphony favorites. All amazing with an orchestra.
Before the Tiny Love Tiny Tour in the US, Canada and Mexico there was a long, long break between the tours and gigs and I wasn’t sure what to expect from the setlist on the first Brooklyn night. I saw the setlist on stage just before the gig started and couldn’t believe how generous it was with many, many new songs, including even Blue. I wasn’t sure if Mika was planning to perform all those songs, I thought maybe he will make his final decision during the show but turned out the two Brooklyn gigs were recorded and for that reason he did every single song on the setlist. I can still feel the happiness I felt that night after hearing that many new songs from My Name Is Michael Holbrook, after such a long wait and unexpectedly during the first night of the tour.
The big European Revelation Tour had a couple of versions of the setlist depending on the country (France vs. Italy) and at arena venues it wasn’t possible to change it much because for example the light show was massive and very carefully planned in advance. His regular Revelation Tour setlist included Ice Cream, Jealousy, Tiny Love, Platform Ballerinas and Tiny Love Reprise/Stay High and many times also Tomorrow and beautiful and poetic Paloma. In Italy he performed the Italian version of Tomorrow (Domani) and at least some gigs skipped Paloma and added Stardust like he often does at Italian gigs. Sanremo was added occasionally as a special treat.
At smaller venues Mika performed without the big stage setting and we heard changes and additions like we are used to in the past. Below is the setlist from Auckland New Zealand and as the venue had beautiful acoustics he added a stunningly beautiful Over My Shoulder in the end (not written on the list). He did the same in Tours and at some other smaller venues we heard Blue which was obviously always a highlight of the show. In Zurich he added both Good Guys and Drunk after getting requests from the audience and on the second Utrecht night performed Last Party which was one of the biggest surprises during the whole tour.
The featured picture is from Bercy 2016 and I added it simply because a few days ago it was four years since that show and I had some photos easily available. The gig at Bercy in Paris was a spectacle and had massive show elements. The setlist was quite similar as at the other gigs that time with a couple of added French songs. I will always remember how amazingly impressive the Underwater performance was and my other personal favorites were lovely Happy Ending, powerful Last Party and beautiful Les Baisers Perdus and the special circus performance related to it.
The dream setlist in my imagination keeps changing and evolves. I love small venues and would love to hear something that reminds me of the Intimate and Tiny Tours. Acoustic Relax. Grace Kelly of course. It’s always there, it identifies Mika as an artist and can somehow magically always sound fresh. Any Other World because it would perfectly fit in our current time. My favorite calm songs Over My Shoulder and Blue. My dream setlist would have something playful, like Lola and Boum Boum Boum and something powerful like Underwater and Last Party. Century Man as one of the energetic songs. Obviously, as many songs from My Name Is Michael Holbrook as possible, at least Tiny Love, Paloma, Tomorrow and Platform Ballerinas. Maybe something rare or new as an extra song. No Place In Heaven, Hia Leah, maybe even I Went To Hell Last Night. Karen if we are in France. At least a few notes of Rio in Rio de Janeiro when we finally get there. Stay High in the end of the show, no other option for that. X