Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, US 25/3/2013

The small San Francisco venue was really lovely: legendary old theatre type building with red curtains, fancy lamps and balconies for dinner. The DJ part before the show was kind of a part of the show. The stage was full of vintage books, suitcases, vintage style educational posters and small furniture. Max and Curtis played a set of songs dressed in vintage style suits. I loved the setting and it was interesting and fun to spend time looking at it. Just before the show started everything was moved away and the stage was extremely simple: just piano, the other instruments and some lights hanging. 

We were asked not to film and it made the situation even more special for the audience. Mika did three new or rare songs and a couple of songs he hasn’t done for a while and I wanted to concentrate on listening and remembering as much as possible. Sometimes you want to be able to save some special situations and record them into you heart so you can have them with you forever. I always try to carefully memorise the most special concert moments to be able to remember them forever. Underwater in San Francisco was definitely one of those moments. Mika was really close in front of me, I just had time to think oh he is so skinny and looks so human, just like any of us, and then he started to sing and it was perfect. It was absolutely perfect. Totally worth traveling to another side of the world just to hear Underwater.

He was playing piano during most of the songs and really concentrating on his singing and it was excellent indeed. Every song was a bit different than we are used to, I couldn’t even recognise the songs after the first notes. Curtis was using at least saxophone (Billy Brown), clarinet (Toy Boy) and melodica (Underwater, Over My Shoulder) and both Max and Curtis were drumming during several songs (I loved the drumming parts, especially in Love Today). The first part of the setlist was a bit tense. Then he started to chat to a girl in front row and was very chatty after that and told several stories and everyone, both Mika and the audience, relaxed and he was very much on fire during the rest of gig, still keeping himself in control, meaning not too much jumping, and his voice beautiful.

Underwater was one of my all time favorite versions. Only Lonely One was exceptionally nice played with Max and Curtis (I’ve probably seen it only once before SF) and Hia Leah (“California song”) absolutely beautiful. Century Man had a lot of energy and fit perfectly with Big Girl and Love Today. The ending was breath-taking with lovely Celebrate with China Boy parts, Over My Shoulder and finally Happy Ending and Stardust. I admit I cried a bit during Happy Ending, I was extremely happy to see it back on the setlist. I could almost see little angel boys flying around the venue during the most beautiful parts of Happy Ending and Over My Shoulder. Simple and beautiful acoustic gig, I loved it so much.

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