The Belly Up Tavern was a tiny venue (max capacity 600 but the show wasn’t sold out) and the audience was surprisingly wild. It could have been a disaster but was absolutely a success. People were loud but they could sing and also understood to be quiet when needed and some of them knew lyrics even for rare songs like Only Lonely Man and China Boy. Mika seemed to love them and was smiling, laughing and chatting through the show. He showed his “USA” shoes and made jokes about people shouting “USA, USA” and it was hilarious.
The performance showed Mika at his best, his voice and singing were absolutely brilliant. He did Happy Ending partly without a microphone and it was one my best Mika moments ever. I could hardly breath. I mentioned cherubs in my San Francisco review to describe some very special and beautiful moments and in Solana Beach there were so many cherubs they almost couldn’t fit in the venue. Max and Curtis were wonderful and the concept of Mika playing piano and Max and Curtis using different instruments added extra value to every song, old and new. Both Lowell and I agreed that especially drumming gives the show a lot of energy and power.
Hia Leah is really beautiful and quickly becoming one of my favorites just after two listening. Century Man is classic, catchy and full of energy. Only Lonely Man is perfect for live shows and the audience loves it. This gig was easily one of my top3 gigs for many reasons. I’m really happy to see his North America tour is going so well, the new response is extremely good and the old NA fans are super loyal. Long time fans I’ve met have seen some legendary and special early gigs and events already 2006/2007.