Theatre du Palais Municipal in Saguenay, Canada 28/4/2022

After two already fantastic shows in Montreal and Quebec City Mika still managed to make the last show of the tour in Saguenay both extra special and extra memorable and I felt grateful for that. For me that kind of structure inside of the tour does matter, it has a meaning the first and the last show of the tour stand out and that really happened. The whole tour exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t sure if we would get the proper high vibe back after the pandemic but we did and in an amazing way. I will sum up the whole tour shortly in the end but at first a few words about the show in Saguenay which in its own way felt as particular as the first gig in Brooklyn did. 

The audience was enthusiastic and totally fresh. Seeing a show in Montreal, a city that has seen Mika several times – even I’ve seen six concerts in Montreal – is a different experience compared to Saguenay that saw Mika for the first time and I immensely enjoyed both observing the interaction Mika had with the new audience and being a part of the crowd. I just felt so good for him and for us all to experience the energy. He managed to make the gig feel important. Being as incredibly busy as he is, probably having a part of his thoughts already in his next project, he still managed to stay focused and make everyone at the gig feel there’s just that moment, like it’s all that matters, and I admired him for that, being able to do that show after show is a gift itself, and I was happy to end the tour that way. 

We didn’t hear new songs except Yo-Yo which was luckily still played after the show. Mika said in Canadian interviews he would perform his new songs during the Canadian leg of the tour but that didn’t happen and I felt extremely lucky to have seen Modern Times at some previous gigs. In Saguenay he added Blame It On The Girls and Boum Boum Boum and I was personally pleased to hear those both songs. Blame It On The Girls is not my top 10 song but it’s definitely a song that often plays in my head. I often wake up with the pirouette part of Blame It On The Girls playing in my head - I have no idea where that even comes from - and this spring I’ve enjoyed the song live more than ever before. 

 In the end of the tour we heard Boum Boum Boum three times in row and that was definitely more than I dared to dream in advance. Boum Boum Boum makes me in a good mood, it makes me think of good mood things. We didn’t hear the intro which is one of my favourite moments but we heard a smiling version and it was absolutely perfect that way and it made my day and it made Saguenay’s day, the French speaking audience loved it. Tomorrow was performed during the same part of the show meaning two good mood songs at the same time, so the atmosphere was guaranteed. I like the atmosphere in those two songs, I like them soft and smiling and Mika knows perfectly how to perform them live. 

 A few words about the essentials. With essentials I mean those songs that belong to every gig. It would be  impossible to skip songs like Relax or Underwater or the biggest energy explosions Love Today or We Are Golden. Those songs are essentials and something I try to carefully storage in my mind every single time because with slightly different tones, lights and little details they are always somehow different and unique. We all want new and different songs on the set list but it’s difficult to say which ones we would be willing to let go. After this tour I see even Lollipop and Ice Cream in a new way, I enjoyed the both versions a lot, and would love to keep them for the future. I would be able to let go Big Girl or Elle Me Dit to hear something fresh but the NA audience definitely loved those two songs and I could very well see why they were kept on the set list.

 The Underwater we heard in Saguenay was particularly lovely.  In the end of the song Mika asked a young boy in front to help him and together they made the audience sing and show lights with their mobiles. I love the way Mika is with children. He sees them smart and capable and not someone to be patronised which I love because with my own kids I learnt children are more capable and more observing than most adults. The Saguenay crowd was eager to wave their lights and this time the lights really looked like sparkling stars, it was so pretty, and I think it looked even better to Mika who was on stage and I hoped it was possible for him to stop everything else going on in his mind for a tiny moment and just enjoy the lights and how pretty the scene looked.

Tiny Love Reprise in the ending part of the show continuing Tiny Love from the beginning of the show was my favourite part of the set list throughout the tour and a song I see important and impressive on many levels. This song continues to amaze and cause an emotional reaction in me. It reminds me why I do such things like traveling a whole month in North America. He makes music like this! In Quebec City we heard an extremely powerful version combined with very strong lights. It was obviously meant to give a big surprise to the audience, I was listening and staring amazed and the version in Saguenay was more subtle but still and maybe for that reason even more touching. Such a beautiful way to end the show just before the final, iconic dance with We Are Golden. Mika knows how to get our full attention and once again he did everything he could on stage and after the show I felt light and very satisfied being able to end the tour this way. It’s always a bit melancholic to end things, especially after a special adventure like this, but the show in Saguenay was definitely a good way to do it.

To sum up the tour a bit, it certainly exceeded my hopes. I didn’t know what to expect after the long pandemic but what we experienced was absolutely beautiful. Mika showed his best performing, he seemed focused and he made the audience feel they matter during every single show. He made the tiny venues feel intimate and he filled the arenas with his energy and he even made the first and the last show of the tour to stand out in these both aspects. If you look at the picture of the Saguenay concert hall in warm lights above you see what I mean. It looks really intimate, doesn’t it, even though the place wasn’t as small as the tiny venues in the US.

Personally it was the intimacy of the tiny venues and the beautiful, colourful performance at Coachella that impressed me most but each gig offered something extra. In Brooklyn that extra was certainly Promiseland with Mashrou Leila. I adored that performance, such a highlight! I still can’t believe it happened for real. In Toronto it was definitely hearing Modern Times for the first time. Also, I enjoyed the Toronto vibe, talking and being with people and seeing familiar and new faces. At Fillmore and El Rey it was the tiny venue atmosphere, the both venues are on my top venue list. Coachella bloomed in every way. There were high expectations for Canada after that but he made it work, with visuality, energy and good mood. Each Canadian gig was different but all great in their own way and I enjoyed every single one.

The outfit collaboration with Mira Mikati was outstanding! Everything looked fabulous, it couldn’t have been any better. I hope this collaboration will continue, I loved every outfit and particularly the tattoo shirt and the flowery outfits. Not many adult man can make a flower cape and a crown look as iconic as Mika can. Another detail I love is the flower illustrations coming later with the tour merchandise. Even though the tour is over there’s something that comes afterwards and reminds us of the vibe of the flower tour. I will also later think of this tour when I buy flowers for home. Fresh flowers are not easy at live gigs but in the future Mika needs just to make the stage bloom, I’m sure his audience can take care of the rest of the theme.

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