The first US show was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at a small club called Verboten. The venue was wonderful and the security extremely friendly. Everything was relaxed, we got in and waited a couple of hours listening to a DJ. The club was really small and the stage was low and tiny and even without the setting left very little space for Mika and the band.
The atmosphere was super intimate. I’ve seen several shows at tiny venues and from close distance but never felt being this close during a gig. Mika came on stage and I understood how close I am and it was amazing and a little bit awkward at the same time. When artists are on stage they are the most vulnerable and it’s hugely, hugely important that they can feel safe while performing and that the audience remembers the boundaries and lets the artist keep their personal space. Usually I never think about that, I just automatically give Mika space when he needs it. However, this time there really was no space to give. It felt really intimate and I just wished it wouldn’t disturb him or make him feel uncomfortable.
He started with Toy Boy and I very quickly got used to my position and being so close him and figured out where to put my eyes and just enjoyed being there. Mika took a lot of contact with the audience during the show and just when I was wondering if he is aware how close we really are - I wasn’t sure how it is from his perspective - he suddenly messed my hair and after seeing me looking surprised did it again grabbing my glasses putting them on which was hilarious especially afterwards as Deb told that from further away she had actually thought Mika had to put on his reading glasses to be able to read the setlist! Too funny, for some reason the thought of Mika using reading glasses during a gig to read his setlist cheers me up.
He took a selfie stick from a Korean fan filming himself (and his butt!) and gave some special greetings to periscope watchers putting Natasha’s mobile very close to his heart. He loved a chatty fan called Michael a couple of rows behind us and came closer and closer to be able to communicate with him and his friend and I did my best to give him space to do it.
Toy Boy was absolutely beautiful, then Popular which always works in the US, Grace Kelly and Blue Eyes and finally a new song Talk about You. I loved the live version of it. I knew I would enjoy it but liked it even more than had thought in advance. Then Big Girl and Underwater and then again a new song – Good Guys – also a success. I really love all the new songs! Relax, Origin, Boum Boum Boum and Billy Brown and then finally Last Party which was phenomenal live. Then Happy Ending, Golden and Love Today, all familiar and loved, and surprisingly no Lollipop encore and no other new songs and the gig ended.
Mika seemed to love being back in the US and connecting with the local audience. I loved the vibe the gig had and was generally incredibly happy to see him back on stage and left the venue smiling and so pleased with the new songs, still curious about the new setting as there really wasn’t space for it on that tiny stage. Very special gig, something to remember years later for sure.