Zenith Dijon in Dijon, France 15/3/2024

The gig at the Zenith Dijon was already the 10th gig of the tour and I was standing in the audience ready for the gig before it started and suddenly felt enormously grateful for the new show and also genuinely excited to see it once again. I can’t tell where such strong feeling came from so suddenly, I was filled with energy and felt thoroughly happy and good in every way and couldn’t wait to watch the show and to follow the storyline and to observe everything that happens to the character in it. Having a possibility to literally be inside of the music we love that much during shows is simply incredible. There’s something pure and magical just in the thought that the artist creates something this big from his heart and we open ours to fully experience it. 

I felt the show would be particularly good before it even started and the show in Dijon indeed turned out to be a relaxed, good mood show that exactly reflected my own mood that night. Starting a new tour with a show this huge is an ambitious project and there’s always a little bit stress in the air, something that is totally normal and supposed to be there until at some point we can simply notice it’s not there any more and that’s what happened on the Dijon night.

I wanted to watch and observe the opening Bougez as carefully as I possibly could so I didn’t have a mobile or camera in my hand and I waited all my senses clear and alerted. The start for the show was absolutely fantastic. Bougez and freeing the bird is an impressive start and I obviously already knew that very well after several shows yet I still thought the opening in Dijon was the best I had seen so far. There was something amazingly glorious and theatrical in his face and his pose and the whole energy and I couldn’t stop staring at the red figure with the giant wings.  The bird is impressive and powerful and can’t be prisoned in a cage that tiny yet when the character is out in the apocalyptic world it suddenly looks smaller and vulnerable and like facing everything for the first time which is logical because it does, the freedom is new to it. After Bougez the show has officially started and for now on during the show Mika as an artist and the character in the story (the bird that is facing the big and unknown world) are there side by side and it feels very natural that way, my mind can see them both.

How lucky that the first thing the character sees out there is romantic love. I love the pink scenery in Apocalypse Calypso that looks like a combination of the surreal Valentine’s day and the end of the world desert. I love how the story continues after that as well. The target of the love is the only thing to talk about and life has a sweet taste and - in my opinion - Sweetie banana fits perfectly in the story  except in Dijon it was left out. I kind of missed the song and thought it has its place, I love how suitable its enjoyable sweetness feels at this point of the show and after Apocalypse Calypso and Talk About You.

The next part of the setlist and the next part of the story is my favourite because after the romantic intimacy and falling in love the show is focusing on what true love really means. It keeps us warm and feels like fire. It makes possible to breathe under water and suddenly we know there’s an answer to the darkest times and that moment the last thing on our mind is to leave the other person. Whatever Mika says or has said about love in different interviews during years, there’s no doubt he perfectly knows what true love feels like, otherwise he wouldn’t have written songs like Feels Like Fire, Underwater or Relax. My absolute favourite songs, all of them. Yo-Yo tells us there are ups and downs in life. People or life can take us both high and low and different emotions are not limited with romantic or even deep love or disappointments, the next two songs Jane Birkin and Moi, Andy et Paris talk about insecurities. 

It can be surprising that someone as talented, beautiful and every way so incredibly elegant and sophisticated person as Mika could ever feel insecure but on the other hand it’s not at all. People who listen to his music and has followed his career and maybe met him know he’s actually very shy and private and as an artist also sensitive and vulnerable to people’s and the public’s words and in my ears Jane Birkin feels therapeutic, for him to sing and to the audience to listen to and I love the moment when it’s done together and I loved it in Dijon as well. A collective therapy session for all of us. I loved also Moi, Andy et Paris and I’m enjoying how this song evolves together with the audience night by night. The lyrics may tell about a difficult moment or insecurities in a relationship but since the beginning I’ve seen the song as a pure love song simply because the love in the voice is obvious. You cannot not hear it. Maybe for that reason the song is one of my favourite songs, hearing the love in Mika’s voice melts my heart. Insecurities in life are something the bird has to face and on the setlist it happens feeling free in Jane Birkin and with love in Moi, Andy et Paris. Gentle and good ways to go through those emotions.

After this point the spotlight moves to the big audience. In case the seated audience or the back area of the standing crowd are not properly awake they soon will be because Big Girl and Elle Me Dit take care of it. The bird goes to the audience and it talks to it and it dances weird dances just to make people move and participate. This part of the setlist feels more work than the other parts and it’s done for the show and the story can continue after that. In Dijon the stage was filled during Elle Me Dit and we saw dancing bananas and a few other people who eagerly signalled they would also like to be on stage. 

After that the show is all about classics and other strong songs and no risks are taken. Every song hits so hard it cannot fail. There’s no possibility to fail at all. I knew since the first hearing that 30 secondes will be a timeless song and the performance is beautiful and elegant and powerful and a total success indeed. Grace Kelly offers a safe place and tolerance. In C’est la vie tells us how serious life can be but also that whatever happens, the blooming colours will be back. It feels symbolic many ways that both Grace Kelly and C’est la vie with its giant sign coming from the ceiling repeat rainbow colours because it’s in the lyrics and the both songs have the same, very classic vibe in them and I can already see how there will be different versions of C’es la vie the same way there have been numerous versions of Grace Kelly during years.

The audience loves C’es la vie and there were happy hearts in Dijon to thank the crowd before the scene became sad and moving for Happy Ending. And then. Just look at him how lonely and scared he looks in his pyjama standing totally alone on the road, see the way he sits on the foggy ground holding himself. I know it’s just a gig and a part of the show but that moment makes me want to cry and not totally sure if it’s for him because he genuinely manages to look so lonely or the lost character in the story.

The character is stronger than we think though and keeps talking about love in a small voice and finally repeats “love, love, love” and the audience starts shouting “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE”. In the original story this was absolutely the most glorious moment of the show and after a moment Mika came back on stage gone through a full transformation as the most royal, most colourful, most confident and fanciest rock bird ever seen and ruled the venue and made the crowd go wild and every single person inside to believe that everybody’s gonna love today. In Dijon (and already before it in Strasbourg and Tours) this is where the story had been changed and we saw the white sailor outfit instead of the fancy bird. Obviously Mika can rule the venue in any outfit, that’s for sure, and he looked amazing in his new sailor boy suit as well. 

After Love Today there’s a moment for a small gesture to thank the audience and Mika goes backstage to change his outfit again but the band stays and it’s obvious more is still coming and the second ending highlight is Any Other World and since the beginning of the tour I’ve found this second highlight somehow even more meaningful than the first big highlight, it’s something that touches even deeper. I look at the flowers opening on the background and I listen to the song and I truly feel how something is touching my soul, there’s no other way to put it. It feels like time stops and I can reach a totally calm, meditative state and kind of accept everything around me and I know that no other artist has ever touched my soul that way and never will and it asks huge talent to be able to do that to people. I’m not even sure there’s any story behind the flowers on the background, the elements just mix well together and the whole performance just somehow magically works. 

In the end of the show I feel everyone has learnt deep, meaningful things about life and I love it how the setlist ends in the most colourful and happiest possible way with We Are Golden and flowers everywhere. After the show I’m happy and exhausted. My whole body is exhausted after different emotions. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a show this satisfying. Every single person at the venue is satisfied after the show. At the same time I know how tiring and consuming a show this long must be for the artist when just the tour schedule is hard and I’m aware of that the whole time. After We Are Golden the curtains close and the symphonic soundtrack starts playing and there’s a beautiful “after feeling” and then Mika comes to greet the crowd and to say thank you and good bye to the audience, first alone and then with the band and then it’s over and we all try to collect ourselves and I enjoy spending one more minute listening to I See You and it’s all a bit dreamy and I wonder if it all happened for real or just in my mind. A beautiful show in Dijon. 

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