Zenith Lille in Lille, France 3/3/2024

We saw the 3rd show of the Apocalypse Calypso tour in Lille on March the 3rd. I decided to watch the gig seated for various reasons. It was my plan since the beginning to see the show from different perspectives and to watch it both from close and further distances. Also, after the emotional start I felt I needed a few hours to write down my tour summaries and generally, it’s good to have some quiet hours here and there when travelling is this hectic. 

I was totally surprised to see how the show looked from further away. First of all, I don’t think an arena show has ever looked this amazing from seated areas and I watch occasional seated gigs every tour. With the giant background screen, the light show and the big stage elements there’s a lot to see from distance and everything is beautiful. The combination of the long setlist and hugely impressive show guarantees that people definitely get the worth for their money. It’s an amazing experience to watch and I was stunned when I watched the show and I couldn’t stop admiring it. 

The sound was exceptional as well, it’s always good from those areas, that’s how venues usually work. I was also happy to listen to the songs without the audience screaming. I heard screaming from the standing area but it didn’t bother me. It’s been a surprise to me with the current tour that a lot of people scream along instead of singing along. It’s not totally unusual that people scream Mika comments even in the middle of the song which can be quite rude. In the seated area screaming the lyrics wasn’t that a big problem. The audience in the seated area in Lille was still enthusiastic. 

Instead of only focusing on the show I paid attention to the crowd as well and tried to observe what kind of reactions each songs caused in the audience. Traditionally the crowd in Lille is one of the best in the whole France, I knew that in advance and had memories from my previous Lille gig. The crowd was fantastic this time as well. Unless located in the disabled area it was totally allowed and suitable to stand up and dance and have fun and we know that’s not something to take for granted. Quite often seated people complain about it and it can be even controlled by the security. Not this time! I felt a bit shy to stand up and dance first but every time I saw people getting up from their seats I did the same. 

 The full standing area was with him since the beginning. Apocalypse Calypso is right after Bougez (which is a powerful start) and during it was amazing to watch the full crowd waving their hands from side to side and singing the lyrics already. An impressive sight and made me understand how easily Mika’s French audience has welcomed his new music in French. I observed that also the majority of the seated people in Lille had the potential to stand up and have properly fun but that they were also waiting for that final tiny little “push” and encouragement from Mika. I could see it almost happened, he worked for it and they almost did it and after a moment it happened and most of the people were up. It was obvious that people were impressed by the show, no questions about that, and they were almost standing up and dancing as well, he just had to do that final little push to make it happen. 

 Somehow this third gig of the tour felt every way different compared to the two previous ones and not only because of my location but because the show evolves as well. Underwater and Happy Ending were my big personal favourites in Lille and I wasn’t the only one, the lovely ending for Happy Ending works so well. I loved Moi, Andy et Paris as well and thought it’s gradually finding its form. I find it the loveliest song on the new album and the gig audience reaction at the two first gigs of the tour came as a total surprise. People scream the lyrics, the reaction is totally chaotic. Mika has seemed happy to get a reaction but at the same time confused by the form of it and in Lille I felt he managed to guide people more. Maybe my location was better that way (so the screaming didn’t even disturb as much as earlier), any way I really enjoyed the song. 

 My favourite song in Lille must have still been C’est la vie. The show elements looked stunning and the whole crowd seemed to feel the same way. Loved the performance seen from a distance! For a moment it looked Mika was stuck on the top of the sign, that it didn’t come down like it was supposed to and I hold my breath but quickly the moment was over. Fantastic arena version with the lights, the rainbow sign and exciting intro. The seated area was more and more on fire and Love Today made the crowd totally wild. Would have been ideal if the following song would have been We Are Golden already but the new setlist doesn’t go that way and in that situation I agreed that Any Other World felt “slow” even though I feel its timing is perfect when I’m closer to the stage. It’s a powerful song and last time it was my biggest highlight. Surprising and interesting to see how different the show feels experienced in a different part of the venue. A challenge that Mika and his team are surely thinking.

 My plan was to enjoy and not think too much but to be honest, I did think a lot during the night. I kept thinking how much work is put in a show like that. I admired the view a lot. I admired and loved the big stage elements, the background animations especially for songs like Apocalypso Calypso and Happy Ending (pinks) and Jane Birkin and I was totally surprised how well the audience reacts to all the new songs compared to even some many older songs. I admitted the fact that we all know, that the seated audience (other than regulars) absolutely loves Big Girl, it absolutely loves it. 

The one thing that I felt I was missing on the seated area further away was the energy and emotions coming from the stage. After the show I had to ask my friends if Mika was in a good mood and I would prefer knowing it without asking. Not understanding his talking in French, not seeing any facial expressions, it was not possible for me to know. Mika is extremely professional, he can do a great show in any mood. However, it’s an important part of the experience for me to get also the vibes and energy that are real in that moment. There are so many elements in live music. It’s difficult to always have them all and for that reason I think changing perspectives during the tour is a good idea. 

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