Gig reviews: Les Ardentes Summer Festival in Liége, Belgium

The new show is a success. Yes, a success! Look at his face after the show at Les Ardentes Summer Festival in Liége, Belgium. Mika did a fantastic, relaxed performance and the Belgian audience loved it. What a great night it was. I’ve seen the new stage setting four times, in Compiégne, in Liége, in Corsica and finally last Saturday in Nyon. I saw it really well and properly for the first time in Liége, so I wanted to describe it with a few words in this Liége gig review post.

A show can be created in two ways. The first way is to have a huge amount of small ideas and elements, gather them all together and combine them as one big colorful show. He did that at his previous tour. It’s a bit messy way, but not actually bad, just unstructured needing a lot of work. I loved some of those show elements a lot, I still do and would do everything to see them again (the drumming scene and the space walking with the news flash just to mention a couple of these elements). It was fascinating especially for a fan to watch many shows in row and literally see in front of your own eyes how the show evolved and got better time after time. Loved the whole process. 

Another way is to take one clear basic idea and to build the show around it adding smaller details all related to the main idea. This is what he has done with the new Marie Antoinette theme and it’s a very structured way to build a new show and makes him look organized and more mature. The audience can follow the show more easily and it makes the show successful from the start, there’s a big difference. I genuinely think this is the best show he has created. I realized it already in Compiégne but seeing it better in Liége made me very proud of him, really. 

The new stage setting is very simple in a good way. There are a few big canvases with painting motives in them, hanging in two rows: Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, fighting scenes etc (some of them creepy, lol) and two big chandeliers. That’s it, and it works perfectly both at historical venues and at huge festivals. I’ve seen his awesome team building it up very quickly, and not sure if it is really that easy but at least they make it look easy. It’s simple, but there are numerous small details in the painting pictures, and you don’t get bored with it during one tour. Two big chandeliers are my favorites (just because I love chandeliers). See the stage in the picture below. I have more pictures of paintings, I will post them as soon as I have time to organize my pics. And see, he has gathered a court around him! 

On the (Marie Antoinette style) background he has added fantastic costumes by Mrs Penniman and some relevant theater elements: undressing Ida’s and iMMa’s huge skirts and showing their fabulous, colorful “underwear” under them (they both look gorgeous/this is not about the Victorian age so why not), the horse mask scene with iMMa and playing Napoleon in his dark jacket. Finally, there are two new French songs and one very theatrical new English song and the setting is more than perfect to them all. The new show is very controlled, really enjoyed it.

The Liége show was well done without any of those technical problems we saw/heard in Compiégne. It’s always amazing to see a big festival audience who doesn’t necessarily know his music so well enjoying his show this much. And even I think he did especially BIOTW better in Corsica and Nyon I still enjoyed all his new songs in Liége. Watch Karen below: