Writing a short gig report while waiting my plane in Paris. I'm traveling to some other festivals later this month and it's always best to write down some thoughts immediately after the show to remember the details and before confusing different shows. I had some mixed feelings when arriving to France on Friday. I knew the festival can't possibly be anything as magical as Tallinn two days earlier because the atmosphere/mood in Tallinn was very special. On the other hand, the whole area around Argeles-sur-Mer is extremely beautiful and I was really looking forward to spending my weekend there with the French fans. Also, after hearing the new songs live in Tallinn I was dying to hear them again as soon as possible.
Mika was the headliner for the festival Les Deferlantes and was supposed be on stage from half past midnight to 2am. Yes, it felt very late after the long hot day. The schedule was clear and Relax started quite precisely half past midnight. We heard the first notes and suddenly Mika was on stage and his voice was well recovered after Tallinn and very good indeed. The energy level and the atmosphere were not near the same though (to tell the truth I think the audience in Argeles was exhausted after so many artists, maybe Mika could feel it too). Relax was actually a bit tired (not the usual energy) and made me almost worried. However, after a moment of "working" he seemed to be on his normal stage mood and the show was very well done. He had the piano on stage for some songs and I could see the "equipments" for MYH brought on stage and thought he will do similar MYH as in London but the microphones were removed before the show finally started and he had obviously decided to skip MYH.
Firstly, the new songs are definitely the best part of the show. I mean, I already love the new music even more I love LICM. Felt almost guilty writing that. But it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing! The feeling I have while listening to Underwater is something I haven't experienced for a long time. It's so strong I can't think anything else just feel the song and it's absolutely my favorite song so far. Somehow I connect The Origin Of Love with UW and was almost waiting for the last song (before GK) because expected it to be TOOL and couldn't wait to hear it. It's lighter and happier than UW, but there's something similar (and not just because of the breathing lyrics). The best part of TOOL is the choir part and the band singing on the background near the end. Love it! Lola is very different compared to these two, it's perfect comfort music (you know, like comfort food) and gives a good, happy feeling. My head is a full of thoughts about all these new songs, and I want to hear them a few more time and write a proper post of each of them.
I'm happy if he keeps some of his his classics as they are (meaning Relax, Love Today, Grace Kelly etc) but also expect and already like the little changes in some other old songs (Billy Brown, Lollipop, Blue Eyes), because I've seen/heard them so many times and feels refreshing to see them in a new light. I still think it's important he does some extra songs at different gigs, because it keeps people curious and interested. Last night we heard Any Other World and I was so pleased to hear it because haven't heard it for a very long time and it's one of the best live songs. Must have been the first time I see it shirtless (not sure, I'm not actually counting), so couldn't help but thinking if he will catch a cold (but he looks gorgeous and the audience always love it so I'm not complaining).
Also, I already love the new band. They are very good and seem to have a lot of character (each of them). Mika did the killing scene in Love Today last night, and the band was really cute doing a lot of effort in it even they don't seem to be used to die on stage. Lol, so much fun to watch! The band looks very versatile and everyone seems to have a lot of sense of humor so I'm not worried about them at all. Max had a special role in Love Today, loved it, and the key board player with a wide smile plays several instruments in different songs. Tim the guitarist is hiding behind the others most of the time and he should be in front more so we could see him better (but that's just my opinion, maybe there's not enough space and he is hiding for that reason). The new drummer looks very cool, I wonder which one will be more popular among fans, him or Max, lol. Amazing how fast the band has learnt to work together. I love it that they let their personality show already, it's really important when playing for Mika.
We didn't see the background setting in Argeles either. I was hoping to see it, but it was good to be able to concentrate on the new songs at least one more time before seeing the drawings. He must have put a lot of time and energy to the drawings, so I wonder if he will use them only during the festival tour or save them for the proper tour after the album is out. The new outfits are very Mika style, great choice imo, definitely not in a boring way. There's something old-fashioned in his suit, makes me think of Charles Chaplin when he does his cute, funny walking. I'm so relieved he has passed the teenage phase, really like the mature version (but I've already told all this earlier).
I've seen so many Mika shows in France and I still can't speak any French even I always plan to learn some. A huge thank you to my French friends who helped me with everything, booking hotels, buying tickets and even finding me suitable food (I have a special diet so I need to know well everything I eat). It was a lovely weekend. Now tired, but will sleep at home. A couple of vids below, Underwater and Lola.