Gig reviews: Mika @ The Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach

I had such a special day in Solana Beach! Taking a train from LA near to the ocean was already an experience and Solana Beach was a lovely beach town with lots of cafés, restaurants, colorful shops and relaxed beach atmosphere. I spent my day having lunch, chatting with shop owners and dog walkers and waiting for Lowell to arrive. Turned out that practically no one wanted to queue for the gig and the venue told they offer two possibilities for going in: using the front door or through the restaurant in case we wanted to have a dinner before the show and we definitely wanted to do so. To tell the truth I was probably more excited to meet Lowell than see Mika (I see Mika more often, lol!) and Lowell and I had a lot of fun eating, chatting and watching the show and I can’t thank him enough for being so kind and helpful and generally such an awesome person!

The Belly Up Tavern was a tiny venue (max capacity 600 but the show wasn’t sold out) and the audience was surprisingly wild. It could have been a disaster but was absolutely a success. People were loud but they could sing (also understood to be quiet when needed) and some of them knew lyrics even for the rare songs like Only Lonely Man and China Boy (Celebrate with China Boy parts). Mika seemed to love them and was smiling, laughing and chatting through the show. He showed his “USA” shoes and made jokes about people shouting “USA, USA” – hilarious!

Some notes:
Mika is in his top form, his voice and singing were absolutely brilliant. He did Happy Ending partly without a microphone and it was one my best Mika moments ever. I could hardly breath. Remember the cherubs I used in my last post to describe some very special and beautiful moments? So many cherubs they almost couldn’t fit in the venue. Amazing.

I don’t miss the band. Max and Curtis are wonderful! The concept of Mika playing piano and Max and Curtis using different instruments adds extra value to every song, old and new. Both Lowell and I agreed that especially drumming gives a lot of energy and power. Not sure about the DJ thing though… Shy and Gentle are adorable, but most of the audience didn’t realize they are a part of the band and the set is too long.

The new songs are fantastic material, I hope he knows it. Hia Leah is really beautiful and quickly becoming one of my favorites just after two listening. Century Man could seriously be a huge hit, it’s classic, catchy and full of energy. Only Lonely Man fits well to live shows especially the way it’s performed now, the audience loves it.

This was easily one of my top3 gigs for many reasons. I’m really happy to see his NA tour is going so well, the new response is extremely good and the old NA fans are super loyal. Long time fans I’ve met have seen some legendary and special early gigs and events already 2006/2007.

A few photos from last night: